Waterproof or water-rated LED strip lights are designed to withstand exposure to water, moisture, or humid conditions. But what happens if you need to cut your waterproof LED strip light to a specific length? Can you still use it, or will they still work?
Waterproof LED strip lights can be cut on the provided cut lines. These are usually located every few inches on the strip. Make sure to use a sharp knife or scissors when cutting the strip to avoid damaging the LEDs. Once cut, the strip will need to be sealed with waterproof tape or silicone to prevent water damage.
This is easier said than done, so stick around as I go into the nitty-gritty of how to cut your waterproof LED strips without ruining them properly. By the end of this post, you’ll know everything there is to know about cutting waterproof LED strips. So let’s get started!
Why Is It Possible To Cut Waterproof LED Strips?
Waterproof LED strips are made with a waterproof coating that protects the circuitry and LEDs from water damage. This coating is typically a clear silicone that is applied over the entire strip. Some manufacturers also use a clear PVC material as an additional layer of protection.
1. Waterproof LED Strip Lights Are Made “Cuttable”
Cutting a waterproof LED strip is possible because most manufacturers design their strips with this in mind. They include cut lines on the strip so you can cut it to size without damaging the LEDs.
These cut lines are usually located every few inches and are clearly marked. Make sure to use a sharp knife or scissors when cutting the strip, so you don’t damage the LEDs. Once cut, the strip will need to be sealed with waterproof tape or silicone to prevent water damage.
2. Waterproof LED Strips Are Made of Durable Materials
Waterproof LED strips are made of durable materials that can withstand being cut without damaging the LEDs. The strip is typically made up of a flexible circuit board, LED chips, and a waterproof coating.
The flexible circuit board is what allows the strip to be bent and shaped into different forms. It’s also what makes the strip cuttable.
The LED chips are the light-emitting diodes that produce the light, and the waterproof coating protects the strip from moisture and water damage.
3. You Can Reseal After Cutting Waterproof LED Strips
A lot of people’s concern when it comes to cutting waterproof LED strip lights is that they won’t be able to reseal the lights properly.
This is a valid concern, but it is actually quite easy to reseal the lights yourself. All you need is a little bit of clear silicone sealant or heat sink and some patience.
You can simply reseal them by cutting a piece of the heat sink and then applying heat from a heat gun to shrink it into position slightly.
You can also apply silicone sealant, but this can be a bit tricky and messy. If you do choose to use silicone sealant, make sure you apply a very thin layer and allow it to dry completely before powering on your lights.
Benefits Of Being Able To Cut Waterproof LED Strips
There are several reasons and benefits to cutting your waterproof LED light strips. Here are a few of the most common reasons why you may need to cut your waterproof LED strip lights.
- Making The LED Strip Light A Specific Length
The most common reason is that you need the strip to be a specific length. This is often the case when installing LED strip lights under cabinets or in other tight spaces.
You may also need to make the strip a specific length if you’re cutting it to fit a custom light diffuser or cover.
- Cutting Off Damaged Sections Of The Strip
Another reason why you might need to cut your waterproof LED strip is if there is damage to the strip. This could be from physical damage, water damage, or heat damage.
If a section of the strip is damaged, it’s best to cut off the damaged portion and seal the end with silicone or a heat sink.
This will prevent the damaged portion from affecting the rest of the strip and causing further damage.
- Customizing The Shape Of The Strip
Another reason to cut your waterproof LED strip is to customize the shape of the strip. This is often done for aesthetic reasons, such as creating a wave or spiral shape.
Cutting the strip into a custom shape can also be useful for functional purposes, such as creating a strip that can be wrapped around a corner or edge.
Overall, there are many reasons why you might need to cut your waterproof LED strip lights. And, thanks to the durable materials and easy-to-use cut lines, it’s actually quite simple to do.
How To Cut Waterproof LED Strips
When cutting your waterproof LED strips, it’s important to use the correct tools and techniques to avoid damaging the strip or the LEDs.
Here are a few tips on how to cut waterproof LED strips:
- Use a sharp knife or scissors to make clean, straight cuts.
- Make sure to cut along the marked cut lines. These lines are usually located every few inches and are usually indicated by a dotted line.
- Avoid touching the LEDs with your fingers or tools. The oils from your skin can damage the LEDs.
- After cutting, reseal the end of the strip with silicone sealant or heat sink to prevent water damage.
By following these tips, you can easily and safely cut your waterproof LED strips without damaging them.
- Cut along the marked cut lines.
- Use a sharp knife or scissors to make clean, straight cuts.
- Make sure the cut is clean both on the sealer and the LED strip light itself.
- Solder the two cut ends of the LED strip light together.
- Use soldering iron Solder the two cut ends of the LED strip light together.
- Be sure to use a clean soldering iron tip and apply enough solder so that there is a smooth, shiny connection between the two pieces.
- Apply silicone sealant or heat sink to the end of the LED strip light.
- This will help to prevent water damage.
- Allow the sealant to dry completely before powering on your lights.
By following these steps, you can easily and safely cut your waterproof LED strips without damaging them. With the ability to cut these strips, you can now customize them to fit any space or project.
Overall, you can cut waterproof LED strip lights without damaging them as long as you use the correct tools and techniques.
Thanks to the durable materials and easy-to-use cut lines, it’s actually quite simple to do.
Just be sure to follow the tips above, and you’ll be able to cut your strips like a pro. Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful.
Q: Can I cut the strip shorter if I don’t need the full length?
A: Yes, you can cut the strip to any length you need. Just be sure to use a sharp knife or scissors and make clean, straight cuts.
Q: Can I use LED strip lights outdoors?
A: Yes, water-rated LED strip lights are weatherproof and can be used both indoors and out. Just be sure to protect the power supply from the elements.
Q: Can I cut and re-connect the strips if I need to?
A: Yes, you can. Just be sure to use a soldering iron and heat shrink tubing to make watertight connections.
Q: What is the best way to mount LED strip lights?
A: That depends on where you’re mounting them. If you’re mounting them under a cabinet, you can use double-sided tape or adhesive pads. If you’re mounting them outside, you’ll need to use zip ties or screws and anchors.
Q: Can I daisy chain multiple strips together?
A: Yes, you can connect multiple strips together using the solderless connectors. Just be sure not to exceed the maximum run length for your power supply.
Q: Can I use a dimmer with LED strip lights?
A: Yes, you can use a dimmer to control the brightness of your LED strip lights. Just be sure to use a compatible dimmer switch.