What if you turn on your LED strip light and it does not light up? I understand how inconvenient it is.
LED strip lights are bright, eye-appealing, convenient, and energy-efficient. However, like any other electrical device, they might malfunction sometimes.
There could be a variety of causes for your LED strip not working. The reasons can range from voltage mismatch to insufficient power supply to a loose connection. In some cases, manufacturing flaws or mechanical damage could be the cause of the breakdown.
Nevertheless, your first step should be identifying the underlying issue. Once you are aware of the problem, there is a good chance that you will be able to fix it or get it fixed.
In this guide, I will go over the various reasons why an LED strip is not working and how to fix it. So without further ado, let us get started.
Possible Reasons for LED Strip Not Working
As I mentioned above, there could be tons of causes if your LED strip is not working. However, some likely issues are as per below. These are especially reasons for strips that do not light up at all.
If there is a voltage mismatch, you might not be able to turn on your LED strip light. It is also one of the primary reasons for the burnout of strip lights.
Depending on the number of LEDs per string, strip lights are available in different voltage ratings.
You can buy LED strips in voltages 5V/12V/24V/127V/220V. Low-power strip lights (5V/12V/24V) are powered by low-voltage DC i.e., 12V/24V. On the other hand, high- voltage strip lights use AC (Alternative Current).AC Soft strip lights are available in 127V/220V, etc.
However, pay attention to one thing. To make LED strips work correctly, you must provide them with a specific power supply.
Remember, you cannot light up a 220V LED strip light with a 12VDC power supply. Your LED lights will not work correctly until you provide them with a compatible current and voltage supply.
If you use a lower driver to connect the strip, you will notice issues like tripping, shining LEDs the strip’s brightness is very low. On the contrary, high voltage power might burn the low-voltage strip. Low voltage power won’t light up the high-vlotage strip. High voltage power will burn the low-voltage strip.
So always check the output voltage of your power supply outlet and the input voltage of the LED strip before connecting the points.
Your strip light requires a specific voltage. And if you operate it at high voltage, it will become hot. Remember, heat in general causes several harms to LED lights.
Most low-voltage LED strip lights have a power supply converter to avoid voltage mismatch. It converts 120V/240V AC into the voltage range your LED strips require.
Inaccurate Power Supply
Like voltage mismatching, an incorrect power supply can cause your LED strip lights to fail.
Make sure the power of your LED strip lights is not more than your driver’s power. Overpowering your strip might make them hot. They might fail too in the long run.
Check the Working of Power Supply
Sometimes, there is a problem with poor supply connected to your LED light bar. Make sure there is no loose connection. Check if the outlet has a proper power supply.
See the voltage across the wires, inner pin, and jack of the DC plug with the help of a multimeter.
Also, check if the light bars have correct connections to negative and positive poles. Keep in mind that any type of disconnection can cause your light not to work.
Check for Short Circuit
The short circuit is another possible reason your LED strip light has stopped working.
A short circuit occurs when positive and negative wires come into contact. It happens as a result of careless soldering. You may cause a short circuit while experimenting with your LED strip lights for a DIY project.
Only use professional accessories if you are soldering wires on your own. There should be an adequate gap between LED strip connections.
Sometimes the short circuit is not visible, especially on the cut line. LED strips are made up of two copper layers separated by a thin insulation layer.
If you have to cut your strip, make sure you make a clean cut. Otherwise, the insulating layer may break down at that point. It is advisable to use a sharp scissor to cut the strip.
Also, check the line short circuit. Never connect your LED strip light to a mains voltage wall outlet directly.
Disconnection of Light Bar
Another reason your LED is not working could be, your light bar is disconnected. Moreover, if the lamp beads, circuit board, resistor, or other components are damaged, your light will not work. So pay attention to these things as well.
Diameter of External Connection Wire
Most people do not know, but the gauge of the connection wire can make a difference in the efficiency of LED lights. It affects the flow of the current.
If the diameter of the wire is not appropriate and the bearing current is too low, it would not support the normal working of your LED strip.
The diameter of the wire is measured by number. Remember, the higher the number the smaller the wire. For instance, 8-gauge wire is thicker than 10-gauge wire.
So choose the appropriate gauge size wire for your LED strip lights. The standard 22 diameter wire is adequate to handle two rolls of LED strip lights.
Tighten up Any Loose Connection
If your LED strip light is not lighting up at all, a loose connection could be the culprit. Check all the wires and connectors carefully. Make sure no wire has fallen out.
Also, check the screws on the adapter. If you find any loose connection inside, tighten it up. In addition to this, solderless connectors fail sometimes. So you can try re-inserting LED strips.
Check the Controller and Dimmer
If everything is okay, but the dimmer or controller is faulty, your strip light will not work. One good way to check the defective dimmer or controller is, remove them from the circuit.
If your strip light is lighting up after removing them, it means there is a problem with them.
Examine the Electrical Resistance
Electrical resistance is a measurement of how difficult it is to pass an electric current through a device.
An electrical resistance may occur if the wire of your LED strip light is corroded or has poor electrical contact. Make sure all of the wirings are in good working order. Due to excessive heat, unclean contact points can cause fire hazards as well.
Pin Connection Issues
Your light strip will not work if the pin is not correctly inserted into the connector. So double-check your pin connection as well.
Be extra careful when inserting pins because they are delicate. Applying too much force may cause them to break.
In some rare cases, the pin may be defective, so you should inspect it as well.
Drop in Voltage
Sometimes drop in voltage is the issue behind your strip not working.
Check the voltage between the copper pads of your strip at various points. Start from the power source point and continuously move further. If voltage power is dropping as you move, it is a voltage drop issue.
There are several ways you can minimize the voltage drop. If you are running a wire between your strip and a power source, make sure it has the appropriate size. Choose the right diameter as well for the wire as it will have less resistance.
Other Problems with LED Strip Lights
Sometimes, your LED strip light is working, but it has other problems. Let us quickly discuss these problems and find out their solutions.
Flickering of LED strip lights happens due to a low power supply or a dying RGB controller battery. You can solve the problem by adjusting the voltage of your strip. Replace the controller’s batteries if the problem is with the controller.
Fluctuation in voltage could be another reason for the same. Ensure your light strip has a steady voltage supply.
Different Color at the End of the Strip
It usually happens due to voltage drop. To fix this issue, you can use multiple LED drivers for your strip light run. You can use one driver per 16 feet. Make sure the wiring is correct as well.
Too Much Hot to Touch
If you notice your LED strip lights are getting exceptionally hot, you should check with the voltage supply. Too high voltage can make your strip hot to touch.
Only Single Color Staying in RGB Strip
If you connect the wires to the strip the wrong way around, you’ll get reverse polarity. Only a single color staying in the RGB strip might be because of it. Try reconnecting your LED strip by turning it around.
These are some of the primary reasons your LED strip is not working at all or has some issue. Most people do not realize it, but they can avoid some of these issues by buying LED strip lights from a trustworthy manufacturer.
The majority of problems occur due to poor quality components used in the strip light. As a result, choosing the right LED strip light manufacturer could be your one easy step to avoid these common issues.