LED lights are like Amazon, they are everywhere! Being used for various purposes like home décor, accent lighting, outdoor beauty, landscape and industrial lighting, etc. they are common to found, and are versatile!
Its users being everywhere, are up with numerous queries. To answer one of their queries on “Can I cut LED light strips?” today, we bring to them a complete guide in which they can get the answers to their related and relevant queries on cutting LED light strips.
So, let’s get started!
YES!!! You can cut LED strip lights to get the desired size you want!
It’s not that easy as you thinking. A complete know-how to LED strip lights, their cutting methods and strategies is necessary to successfully accomplish the task!
With that said,
Let’s first take a general look on the know-how to cut LED lights!
There is no “one size fits all” strategy applicable to LED light strips. No matter of which type LED strip light you’re looking for, they all have got one thing in common: “you can cut them to get the desired length.”
At Which Point Should I Cut LEDs on LED Strip Light?
- Throughout the length of each LED strip light, you’ll see straight dotted black lines at regular intervals.
- At each black dot a circuit completely closes, making the black line area the safest point to cut LED lights without causing any damage to them.
- Usually, the black dots or cutting points of the light differs on each LED strip. So, as a general thumb rule, the cut point lies after every three LEDs.
For instance, if there are 30 LEDs per meter, the cutting point typically lies after every 10 centimeters.
- You’ll find copper soldering pads in symmetrical looing patterns at each side of the black dot or cutting line.
- If you’re successful in locating the copper pads, it’s a sure sign that you’ve correctly identified the cutting line!
Will Both Sides Work, If I Cut Them?
YES!! Both the sides of LED strip light will work correctly if you cut them right!
Yes, cut them right!
If you’re successful in identifying the right cutting position on the LED strip light, then you can have both the cut sides of LEDs working.
This is because, as told before, the cut point is the safest cutting point on LEDs that disrupts the circuit without damaging it.
Whereas, in-between the cutting point lies the circuit on its own, so if you’ve wisely chosen the cutting points, as per instructions we laid down, no damage will occur to both the halves of LED strip lights.
HOW TO CUT LED LIGHT STRIPS? STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE!
Precautionary Measures You Should Consider before Cutting LED Light Strips:
Step 1: Set the appropriate length:
Make sure to buy a lengthy LED light strip as you can always cut it, but you can’t increase its length. On the other hand, be precise while measuring the length as you don’t want to shorten the length from your requirement.
Step 2: Look for the cut marks:
LED light strips are not ordinary cables that you can cut from anywhere you want. Yes, they contain wires with copper dots for conducting power. If you accidentally cut it from the copper dots, you will end up damaging the entire strip. So, look for the cut marks before when cutting the appropriate length.
Caution: Use safety scissors to assist you in doing the task efficiently.
Step 3: Use quick connectors:
Quick connectors are not suitable for every connection type. However, using them could be a useful way for making connections faster. All you need is setting the top’s direction upwards. Apart from that, be careful in terms of polarity on the LED strip light.
Step 4: Pull out the plastic:
Quick connectors come up with a plastic material, usually of black color. You have to pull it out slowly or you might damage the connector. Put it out approximately one-eighth of an inch.
Step 5: Peel the adhesive tape:
Now, peel back the adhesive tape for making the connections with the wires.
Step 6: Make the connections:
Here, you have to connect the LED strip light with the quick connector. And again, don’t forget to connect the wires to their appropriate polarity (positive to positive, and negative to negative).
Step 7: Set the quick connector:
After performing the above-mentioned steps, hold the quick connector and set its black plastic piece by squeezing it in your hands.
Step 8: Testing:
The entire circuit is now complete. Now take a deep breath and test the connections. Carefully connect it to a power source and you’ll enjoy the beautiful LED light strips if you have made the connections properly.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO USE THE REMAINING CUT PORTION OF LED STRIP LIGHTS? IF YES, THEN HOW?
Cut LED Strips- Method:
Cut LED strips method is still in use because every place requires a certain length of LED strip to install. For cutting the LED strip lights, you have to be careful as showing carelessness would make you shorten the strip more than you need. Also, you have to cut the strip from the cut marks, or you will damage the entire light strip.
After you have cut the strip to your required length, the next is the installation process. Where you’ll use the strip depends on your choice. However, you have to take care of the following steps to get a perfect working LED light strip model.
Step 1: The object should be clean:
Before attaching the LED light strip, make sure the object (wall, ceiling, etc.) is fully clean. Attaching strips on a dusty object might make it hard and irritating.
Step 2: Stick the LED strip:
The LED strips come with a 3M adhesive tape. Peel its cover and stick the strip to your desired location. It would hardly take you a few minutes.
Step 3: Make the connections:
Most of the LED light strips come with connectors and controllers. Both of these are included in the box. If not, you have to buy them separately as the light will not work without them. Now, make the connections carefully while you are connecting both the connector and the controller.
Step 4: Connect it to a power supply:
Now that you have made the connections, it’s time to connect the system with a power supply to check if it is working or not. If you have done every step carefully, you’ll enjoy beautiful LED strips working in front of your eyes.
Don’t lose your heart if the LED light strip doesn’t work. Check out the connections and the strip itself. Also, look for the points from where you cut the strip. If you find that everything is good according to you, call an expert to sort out the issue. But don’t be afraid of trying everything yourself because attaching LED light strips is not a difficult task if you have done similar tasks before.
CAN YOU RECONNECT LED STRIP THAT HAS BEEN CUT OFF?
We have been repeatedly saying that you have to cut the LED strip very precisely. It is because once you cut it and you find that it has become shorten than you needed, you’ll find yourself in a world of troubles.
However, we are not saying that you can’t reconnect the other part with it again. Also, it will put an extra burden on your wallet because you have to buy more connectors for reconnecting the LED strip.
Today, you have many connectors available in the market. All of them offer unique and versatile functionality. You’ll notice that they are different in terms of their size and shape. Buy the one that you think you could easily install.
How to Reconnect Cut Strip Lights?
We can’t let you wonder about how you can reconnect the LED strip lights that have been cut off. You can perform this step easily using strip connectors. What makes them the best is that they don’t require any hard work or additional tools. All you need is a knife and the connector itself.
Method No. 1:
- Take the knife and the connector and peel its plastic covering.
- You’ll have copper wires that were covered with that plastic.
- Simple connect them with the connector but make sure that you are connecting them properly.
Method No. 2:
If you have a soldering iron and some old wires, you can perform the soldering technique to reconnect the strips. However, it is not what everyone can do. If you have used or seen how to use a soldering iron, then you are the champ!
- Take the soldering iron and the wires.
- Melt the solder onto the copper dots and join the wires of both pieces of the LED strips.
- Again, don’t forget to connect negative with negative and positive with positive.
- After completing the process, connect the LED strip with a power supply to check if it is working.
We recommend both of these methods. However, if you don’t want to buy connectors separately, you can prefer performing the second method.
Both of them are easy, right?
Also, we have a depth article about connecting LED strip lights, so make sure to check it out for helping purposes.
ERROR: THE CUT LED STRIPS NOT WORKING
Cutting LED strip lights is a common way of shortening their length. However, a few LED strip lights are not compatible with this cutting method. Those will never have cut marks anywhere on the strip. If your strip is not working after cutting; this could be an issue with them.
In such a situation, there is nothing you can do. We feel sorry for that but you should have checked that out before buying the LED strips. If you knew you had to cut the strips, you must have gone with a strip that is compatible with this cutting feature.
If you bought a strip that is compatible with the cutting feature but still not working, you can fix the issue.
- You have to check the wire if you have cut them where they needed to be cut.
- If you mistakenly cut it from the copper dots, there is no chance that you can repair the strip again.
- That’s why we persuade on carefully cutting the strip.
There are some situations when the LED strip lights work, but they don’t give the desired output. For example, the brightness is low than listed in the specifications. No need to worry here as you have made the connections accurately.
- Look for the power supply and measure the voltage supplied to the strips.
The placing of the LED strips also matter the most. Generally, 12V LED strips should not exceed 10 feet, as you will experience a voltage drop. Reduce the strip for optimum output.
The last issue could be the color changing of the LED strip. If you bought an RGB LED light strip and it is not changing its color, all you need it checking the polarity. Try switching the polarities until everything
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Can LED strip lights be cut?
Yes, you can cut LED strip lights but with the proper know-how to procedure.
Q. At what lengths can your LED Strip lights be cut to?
Usually, you will find the scissors logo right on the cut point. But, in case it’s not there, as per the general thumb rule, the cut point lies after every three LEDs on the strip.
Q. Is it easy to cut an LED strip light?
Yes, it’s quiet easy to cut LED strip light, but take all the precautionary measures before starting the task.
Q. How the cutting points look like in LED strip lights?
Cutting points, usually, have a scissor logo on them. If not then black dotted points on the LED strip will help you locate them. Also, to double check the cut point, by locating the copper pads you can successfully cut the LED strip right on the point.
Q. Can you cut LED strip light away from the cut line?
No, you cannot cut the LED strip light away from the cut line. This is because, at each cut line the circuit completely closes, whereas in-between those cut lines lies the circuit. So, if you cut LED strip light away from the cut line, you will damage the whole strip, making it unstable to work further.
Q. Are LED strip light safe to be cut?
Yes, LED strip light is safe to be cut, in case you’ve taken proper precautionary measures.
Q. Can you cut and connect LED strip lights?
Yes, it is possible to cut and then connect the LED strip lights. How? Read the relevant guide above!
Q. Can you install LED strip lights under cabinets?
Yes, you can install LED strip lights under cabinets.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Have you ever cut an LED light strip yourself? What steps did you follow and what was the outcome? Do let us know your experience in the comments below.
Thanks for making it this far till the end of the blog. We covered everything that you need to know when cutting LED light strips. Make sure to follow all of these steps, so you never have to hire an expert for this easy task.
We’ll see you with a new topic. Till then, Be Sound!