Troubleshooting Guide for LED Strip Lighting | Common Problems and Solutions | Hitlights

LED strip lighting is becoming increasingly popular due to its versatility and energy efficiency. However, like any electrical device, LED strip lighting can experience problems. In this troubleshooting guide, we will explore the common problems that users encounter with LED strip lighting and provide solutions to fix them.

Table of Contents:

Problem: LED Strip Lights Won't Turn On

If your LED strip lights won't turn on, it could be due to a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common causes:

Power Supply Failure: 

The power supply provides the electrical current to the LED strip. If the power supply fails, the lights won't turn on. Here are some basic troubleshooting steps that you can try:

  • Check if there are other devices plugged in on the same outlet that is working, if the other devices are working it means the outlet is not impacted.
  • Check the power supply or driver using a DC voltmeter if you don’t have one, you can try the below steps.
  • Check the power supply by unplugging it from the wall outlet and plugging it back in. If the lights still don't turn on, the power supply may be impacted
  • If you have a similar power supply, you can test it further to isolate the issue. If the lights turn on using a different power supply, that means the issue is with the power source.
  • Check if your power supply is still within the warranty period using your order details and contact the manufacturer for assistance

Loose Connection:

Check the connections between the power supply and the LED strip. If the connection is loose, the lights won't turn on. Here are some steps that you can try:

  • Make sure the connection is tight and secure
  • Most of the time, it can be a connector issue, double check the connector that you are using if the copper pad touches the solder pad of the connector
  • Apply pressure on the connector to test 
  • If all fail and you are using a splitter, a  connector, or any 3rd party item between the lights and the driver or power supply, try to connect the lights directly to the power supply/driver to isolate the issue
  • If the lights turns on, that means the issue is with the connection, you can replace the connector if you have extra ones

Faulty LED Strip: 

If the power supply and connections are fine, the LED strip itself may be faulty. Here are some common issues that you may encounter with faulty LED strips:

Problem: Uneven Lighting 

If your LED strip lighting is uneven, it can be frustrating. Uneven lighting can be caused by a variety of factors:

  • Poor Quality LED Strip: Cheap LED strips may have inconsistencies in the brightness of individual LEDs. This can result in uneven lighting. It can also be a defect issue on the lights. But first check, if the uneven light is produced from one LED strip if you are connecting multiple strips, it can be a possible mismatch on color used for the installation for example 1 section is 3000K while the other section is 4000K. That is why, it is important to go with a quality LED supplier to avoid redoing the job and spending more because of these minor problems. Certifications like FCC and UL Listings are also good temp checks when it comes to quality.
  • Low Grade Power Supply: A power supply that is not powerful enough may result in uneven lighting. Make sure the power supply can provide enough power to the LED strip. Similar to LED strips, you can also check out UL or ETL Listings and certification. You might want to check as well if the power supply fits the Class 2 or Class 1 requirement if you are working on a project that has strict compliance with NEC. 
  • Placement: Uneven lighting can also be caused by poor placement. If the LED strip is not placed evenly, some parts of the strip may receive more light than others. This is easy to identify and fix, often we forget that linear lighting can be impacted when you are using it on uneven surfaces that is why it is best to test, layout, and plot the lights first before doing a permanent installation to check the output first. Working with a design team like what we have with our Complimentary Expert Lighting Design may help you avoid or identify this. 

Problem: LED Strip Lights Flicker

LED strip lights may flicker due to a variety of reasons:

  • Power Supply: A power supply that is not providing enough power can cause LED strip lights to flicker. Make sure the power supply can provide enough power to the LED strip. Ideal is to follow the 80/30 Rule. You can also use our power supply calculator to check if the capacity of your power supply/driver is enough to power up the lights that you have installed. 
  • Loose Connections: Loose connections between the LED strip and the power supply can also cause flickering. You can check out the steps above about the loose connection to see if that helps resolve the problem.
  • Overheating: Overheating can cause the LED strip to flicker. This can occur if the LED strip is placed in an area where there is poor ventilation or if the LED strip is not properly mounted. Although LED strips do not produce that much heat, it is best to place it in areas where there is ventilation or airflow to ensure that heat dissipate properly.

Problem: LED Strip Lights Are Dim

If your LED strip lights are dim, it may be due to a few reasons:

  • Power Supply: A power supply that is not powerful enough can cause the LED strip lights to be dim. You can check out the steps on Uneven Lighting
  • Voltage Drop: Voltage drop can occur if the LED strip is too long or if the power supply is not providing enough power to the strip. This can cause the LED strip lights to be dim. This typically happens when you are using high-density strips and there is a limitation on the LED strips connection, for high-density strips, it is not advisable to connect full rolls or spools in daisy-chain. To resolve dimming due to voltage drop, you can either try the below steps:
    • Using parallel connections to split the load of each spool if you are using multiple spools of LED strips
    • Or by doing a double-power end wiring, it is a way to connect power to both ends of the LED strip. This is really useful in resolving voltage dimming impact, due to the other end of the LED strip not receiving enough power that causes the light output to be dimmer.
  • Faulty LEDs: If some of the LEDs on the strip are faulty, the LED strip lights may appear dim. If you notice that some LEDs for example in a spool is dimmer than the other, this is a sign that the LED strip is faulty or it is a known issue, best to contact the manufacturer if you see sections on your LED that is not producing the same light output as the other LEDs. It is always best to go with high-quality or premium LED strips that are certified to avoid this kind of problem.

LED strip lighting is a great addition to any home, office, display, cabinet lighting, trade shows, etc but it is not immune to problems. If you encounter any of the issues mentioned above, try the solutions provided. If the problem persists, it may be best to contact the manufacturer or seek professional assistance. Remember to always practice safety when working with electrical devices.

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