The Ultimate Guide to LED Strip Light Installation Wiring

LED strip lighting is extremely useful and simple product to use for a wide range of lighting requirements, and once you understand how best to wire up and install 12V LED strip lights it does make the design in installation process a lot easier.

Please note that in ALL cases 12V LED striplights need to be mounted on a metallic surface to ensure sufficient heat dissipation. Striplights installed on wood etc will run a lot hotter and shorten their life span considerably

The installation of LED strip lights is not that hard and the tools you will most likely need:

- Ruler

- Pencil

- Tape measure

- Drill

- Drill bits

- Philips head screwdriver

- Wire cutters or scissors

1. Standard Wiring

When running approximately 5 meters or less then the installation is very straightforward as pictured below. Your 220V source into your 12V power supply into the dimmer (optional) and finally wired into the strip lights.

2. Wiring in Parallel

Once you start requiring longer strip lengths then you need to wire these up in parallel, this is required as you will experience a considerable amount of voltage drop the longer the runs get. This means the end of 10 meter strip may only be getting 10V instead of 12V causing the strip to operate much dimmer than the first few meters or causing it not to operate at all.

So whether you are running side by side or back to back it is HIGHLY recommended to have each length of strip connected back to the power supply or back to a trunking cable to ensure voltage is constant and all the strips operate correctly.

LED Striplight wiring in parrallel

3. Double Ended Power 

In some cases it may be easier to join 2 x 5m sections and then power it from both ends as is pictured below. Once again this is to avoid voltage drop from occurring and ensure an even light output across all 10 meters.

LED Striplight wiring Double End Powered

The installation of LED Strip

Led strip lights are becoming more and more popular for their low energy consumption and wide range of colors. A lot of people are installing led strip lights in their homes because they are easy to install and can be cut to size according to the customer’s needs.

They also have a long lifespan so you don't have to worry about them breaking or getting damaged. Led strip lights can be installed in any place where you want additional light, such as your kitchen, bedroom or bathroom.

They can also be used as accent lighting if you want a focal point in your house.

Summary:

  1. Always heat sink your strips using a metallic surface or aluminium extrusion
  2. To avoid voltage drop issues power each 5m length independently by wiring it back to the power supply / trunking cable
  3. Make sure your power supply can handle the total wattage of the striplights i.e. total wattage = meters x strip watts - it's best to operate your power supply at 80% of rated output. Running it at maximum or near maximum will reduce lifespan

Some Other Useful Information:

Solderless Connectors:

Simplify the process even more by using our solderless connectors. They are available for most LED strip light options and are better suited for non-waterproof versions as they clip directly on to the copper connection points allowing you to join strips, create bends etc