One of the most important choices contractors make is what types of lighting to install, whether in new construction or when updating existing structures. You must consider several factors, and whether or not the lighting will fit in designated spaces is critical.
LED light strips are an increasingly popular lighting choice for businesses and homes, so it's important that you know how to work with this lighting option. Can you cut LED light strips? Learn everything you need to know about cutting these versatile lighting solutions.
💻Table Of Contents:
- Can You Cut LED Light Strips?
- Why Would You Want To Cut LED Light Strips?
- How Do You Design an LED Light Strip System?
- Decide What You Want To Accomplish
- Choose Your Strips
- Select Control and Power Options
- Plan Your Layout
- Determine What You Need
Can You Cut LED Light Strips?
Yes, you can cut LED light strips. What’s the catch? You can only cut them in designated spaces. If you cut outside these areas, you’ll damage the strip. There’s technology working inside the strip, but HitLights LED light strips have either a scissors icon or dashed lines to indicate safe cutting areas.
LED light strips come in varying lengths; some standard lengths are 10 and 16.4 feet, although HitLights carries other choices as well. There are multiple electrical circuits in each strip, and the cutting lines indicate that an individual circuit is closed at those points. These circuits are usually relatively short, meaning you can cut LED strip lights very close to your desired length.
Why Would You Want To Cut LED Light Strips?
LED light strips are great choices to provide multiple color options, energy savings, easy installations, and modern appeal. Bending, looping, or crimping light strips to fit in specific spaces or to turn corners can damage them. One of the most convenient aspects of light strips is that you can cut and connect them in basically the length and shape you need.
When you cut these LED light strips, you won’t have any excess length to hide or tuck out of sight. If you lack a short length for your desired run, cut what you need from another strip.
Cutting LED light strips allows you to neatly turn corners at 90-degree angles when you connect the strips with the proper connectors. HitLights offers several LED light strip connector configurations that make it easy for you to complete your project, whether you need gapless connectors, extensions, or more.
How can you cut LED light strips? You won’t need special tools. A pair of sharp scissors works great; you can also use a sharp knife. Try to avoid ripping the adhesive backing when making your cut. Again, only cut the strip in designated areas to avoid damaging the strip.
How Do You Design an LED Light Strip System?
There are three fundamental questions you’ll need to answer to design an LED light strip system:
- What kind of lighting do you want?
- What characteristics does your install location have?
- What do you need to make your proposed project happen?
A distinct advantage you’ll have by using LED light strips is their versatility and your ability to configure them as you please.
Can you cut LED light strips to any length? Almost. Product descriptions should list exact measurements between safe cutting areas. You can typically make cuts every three lights, but be sure to double check where you can cut your selected strip.
Decide What You Want To Accomplish
Making the right lighting choices to accomplish your goals is crucial. Ask yourself questions such as these:
- How bright do the lights need to be?
- Will you use a dimmer?
- What color LED light strips will you use?
- Will you install them outside or inside?
- Will the strips provide general, accent, or task lighting?
- What configuration will you use?
You’ll need to select the proper strips and hardware for your project, and that’s easier when you have a clear vision of what you’d like to accomplish. While you’re brainstorming, remember that you can cut LED light strips to fit in your spaces.
Choose Your Strips
With so many types of light strips available, choosing the right ones for your project may sound like a daunting task. Fortunately, HitLights can help you.Indoor or Outdoor
If you’ll use your light strips outside or in an interior space such as a bathroom where they may get wet, you will want to use outdoor strips. Otherwise, you’ll probably choose interior strips.
IP codes rate protection levels against liquids and solids. Your strips need protection from moisture, dust, and other potentially harmful substances; choose strip lights with the correct IP rating for your intended use. Can you cut LED light strips for outdoor use? Yes, as long as you cut them in the designated areas.
If you choose to cut waterproof LED light strips, remember to use waterproof caps to maintain the waterproofing capabilities.Color Choice
You can purchase HitLights LED strip lights in single or multi colors. White comes in many shades, and you’ll want to choose the shade that suits your location and desired light level.
You have further choices if you prefer multicolor lighting. RGB strips include red, green, and blue; RGBW strips add white to that mix. Most multicolor systems use a remote to select the desired color.Length
Because you can cut LED light strips, you can have almost any length you desire. Choose rolls that allow enough segments for your needs when coupled with extensions or gapless connectors.Brightness
Single-color strips are available with a little less than 165 to 507 lumens per foot. RGB light strips don’t have lumen ratings. They’re available in low-density or high-density.Voltage and Power
Choose strips with the appropriate voltage to meet your selected power supply option. You can use battery power, and your battery might have specific requirements.
Select Control and Power Options
Knowing that you can cut LED light strips is great, but you’ll need to choose the right kind of power and control options. You can connect single color strips directly to a power supply, using a dimmer switch if desired. However, you must use a controller for multicolor strips. HitLights offers a variety of suitable controllers and power supplies. Reach out if you need help selecting them.
Plan Your Layout
You can cut LED light strips, so this step is much easier than it would be if you were using lighting with fixed dimensions. You’ll create a blueprint of sorts that shows where you’ll place your light strips, connectors, and power supply.
You can draw a simple diagram or take a photo of the area. Label your sections to tell you what goes where, then accurately measure lengths.
Determine What You Need
In this step, you’ll make a shopping list:
- Calculate the total length of LED strip lights you’ll need
- Select the option that best meets your requirements (color, length, and wattage)
- Choose your controller and power supply
- Select appropriate connectors
- Determine if you’ll need any mounting hardware or wire clips in addition to the mounting tape already on the strips
Can you cut LED light strips to your exact measurements, or will you need to use a connector with an extension to reach your desired length? These extensions are available in multiple sizes, and you can hide any excess. It’s better to choose a longer connector than one that isn’t quite long enough.
When you choose connectors, you’ll need to use pins or add-on pin connectors to join segments of LED strip lights that you’ve cut. These aren’t necessary when joining two finished ends of uncut light strips.
When determining the exact length of your LED light strips, consider where the safe cutting areas are. Begin and end your measurements on those lines.
Are You Ready To Install Your LED Light Strips?
For some applications, the mounting tape found on the back of your light strips is sufficient. However, LED light strips don’t adhere well to some surfaces. If you mount strips upside down so they must hold their own weight, they may loosen over time. For these situations, you may need mounting channels, heavy-duty mounting tape, or other types of additional support. Be sure to clean surfaces thoroughly before mounting your light strips.
Can You Cut LED Light Strips From HitLights?
Absolutely! Almost all of the light strips we carry allow you to cut them every three lights. We want our customers to use their HitLights LED light strips in every way they can think of, so we provide high-quality, UL Certified light strips that are suitable for any project. The cut lines on our strips are clearly visible. HitLights has everything you need to create your LED light strip system, from connectors and power supplies to instructional articles and a robust FAQ page that answers many pertinent questions.
If you need more information about the question, “Can you cut LED light strips?” the knowledgeable, friendly HitLights customer service team is waiting to assist you.
Call us at (855) 768-4135, use live chat, email us, or send us a message online. If you qualify, you can apply for a professional account with HitLights. Whether you need LED light strips for a business or residential project, you can count on multiple customization options and a fast turnaround time.