HOW TO CUT, CONNECT AND POWER LED STRIP LIGHTING
There, you will find instructions on how to cut, solder, connect and power LED strip lighting, which will be of a great help to you in a DIY project. We begin by telling you how to cut LED strips down to the required length.
Cutting LED Strip Lighting
You need nothing more than sharp scissors for cutting the LED strip lighting to an expected length. There are quite a few things you should know about as well before you get down to the cutting.
You should know, for instance, that the LED strips can only be cut at the points that are clearly marked. You won’t find it hard to identify the cut points – they will be clearly visible to you and displayed as a line across the LED strip.
The cutting distance for LED strips can vary, but generally you will have a width, consisting of 6 to 9 LEDs on a strip. Once you have identified the cut line which will be clearly marked on the LED lighting strip, you just have to use the scissors to cut along it.
You must remember clearly to cut the LED strip only at where it has been specifically marked for you to do so. If you cut in the wrong areas, then it’s possible that many of the LEDs may not function.
Connecting LED Strip Lighting
It’s important to know how connections are made to the LED Strip lighting. Usually LED strips are on reels of length 5 meters. To make connections to the strip, you can either use a clip on connector or use soldered joints. Here, we will be focusing on using clip on connectors rather than on soldering as for DIY projects, getting soldering tools may be quite difficult for most people.
The clip-on connectors are of a range of sizes, varying from a standard tape width of 8mm to 10mm. You don’t need tools to fit them together, which is why they are so easy for our purpose.
The 5 meter reel of the LED strip which is available to us will be fitted with exactly 5 clip-on connectors at appropriate spots. These connectors are not always suitable for connections involving extremely bright LED lights because of their extra power input, for which you will have to use soldering.
To fit the clip-on connector, just pull back the locking bar; have the tape inserted into a slot and see that the copper connection points are inside the body of the connector. Now push back the little black clips into their locked positions. For this you will have to use an equal force to either side till it meets with the body of the connector, so that the tape is locked into position.
Pull the strip gently till you can be sure that it has been locked into place and that a perfect connection has been made. The LED strip has two wires attached to it. To add power to the strip you can use an LED driver. So that’s how you connect an LED Strip Lighting.
Powering the LED Strip Lighting
Powering an LED strip should be done with a measure of accuracy. You shouldn’t make the mistake of running too much of the LED strip lighting as a single linear length, otherwise it might get damaged because of drawing a higher current than you would want. You shouldn’t use a power higher than 4.8W or 9.6W per meter strip, for a maximum run of 10 meters. If it is required to power more than this, then get the LED strip wired in parallel to the power supply, this way, there won’t be any damage to the LED lights.
The power supply should always be selected so that it offers 20% higher power than what the LED strip requires. So if the LED strip requires a power of 24W, then you should have a power supply of 30W. If it requires a power of 48W, then the power supply should be of 60W.
You can use a power supply that is higher than this 20% threshold as well, but it shouldn’t be lower than that. You should never use a power supply that is rated the same as the LED strip. But as long as the power supply is 20% or higher than the power required by the LED strip, you shouldn’t have a problem powering it on a sustainable basis for the long term.