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LED Strip Light Installation Guide

Overview

Welcome to our guide on installing LED strip lights. Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a professional, this guide provides the tools and products needed for installation. It covers selecting the right LED strip lights and power supplies, understanding waterproofing and wiring. Follow the National Electric Code (NEC) and local electrical codes for a safe setup. If you're new to electrical work, consult a licensed electrician. Here's the step-by-step process to design, connect, and mount your LED strip lights for a seamless installation. If you have any questions during your installation, please feel free to contact our Customer Support team at 888-503-1317 or via e-mail at support@aspectled.com.

Tools You’ll Need
Tape Measure Tool Wire Stripper Tool Screw Driver Tool Scissors Cleaning Image Soldering Image Drill Tool
Tape Measure Wire Stripper Screw Driver Scissors Cleaning Supplies Soldering Iron + Solder (optional) Power Drill (optional)
Products You’ll Need
Before You Begin
  1. It is crucial to install any electrical product, including strip lights and their accessories, in accordance with the National Electric Code (NEC) and all other local building and local electrical codes at the project location. If you are unfamiliar with the NEC or your local codes, we recommend hiring a licensed electrician to complete the installation for you.
  2. Always consult your System Design and physical equipment to confirm that your strip light voltage and the power supply voltages match.
  3. This product is suitable for environments of ambient temperatures between -40°F to 122°F (-20°C to 50°C). It is important that LED strip lights are not installed outside this range. Always make sure there is adequate airflow and available heatsink when installing. Only waterproof strip light models are rated for use outdoors where it will be exposed to rain, humidity, or moisture.
  4. Strip Light Handling: Don't bend LED Strip Light to a diameter less than 1.5 inches. Don't fold or crease LED Strip Light. Don't tightly bend LED Strip Light on a horizontal plane. Don't power Strip Light while still on its reel or while tightly coiled. DO NOT put pressure on surface of strip lights, especially on the glass/acrylic panes. DO NOT cover strip lights with any materials other than any mounting accessories if applicable. DO NOT install strip lights where LED chips are exposed to direct sunlight.
Installation Steps

Design Your System:

Strip light installations should always begin by designing your system and selecting your equipment. The way you plan to control your lights, the light colors desired, and the overall size and layout of the system are all factors that impact design and purchase decisions – and ultimately the installation.


If you’re unfamiliar with the ways these concepts impact your system, contact our LED experts at (888) 503-1317 or support@aspectled.com.


Use wiring diagrams in the drop down below as an excellent resources to aid your design and installation.


Locate Your Power Supplies, Controllers, Recievers, Boosters, Decoders, etc.

Because power supplies and controllers are not in-wall rated and may need servicing, they should be stored in accessible locations. Common storage locations include closets, utility storage areas, cabinets, attics, or basements - anywhere the physical power supplies and controller units are within reach. When choosing your location(s), keep in mind that you’ll also be running electrical wires between the components. Material obstructions, physical distances/voltage drop, and visibility of wiring should be considered at this step.


Locate Your Strip Lights + Electrical Wire Runs

After consulting your System Diagram and a Voltage Drop & Wire Sizing Chart to determine the proper gauge required for the distance you’re running, lay out your electrical wire and cut it to length. Make sure to leave 1-2ft of excess to give yourself some wiggle room. Before cutting, double-check that the number of individual wires matches the number of solder pads on the strip you’re installing (Single Color = 2 pads, Adjustable White = 3 pads, RGB = 4 pads, RGBW = 5 pads). Finish by running the wire between your components, trimming to final lengths, and stripping the wire ends. If needed, you can use a drill to run your wire from one location to another.


IMPORTANT! Using the incorrect wire size will damage your products!


IMPORTANT! If installing wiring in a wall or ceiling, always use in-wall rated wiring.


(Optional) Cut Strip Lights to Length

If you need to shorten the length of a strip for any reason, you can easily do so with a simple pair of scissors. Just keep in mind that different types of strip lights can have varied cut lengths depending on the type of strip light style and voltage type. When cutting, make sure to align your cut with the ‘cut line’ marked on the strip in the center of each set of soldering pads.

WARNING: if you cut strips in the wrong location the strip lights will stop working. Keep an eye out for the copper dots or solder pads. This is where cuts can be made.

Cutting LED strip lights

Connecting Your Strip Lights

IMPORTANT! Before making any permanent connections, double check that the polarity is correct by matching the red (+) and black (-) wires or strip connections. This will ensure products are not damaged once powered on.


Strip lights systems can be wired and connected by manual soldering or using mechanical connectors. The method you use is usually determined by the specific details of your System Design.

  • Soldering Method – this method uses a soldering iron and solder to create the smallest and most secure connections possible. If you’re unfamiliar with soldering, watch this. We recommend using lead-free, stranded 18-20 gauge copper Extension Wire between any copper soldering pads along the strip.

  • Soldering Strip Lights

  • Quick Connect Method – this method uses LED Solderless Bite Connectors to provide a quick and easy installation of LED strips. If planning to use bite connectors, consult your System Design to confirm that you have the right type and quantity of connectors in hand. See below for a list of bite connectors available from aspectLED.
    To install the connectors, simply insert both ends of the strip lights into the ‘mouth’ sides of the connector and use pliers to compress the connector until it “bites” the strip. Make sure that all of the teeth are compressed fully.

    Connecting Strip Lights

    CAREFUL! Once closed, you cannot reorient or reuse the connector.


    The remaining ‘open’ end of the connector is then attached to the next component of the system
  • Bite Connector Types:
    • Pigtail: Connector + Extension Wire (w/open end). 6” wire length. Used to connect strip lights to power supplies, controllers, and other system accessories
    • Jumper: Connector + Extension Wire + Connector. 6” wire length. Used for corners, jumping cabinet ledges, etc.
    • Splice – Connector only. Used to string two strips together into one. If you have two strips that you need connected, this is the connector to use.

NOTE FOR WATERPROOF STRIPS: Special consideration is needed for altering the length of the water resistant and waterproof strips. It is important to carefully remove the protective silicone coating using a razor blade and to re-waterproof using Silicone End Caps and Adhesive Silicone after making the cut. Be sure to note the location of the polarity (+/-) markings before soldering and adding the end caps.


Connecting to your Power Supply and Powering On

After triple checking that your strip light voltage and power supply voltage match, connect the positive (+) and negative (-) output wires from the power supply to the wire leads on the strip light or controller. Double check all connections, then turn on the power to your circuit. If you experience issues, see the trouble shooting guide below, or contact our LED experts at (888) 503-1317 or support@aspectled.com.


Mounting Strip Lights, Wiring + Accessories

Now that everything is connected and working properly, it’s time to mount your strips and system accessories.
When installing light strips using the adhesive backing, press from one end to the other to prevent air pockets or raised sections. Be careful to limit contact with skin to ensure a minimal transfer of oil from skin to LED strip backing. If strip lights are installed into Aluminum Mounting Channel, be sure to clean the channel to assure the strip sticks. Choose the right channel for your strip by viewing our Mounting Channel Compatibility Chart. Waterproof strip lights can be mounted using either Silicone Adhesive or Silicone Mounting Straps over the top of the strip lights.
Most power supplies and controllers are designed to be mounted out of the way using mounting screws included in their packaging.
Finally, you’ll want to conceal any exposed wiring using conduit or cable raceways.


All Done! Congratulations!

You’ve successfully completed the installation process. Now you can adjust the color or brightness of the lights to your liking and take a moment to sit down and enjoy your favorite beverage while giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.

Wiring Diagrams
LED STRIP LIGHTS POWER SUPPLY12V or 24V120VAC120VACV-V+GNNON/OFF SWITCHGLOn/off system
LED CONTROLLERPOWER INPUTSIGNAL OUTPUTV+CH1: (red) V-: V-:::CH2: (green) V-: V-:::CH3: (blue) V-: V-:::CH4: (white) V-: V-:::V+V- POWER SUPPLY12V-24V Dimmable/Controller System
LED STRIP LIGHTSDimmer switch + dimmable power supply system - single color strip lights only! POWER SUPPLY12V or 24V120VAC120VACV-V+GNDIMMER SWITCHGLLED STRIP LIGHTS
LED CONTROLLERRGBWSTRIP LIGHTSPOWER INPUTSIGNAL OUTPUTV+CH1: (red) V-: V-:::CH2: (green) V-: V-:::CH3: (blue) V-: V-:::CH4: (white) V-: V-:::V+V- POWER SUPPLYLED CONTROLLERCCT STRIP LIGHTSPOWER INPUTSIGNAL OUTPUTV+CH1: (red) V-: V-:::CH2: (green) V-: V-:::CH3: (blue) V-: V-:::CH4: (white) V-: V-:::V+V- POWER SUPPLYLED CONTROLLERPOWER INPUTSIGNAL OUTPUTV+CH1: (red) V-: V-:::CH2: (green) V-: V-:::CH3: (blue) V-: V-:::CH4: (white) V-: V-:::V+V- POWER SUPPLY12V-24V Dimmable/Controller System
Trouble Shooting
Shift in brightness and/or temperature Make sure you did not exceed the maximum series run limit. This will cause excess voltage drop, resulting in decreased brightness and/or temperature as the run is extended.
Lights do not illuminate
  • Determine if power supply is connected to live power with a multimeter. If using an outlet plug another device, such as a nightlight, lamp or radio to verify it has power.
  • Confirm voltage types of both lights and the power supply are the same.
  • Verify wiring is correct and connections are solid between power supply and the lights. Check any solder points or connectors for loose connections.
Some lights are not functional Ensure all connections have been attached properly. Make sure that the strips have not been bent excessively, which may cause components and solder to detach from the circuit board.
Lights are flickering
  1. Check for loose connections and that strip light connectors are attached correctly. Strips vary in width so it is important that compatible models are used and consistent polarity is maintained.
  2. Check dimmable power supply and dimmer switch are compatible by checking our compatibility chart or by contacting our LED experts at 888-503-1317.
  3. Check that a compatible driver is installed. Ensure controller is not on dynamic mode. Verify that +/- connections of DMX systems are not reversed.
Lights are turning on/off repeatedly Ensure the driver is not overloaded. An overloaded driver will trip the internal auto-reset repeatedly, turning the system on/off. Check the voltage type the power supply is outputting with a multimeter.
Make sure that you are using a power supply that is outputting either 12 or 24 VDC that matches your strips. Many outdoor landscape transformers output 12VAC which is not compatible with our strips and will cause this behavior when used.
Installation trips main breaker Check wiring for a short circuit. If breaker continues to trip, there might be a short in your circuit. Call us at (888) 503-1317 option 3 or email us at support@aspectled.com. to troubleshoot further.

More product resources and helpful tips on YouTube.

@aspectLEDlighting