LED strip lights are popular everywhere for being versatile and aesthetic. To improve its use, many are asking, “Can LED strip lights be hardwired?”
The answer is yes. Still, it is crucial to follow the purpose of how these LED lights are designed for. You should only hardwire the LED strips with wire nuts end and not the temporary lights. You must also take note of the steps to hardwire LED strips, as well as the safety tips.
This article will share how to hardwire LED strips and other precautions. Let’s dive deep!
Why Hardwire LED Strip Lights?
LED strip lights are similar to standard lighting with more benefits. It allows brighter lights and is more energy-efficient.
To hardwire them means connecting the LED strips directly into the household wiring. The installers need to have the expertise and skill to handle hardwiring.
There are some benefits you can get from hardwiring your LED strip lights. It allows fewer wires making for cleaning. You will get a more organized look at your home or office.
Besides, hardwired LED strips have a consistent electric flow. Yet, it is subject to whether they are well-connected with a suitable power supply.
Where to Hardwire My LED strip lights?
You can hardwire your LED strip lights to places you like to decorate. For instance, under cabinet lighting, car lighting, bedroom, or others. Yet, you must know how to wire them professionally.
Hardwiring your LED strip lights is easy for bedrooms. You can make it as long as the sockets in your room can accept LED lights.
If your bathroom is for basic face washing and teeth brushing, you can hardwire LED strips too. It is simple without needing the plug-in power block. You just need to hardwire them to a wall switch.
It is not easy to hardwire your LED strip lights in the kitchen. This is because kitchen rooms will be heated often and cause a shorter lifetime of your LEDs. To hardwire it, you need to use the current lighting for a strip of lights in your kitchen.
There are also other places you can hardwire your LED lights. You should always check on voltage and surroundings to know if it is suitable to hardwire them. It is also vital to follow the strict guidelines by the UL/CSA/CE to know its ability to be wired.
This article shares more about Where LED Lights can be Affixed.
How to Hardwire LED Strip Lights?
It is not difficult to hardwire the LED strips. You only have to make solid connections between the strip wires to the output wires of the power supply.
You can use either wire nuts or wire all the LED strips to the same positive and negative wire. That is how you hardwire power supplies and make a one-to-one connection.
Step 1: Prepare the Materials
You need to measure and cut the LED strip you need. Make sure you know how to cut LED strip lights the right way. It is vital to cut them on the marking lines with a pair of sharp scissors.
Besides, prepare the control device. For instance, a dimmer, switch, or a wireless Bluetooth controller.
You should also prepare the power adapter, A/C power cable, and male barrel plugs according to your need.
You’ll want to examine the power supplies area too. The purpose is to use an LED strip with a dimmer, switch, or Bluetooth connection.
It is also vital to figure out the safest and most aesthetic way to install your LED strips. Decide where to mount, and ensure you know some important specs of the strip lights.
Step 2: Connect the AC Power to the Adapter
Use a wire connector to clip to the end of the strip. It is a fastener to allow connections of two or more wires together and power the lights.
The different case requires different power adapter. You have to match the color to connect the AC power for a three-color strip. First, connect the brown wire to the live port of the adaptor. Then, match the blue wire to the neutral power of the adaptor.
There will be a stripe wire for a regular two-pronged AC cable. You need to connect them to the ground port. The RGB strip will need a particular supply of 12V or 24V power supply.
Step 3: Connect the DC Power to the Adapter
It is similar to how you connected the AC power. The male barrel plug is where the DC power comes from. You have to attach the red wire to the V+ port and the black wire to the V-.
Step 4: Light Test
Test if the LED strips light up. If not, you can try changing the various power options of the switch.
You can also view a complete guide on how to install LED strip lighting here.
What is the Power Needed to Hardwire LED Strip Lights?
Hardwire power supplies are slightly different, with wire leads coming off without the direct plugs.
You can choose to connect it to the screw-in terminal connector if it comes with a female plug. Other choices are cutting the connector and connecting the wire to wire using wire nuts or solder.
There are various power supplies for the LED stripes. Among all, the common ones are 1300mA, 3000mA, and 6000mA.
You need to find a power supply that matches the LED strips. Otherwise, the voltage of the used strips might become too high, and you need to buy new strips to replace them.
You should know the voltage and the power draw of LEDs. That is how you can find the right driver. In this case, the only way to power a 12V LED strip is by using a 12V AC outlet. Similarly, you need to power a 24V LED strip light with a 24V AC outlet.
You’ll need a dimmable transformer for a dimmable hardwire system. These dimmers should be rated for LED light fixtures. Otherwise, it will cause a flicker. Join the transformer directly to the high voltage of the wall switch dimmer. You do not need to plug it into an outlet.
Ensure to study the user manual and instruction sheet about how to wire the transformer. If unsure, look for a professional electrician to install for you.
You can also click here to learn How to Choose a Power Supply for LED Strip Lights.
Do I need Special Wiring to Hardwire LED Strip Lights?
It depends on different situations. There is no need for special wiring if you are upgrading the fluorescent fixtures. In this case, you can just use the current wiring to hardwire your LED strip lights.
What To Do with a Voltage Drop?
The voltage will slowly drop as it flows through the LED strip. The longer the LED strips, the more significant the voltage drop. It will affect the Standard Density Strips for those longer than 32feet. Besides, the High-Density Strips of longer than 16.4feet will also be influenced.
The voltage drop causes the strips not to work properly. That is why you should not connect the Standard Density Strips longer than 32 feet. Also, join the High-Density Strips of lesser than 16.4feet.
To prevent voltage drops, you should divide long LED strips into shorter ones. You can then connect the shorter strips in parallel to the power supply.
Is there any special switch required?
There is no special switch required for LED light installation. You can always use the common single-pole or a 3-way 15amp switch. It is vital to be cautious when you hardwire the LED light.
If you are using a dimmer to control your LED strip lights, use the rated dimmer.
What is the Fuse Size Needed to Hardwire LED Strip Lights?
LED lights need a lesser current to run compared to other traditional lights. In contrast, they need more power amps to start working and generate the right amount of light. This is why you need to give more space for the circuit to produce a 10W light.
What to take note of before hardwiring LED strip lights?
You must make sure that there is no power flow when handling the wires. Turn off the adaptor entirely before starting your installation.
You must also figure out the direction where the lights go before wiring up. It is to avoid mistakes and hassles of reinstalling.
Besides, remember to check your codebook and electrical compliance. For instance, there is a Canadian Electrical code to install lights. You need to protect against mechanical damage if the permanent light fixture is mounted 2 meters above the ground.
The 12V AC needs a 10:1 step-down transformer. Then, you can plug it into a switched outlet. If you use a 12V DC, you will need a rectifier to transform it into AC.
You will need an adaptor most of the time, but it depends on the plug. You can also shift the adaptor out of view and plug into it.
With an adaptor, you can connect the 12V power brick to the light socket. Otherwise, use an outlet instead of the light socket and attach the power brick to it.
In short, you can hardwire the LED strips provided you do it step-by-step carefully. It is crucial to keep yourself safe during the entire process.
I hope this article teaches you about hardwiring LED strip lights. With hardwired LED strips, you will get a more aesthetically pleasing home. Why not?