One of the main advantages of using LED Strip Lights is that they offer a user almost unparalleled versatility in terms of their application and usability. One area in which they fulfill this is customization.
Unlike traditional forms of effects lighting which comprise a single glass cylinder, LED Strip Lights consist of a single strip of flexible circuit board. This circuit board is highly durable and can withstand high degrees of tension before breaking. In addition to this it is also soft enough to be cut.
For many customers it is actually easier to think of LED Strips as a form of luminous tape, as this is in fact what they are. One on side they feature a row of evenly space LEDs, or SMDs, depending on how technologically savvy you are, and on the other there is a high adhesive sticky-back coating.
As such LED Strip Lights can be cut to varying different lengths, depending on the demands and constraints of the project in question. There are two ways of cutting your strips; either send your measurements to the retailer and have them prepare it for your in advance, or, alternatively, do it yourself.
Regardless of which you choose you will first need to measure the length of furniture, wall or window into which you plan to install the strip lights. A measurment in millimeters (mm) is more pereferable as it allows a retailer to make the cuts with more exactitude.
The easiest way to cut your strips is of course to get in contact with your retailer and ask them to prepare your strips beforehand. They will do all the requisite cutting and soldering before they send them out to you and can even advise you on what the best strip light and periphery 'setup' for your project.
Alternatively, you can hire the expertise of a professional electrician to do the same. This is however a little more expensive as they will probably charge you at the standard hourly rate, but, if you are already using an electrician to do the installation and you want to oversee everything and make sure it is perfect then there is no harm in taking this route. Your electrician should be able to cut and solder where necessary.
Finally, you can also do the necessary cutting yourself. If you have ordered a single LED Strip, you will notice that there is a wired connection at one end, but not at the other. The reason for this is that an LED Stip Light is already a closed circuit and does not need to return to its point of origin in order to function. Therefore you can cut through the strip light at any point and it will continue to work.
All LED Strip Lights should feature easily recognizable 'cutting points' spaced periodically along their length. This is where you should cut if you intend to do it yourself using a sharp knife or pair of scissors. If you do find you need to do any soldering you will also find a series of solder points (2 for single colour LED Strip Lights and 4 for RGB LED Strip Lights) to which your 2-core or 4-core cable can be attached. However, you should only attempt this soldering yourself if you have experience.
It is also worth noting that by cutting an LED Strip with an IP65 rating you do not compromise the waterproof integrity of its silicone coating.
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