How to Cut, Connect and Power LED Strip LightsFlexible LED strip lights are used all over the world in various industrial, commercial and residential projects. LED strip lighting is popular among many Architects and Lighting Designers due to the improvements in efficiency, color options and brightness. The biggest draw is how easy they are to install. Their flexibility, low-profile and helpful accessories make them the most popular LED strip for the at home DIY types. With these LED strips, a homeowner can design like a professional with the right supplies and just an hour or two.
And for that, I heartily recommend an addressable LED strip. It's very bright, super vivid, and easy to hookup. As these are bare LED s…. If you've never worked with addressable LEDs or with the RedStick, we recommend checking out these other guides first. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'm going to assume that you have some very basic soldering experience.
There are only a handful of connections that you'll need to solder, so this isn't a bad project to start with However, if you are using this as your introduction to soldering, we strongly suggest reading this tutorial first. Addressable LED strips, like the one in this tutorial, tend to use a standardized 3-pin connector. This makes it easy to chain multiple LED strips together. Because the battery pack included with this project is not going to support a lot more than the 60 included LEDs, you may find it convenient to cut the female connector off the "out" end of the strip and solder it to the RedStick to make your LEDs detachable.
The diagram below illustrates the handful of connections that you'll need to make.
Follow these 7 helpful pointers so you can install LED strip lights like a This makes it possible to connect LED strips together or connect the strip in a different . If you're new to LED strip lights but are eager to get them up and running, the most critical step is figuring out how to provide the appropriate power input to the . Draw out the length of LED strip that you need from the reel and cut at the appropriate mark.
You'll notice that the red and yellow wires from the LED strip are connected directly to the battery connector. The VCC pin draws current through the on-board voltage regulator, which isn't rated for the high current that the LEDs require to operate.
If powered from VCC, the regulator will definitely get hot and may fail altogether.
Led strip hook up
For our example code, we'll be making use of Adafruit's fantastic NeoPixel library. Click here to download a copy of both the example code, as well as the NeoPixel library. You'll need to install the library.
For help there, check out our installing Arduino libraries tutorial. We've broken down the example code into a few separate sketches that each have a fun animation.
We've taken the liberty of cooking up a few special addition animations as well:. This one is my favorite of the NeoPixel example animations. It scrolls through the entire rainbow of colors while evenly distributing the color spectrum across the LED strip.
This is a little animation that I worked up based on the "Theater Chase" animation included in the NeoPixel example code. It creates a crawling lights effect in red on a white background, like an animated candy cane! At full brightness, the strip will pull over 2 amps!! With a capacity of only 1. If you want to get more bang for your battery-buck, there are a few tricks you can use.
And mostly unnecessary. Luckily, the NeoPixel library includes a handy function called setBrightness ; which limits the brightness of an LED strip. You'll notice that the examples in this tutorial all include the line strip. You can set it lower before noticing a huge difference in brightness, so play with that number until you find the right balance between brightness and battery life.
Sometimes a cool lighting effect is more impressive if it isn't continuous. Try dropping a delay ; into the main loop so that there's some downtime between animation cycles. Obviously, the less time you leave the LEDs on, the longer your batteries will last. Maybe you don't need 60 LEDs. Maybe 30 would do just fine. You can cut a portion off the end of the strip with a pair of standard craft scissors.
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Just cut across the copper pads in between the LEDs, and now you have another small strip you could use elsewhere.
You can always solder them back together if you change your mind!
Now go forth and add lights to everything! It's worth noting that the RedStick is powerful enough to address a lot more than 60 LEDs, but you'll need to beef up the power supply before you start chaining strips together. Gone are the days that you have to worry about silicone water proofing splitting and breaking on you! These are sealed addres…. Gone are the days that you have to worry about silicone weather proofing splitting and breaking on you!
These are sealed addr…. This is a W single output switching power supply from Mean Well.How to Cut and Connect LED Light Strips.
This power supply is extremely reliable and able to outpu…. This is the big kahuna from Mean Well, a W single output switching power supply. Always keep your LED light strips' voltage value in mind to help you determine the power supply needs for your lights. If you're shopping online, look at the product photo for your LED strips.
Often, they will have a label showing 24V or 12V.
How to Connect An LED Strip to a Power Supply
Find out the total wattage consumption of your LED strips. Each LED light strip consumes a specific amount of wattage the basic unit of electrical power across every meter or foot that it travels. For example, some products use 5. Multiply the watts by the distance of your strip to get the total wattage.
For example, a 25 foot 7. If the product description lists total wattage, divide it by the total number of metres or feet in the reel to get the watts or feet per metre.
If the strip is 5 feet 1. Calculate the minimum power usage for your power supply. Multiply the total wattage by 1. This means that your battery should be able to draw a minimum of Always add 20 percent to the estimated power usage to ensure that you have more than enough power.
Divide the total wattage by the voltage to get the minimum amperes. Now, there's one final calculation: amperes, which is the unit for measuring how fast your electric current travels. This means you need to purchase a power supply that can provide more than Check for the amperes of your power supply in the product description. Purchase a power supply that matches your power requirements.
You now have enough information to select a power supply within the appropriate voltage grouping. Always make sure that your adapter has enough wattage and amperes to power your lights. Cut along the designated cut line using a pair of scissors. Draw out the length of LED strip that you need from the reel and cut at the appropriate mark. These marks are typically distinguished by dotted lines across the strips of LED lighting.
Be sure to only cut at the specified cut marks—cutting through or before the copper dots will prevent electrical conductivity for the section afterward. Attach a quick connector to the LED strip if it doesn't have an input cable. Now, press the black locking bar closed. Select quick connectors that match the tape width.
Typically, the width is either 8 millimetres 0. Solder an input cable to the strip if you don't have quick connectors. Start by applying some solder to the red and black wires of the input cable until the tip is silver.
Now, apply a small amount of solder to the copper dots on your LED strip—just enough to cover them. When applying solder to your LED strip, be sure there's enough to cover the copper dots but not enough that the solder overlaps.
Clean the tip of your soldering iron when it gets messy to keep the joints as clean as possible. Clean the surface when you're installing your LED lights. Create a cleaning solution that is 1 part warm water and 1 part white distilled vinegar. Thoroughly wipe down the surface until it's free from dirt and scuffs. Afterward, scrub the area with a dry rag. Use a material-specific cleaner if the location is fairly dirty.
For example, if you're applying your LED lights to wood and water and vinegar isn't doing the trick, wash it with wood cleaner. Connect your LED lighting to your chosen surface.
And for that, I heartily recommend an addressable LED strip. It's very bright, super vivid, and easy to hookup. This tutorial covers all of the wiring and code. How to install an LED strip light to a solderless connector - Installation Guide to LED Video 2 - How to connect an LED strip light kit with solderless connectors . Learn about LED strips and their interconnection limitations. This guide will teach you how many strips you can connect end-to-end.
Remove the rest of the backing from the LED strips to expose the adhesive side. Now, press the strip against the surface of your installation location. Be sure to press the strip down hard so the adhesive sticks firmly to the surface. Wood, metal, and plastic surfaces work best. Connect your LED strips to your power supply via the quick connector or wire. Whether your LEDs are fixed to a quick connector or input cable, connect it to the power supply.
Your LED strips should light up once connected to your power supply. In addition, double check any soldering and clean up any messy areas.
Could I plug one strip of 15 meter tape lighting into the main lights? Yes, but you need to reduce the voltage to 12 volts with a transformer.