Taking Care of LED Lighting Strips the Right Way
Installing LED lighting strips is a great way to add a unique feel to a new build or remodel. Both homes and businesses can benefit from the flexible and customizable lighting option. However, just like anything else you install in a build, plan on maintenance to take care of your items. Making sure everyone understands proper care from the start of the project ensures years of use from your lights.
Install Your LED Lighting Strips Properly
The first part of maintaining your LED lights is all about prevention. You can be pretty sure that lights installed improperly or in the wrong place will have a shorter lifespan than ones handled correctly. Make sure you start your project the right way to get a great result.
For the best long-term results, get quality LED lighting strips. Better lights are less likely to burn out and will stay bright longer. When you buy lights, look for the Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, listing. This shows an independent party has tested and approved the lights. HitLights offers many products for you to choose from so you know you are getting good products that will last.
Taking care of your lights also means using them in appropriate places. There are waterproof and water-resistant LED lighting strips available. For outdoor projects, invest in strips that can stand up to the elements. They can get wet and still work. They also are meant to work in fluctuating temperatures.
Getting strips meant for indoor spaces and installing them outdoors will create more maintenance work down the road. Also, check that your indoor strips are not near water or other hazards. Another preventative measure involves proper installation. Use approved adhesives to stick your lights to surfaces. Avoid sharp items that could cut a wire and ruin your lights.
When installing LED lighting strips around corners or curves, get strips that are flexible enough for the job. Trying to bend rigid strips could potentially cause damage. Even when you have flexible lights, take the time to protect them from wear and tear at the flex point to avoid issues.
Voltage and Power Supply
Just like you need the correct LED lights for your job, you also need the right power supplies. Each strip has a certain voltage, and you need a power supply that can appropriately handle that voltage. For projects that involve linking multiple runs of lights together, check that your power supply can handle the combined needs of all the units.
Overloading or under-powering your LEDs will shorten how long they will work and lead to performance problems. Power supplies that don't work well with your lights can also create an electrical hazard. Make sure you get the right parts the first time.
A great perk of using LED lighting strips is the ability to connect multiple strips for large and custom lighting projects. However, each connection point creates the possibility of a new problem. To reduce your risk, get the right connectors for your strips and needs. Connectors can be simple pieces that connect straight runs or flexible wires that help you navigate corners.
Your connectors should hold securely to both ends of the strip and should be manufactured to match the pins on your strips. Getting the wrong connectors will lead to unneeded problems, even if they seem to work for a little while.
As you connect strips together, only cut at the designated spots. Lights that are meant to be cut and linked have connection points along the strip. Cutting elsewhere could lead to a broken wire and lights that don't work properly.
Like most other things, LED lighting strips need to be cleaned occasionally. Indoors, this can be as simple as dusting so that dirt and debris don't gather on the light or near the power supply. For outdoor lights, you may need more extensive cleaning to clear away leaves or mud. If something is spilled on or near your lights, promptly clean it up.
Check Your LED Lighting Strips Often
With your lights properly installed and working, the next focus is assuring they stay on. Regular maintenance checks are important for this. The more often you assess your LEDs, the sooner you will notice any problems. Issues are typically easier to solve when found early, so this can help preserve your lights. Add LED maintenance to the list of other household repair priorities.
Dull Lights and Lights That Are Out
Take the time to visually inspect your lights every so often. Looking along the entire line, watch out for lights that are dull or not working. These symptoms can indicate problems with your power supply. You may also see flashing lights if there is an issue with power.
You may be experiencing voltage drops along the line of LED lighting strips. This happens when the electric current from your power supply cannot power all parts of the strip evenly. You may need to reassess the voltage and power needs for your LEDs.
If an entire section of lights is out, that strip may have malfunctioned and needs replacing. You can separate the lights and test each section to see if the problem is with a certain strip or a power supply attached to that area.
Problems at Connection Points
Your connectors also need regular checking. It's not hard for them to be knocked out of place if your lighting setup is in a high-traffic area. Ensure that each connection is tight and all pins are hitting their contacts. Loose or broken connections could cause your lights not to work as expected.
Power Supply Condition
Your power supply also needs the occasional inspection. It should be kept clear of debris at all times. Physically examining the power supply is also a good idea. If it seems hotter than expected or develops a new buzzing or humming sound, unplug it until you find the problem. The cords to a power unit should also be checked for fraying or excessive bending.
If you have multiple power supplies for your LED lighting strips, inspect them all. This helps reduce the chances of missing a problem that could cause a shortage in your system or even an electrical spark. You should also watch for extra heat coming from the lights — another sign that power levels are incorrect.
Replace LED Lighting Strip Parts
As you inspect your system, you may find that you need to replace a few parts. This is an expected part of maintaining your lights and is something you can plan for. To make it easier, keep a few things in mind as you look to repair or update your lights.
Where To Get Quality Parts
The parts you get matter when it comes to LED lighting strips, just like any other electric items in a home or business. This equipment needs to work reliably and for a long time. Faulty items present a fire hazard if they get overloaded, and it's a waste of money if you have to prematurely replace low-quality items.
This is why HitLights makes it a point to only offer products manufactured to the best standards. Products come with a warranty, giving you confidence that they will work the way you need them to, or you can get your money back.
Resist the urge to find cheap parts from untested vendors on the internet. While you may spend less money upfront, you could spend more later when you have to buy the part again. You could also find yourself dealing with a lack of support and no guarantees on the quality of your order.
You can also get the support you need to find the right replacement parts. Original components for your LED lighting strips may not be available, but our experts can help you find the parts that will work in your system.
How To Compare Repairs With Upgrades
As you get an idea of what it would take to repair the lighting strips that are in place, consider if it may make more sense to replace the lights with newer models. A key factor to weigh is the age of the current strips. As they near the end of their life span, LEDs will start to glow less brightly. This is a good sign that it's time to install new ones rather than fix a connection or two.
A new install may also make more sense than repairs if upgrades are available that could improve design and usefulness. Newer LEDS can be synced with music, offer more colors and work with voice-controlled apps. You have the chance to embrace what's new by updating your system after a number of years.
Getting LED lights can create functional and impressive lighting schemes for retail shops, restaurants, homes and more. By planning ahead for maintenance and repairs, you can truly understand what it takes to have these great additions in your space. Check out the selection at HitLights to get the LED lighting strips and parts you need.