3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing LED Strip Lights

Nothing beats the convenience, energy efficiency, longevity, customised lighting control and low-level maintenance that comes with LED strip lights. In essence, the lights have functional and decorative benefits, and they come in several options with different properties, meaning you can always find an option that works best for your needs. However, even with the right LED strip lights, proper installation is the key to reaping the benefits of using these lighting solutions. Unfortunately, making a few installation mistakes is not unusual, especially if you are a first-timer. Therefore, here is a quick guide on some pitfalls to avoid when installing LED strip lights.

Installing On Dirty Surfaces

Surface preparation is crucial when installing LED strip lights. That's because LED strip lights require a clean surface to adhere to perfectly. Therefore, clean the surface to make sure it's free of any dirt, dust, damaged paint and other debris that could affect the structural integrity of the adhesives. If the surface is textured or rough, try to smoothen it as this can help make the adhesive more stable. In addition, unless you are using waterproof adhesives or adhesives and strip lights designed for wet surfaces, remember to dry any wet surfaces before installing your LED strip lights.

Exposing The LED Strips

LED strip lights are more aesthetically pleasing and work best when installed out of sight. That's why they are ideal for areas like under your kitchen cabinets and behind your TV. Therefore, it would be best to keep your LED strips out of sight when mounting them. Instead, project them towards the surface you intend to illuminate. However, it may not always be possible to achieve this, especially where you have no surface to project the light from the strips onto. For such applications, it would help to invest in channels. Running your LED strips inside the channel diffuses the light you want while hiding the strips. Unfortunately, most channels are made of aluminium, meaning they won't bend around corners. In such instances, you can go for silica gel neon covers.

Choosing The Wrong Wiring

You will need to connect your LED strips to a power source to get the lighting you need. And generally, the wiring type you use to do this can make all the difference in the performance of your LED strip lights. Stranded wiring and solid wiring are the standard wiring options you will find. While your LED strips would still function with either choice, stranded wiring tends to be a better option. It typically creates more intimate contact that reduces power losses and voltage drops. What's more, it helps reduce heat at the connection points because it can flatten out.

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