Choosing Lighting Connectors

Choosing the Right LED Strip Lighting Connectors

When you design or build a space, lighting is one of the most important factors to consider. It sets the tone and mood of a room or area. LED strip lights are a great way to create custom lighting setups for a business or home. However, LED strips don't always come in the perfect lengths you need. Thankfully, lighting connectors allow you to overcome those limitations and get the results you want.

Pick the Right Type of Lighting Connectors

As you look for the lighting connectors that will work best for your project, you need to understand the different types that are available. The various methods of connecting strip lights are useful for different situations and projects.

Soldered Connections

One option to connect LED lights is to solder them together. This process involves stripping the wires on your LED lights and using heated conductive metal to merge the wires with new connections. You will have a secure connection and your lights will work well.

When considering soldering, remember that you will need special tools and materials to get the job done. You also need experience working with the heat gun and soldering medium. These extra requirements may make it more advisable to use other connection types.

Strip-to-Strip Lighting Connectors

Let's say you want to connect two LED strip lights with a seamless look so no one can tell they aren't a single run of lights. Gapless LED lighting connectors are the perfect option. Instead of needing soldering material and a heat gun, these pieces work simply by joining the ends of two cut strips in a connector.

Because you won't need any tools or specialized skills to use this kind of connection, you can get jobs done faster. Speeding up your connection and installation process will not only reduce your frustration but also keep your project on track.

Consider Your Lighting Connectors Carefully

As you look over your options, you may still have questions about which products to go with. To narrow down your options, here are a few factors you should keep in mind about your lighting project.

Amps Needed

Make sure you know the amps needed for the LED strip lights you are using before you buy your lighting connectors. Many gapless and strip-to-wire connectors are built to handle about 3 or so amps. If you have a set of lights that requires more than that, shop carefully so your lights will work for a long time and not burn out.

Light Color

Like your LED strip lights, lighting connectors are made to accommodate a certain number of different light colors. Some are meant to connect with single-color strips. Others are built to work with RGB multicolor lights. You need to double-check the specifications of each set of connectors to make sure you will get the results you want.

Length

How long is the run of lights for your project? This also impacts which lighting connectors you pick. Shorter projects might do just fine with gapless strip-to-strip connectors. These don't add much length to your strips, so they are a good idea for small areas.

For longer stretches of LED lights, strip-to-wire connectors can be more useful. If you need to add length to your strip of lights and can afford to have a few breaks between lights, then these connectors will be a big benefit.

You'll also want to use the strip-to-wire lighting connectors if your LED strips need to go around obstacles or corners. The flexibility of the wire allows you to accommodate installations that aren't straightforward. 

Installation Location

Before you buy your LED light strips and connectors, assess the environment where you plan to install them. Indoor projects are typically easier to shop for since your lights probably won't be exposed to rain, wind or extreme temperatures. For these situations, most lighting connectors are fine to use.

If your project involves outdoor lighting, you need to be more careful in choosing your connectors. They need to be waterproof along with your waterproof LED strips. You may also want to consider ways to add extra protection from the elements for the connection.

Your LED Strip Lights

Of all the things you need to check carefully before you start using lighting connectors, your actual LED strip lights may be the most important. Make sure the strip you are working with is actually meant to be cut and reconnected, since not all strips are. Quality strips will have marked spots where it is safe for you to cut.

Look at the density of your LED lighting strip as well. Lights that are packed in more tightly on the strip may be a bit harder to cut and reconnect.

Troubleshooting LED Lighting Connectors

Even with great connectors, you may run into a bump or two while installing your LED lights. Most of the issues likely to arise are easy to fix with minimal effort.

Lights Are Too Dim

Sometimes you may connect the lights and find that they seem dim. This could be a sign that the connection needs a little improvement. Start by checking that you have the positive and negative connections in their proper place in your lighting connectors. This is one of the most common problems for connected LED light strips.

You may also notice different brightness levels between different segments of the connected strips. Check whether your newly extended length of lights needs more power, and consider getting an extra power supply if this is a problem.

Certain Colors Don't Work

When you use lighting connectors on multicolor LED strips, there is a chance you may notice one color that seems to have stopped working. This is a sign that there is a missed connection somewhere. Open the connector box and make sure every wire is making good contact with the copper pads in the strip light. Try moving them back and forth until they all connect.

To make sure your connectors work well, get them from a quality store like HitLights. Not only do we sell great products, we also are there for customers who need to call in for support after purchase.

LED Strip Gets Warm or Doesn't Work

In the instance that you notice your LED strips are getting warmer than usual after using lighting connectors, take a look at your power supply. Make sure it is the appropriate voltage for the setup you have. If the voltage is too high, you may deal with overheating and potentially damaging your unit in the long run.

The power supply could also be the culprit if your lights don't work or work inconsistently. By using connectors to add more length to your lighting setup, you are increasing the amount of electricity they need to operate. Make sure you upgrade your power supply to match your new number of lights or get a supplemental power unit.

Explore Your Possibilities With Lighting Connectors

Now that you know the best ways to connect your LED light strips, get creative with your lighting projects. Thanks to LEDs and connectors, you can do installations in unexpected places.

Tight Spaces

Retail shop owners can get more flexible with display lighting. Use connected lighting strips to fully illuminate display cases without worrying about corners and turns. LED strip lights can also be connected to light up tight spaces where it may not be practical to run a lot of wiring. Think about workshops and storage closets that are closed in. You can cut several strips to the size you need and arrange them in an area that is otherwise hard to get to.

Long Runs

Lighting connectors can help you cover large distances with LED lights. If you want to illuminate a long walkway or restaurant patio, it could make sense to use connectors to get long runs of lights that will look consistent. You can create continuity in the space with consistent light, even if you can't find strips that are long enough. Just add the needed power supplies.