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LED Strip Installation

Fiona Mellink

LED strip lights are known for their variety, and it’s not just the lights themselves that differ. There are two main methods for installing LED strips: adhesive-backed strips and mounts, also known as LED profiles.


Adhesive-backed strips vs profile mounted strips

Both strip application types have pros and cons. Profile-mounted strips are a larger upfront investment but are a better long-term solution with a professional-looking finish. By comparison, adhesive LED strips are best for budget-friendly, DIY installs, and temporary solutions. The table below summarises what each is best for.

Adhesive Backed

Profile Mounted

Ease of installation

Cost of purchase and installation

Heat dissipation

Longevity

Installation on-linear surfaces e.g. curved walls

Sleek finish


If you’re unsure which option is best for you, get in touch, and our knowledgeable team will be happy to help.


Where can you install LED strips?

LED strips can be installed in most places across the house, as well as outdoors so long as you have waterproof strip lights. It is best to avoid particularly hot areas, such as above the cooker however.

Adhesive-backed strips will stick well to wood, plastic and metal. They don’t generally stick well to tiles or uneven surfaces such as textured plastering, rough cast or pebble dash.

Profile-mounted strips will require screws to hold them in place and are more similar to hanging a picture frame. While strips are relatively light, we recommend ensuring that the screws used are sufficient length to provide support for the strips.



How to install adhesive-backed LED strips

Adhesive-backed strips can be a solo mission to install however it is easier with two people.

      1. Measure the space

      2. If required, cut the strips to size Note: Not all strips can be cut. Ensure that your lights are suitable for cutting and follow the instructions on how to do so

      3. Test the strips

        Before going to the effort of mounting, it's worth checking your strips to ensure all parts are working as expected. Plug them in to a nearby socket and check all of the individual LEDs are lighting up evenly

      4. Thoroughly clean the mounting area, and let it dry

        This will help the adhesive backing to stick and hold more securely

      5. Additional step if you're not installing your strips flush against another object (e.g. they are going across the middle of the wall rather than along the bottom of a cabinet):

        Place the strips against the wall (leaving the backing on) and, using masking tape, mark up the bottom of where you would like the strip to go. If you have one, use a spirit level to ensure it's straight - this may take a few attempts but is worth the time investment. If doing this, we recommend giving the area a final clean and dry before continuing with step 5

      6. Peel back 2cm of your LED strip backing, and place it where you wish to start

      7. Slowly peel back the rest of the strip, using one hand, and smoothing as you go with the other

        Top tip: If you're right-handed, it's best to start on the left-hand side of where you wish to install. Vice versa for left-handers.

      8. Run your hand along the full length of the strip with medium-pressure, ensure there are no air bubbles

 

 

How to install profile-mounted LED strips

Profile-mounted strips are more complex to install. If you are a regular DIYer and confident, you will be able to install them yourself. If not, we recommend contacting a local tradie or handyman. It’s best to install profile-mounted strips with two people.

      1. Measure the space

      2. If required, cut the strips to size

        Note: As with adhesive strips, not all strip lights can be cut. To get the best possible finish, we recommend looking for a strip that fits your dimensions or getting it professionally cut to avoid sharp edges.

      3. Test the strips

        Before going to the effort of mounting, it's worth checking your strips to ensure all parts are working as expected. Plug them in to a nearby socket and check all of the individual LEDs are lighting up evenly

      4. Optional step: Place the profiles against the wall and, using masking tape or a pencil, mark up the top and bottom of where you would like the strip to go. Use a spirit level to ensure it's straight then stand back to assess the strip placement. This step is optional but will help to gauge if the strip is in a good place.

      5. Place the profiles against the wall and, using a pencil, mark the screw holes. We recommend using a spirit level to ensure that the strip is straight if you have not completed step 4

      6. Drill the holes required

      7. Fix the profiles in place

      8. Slide the strips into the profiles

 

More information

If you have more questions, contact our lighting design team to plan your project or discuss product specifications and choose the right option for you.



FAQs

Can I cut LED strip lights to fit my space?
Yes, you can cut your LED strips to the perfect length. Ensure you cut at the correct spot and as cleanly as possible. On the LED strip, you'll see lines about every 30mm. Cutting inside the line will damage the LEDs, so make sure you cut as close to the line as possible.

The diagram and video below can be used as a guide.

 

Can I wire LED strips myself or do I need an electrician?
Yes, you can do it yourself. LED strip lighting, being 12v and 24v, is safe and legal for you to wire. We prepare all LED strips so they're ready for wiring, custom-making the cables and strips to the required length. However, if your job involves complex profiles and control gear, it's best to hire an electrician to handle the wiring.

What cable do I use to wire my LED strips?
Since LED strip lighting is low voltage, it only requires thin cabling, like speaker cable at 22 AWG. You can use thicker cables, but thinner ones are easier to manoeuvre, especially when mounting in aluminium profiles.

What are the best practices for wiring LED strip lights?
When wiring LED strips, strip back the cables about 10mm. Twist the stripped cable in one direction as much as possible, then fold it in half. This helps secure the cables tightly and improves connectivity, reducing the chance of flickering.

What power supply do I need for my LED strip lights?
You must know the specs of your LED strip, as most are either 12v or 24v DC. It’s highly recommended not to run LED strips on AC transformers. While it may work initially, it will burn out over time.

How do I choose the right power supply for my LED strip lights?
Choosing the correct driver is crucial. First, decide if you want your LED strips to be dimmable and if you might add more strips to the driver later. Each LED strip has a wattage measured per meter. For example, a 10-watt strip over 3 meters will be 30 watts. In this case, you'll need at least a 50-watt driver. Always allow an extra 20 watts to avoid flickering and overloading, which can cause the driver to burn out. Remember, drivers and power supplies often deliver 15-20% less than their rated load, so account for this when planning.

What is the maximum length I can run LED strip lights?

You need to check the specifications for each LED strip. Most are 5-meter runs, but they can vary from 3, 5, 10, to 20 meters. Running longer than recommended by the manufacturer may void your warranty and cause performance issues, such as voltage drop, resulting in one end being brighter than the other. To avoid this, feed power to each end or use shorter runs with longer cables.

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Every product discounted click here for a best deals! 🎉