Troubleshooting LED Strips: How to Fix Wrong Color Output or LED Strip Turning Different Colors | Hitlights

Let’s explore the causes of this common LED color output issue and we’ll also provide you with step-by-step solutions to isolate and help fix the problem.

Table of Contents:

Understanding LED Strips

How LED Strips Work

Before we go into troubleshooting, it's best to understand the basics of how LED strips function. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electric current passes through it. LED strips consist of numerous individual LEDs mounted on a flexible circuit board, allowing for various colors and lighting effects. 

RGB vs. RGBW LED Strips

There are two primary types of colored LED strips: RGB (Red, Green, Blue) and RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White). RGB strips can produce a wide range of colors by combining different intensities of red, green, and blue light. On the other hand, RGBW strips feature an additional white LED, enabling them to produce more accurate pastel and neutral colors. The incorrect color output is typically experienced with these two types of multi-colored LED strips.

Identifying Common Issues

When troubleshooting LED strips, it's crucial to identify the specific issue at hand. Here are two common problems related to color output:

 1. Wrong Color Output

If your LED strip is displaying colors that are different from what you intended, it could be due to the following reasons:

  • Incorrect wiring: 
    • Check if the wires alignment 
    • Check if the connection between the LED strip, controller, and power source is secure and not loose
    • Improper connections can result in mixed or inconsistent color output.
  • Faulty controller: 
    • The controller is responsible for sending signals to the LEDs. 
    • If the controller malfunctions, it may cause incorrect color output. 
    • If this is an old controller, you can try changing the battery and test if it fixes the issue. 
    • If this is a new installation, remove the tab from the battery compartment of the remote control.
    • Try resetting the controller 
    • If all fail, please contact the manufacturer and be ready with the order details to request for replacement if it is within the warranty period. 
  • Software configuration: 
    • Some LED strips can be controlled through specialized software.
    • Ensure that the programming of the controller is correct to produce the right colors. 
    • Another option is by re-synching or reprogramming the LED strips.

2. LED Strip Turning Different Colors

If your LED strip is displaying different colors at different sections or randomly changing colors, the following factors may be contributing to the issue:

  • Voltage drop: 
    • LED strips require a stable power supply
    • If the power source cannot deliver a consistent voltage, it may cause color variations. 
    • Check the specifications of the LED strip if you can connect multiple spools in sequence or daisy-chain without getting impacted by voltage drop.
  • Loose connections: 
    • Loose or faulty connections between the LED strip segments can disrupt the signal flow and lead to color inconsistencies. 
    • Carefully inspect and secure all connections along the strip. There are instances where the 4-pin or 5-pin are not connecting properly that results in different color output. 
  • Environmental factors: 
    • Extreme temperatures or humidity can affect LED performance. 
    • Ensure that the LED strip is installed in an environment within the manufacturer's specified temperature and humidity range.
    • Be sure to check if it has the right ingress protection or IP rating that is suitable for the installation condition.
  • Faulty or Poor Quality LED Strips: 
    • If the color output are different but there were no indications of cut-mark and reconnection, this is a possible faulty strip issue
    • If this is not an addressable or a smart multi-colored LED strip, like the below image, it is best to reachout to the manufacturer to confirm the issue.

    Troubleshooting Steps

    Once you have identified the issue affecting your LED strip's color output, follow these troubleshooting steps to rectify the problem:

    Step 1: Check Power Supply

    • Inspect the power supply to ensure it is providing a stable and appropriate voltage for your LED strip
    • Verify that the power supply matches the strip's voltage requirement and that it is not overloaded. 
    • Check the power supply if it is enough to power the entire installation load output - you can use this blog’s power supply calculator to check it. 
    • Consider using a multimeter to measure the voltage output accurately.

    Step 2: Examine Wiring and Connections

    • Carefully examine the wiring connections, ensuring they are securely connected and free from damage. 
    • Replace any damaged wires or connectors if you have extra units.
    • Pay close attention to the connections between the power supply, controller, and LED strip.
    • Check the wiring to ensure they can handle the LED strip's requirements. You can check out the voltage drop chart for a quick glance. 

    Step 3: Reset the Controller

    • If you suspect the controller is causing the issue, try resetting it. 
    • This typically happens, when you click a color on the remote but the color output does not match the color. 
    • Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the specific steps required to reset your LED strip's controller. 
    • If resetting doesn't solve the problem, consider replacing the controller.

    Step 4: Check Software Configuration

    • For LED strips controlled by software, review the software settings to verify that the correct colors are selected. 
    • Ensure that the software is compatible with your LED strip model and that it is configured appropriately. 
    • Update the software if necessary or applicable.
    • Another option is by re-synching or reprogramming the LED strips.
    • If the issue persists, best to contact the manufacturer, this usually happens on a pre-set color pattern or output for example, cyan color a combination of several colors with different intensity may show a different color tone than what you would expect or so. 

    Step 5: Inspect Environmental Conditions

    • Evaluate the installation environment for your LED strip
    • Ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are within the manufacturer's recommended range. 
    • If necessary, adjusting the installation may help or add environmental controls, such as ventilation or insulation.
    • Using the right IP rated LED strip will also help manage these conditions. 

    Step 6: Consult the Manufacturer

    • If you have exhausted all troubleshooting steps without resolving the issue, it is advisable to contact the LED strip manufacturer or consult their customer support. 
    • Provide them with detailed information about the problem, steps you have taken, and any relevant specifications of your LED strip.
    • It will be good to have your order number too for reference if the unit is within warranty, you can request for a replacement. 
    • If you need further assistance, feel free to reach out to us at or give us a call at 1 (855) 768-4135. Our team of expert engineers and electricians are here to assist you every step of the way! 


    LED strips provide a versatile and visually appealing lighting solution for various applications. However, when faced with wrong color output or LED strips turning different colors, understanding the underlying causes and following the appropriate troubleshooting steps is the right way to address these issues. If you need assistance in setting up your next lighting project, you can take advantage of our professional partnership program to save more by buying direct without sacrificing quality and output. 

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