We're reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
General

How To Connect Multiple LED Strip Lights? (Full 2024 Guide!)

Antonio Forde
Updated: February 24, 2024
7 min read

Just like you, I once found myself wondering how to connect multiple LED strip lights, but couldn’t find any comprehensive guides online. Having now spent considerable time mastering this task, I’ve decided to share my knowledge. 

This article will provide you with a clear, step-by-step guide, ensuring you have all the information you need to successfully connect multiple LED strip lights.

How To Connect Multiple LED Strip Lights?

Connecting multiple LED strip lights is a straightforward process that can be accomplished through two main methods: using a connector or soldering.

 Using A Connector

Connectors are fantastic tools that make joining LED strip lights a breeze, eliminating the need for any soldering. They’re designed to make your life easier and your lighting setup more convenient. 

There’s a variety of them available, such as gapless pin connectors and Hippo Buckle LED Strip Lights Connectors. I’m particularly fond of gapless pin connectors because they offer a smooth, uninterrupted connection between LED strips.

Using a connector is straightforward. All you need to do is insert the ends of the LED strips into the connector and make sure they’re secure. Some connectors might ask you to remove the adhesive backing at the ends, but that’s a small task for a big payoff. 

When you’re choosing a connector, it’s crucial to ensure it’s compatible with your LED strip type. Whether you’re working with RGB or RGBW strips, there’s a connector out there for you. 

Once you’ve got your connector and LED strips ready, it’s time to connect the LED strip lights to the wires on one end of the LED splitter. This can be done in parallel or series arrangements. I personally recommend parallel connections because they typically result in brighter LED strips compared to series connections.

If you’re looking for another way to connect two LED strips together, consider using a LED light strip connecting clip. It’s as simple as joining two LED strips with a male to male clip. This method is quick, efficient, and gets the job done.

 Using A Soldering 

Using a soldering iron is a go-to method for connecting LED strip lights. It creates a connection that’s not just permanent but also reliable and durable, outshining other methods I’ve tried. The process is straightforward: You heat the solder with a soldering iron and apply it to the connection points on the LED strips. This ensures a solid electrical contact.

Before you start, make sure that you have all the necessary tools on hand. A good-quality soldering iron and solder are essential. You can also use heat shrink tubing to protect the connections once they’re made. Depending on the project, you might need a few other tools, but these are the basics.

One technique that you can always use is tinning the wires and the LED strip pads before soldering. This means applying a small amount of solder to the wire and pad to prepare them for the final connection. It’s a step that significantly improves the quality of the connection.

Safety is paramount when soldering. You should be always cautious to avoid burns and to protect the LED strips from damage. Soldering requires attention and respect, as it involves high temperatures. Proper safety measures are a must to ensure a successful and safe soldering experience.

Can You Connect Multiple LED Strip Lights?

Yes, you can connect multiple LED strip lights to create the desired lighting effect. Each LED strip comes with designated cutting points, marked by small dots along the strip. 

When you need to adjust the length of your LED strip lights, simply cut at these marked lines. To join the cut sections, you can use a connector or solder them for a more permanent solution.

Before you start connecting your LED strips, it’s crucial to decide on the type of connection you’ll be using and to understand the power source requirements. I recommend using a parallel connection when joining multiple sections of LED strip lights. 

This method allows each section to operate independently, ensuring a consistent voltage across all sections and preventing potential dimming or overloading of the LED strips.

Is It Safe To Connect Multiple LED Strip Lights?

Yes, it is safe to connect multiple LED strip lights. The safety of this setup is primarily due to the low heat production of LED lights, and in many cases, the protective silicon sleeves that come with them. 

When connecting multiple LED strip lights, it’s important to understand whether they are connected in series or parallel. This knowledge is crucial because it directly impacts the type of power source you’ll need for your setup. 

The power supply you choose must be capable of handling the total current draw of all the connected LED strips. This is a critical step to prevent overloading, which could lead to potential fire hazards. 

To ensure the safety of your connection, I recommend using compatible power supplies and controllers. These devices are designed to prevent overloading and keep your LED strip lights running smoothly and safely. 

Another important factor to consider is the total wattage of the connected LED strips. This should never exceed the capacity of your power supply. For safety reasons, I advise adhering to an 80% load rule of the rated wattage. This means that if your power supply is rated for 100 watts, you should only load it with 80 watts worth of LED strip lights to avoid overloading circuits

Lastly, your power supply should include safety features such as overcurrent, overvoltage, overload, and short-circuit protection. These features are designed to mitigate risks and ensure the safe operation of your LED strip lights.

What Are The Different Ways To Connect Multiple LED Strip Lights? 

There are two main ways to connect multiple LED strip lights, and I’m going to explain both of them to you. 

Series Connection

In this type of connection, each LED strip is linked end-to-end. This setup creates a single path for the electrical current, which means the current flows sequentially through each strip. It’s like a relay race where the baton, or in this case, the current, is passed from one strip to the next.

Now, one important thing to note about series connections is that the current remains consistent across all strips. It’s like a steady stream that doesn’t change its flow rate. However, the voltage is a different story. 

As the current travels from one strip to the next, the voltage may drop across the strips. This reduction can affect the amount of voltage and current that reaches the LED strip sections farther from the power source.

What does this mean for your LED strips? Well, LEDs that are further from the power source may appear dimmer. It’s not that they’re less efficient or faulty, but rather, they’re receiving less voltage due to the nature of series connections. 

Parallel Connection

In a parallel connection, every LED strip has its own direct link to the power supply. This setup creates multiple pathways for the electrical current to flow. The beauty of this arrangement is that the current gets divided among each strip. However, the voltage stays consistent across all strips. 

This consistency in voltage is a significant advantage of parallel connections. It’s important to note that while the voltage is the same for all strips, the current can vary. This variation in current is not a drawback, but rather a feature that helps avoid a common problem known as the bottleneck issue, which is often associated with series connections.

Another benefit of parallel connections is their resilience. If one strip fails, it doesn’t affect the others. They continue to work as usual. But there’s a small catch. To set up a parallel connection, you might need specialized wire splitter terminal blocks. 

How To Connect Multiple LED Strips To A Power Supply?

When connecting multiple LED strips to a power supply, it’s essential to decide if they will be connected in series or parallel. This choice is critical because it influences both the power supply requirements and the method of connection. 

If you opt for a series connection, you’ll need to link the end of one LED strip to the beginning of the next. However, for parallel connections, a wire splitter or a similar device is necessary to distribute the power supply’s output evenly to each strip. You can find specialized wire splitter terminal blocks designed for this purpose.

It’s also vital to ensure that your power supply can handle the total wattage of all the LED strips you plan to connect. This precaution helps to avoid overloading the power supply. Moreover, if the combined length of the LED strips is more than 10 meters, I recommend using a parallel connection to prevent any voltage drop across the strips. 

Lastly, the wire gauge must be appropriate for the length of the run. This is particularly crucial for longer runs, as an insufficient wire gauge can lead to a voltage drop, affecting the performance of your LED strips. By following these guidelines, you can achieve a safe and efficient LED strip installation.

Written by
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.
Have any questions? Write us a message.
Antonio Forde
I'm the head-writer @ Ask The Home Geek (or, in plain English, I'm the guy writing & editing the majority of the content here). Current learning project: Korean.