Can You Cut LED Light Strips ?

LED light strips come with a fixed length. Therefore, buying them with the proper measurements for the planned installation point is not always possible.


When you purchase the LED light strips, you'll want to see if the product has a cut line. If it does, that indicates you can slice through the product safely. If there isn't one, you should avoid altering its measurements.


How to Cut LED Light Strips


Before cutting through an LED light strip, please verify that it is designed for this purpose. You'll need to consult with the owner's manual, check the box or instructions, or contact the manufacturer directly.


If you cut an LED light strip that wasn't designed for that action, you can render it unusable.


Please remember to disconnect it from a power source before starting the cutting process. The risk of injury from slicing through a live wire is significant.


Step 1: Measure the Length

It's always good to measure the area where the light strips will be installed twice. That way, you can verify that the length is correct when transitioning that information to the LED lights.


Cutting off the extra part depends on the LED light strip design. Most products come with predetermined lengths that you can cut or snap apart. You'll want to use the amount that corresponds the closest to your installation point.


If you cut the LED light strip too short accidentally, it could ruin the product for what you want to accomplish. That means you'll need to purchase another one to complete the installation.


Step 2: Look for the Scissors Logo

Most brands and manufacturers offer a specific spot on the LED light strip where you can cut the product to size. This area might even be perforated.


If you don't see a designated section, take a few moments to see if there is a scissors logo or a cutting line marked on the product. You'll want to cut through the cable at that point to ensure a clean installation that won't damage the LED lights.


Step 3: Cut the Light Strip

You can cut through the LED lights with a sharp pair of scissors. Although you could use a knife, the risk of a diagonal slice increases with that method. The strip might not function as expected if you stray off the cut line.


How to Install LED Light Strips After Cutting Them


Some LED light strips can be cut to a specific length because of their design. They continue to work because the wiring is set up to work, whether combined or separated.


Some LED light strips can be repaired if you accidentally cut them in the wrong place.


Here are the steps to follow once you have the trimmed piece ready to install so that you may use it for your interior design needs.


Make Sure the Wall Is Clean

When attaching an LED light strip to a wall, you must first clean the surface before installing. If it is wet or dusty, the product won't attach as expected.


The easiest way to clean a wall is to use a little dish soap and warm water. Once you've scrubbed away the dirt and debris, allow the surface to air dry before continuing with the installation.


If you install the LED lights in a kitchen or another area where grime or grease can coat the walls, you might need a chemical agent first to remove those materials.


Once the outer film is removed, you can clean the walls with soap and water before continuing with the process.


It might be necessary to clean the installation point with rubbing alcohol. Your LED light strip instructions will tell you if that action is required.


Paste the LED Light Strip

Once the installation point is clean, you can remove the covering that protects the adhesive on the LED light strip. Paste it carefully in your preferred location.


After you've started the line, continue running the LED light strip along the wall where you want the installation to take place. Move slowly, gently pressing the adhesive tacks to ensure the product stays affixed.


Once applied to a clean surface, the glue that holds an LED light strip in place will not easily disengage. Before finalizing your work, take the time to double-check that everything is in the proper position.


You'll also want to ensure that the light strip is correctly connected to the power point. It will not work correctly if you have it inserted backwards. Please remember to match up the positive and negative terminals to the connector.


Plug in the Power

Once everything is connected and affixed to the wall, you can turn on the power to your LED light strips. You should see everything lit at that stage.


If the light strip is still not working after you've completed those instructions, you'll need to check for a connection problem. When the setup is normal, you may have damaged the product by cutting it to the required size. As a result, it is important always to cut following the instructions or logo.


How to Use the Other LED Light Strip Portion


If you've cut your LED light strips to size, you might have a sizable portion remaining that could be useful in other ways. The only problem is that the remaining part is not typically usable after cutting the product to size.


Some people might want to reconnect the cut portion to the powered LED light strip. That option is possible if you have a 4-pin connector available to use. However, you'll need to ensure the reconnection is secure before sending power through the unit because one mistake could cause the entire product to surge and stop working.


Most 4-pin connectors to reconnect a separated LED light strip are sold separately.


This methodology also works well for people who accidentally cut their strip too short and want to correct the situation.


Here is what you'll need to do.


Purchase a 4-Pin Connector

Dozens of different 4-pin connectors are available right now. You'll need to select one with a compatibility rating for your LED light strip.


The easiest way to do this is to look at the 4-pin connector's width. If your light strip is 8 mm wide, you need to have a connector with the same measurement.


You cannot make a 10 mm light strip work with an 8 mm connector.


Some manufacturers might recommend a specific connector for this purpose. It's almost always better to follow that recommendation to ensure that the LED light strip functions correctly. If you decide to use a different product, you'll want to ensure it is compatible with your lights.


Open the Connector

Once you have the connector, you will need to open it to expose the pins. Most products include a cover that snaps upward to protect this area. Because some designs come off, you'll want to be cautious during this stage.


Losing the cover might render the 4-pin connector unusable. Always refer to the instructions received for the product to ensure you're using it appropriately.


Place the Light Strip in the Connector

Once you have the connector opened and ready to work, you can place one end of the LED light strip into it. Fasten the clips to ensure the lights are secured. You'll want to double-check to see that the positive and negative terminals are matched accordingly.


After having one strip connected to the 4-pin connector, it's time to attach the other size. Follow the same process. Once both ends are secure, clip or tighten both sides to ensure the entire unit is closed.


Cover the Connector

After you have the light strips properly connected, close the cover. This step should create a power connection that transfers from one to the other.


Adjust the connecting point between the pins and the light strip if the connected components don't light up as expected. You might not have a secure connection, so unplug the unit and inspect the joint.


You'll need to ensure each connection is lined up correctly. Match up the various lines to create the appropriate link.


Once everything looks good, try the power again. Unfortunately, some light strips are irreparably damaged after cutting through them, so it might not be possible to use a connector successfully.


When to Use LED Light Strips


Lighting creates different impacts on our mood and perspective. Yet, we often take it for granted with what we do, ranging from light at work to what is available in the kitchen when making a meal.


It's hard to believe sometimes that we've only had this technology for about 150 years. When we talk about LED lighting, it's an even more recent invention.


One of the best ways to improve your mood is to install LED lighting in different areas of the home. By adding task lighting, different colors, or unique interior design concepts, your rooms can feel like a natural extension of your personality.


The best place to install LED light strips is underneath cabinets and hanging shelves. You can create a better lit area that is safer and easier to use. These spots are also great options for accent lights, reducing the strain your eyes feel when the ambient light isn't adequate.


You can also use LED light strips under lower cabinets to illuminate walkways and foot-friendly areas. That way, you'll hopefully prevent some of those toe-stubbing incidents that happen late at night.


An LED light strip can offer color and brightness if you have dark spaces. When you have light areas, experiment with using strips to create different moods for you to enjoy.


You can even place LED light strips under your bed, behind your computer monitor, or around your television to achieve unique results that you'll appreciate.


Before purchasing LED lights, you'll want to determine if you wish to use white LEDs, an RGB strip, or RGBW lights. Different brightness levels may be available, so you'll want to think about the application. For example, task lighting has unique brightness requirements than accent lights around a TV.


You can measure to see how much length is necessary once you have the LED light strips. From there, only cut at the designated points. If you have any questions, always consult the product's instructions. 


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