In today’s blog post, we are going to answer a question that is on the mind of many college students. Can you have led lights in a dorm room?
We will get into some pros and cons of having led lights, and then go over how to install them in your dorm room. First things first: can you even have these types of light bulbs in your dorm room in the first place?
strip lights may be allowed in some dorms to enable you to create the kind of ambiance that suits your comfort. But led strip lights may not be allowed in some dorms as they may be considered a fire hazard, damage the finish on the walls, or may affect the dorm room temperature.
You want to check with your dorms coordinator or your college residence hall handbook to see if you can have led strip lights in your dorm room.
So there you have if you came for a short and quick answer. But there’s a lot to this topic.
So in the remaining parts of this article, I will go over some of the do’s and don’ts of putting led strip lights in your dorm if it is allowed, the best types to put in your dorm, how to safely mount your led strip light in your dome, and some of the possible reasons why you may not be allowed to put led strip lights in your dorm.
What Is On Your Dorm Agreement? (i.e. College Residence Hall Handbook)
There are some schools that allow for led strip lights, and others do not. It is best to check your college residence hall handbook or student guide before you purchase any led strip lights for your dorm room.
If the school prohibits these types of lighting products, you will not want to go out and purchase them because you will have to return them.
The school’s handbook should also outline any penalties for having these types of lighting products in your dorm room, even if you bought them with the intent of removing them before moving out.
If Allowed, Here Are Some Do’s And Don’t Of Led Strip Lights In Dorms
- Make sure the led strip lights you pick do not drill.
- Do not tape the led strip lights to your dorm walls without trying it on a small section of the wall to see if the wall paint or finish comes off or not. Only use double-sided removable adhesives when mounting them in your room.
- Do not cut the led strip lights if you’re not sure how to join it safely.
- Do not use sharp objects to remove the backing from the adhesive on the led strip lights as this can damage the adhesive.
- Do not use an extension cord to power the led strip lights if it is not already included with your purchase.
- Do not plug the led strip lights into a powerstrip.
- Do not mount the control box to your dorm room wall if it is hot (such as above your desk), or if it is in direct sunlight.
- Never use the led strip lights near water, such as by the sink, or near a bathtub.
- Don’t install the led strip lights in areas where you might be stepping on them, such as by your bed.
- Don’t use led strip lights that have been repaired or rewired without knowing how they were originally wired and if it is safe to use.
- Never leave the led strip lights on when you are not in your dorm room or while sleeping if they are powered by batteries.
- Do not mount led strip lights on a freshly painted wall.
- Do mount the led strip lights as close to the surface as possible (such as along your desk) and less than a quarter of an inch from the surface.
- Do clean your walls with a damp cloth before applying the adhesive on the led strip lights to it, if you are not sure that it is clean.
- Do use the adhesive provided with your led strip lights to mount them if possible, or use removable adhesive such as double-sided tape.
- Do plug the led strip lights into an outlet, and make sure it is not overloaded with other appliances.
- Do try the led strip lights on a small section of your dorm wall first to see if there is any paint or finish that comes off.
- Do use a powerstrip to run the led strip lights, but do not plug in more than one appliance into it at a time.
- Do test the led strip lights before mounting them on your walls to make sure they are working properly.
- Keeping a safe distance from outlets and light switches, place the led strip lights along your desk if possible.
- Do install the led strip lights in a well-ventilated part of your dorm room, because they can get hot if installed in an enclosed area that is not well-ventilated.
What Is The Best Location To Mount Led Strip Lights In Your Dorm?
If you are allowed to have led strip lights in your dorm room, the first thing that you need to know is where exactly can these types of lights be installed?
These durable and powerful lights can have a variety of uses, but they must be used in the proper locations.
The first location that you can use led strip lights is to create an accent lighting system. These types of light strips are great for highlighting the headboard, top of a bookshelf, or underneath your desk.
The second location that you can use led strip lights is to provide general room lighting. These types of lights are good for lighting up the entire room, and they can be connected to a remote that will allow you to control their brightness.
The third location that you can use led strip lights is for your under-the-bed storage boxes. These types of lighting products are great for highlighting the contents in your storage boxes, and they can also be connected to a remote that will allow you to control their brightness.
Disclaimer: Clarify with your dorms coordinator or residence life office before you purchase and installing any led strip lights. Clarify the locations as well to avoid breaking the rules.
If Allowed, What Are The Best Brands To Purchase?
Lastly, if you are allowed to have led strip lights in your dorm room, you need to know which brands are the best. These types of lights can be found at home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot.
The only brands that you can trust are the ones by American Lighting Inc., Lumileds, and Liton. These types of lights are considered to be the best because they can last up to 50,000 hours.
They also have a low voltage controller that will allow you to adjust the brightness of your led strip lights. The best brands will also be UL listed, so you know they are safe to use in a college dorm room.
How Do You Safely Mount Led Strip Lights Without Damaging Dorm Surfaces
If you check with your dorm coordinator or College Residence Hall Handbook and you are allowed to have led strip lights in your college dorm room, the first thing that you need to know is how do you mount them without damaging surfaces.
- Start by cleaning the surface of your walls with a cloth dampened with clean water. Make sure that you let the wall dry before applying any adhesives.
- The second thing to do is to test if the led strip lights are working like they are supposed to.
- Also, check if it came with its own adhesive if it did not, you can get a double-sided tape.
- After checking and testing and everything is how it’s supposed to be, make sure that your led strip lights are in the “off” mode, and remove them from their packaging, stickers, that it may have come with.
- Mark out where you would want your led strip light to go using a pencil or anything you can clean off. This is so that you can have a guide when you are sticking the tape.
- Now peel off one side of the adhesive tape and attach it to the wall making sure you only apply very light pressure to secure it in place.
- Once you have successfully mounted your led strip lights, you can now plug them in and turn them on and enjoy the ambient lighting that your new led strip lights provide.
Disclaimer: If you are not sure how to properly mount them, please consult a professional electrician to do it for you.
Important Tip: If you need to cut your led strip lights to size, make sure to only cut along designated parts of the strip to avoid cutting through electrical circuits which may damage your lights. You can use scissors!
How To Make Your Strip Lights Last Throughout Your Stay In The Dorm
- Make sure that you only turn the led strip lights on when needed.
- Make sure to unplug your led strip lights whenever they are not in use.
- Make sure your room is always well ventilated to avoid your led strip lights from heating up.
- To clean them, simply use a soft brush to wipe the led strip lights down.
- Do not overload the power source.
- Do not expose your led strip lights to water or moisture if it is not wet or damp rated.
- Do not cut the led strip lights unless you are sure on how to do it correctly!
- Make sure that you do not touch the adhesive part of your led strip lights if possible.
- If your led strip lights still stop working even after following the tips, you may want to check with a professional.
If NOT Allowed, What Could Be The Reasons?
If you are not allowed to have led strip lights in your dorm room, the school may provide a list of reasons as to why these types of lights are not allowed.
Adhesive On The Led Strip Light Could Affect The Paintwork
The first reason that led strip lights may not be allowed in some dorm rooms is the adhesive on the back of the led strip light could affect the paintwork, wallpaper, or the finish on the surface of your dorm walls.
Some of these adhesives can be very strong, and they may be difficult to remove from the wall. The adhesive will also leave a sticky residue on your walls once it is removed, which can be a pain to remove.
Excess Heat From The Led Strip Lights Could Affect Your Dorm Room Temperature
Another concern might be the excess heat from the led strip lights could affect your dorm room temperature.
These types of lights give off some amount of heat that could potentially increase the temperature of your dorm room. These types of lights can also dry out your air, which will cause you to have to run your AC unit even more.
A Possible Electrical Fire Could Be Started With The Led Strip Lights
Another possible reason that led strip lights are not allowed in some college dorm rooms is the possible electrical fire that could be started with these types of light.
This might result from purchasing cheap led strips lights, purchasing repaired led strip lights, or improper installation and most people will go the DIY route.
All of these and more can be a major concern for colleges and universities.