How To Keep LED Strips From Falling Off?

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One of the common problems people who DIY their room lights encounter is keeping the LED strips from falling off. It could take weeks or months before they notice their LED strips stop sticking on the walls or the table or cabinets. But for those who do not have luck, it takes only days or even hours before the adhesive on the strips gives up. 

If you have experienced the same problem, you might have felt frustrated and disappointed. But if you are planning on designing your room with LED strips, it is better to read through this article to anticipate what’s coming. 

In this article, you will learn about the reasons why LED strips keep on falling off. You will also learn some of the best tips to secure your LED lights once and for all. 

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why won’t the LED strips stick? 

LED strips usually come with an adhesive on the back that peels off easily. This double-sided tape is what most people use to stick the lights on whatever surface they want to install the LED. But in other instances, it just won’t suffice. It just won’t stick, but why? 

So, before we all get agitated, let us understand the reasons why the LED strips keep on falling off. Here are some of the common reasons why your LED strips won’t stay sticking on that wall. 

Reason 1 Poor quality of adhesive

With the vast market of LED strips, today, many imitations and substandard products circulate the market. Unfortunately, with the low quality of the product comes the poor adhesive as well. This is one of the common trade-offs when buying cheap LED strips. 

Also, some products have expired adhesives. Often when lights have been shelved for too long that the adhesive weakens. Another cause of poor quality of the adhesive is when it is exposed to too much heat or moisture that the tape loses its sticking properties. 

Reason 2 Adhesive is not compatible

Most LED strips use a 3M adhesive that works best on flat surfaces. This type of adhesive is a double-sided tape that is peelable and ready to use. When installed vertically or hanging from the ceiling, the strength of the tape does not guarantee. This type of tape is also not compatible with some surfaces. Surfaces that are not double-sided tape-friendly include popcorn walls and ceilings, brick walls, and unfinished concrete. It might stick for a while but sooner or later the tape will gradually fall off.

On the other hand, other LED lights don’t have peelable double-sided tapes when you purchase them. So before buying a tape or glue, know what surface you are going to stick your lights on so that it would match your needs. 

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Reason 3 Temperature

Changes in the temperature affect the adhesives and their properties. It could crystallize and become brittle which makes it prone to falling off. Glue would also melt when exposed to extreme temperatures as well.  

Consequently, too much cold of a temperature is also bad for your adhesives. It might lead to the weakening of the bonding between the molecules of the tape. If this is the case, the adhesive is rendered ineffective. 

Reason 4 Other factors 

You would also want to consider external factors aside from your adhesives. This could include your pets that might play with your low-lying lights. Insects and pests might eat the materials that keep your lights from falling, too. Watch out for those!

If you installed your LED lights outdoors, sunlight and wind could be the main culprits on why your LEDs keep on falling off. Rain is also a common problem in outdoor set-ups. Birds and other animals could also be the ones to blame.   

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How to keep LED strips from falling off?

Now you have learned about the probable reasons why your LED strips won’t stay sticking in your room. This time, you should identify which solution works best for your situation. Here are some of the recommendations that would help you fix your problem.

Solution 1 Quality is a priority

Choose LED strips that are sturdy and manufactured well. Always check it manually. Look for any issues with the tape that goes with it. Some are damaged or discolored which is a big no. Also, look for signs if the tape is sticking well to the light strips or not. 

Ask for assistance from the market employee. Issues with your purchase are best to be addressed ahead of time. Look for the seal of quality and other marks that validates the claims of the manufacturer. 

Just remember that not everything cheap is a wise buy and not all expensive purchase is guaranteed quality. You just have to work your way to get the best among the many products in the market.  

Solution 2 Do it right

More often than not, the reason why the LED strips keep on falling off is because of your doing. Make sure you have followed the instructions on how to install the lights properly. Also, make sure that you have cleaned the surface where you are going to stick the LED. Check for possible bumps or creases in the area. Watch out for misplaced nails and bumpy uneven surfaces. 

Don’t be hasty or very excited when installing your lights. Do it carefully to avoid mistakes. What’s true is that when you installed your LED strip lights properly, it is guaranteed to stay long. This would save you time, money, and effort. So be sure to do it right.

If uncertain how to install it properly, call a handyman to do the job for you. If you prefer to do it yourself, read our article on how to install your LED lights. Read: How to Install LED Strips – Easy DIY Project

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Solution 3 Find the right adhesive for your needs

If you want to install your lights using adhesives, make sure to find the right product to keep your LEDs from falling. There are a variety of adhesives that you can choose from such as epoxy or polyurethane products. 

Upon shopping, ask your local stores which are best for the product you are planning to install. You can also do your research ahead of time to have an idea of what to look for. Research and read on these products for they also have advantages and disadvantages. Some might also have chemical components that you might be allergic to.

Make sure that you also have the proper materials when using these adhesives. You don’t want the paste to stick on surfaces you don’t intend to. Things could get messy so you have to be sure to keep it tidy.

Solution 4 Use reinforcements

Glues are not your only allies. You can also use reinforcements such as plastic or metal clips and brackets. Some products come with additional LED strip clips upon purchase. But if yours don’t, you can buy it online or at your nearest stores for a very cheap price. You can also improvise by using metal hooks or threads to ensure your lights are sticking properly.  

Solution 5 Man the maintenance 

Installing your lights is not the end of it. It is only the beginning. Make sure to have a consistent check-up on your lights to avoid the same problems from recurring. 

Clean them once in a while. Look for possible problems and address them ahead of time. This will not only save you money from abrupt expenses, but it also keeps your lights in their best working condition. The key to keeping your LEDs working their best – and not falling off –is for you to treat them with utmost care.

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What now?

I suppose you have learned a thing or two from this article. We encounter different problems with or LED lights but I hope the solutions presented here would give you an idea of how to solve your own. Feel free to comment on your own experiences and how you overcome them under this blog. We all would like to hear and learn from you also. 

And for those who have successfully kept their LED strip lights from falling off, a job well done! Now, imagine yourself back to your lights. All sparkly and bright. You can now sleep soundly and live your fantasy bedroom-slash-hideout with your flashy LED lights. 

Be sure that you take care of your lights. You have to keep an eye on quality from planning to purchasing to installing and maintaining your LEDs. Not everyone is meant to stay, they say. But if you stick and fix your lights properly, they would last longer than you think they would! 

References

  1. Adams, R. D., Coppendale, J., Mallick, V., & Al-Hamdan, H. (1992). The effect of temperature on the strength of adhesive joints. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 12(3), 185–190. doi:10.1016/0143-7496(92)90052-w https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/014374969290052W 
  2. Securities and Exchange Commision (December 2, 2009). Retrieved from: https://www.sec.gov/reportspubs/investor-publications/investorpubsfakesealshtm.html 
  3. Yu, Donne (October 12, 2021). Darkless LED blogs. Retrieved from: https://darklessled.com/how-to-install-led-strips/ 
  4. Turner, Mark (October 1999). Adhesives: A selection guide. Retrieved from: https://met.uk.com/uploads/images/pdfs/adhesive_selection.pdf 

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