The LED strip allows you to create coziness in an apartment or in a private house. But for many home craftsmen, it becomes a real problem to install LED elements and solder wires. Such work cannot be called difficult, but there are certain nuances in it that should not be overlooked. Today’s article will tell you in detail and in an accessible way how to connect an LED strip, shorten or lengthen it, and what to look for when choosing a power supply. LED strip wholesale.
What you need to connect the LED strip
All the tools that will be required in the process are prepared in advance so as not to be distracted by trifles. Electrical installation does not tolerate inattentive attitude.
For installation you will need the following:
- small pieces of wire (for splicing pieces of LED strip);
- scissors (they will help shorten the strip if necessary);
- soldering iron (for connecting wires or individual parts of the LED strip to each other);
- Cutter or utility knife (for stripping wire ends).
That’s all the tool you need.
Ways to connect the LED strip to the power supply
The LED strip can be of three types. It operates on 6 V, 12 V and 36 V. The latter are now almost impossible to find in stores. Tapes with a similar denomination did not take root, unlike 12-volt strips. This type has gained the most popularity, leaving behind the six-volt line. Manufacturers periodically try to bring tapes with a different voltage (5, 24, 48 V) to the market, but such products are not in great demand.
The ice strip cannot operate on a voltage of 220 V. A special adapter is purchased for it, which transforms 220-240 V AC into 12 V DC. Directly to the LED power supply, only a monochrome ribbon is connected using wires, which is not capable of changing color. Such a band can be determined by the number of contacts for connection. There will be only 2 of them: “plus” and “minus”.
When connecting the ice tape to the power supply, pay special attention to the polarity. If the wires are interchanged, the strip LEDs will not light up. Switching is done by soldering or contactor. In this work, the main thing is composure. There are no trifles in electrical engineering.
A similar installation of a multi-color strip is possible, but it is undesirable. RGB or multi-color strip is designed to be connected through a controller that regulates the power supply to one or another color of the element. If the RGB diode strip is mounted in a circuit without a controller (only via two wires), its glow will turn out to be only monochrome. Why the extra cost then?
The nuances of connecting RGB strips through the controller
The controller is the “brain” of the diode backlight, which controls all its modes. You can connect an RGB strip or 3 monochrome strips of different colors to it. The controller is controlled by a remote control. This allows you to set the desired glow mode. You can also dim the lighting. This is possible thanks to the dimmer function.
Visually, a multi-color diode tape differs from a monochrome one in the number of contacts (here there are 4 of them). One of the wires is the main (negative), and the other 3 are responsible for a certain color. It is known that any of the shades can be created by mixing the three primary colors: red, blue and green. Hence the name of the multi-color strip, which combines the first letters:
- R (red) – красный;
- G (green) – зелёный;
- B (blue) – синий.
When installing such a strip, the main thing is not to confuse the wires with each other, connect them correctly. Otherwise, LED controller will give incorrect signals. This will make it impossible to adjust the hue, which means it will not work.
We figured out which wires to connect to the contacts of a monochrome and multi-color tape. Now we need to pay attention to the process itself. There are 2 connection options here: using a special contactor or soldering wires. However, before you start switching, you need to understand how to shorten a strip that is too long without compromising its performance.
How to cut an LED strip
A similar light fixture can be cut with scissors. A special marking in the form of a dotted transverse strip is applied to its surface. Sometimes scissors are also drawn nearby, which means it is almost impossible to confuse the place. All that is required is to cut the strip along the specified marker. The resulting parts will only need to be connected to the wire contacts.
How to splice small pieces of tape
Depending on the controller model (if it is needed in the circuit), the wires are connected to the LED strip using soldering or a contactor. In the second case, there are absolutely no issues with switching. It is enough just to stick the tape contacts into the groove of the contactor. In the first case, the ability to hold a soldering iron in your hands and be able to work with wires will not hurt.
On the shelves you can find LED strips in bays, 5 m long. But sometimes a longer strip is needed. Some “craftsmen” simply connect 2 parts of 5 m each with wires, getting a strip 10 m long. This is strongly not recommended.
Each LED element in the strip is connected with a thin copper wire. Moreover, its cross section is designed for a certain load. And if another segment of the LED strip is connected in series to the circuit, the tracks will start to heat up. As a result, the strip will gradually begin to fail. The first to fail are the LEDs closest to the power supply of the ice strip.
An additional piece of LED strip can be connected. Ice strips are connected in parallel. Serial connection is not allowed. Power from the block is supplied to one of the segments of the strip, and from the same point the wires are pulled to the second. Here, calculations of the power consumed by the LEDs are necessarily made in comparison with the adapter parameters. It cannot be exceeded. This can lead to overheating of the power supply and its failure.
If small segments remain, the LED strip is connected by soldering or wires with contactors.
Soldering contacts when switching LED strip
Having understood how to arrange the wires before soldering, the master needs to clean and tin the ends of the wires. Similar actions are performed with the contacts of the ice strip. After that, the end of the wire core is applied to the corresponding contact and soldered to it. During the soldering process, you need to be extremely careful not to overheat the LED elements. This can significantly shorten their lifespan.
When soldering wires, it is mandatory to observe the color marking of wires.
Fixing the LED strip during installation and other nuances
The LED strip can be mounted in various ways. The most convenient are the strips on which the adhesive base has already been applied. To place them in niches or under furniture, it is enough to remove the protective film and firmly press the tape to the surface in the right places.
If there is no adhesive base, you can use double-sided tape. Some masters advise using liquid nails for fixing. However, ordinary double-sided tape will cost much less, and the work will be completed faster.
How to choose an LED strip for certain rooms
What to look for when buying, so that the LED strip works as long as possible? The main thing is the class of its security. If for the living room or hallway you can buy a strip that has practically no protection, then it will not work for wet rooms. Now we are talking about the kitchen, bathroom and bathroom. It remains to understand how one class of protection differs from another. So you need to look at the table.
The degree of protection is indicated by the letters IP followed by 2 digits (eg IP37). Each of them carries its own information.
|Numbers||First after marking IP||Second after marking IP|
|0||No protection||No protection|
|1||From particulate matter, over 50 mm in diameter||Protection against vertical water drops|
|2||Against particles over 12 mm||Drop angle less than 15°|
|3||From dust, larger than 2.5 mm||Less than 60°|
|4||More than 1 mm||Splash proof in any direction|
|5||Ingress of dust does not affect performance||Protection against directed jet impact|
|6||No entry of dust particles||Transfers a directional jet|
|7||—||Working at depths up to 100 cm|
|8||—||Protection against moisture penetration even when immersed in water for a long time|
The higher the protection class (IP), the higher the price you have to pay for the LED strip. And if you plan to install a strip in the living room, it makes no sense to overpay for equipment with the maximum protection class.
How to choose an LED strip by marking
Visually, it is very difficult to determine which LEDs are installed on the LED strip and what is their number. In order to understand the characteristics of the tape, you need to familiarize yourself with the markings.
The first letters in it indicate the way the elements are placed. SMD (surface placement) are mounted on LED strips. Next, the numbers indicate the size of the chip (SMD 5050 or SMD 3528). They mean that the chip size is 5×5 mm (first) or 3.5×2.8 mm (second).
The next figure indicates the density of the LED strip – the number of chips placed on one meter. It can be 30, 60, 120 or 240 pieces. From this parameter, in conjunction with the length of the tape, the maximum allowable load on the power supply in terms of power will depend. Therefore, before purchasing an adapter, you need to calculate how many watts the LED strip will consume.
Chips also have different power consumption. It will depend on the size indicated in the marking. The most common chips installed on the LED strip:
- 3528, 5050, 3020 – 0.06W;
- 5630, 7020 – 0.5W;
- 5730 – 1W;
- 2835 – 0.2W;
The cross section of the wire used during installation does not depend on the power consumed by the LEDs. The cores coming out of the adapter or controller are already designed for the required loads.
How to connect an RGB strip without a controller
Until now, there are settlements in which trade is poorly developed. And electrical goods are often hard to find. Therefore, you need to know about the way to connect the strip without a controller. You can get by (for the first time) with a two-gang switch. The only thing that can be a problem is finding power supplies from TVs or laptops. It is they who will allow you to connect 12V to 220. You will need 3 of these adapters.
Connecting an LED strip to 220V is not too difficult. First, a neutral wire is pulled, which is connected to one of the cores on all three power supplies. The remaining cores go to the switch, where each is switched with its own key.
On the wires coming out of the adapters, you need to find the negative ones, connect them and solder to the desired contact on the LED strip. The positive wires are distributed over the remaining three contact plates on the strip. Now it remains to power the resulting system and check its performance.
Each switch key will be responsible for a specific color. Pressing two keys produces a new shade. You can use the same lighting. Only the blocks must be installed so that they are not visible. And the rest of the system is quite efficient and has the right to exist.
Connecting an LED strip can not be called a complicated process. Rather, it is a job that requires care and accuracy. When working with electricity, do not forget about safety regulations Before starting installation, you must turn off the power supply. This can be done from the inlet switchboard. At the same time, it is worth hanging a sign on it “Do not turn on! People are working! Or is it better to put a person next to you. The second option is more reliable. And if a sign hangs, you need to try what will happen if you turn it on.