If you have already snooped around LED strip lights, there is a chance that you have seen a decent number of catch phrases by means of which manufacturers wanted to attract your attention.
A full range of benefits in stock
Shops advertise strip lights by enumerating a large range of advantages, such as different colours and lengths, impressive brightness, reasonable prices, smart solutions as to how to control LED strips, easy installation thanks to a self-adhesive backing or the fact that they are suitable for any room you want. You can probably imagine those fanciful DIY arrangements in your bedroom or bathroom, or you may just want to decorate your stairs in a spectacular way. What you may also want to do is ask the crucial question: can I install an LED tape around corners? Read on and find out.
Can LED strip lights be bent?
There are several factors that need to be taken into account in order to answer this question properly.
What affects LED strips’ flexibility?
It is definitely not hard to guess that all kinds of LED strip lights are flexible to the point that they can easily adjust to curves and circles —a quick glance at reels onto which they are wound should give you sufficient proof. But if you want to twist them laterally — or, side to side — and at different angles to fit them to a given surface, the situation is slightly more complicated.
It is worth remembering that not all strips are equal when it comes to the degree of their flexibility.
Basically, lower-power strip lights are more flexible than higher-power ones on which LED modules are situated closely one next to the other; such high-power LED tape needs to be equipped with wider printed circuit boards (PCBs) to provide electrical connection between the components.
Also, LED strips vary greatly depending on the quality of materials they are made of. If you want to avoid damaging your strip when trying to adjust its shape, make sure you buy high-quality products.
Lastly, you need to be aware that waterproof LED strip lights are covered with a silicone protective coat that considerably limits their flexibility.
Tips on how to make LED strip lights turn corners
Making a turn with your LED strip light has the potential to create a truly exceptional atmosphere almost everywhere your imagination can take you. The good news is that you can make your LED lighting go around corners in various ways.
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If you have good-quality, non-waterproof LED light strips, you generally can bend them side to side up to 90 degrees, provided you do it exactly at one of the marked “cut” lines to make sure you will not damage your strip. You need to create folds and pleats so that your strip can make a turn and go in a different direction. The risk is that if you use a poor quality strip, the process can cause some of the LEDs to stop working. It is also believed that using this method may lead to the ultimate failure of your lights over time.
Using the L-shaped connector
A more advisable option, especially when talking about angles greater than 45 degrees, is to cut your strip and join the two pieces with the use of an L-shaped connector and two connector clips. To join two strip sections together, you need to open the clips, slide the ends of your strips inside the clips and close them shut.
Using the flexible corner connector
Similarly to the above-mentioned tool, this type of connector has clips at both its ends and these are where you are supposed to insert the ends of your strip units. The difference here is that flexible corners connectors have a cable, which ensures greater flexibility and allows you to install your LED lights even around the trickiest corners.
Soldering requires a bit more advanced knowledge of electricity and the ability to use potentially dangerous tools. You need to cut your strip down the cutting line that goes between the copper dots and solder connecting wire onto those dots so that the adjacent units are joined. This solution allows for the most effective flow of electric current from a power supply to the individual units of the strip.
Make the most out of your LED strip light
Regardless of where you want to have your LED strip lights attached, whether it is a wall, kitchen cabinets or some other location, you can definitely make use of one of the methods presented above and let your lights wind their way around corners.