Once you install LED strips in your home, you fall in love with them. Soon, you want to add more lights. Control becomes easier if you 3 Methods connect multiple LED strips to one power source.
Do you know how to do it? If not, I will tell you the 3 best methods for connecting various strips together. Then, you can power them from a single source.
Further, you can use a single remote for all lights. It is especially helpful for the stairs. Let us learn the process 3 Methods to Connect Multiple LED Strips to One Power Source.
Table of contents
- Some Rules to Connect Multiple LED Light Strips
- Connecting Multiple LED Strips Together
- FAQs About Connecting Multiple LED Strip Lights
- Final Words
Some Rules to Connect Multiple LED Light Strips
Before installing LED strip lights, you should know some important aspects.
- For example, know the voltage they need. Mostly, strip lights need a 12V or 24V power supply. So, you should plug them into the right outlet.
- High voltage can burn your lights. While low voltage supply will affect brightness output.
- The electrical supply and voltage can be calculated according to the length of the strips
- As you know, LED strips come in multiple colors. So, before connecting, you should match the colors.
- Do not join just randomly. Aesthetically, it will not look decent. For example, if a strip is ending with red color, start the next one from the matching color.
- Use white if red and black are not available. Because black and red have a higher resistance rating as compared to green or blue.
- Further, connect all strips in parallel series which means end-to-end linkage. With the last strip, you can join the power cable.
- Use 3mm x 2m length of 14 gauge stranded copper wire for power supply.
- It is better to use the LED strips from the same company. Always, choose a high-quality product. Moreover, match the voltage of each strip before joining them.
Connecting Multiple LED Strips Together
There are different ways to connect multiple LED strips together. You can follow either of the ways depending on your convenience.
Option #1. Clip-on Connectors
This is an easy and quick way to join the strips. You can purchase these connectors from a nearby electronic store as well as online from Amazon. However, clip-on connectors are available in different sizes.
While buying, you have to consider the length, voltage, and size of your LED strips. Here is how to use them;
- Open the cover of the connector. Slip the copper end of the strip into the connector. The copper end should contact the pins of the connector.
- Repeat the process with the other strip on the other side of the connector. Be sure to make a firm connection.
- If strips do not fit properly and feel loose, stick masking tape inside the connector.
- Now, you have linked two strips together. Likewise, attach the connectors to the free ends of the strips. Then, join more strips in a similar way.
- If you have RGB strip lights, they have multi-colored wires at the ends. A four-hole or two-hole connector is needed for joining such types of lights. Learn more details here.
Connecting LED Series to One Power Source
You have to connect the copper power cable with the last LED strip in the series. For this purpose, you can use the same connector. A power adapter comes with the strip lights.
So, attach two naked copper wires of the adapter to the last strip. Now, plug the adapter into the power outlet and switch it ON.
Pros and Cons of Using Connectors
- They provide a simple and easy solution for linking multiple light strips together.
- The biggest advantage is that you can make long series. All the lights can share a common power source.
- Moreover, there is no chance of damaging the lights.
- The connection is secure and adjustable.
- You can reduce the size of the strips by cutting them at the marked copper ends. Then, join any lengths together. So, connectors offer greater flexibility.
- There are no significant cons to this method. However, the connectors fail sometimes. But, you can replace them easily.
- Another drawback is loose links. The strips can slip or lose contact. Resultantly, some of the lights fail to work. But, you can secure them again by reconnecting the strips firmly.
Option #2. Solder LED Strips
Soldering is a permanent solution. Once, you solder the strips, they cannot be separated. So, you cannot reduce the length. You need the following things to solder the light strips together;
- Wire cutter or scissors
- Soldering iron
- Adhesive (optional)
Cut the strips at the copper ends that have lined marks. Use wire cutters or scissors. However, be careful while cutting. A minor mistake can damage the strips.
- Peel off the adhesive from the back of one LED strip.
- Put a little bit of solder at the back of the strip exactly below the copper points.
- Now, take a second LED strip. Solder its copper points at the front side.
- Put the first strip over the second one in such a way that the back points of the first strip overlap the front soldered points of the second one.
- Put some adhesive or your finger firmly to hold them in place.
- Now, solder these two strips together.
- Likewise, you can join more strip lights at the free ends of the linked LEDs. Watch the full process in this video.
Connecting Soldered LED Strips to One Power Source
Now, you have soldered various strip lights together. It is time to join them with one power source.
- Solder the contact points on the last strip. Take an insulated 14 gauge copper cable with two wires (black and red).
- Peel off the insulation a little to expose the copper ends of the cable. Solder them slightly.
- Then, put each wire on the contact points of the last strip in the series. Solder the wire properly at the place.
- The wire should have a pin connector or brick adapter at the end. Now, you can plug in the power cable to an electrical outlet.
- As soon as power is switched ON, all the strip lights should illuminate.
Pros and Cons of Soldering
- Soldering is a great solution to joining multiple LED strip lights together. If you do it right, soldered lights are durable.
- Moreover, it is a secure and long-lasting method. Unlike, connectors, you do not have to worry about loose links. If strips detach, you can solder them again.
- However, the only disadvantage is that you cannot readjust the strips.
- Further, LEDs can be damaged permanently if you cannot solder them correctly. Be sure to join at copper ends and do not solder on the lights.
Option #3. LED Strip Splitter
It is also a great option to power multiple strips from a single source. However, it does not work for a parallel series of lights. It is the best option for the strips connected in a non-parallel series.
Moreover, the splitter also works for the strips if they are not joined together. You can make 4 strips out of one and power them via the splitter switch.
Pros and Cons of DC Splitter
- Various independent LED strips can be connected to one power source via the splitter. It is called a DC splitter and is a plug-and-play solution.
- You can join strips running in opposite directions, side by side, or parallel to each other. It has four pins, hence, you can power 4 light strips from one source.
- With the DC splitter, it becomes much easier to set up the lights around the room. The setup is seamless and quick.
- Furthermore, you can make 4 long chains by linking various strips together and then joining them to the DC splitter.
- I believe this method has no drawbacks. Instead, it is the best one I found.
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FAQs About Connecting Multiple LED Strip Lights
Do you have some more queries? Read the following section answering your frequently asked questions.
How many LED strips can I connect to one power source?
Ideally, you should not connect more than 3 full strips end to end. The number of LED strip lights that can be connected in a series depends on various factors. For example, you have to consider the power supply capacity, voltage, setup, style, and location.
How to calculate the power capacity of a single source to connect multiple LED strips?
Before installation, you must calculate the voltage or power capacity of the source. Know the wattage and length of each strip. Multiply the wattage of all strips. The result should match your power supply. For example, a DC strip of 12V needs an AC power supply of 120V. Likewise, a 24V supply can power up both AC and DC strips.
Can I connect LED strips of two different voltages together?
Yes, you can connect two different voltages together. But, the output should be equal to the power source. You should do a careful and accurate calculation. I would not recommend doing this if you lack the necessary electrical knowledge. Otherwise, you can damage your strips.
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As you read, I have explained 3 methods to connect multiple LED strips to one power source. You can adopt either of the methods depending on your preference. Do inform us if you have further queries.