LED Strip Lights: Home Installation Tips
When it comes to finding simple, stylish, and versatile forms of home lighting, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about LED strip lights and the benefits they can provide for the look and feel of your home. But what exactly are these marvels of home installation? And how are you supposed to use them effectively in your home?
Read this easy-to-follow guide for installing LED strip lights in your home to learn more.
What are LED Strip Lights?
LED strip lights are a more modern and versatile way of adding some extra style and individuality to the lighting of your home. While there are many different forms of LED strip lights, the majority of them will contain several small lights within a narrow circuit board. This board is highly flexible and can be mounted just about anywhere in your home.
LED strip lights tend to operate on a low voltage and come in a wide range of colours and adjustable brightness options to suit your needs. They tend to come in long reels between 5-10 metres in length. However, they can be easily cut to fit in your desired area, and have a double-sided adhesive to make placing your LED strip lights a relatively simple process.
Why are LED Strip Lights so Popular in Modern Homes?
With LED tape making the entire process of creating a lighting setup easier than ever before, this innovative alternative to modern lighting in the home has become extremely popular. Below are just a few of the other reasons why so many people are embracing this form of light in their homes.
- Flexible lighting solutions
- The ability to move and alter lighting with ease
- Wireless remote technologies
- Adjustable brightness settings
- Cost-effective compared to traditional lighting methods
- Unlimited colour options
LED strip lights can be as simple or as complex as you please. And with tools like LED strip light connectors to help keep your strips neat and flush along the corners of a room or piece of furniture, your lighting choices are limited only by your own imagination!
What are the Benefits of Using LED Strip Lights?
While each home is different depending on your specific needs and tastes, the 4 main benefits for anyone using these innovative lighting methods can be found listed below.
- Easy to install
The double-sided LED tape and the long, svelte shape of LED strip lights make them easy to install and adapt to the room it's being used in. This means you can add a stylish hue or ambient glow in even the most difficult-to-reach areas of your home.
While standard lighting methods can require many bulb changes and other maintenance methods, LED strip lights are durable and longer-lasting. It’s maximum style and longevity with minimal effort!
- Perfect for highlighting home features
LED strips can completely transform a piece of furniture, a dull corner of your kitchen, or even create some incredible under-cabinet lighting using the LED tape. They can even be used for stylish bathroom lighting or lighting that accentuates a certain part of your home with a subtle but inviting hue.
LED strips use less energy to light your home than standard lighting fixtures, meaning that you’re helping to reduce the impact on the environment and potentially even your monthly bills.
Installing LED Tape and Strip Lights in your Home
Before you begin placing LED light strips around your home, it’s important to understand what the best basic steps are to ensure they’re as perfect as you’d hoped they would be. Following this simple 3 step guide below will help you to get it done quickly, easily, and effectively.
Step1: Pick your surface
This can be located pretty much anywhere you please in the house. If you’re unsure, many people prefer to put their LED strip lights under countertops in the kitchen, or above handy bathroom cabinets and even gaming rooms to give it an extra flourish of colour.
For walls and ceilings where the lights will be more visible, some people prefer to use wireless LED options. Either way, be sure that you’ve picked somewhere close to power outlets.
Step 2: Measure and check
Measure your chosen area carefully to make sure you’re going to cover the correct amount. When you’re happy with the measurements, you should find black lines marked along the LED strip lights marked with the scissors icon. Then carefully cut along these black lines to make the perfect fit for your desired measurements (LED strip lights tend to have cutting lengths between 2-6 inches).
Remember that the lights are adjustable, so you shouldn’t have any problems customising them to fit. But before you peel away the covering layer of your LED tape, it’s always a good idea to use standard sticky tape and do a practice run to see how your lighting will look when permanently in place.
Step 3: Clean and dry the surface
With confirmation your light strips will fit, it’s time to make the surface you’ll be placing it on as clean and dry as possible. To do this, simply wipe the area down with a damp cloth to eliminate any potential dirt or debris. Then it’s just a matter of drying the area off!
If you’re applying your LED strip lights to a straightforward surface or cabinet, you have to peel off the backing on the LED tape and hold it firmly in place for about 20 seconds for every 6 or so inches of the LED strips length.
LED Strip Light Connectors and Complex Installations
The above steps will work for simple and more complex LED strip light projects. And while “complex” certainly doesn’t mean difficult in comparison to some of the tasks that come with standard lighting fixtures, there are times when installing your LED light strips will require a little more planning and care.
For harder-to-reach areas like underneath home cabinets or furniture that needs drilling through moulding to accomplish your lighting requirements, you may need to make use of LED strip light connectors to help manoeuvre corners or connect two strips.
Below are some helpful general tips to keep your more complex installations as simple as possible.
Using LED Strip Light Connectors
Connecting strips together will require you to do one of two things - solder the actual wires to the LED strip or use LED light strip connectors for easy attachment between two strips.
Below is a simple guide for using LED tape connectors instead of the soldering alternative.
- Choose LED strips or LED tape connectors that work with your specific LED strip lights. Some LED tape connectors are clip-on, whereas others are folded over instead. It’s also important to choose LED strip light connectors that work for the lights you have (monochrome and RGBW strips may require different connectors).
- Regardless of which LED strip light connectors you choose, you’ll need to slide the end of the light itself into the open part of the connector after cutting it to your desired length. Do this as gently as possible to avoid damaging the lights when you’re so close to completing it!
- On either side of your cutting lines, there should be dots, which you can use to make sure the wires are all correctly aligned. Let’s say that your LED strip light connectors had 4 wires coloured red, green, blue, and black, you’d align them with the dots labelled accordingly. If your connector has 2 wires that connect to a strip, you’ll probably have a plus and minus sign to use as guidance instead.
- If you need to drill to help make a long and continual strip work effectively, it’s always best to make a hole that’s a little bigger than the strip itself so that you can run the LED strip lights through instead of having to use several power sources unnecessarily.
- LED tape connectors can also help to keep everything nice and flush in trick corners. To do this effectively, carefully make a slit along the black lines between the light and strip with a knife. Much like above, peel back the top to expose the ends and slide it into the right end of the connector clip before snapping or folding it closed.
Home Installation without the Frustration
With LED strip lights, you’re making the most of a flexible and eco-friendly solution that can add depth, style, and new dimensions to any room of your home. As long as you follow the above tips, and have a clear idea of what you want to do, you’ll go from novice LED installer to professional-looking light features in no time at all!