Many people are unaware that led strip lights can cause damage to the walls of their homes. If you’re interested in learning more about how these lights affect your wall paint, then please read on!
Led strip lights will ruin wall paint if the adhesive action on the strip light is too strong. Also, led strip lights will not fare too well on freshly painted walls or walls with very old paintings.
Led strip lights ruining your wall paint depends on a couple of things and in the remaining parts of this article, I’m going to share with you the details on all the factors that influence led lights ruining wall paint.
Things That Cause Led Strip Lights To Ruin Wall Paint
1. The Strength Of The Led Strip Light Adhesive Backing
If the adhesive is not strong enough, it can easily be peeled off of your wall. In some cases, a little bit of paint will come with it.
Led strip lights that have an adhesive backing that is too strong will definitely ruin your wall paint when it’s time to remove them or readjust them.
Usually, led strip lights are backed with a 3M adhesive which is a pretty standard adhesive.
This type of adhesive is great because they are made from high-performance acrylic material.
The led strip lights to come with a little bit of paper between the adhesive and the actual led’s as well as an extra layer of film to help protect them from moisture, dust, etc.
Acrylic is a really versatile material. It has the properties of both a very thick liquid and an elastic solid. This phenomenon is known as viscoelasticity.
It is the viscoelasticity that allows the 3M adhesive of the led strip light to adhere even if the surface is uneven.
This amazing adhesion quality comes with its downside as it becomes weaker and loses its adhesion with time. This is where the problem begins.
People tend to apply different types of adhesives that are not suitable to keep the led strip light up-and this is where all hell breaks loose!
Using adhesive like hot glue, gorilla tape, foam tape, glue dots, etc will usually not yield good results and you’ll end up ruining your wall painting.
2. How Long The Led Strip Light Has Been Installed
The longer the led strip light has been installed, the more likely it is to damage your wall paint when you remove or adjust them. This is because of how strong and weak viscoelasticity can be.
It also depends on whether or not there was a secondary adhesive used to keep the led strip lights in place.
When it comes to the time limit of the adhesive backing, this is something that varies. It depends on many factors like temperature and humidity. Sometimes even your geographical locations can affect how long you’re able to use them.
Generally speaking, led strip lights usually have a three-year warranty which means they are guaranteed not to fail (unless something was defective) within that time.
If you’re looking to save energy and money by installing led strip lights, it makes sense to use them for three years and then replace them with new ones. This way your wall paint will remain in pristine condition!
Once the warranty is over, you’ll need to check if they are still working. If they are, you can simply remove them and use new ones if necessary.
3. The Type Of Paint And Its Durability
The type of paint that your wall is made out of and its durability are the most important factors in figuring out if led strip lights will ruin it.
This means that some paints will be more resistant to the adhesive of the led strip lights. Generally, more expensive paints or premium quality paints are going to yield better results when it comes to adhesion and their durability will be higher as well – as these paints will not peel, discolor easily, get affected in any way by the led light strip.
Keep in mind that if you’re using paint with a low-quality primer on top of your wall, then this is definitely not going to end up good for you!
Some paints like latex, oil-based primers, epoxy resin enamels get discolored easily when exposed to high temperatures or humidity levels for long periods of time. This type of paint is usually found on the walls in many homes.
If you are looking to install led strip lights, it would be best if your wall was made out of more durable paint like alkyd enamel paints or epoxy resin primers. This way they won’t get ruined when exposed for long periods of time!
4. The Type Of Environment
The type of environment that your led strip lights are in is crucial when it comes to figuring out if they will ruin the wall paint. There are many factors at play here like temperature, humidity levels, and sunlight exposure.
If you’ll install them on a surface with high temperatures (like near an oven) or in a place where they will be exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, then this is definitely not going to end well!
With high temperatures comes an increase in the viscosity (thickness) of adhesive which means that it becomes super difficult for them to stick on your wall.
5. Type Of Painted Surface
If the surface of the wall that is painted is wallpapered, drywalled, or made up of several fragile layers then this is going to be a very bad idea.
In the case of wallpapered walls, you can easily tear them apart when trying to pull the led strip lights from it which will leave multiple holes on your wall.
Drywalled and fragile layers aren’t good either because they’re not made up of strong material that won’t be damaged easily.
And in all these cases, your led strip lights will be ruined and left with a sticky residue on the wall when you try to remove them!
If it’s possible, avoid installing them on such surfaces at all costs. Try something else like the ceiling or wooden walls instead if this is an option for you.
6. How Long The Surface Has Been Painted
Another important factor that you need to take into account is how long your wall has been painted.
If the walls of your home were just recently re-painted, then it makes no sense to install led strip lights on them as this will ruin both – the paint and the adhesive!
This means that you should avoid installing led strip lights until the paint has completely cured. It usually takes paints about 2 to 3 weeks to fully cure, but if you want to be sure, you should wait for at least a month before installing any led strip lights.
Also, if you installed an led strip light on a wall that has been painted many years ago, then they are likely to peel off and get ruined when you install led strip lights on them.
7. The Quality Of Paint Job
The quality of the paint job that was done on your wall is another important factor.
If you had a low-quality or cheap paint job done recently by an amateur, then this will likely yield poor results when it comes to installing led strip lights because they won’t adhere well and are more prone to getting ruined.
If your painter painted on dusty, rusted, or unclean surfaces, the paint would be ruined.
This means that it would be best to avoid installing them on such surfaces. You can get professional help if you want your led strip lights installed in an immaculate manner.
How To Safely Remove Led Strip Light Without Ruining Wall Paint
1. Be Careful And Prepare Safety Equipment
The first thing that you need to do is be careful when trying to remove the led strip light. It’s best if you wear protective gloves, glasses, and clothing before doing anything else because they can cause chemical burns on your skin or eyes due to their strong adhesive or paint peeling off.
2. Unplug The Led Strip Lights
Before starting anything, you need to unplug the led strip lights so that you do not risk getting electrocuted. Also, this is so that you do not damage the led strip lights in case of any sudden power surge.
3. Use A Hairdryer To Heat The Led Strip Adhesive Backing
After this, you can use a hairdryer to heat up the led strip adhesive backing. Apply the hairdryer for about a minute or two to avoid lumen degradation of your led strip lights. This will help loosen it so that it becomes easier for you to pull them off once they’re heated enough.
4. Insert a Dull Edge And Start To Pull The Led Strip Light Off
Now, insert a dull edge underneath the led strip light and slowly start to pull it off. You should try your best not to apply too much pressure with the hairdryer as this may damage or tear apart your wall paint!
It can be quite difficult getting rid of them but if you’re patient enough then you’ll eventually get through it.
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of removing them manually, then it’s best if you can hire a professional who knows what they’re doing!
They’ll be able to remove led strip lights without damaging your wall paint so that you won’t have any problems.
You can try to wiggle or shake the led strip light if you feel it is stuck but make sure you’re as gentle as possible.
Keep going until the who thing comes off the wall.
5. Clean The Led Strip Light Residue
In most cases, you would have some sticky residue left on your wall paint. So you can use WD-40 or a citrus-based hand cleaner and a microfiber cloth to rub off the adhesive maintaining a circular motion.