How to Choose and Install Outdoor LED Strip Light?

Table of Contents

Outdoor LED strip light are a versatile and stylish addition to any outdoor area. They provide ambiance, security, and functionality. Whether you want to illuminate a deck, patio, garden, or walkway, following these steps will help you choose the right outdoor LED strip lights and install them effectively.

Find out how these lights can change your outdoor areas, letting you fully enjoy them during the day and at night.

1. Determine Your Lighting Goals

 

Before you start installing outdoor LED strip lights, it’s important to determine your lighting goals. This initial planning stage is crucial for the success of your project and ensures that your outdoor lighting serves its intended purpose effectively.

1.1  What Do You Want to Achieve with Outdoor LED Strip Light?

 

Start by considering your goals for your outdoor LED strip lighting. Are you mainly focused on the appearance, safety, or a combination of both?

 • Enhancing the Look: If you want to make your outdoor space more visually appealing, the key is to create a captivating atmosphere. You can strategically place LED strip lights to highlight architectural elements, create focal points, and add a touch of elegance to your outdoor area.

outdoor lighting

 • Safety: If safety is your main concern, make sure your outdoor area is well-lit to prevent accidents and give a feeling of security. Good lighting can light up paths, stairs, and possible dangers, making it less likely for people to slip, trip, or fall.

1.2  Areas to Light Up

 

Once you know what you want to achieve with your lighting, the next step is to determine the specific areas in your outdoor space that need illumination. Take into account the following:

  • Pathways: Lighting pathways ensures safe navigation after dark and adds an element of charm to your landscape.

 • Steps: Lighting outdoor steps is important to prevent accidents and injuries. LED strip lights can be installed discreetly along the edges of steps for maximum safety.

 • Architectural Features: Emphasizing the architectural elements, like the front of your house or garden structures, can make a big impact and create a welcoming atmosphere.

To ensure that your outdoor lighting project is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, it is important to understand your lighting goals and identify the areas that need to be illuminated. This will guide your selection of LED strip lights and determine their proper placement.

2. Choose the Right Outdoor LED Strip Light

 

Choosing the right LED strip for your outdoor lighting project is important to get the atmosphere and features you want. Consider the following factors to help you make the best choice:

2.1 IP Rating

 

The IP rating of your LED strip tells you how well it can handle different conditions. Here’s a simple guide to help you choose based on IP ratings:

IP Rating Characteristics Best Use
IP65 Protects against dust and low-pressure water jets. Suitable for gardens, patios, and balconies.
IP67 Protects against dust and temporary immersion in water. Ideal for pool areas and outdoor kitchens.
IP68 Completely dustproof and can be submerged in water for long periods. Perfect for fountains, ponds, and underwater use.

2.2 Colors

 

Color temperature is measured in Kelvins (K) and affects the mood of your outdoor space. Choose the one that suits your needs best:

2700-3500K: Warm White

Features Suitable Applications Environment
– Warm and inviting atmosphere – Gardens and outdoor seating areas – Resembles traditional incandescent bulbs
– Creates a cozy and comfortable environment – Patios and deck spaces – Perfect for relaxation and socializing

4000-4500K: Neutral White

Features Suitable Applications Environment
– Clear and bright light, similar to natural daylight – Outdoor kitchens and cooking areas – Improves visibility and is ideal for task lighting
– Well-balanced illumination – Workspaces and outdoor work areas – Boosts alertness and productivity

6000-6500K: Cold White

Features Suitable Applications Environment
– Very bright and cool light – Security and safety lighting – Provides a sense of security and deters intruders
– Intense, daylight-like illumination – Walkways, driveways, and high-traffic areas – Emits a bright, clear light for safety

Multi-Colorful LED Strips

Features Suitable Applications Environment
– Various color-changing options – Outdoor parties and special occasions – Enables personalized lighting effects
– Dimming controlled by remote – Creative and artistic lighting displays – Perfect for adding a dynamic touch to your outdoor area

2.3 Dimmable or Not?

 

Dimmable LED strips give you the ability to control the brightness, so you can adjust the lighting for different occasions and moods. If you want to be able to change the light intensity, go for dimmable LED strips.

outdoor lighting bridge project

By considering these factors and checking the supplier’s specifications, you can easily choose LED strips that are perfect for your outdoor space and how you plan to use them.

2.4 Calculate the Length

 

To make sure your outdoor LED strip lighting project goes smoothly, it’s important to accurately calculate the length you need. Here’s how:

1. Measure the Length: Start by measuring the areas you want to light up. This includes the length of pathways, the perimeter of your patio, or any other space you want to illuminate. Use a tape measure or a length of string to get accurate measurements.

2. Add Extra for Corners and Turns: LED strips cannot bend at sharp angles, so if your lighting path includes corners or turns, it’s important to add extra length. To account for these sections, a good guideline is to add about 10-15% extra to the total linear footage.

outdoor lighting for lake

3. Make sure the LED Strip Length Matches: After you measure and consider corners and turns, select LED strips that are the same length or longer than the calculated length. LED strips are usually available in different lengths and can sometimes be trimmed, but it’s usually better to have a little extra than not enough.

To make sure you have enough LED strips for your outdoor space, accurately calculate the required length. This will ensure that your space is evenly and effectively illuminated without running out of LED strips.

3. Power Supply and Wiring

 

Having an efficient power supply and proper wiring is crucial for the success of your outdoor LED strip lighting project. Follow these steps to make sure everything goes smoothly:

1. Choose the Right Power Supply: Pick a power supply that can handle the total wattage of your LED strips. The manufacturer usually provides this information. Avoid overloading the power supply to prevent dim or flickering lights. Get a power supply with some extra capacity for future expansions.

2. Plan Your Wiring: Before installing your LED strips, take some time to plan the wiring. Think about how your outdoor space is laid out and where you want to place the LED strips. If needed, create a diagram to help you visualize the arrangement. This careful planning will ensure that your wiring is efficient and looks good.

3. Waterproof Location: The power supply should be placed in a protected location to keep it safe from rain, moisture, and other environmental factors. Many power supplies come in enclosures that are resistant to weather, but it’s a good idea to put them in an extra protective housing if necessary.

strip led lightng power and control system

4. Calculate Voltage Drop: Over long distances, voltage drop can occur, resulting in reduced brightness at the end of the LED strip. To fix this, calculate the voltage drop for your setup and think about using thicker wire or extra power supplies for longer distances.

5. Professional Installation: If you don’t feel confident doing electrical work yourself or if the project is complicated, it’s a good idea to ask a professional electrician for help. They can make sure the wiring is done safely and correctly. They can also assist with obtaining any necessary permits and ensuring compliance with building codes.

By selecting the correct power supply, organizing the wiring, and safeguarding the power supply from the weather, you will guarantee the durability and safety of your outdoor LED strip lighting in the long run.

4. Outdoor LED Light Strips Installation Steps

 

Installing your outdoor LED strip lights correctly ensures that they function efficiently and look great. Follow these step-by-step instructions for a successful installation:

1. Prepare the Installation Surface: Clean the area where you want to install the LED strips well. It could be the bottom of a railing, the edge of a deck, or any other surface. Make sure it’s free from dirt, dust, and debris. A clean surface helps the LED strips stick better and reduces the chance of them falling off early.

2. Keep It Dry: Install outdoor LED strips on a dry surface. Ensure there is no moisture, water, or condensation. If the installation area is often damp, use IP67 LED strip for extra protection.

 

3. Cut the LED Strip: If your LED strips are longer than necessary, cut them to the desired length. Most LED strips have marked cut points, so follow the manufacturer’s instructions to make clean and accurate cuts. Pay attention to the copper contact points when cutting.

4. Use Mounting Clips, Adhesive Backing, or Aluminum Profiles: Depending on where you want to install your LED strip and the type of strip you have, you can use mounting clips, adhesive backing, or aluminum profiles to hold the strip in place. Mounting clips work well on surfaces that don’t stick easily, while adhesive backing is great for smooth, clean, and dry surfaces. If you want to hide the LED strips and make them less visible, you can put them inside aluminum channels or profiles. Make sure the LED strip is securely attached and apply pressure to make it stick better.

5. Connect the LED strip to the power supply: Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to connect the LED strip to the power supply. This usually involves attaching wires or connectors to the specified terminals. Make sure to establish a secure connection to avoid any electrical problems or flickering lights.

6. Test the Lights: Before finishing the installation, check if the LED strips are working properly. Turn on the power supply and make sure that all parts of the LED strip are lit up. This is the right moment to make any needed changes or solve any problems.

By carefully following these installation steps, you can quickly and easily have your outdoor LED strip lights shining brightly and improving the atmosphere of your outdoor area.

5. Control Options

 

Choose how you want to control your LED strips:

• Manual Switches: You can turn the lights on and off with a switch.

• Remote Controls: Use a remote to control the lights from a distance.

• Smartphone Apps: Some LED strips can be controlled with an app on your smartphone.

• Smart Controllers: You may want to use smart controllers that can be included in your home automation system. These controllers will let you easily program and control the lights.

 

6. Safety Considerations

 

Safety should be a top priority when installing outdoor lighting. To prevent electrical circuit overload, calculate the wattage of your LED strips and make sure it doesn’t exceed the capacity. Proper grounding is crucial, and using GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets adds an extra level of safety.

7. Outdoor LED Strip Light Maintenance

 

To keep your outdoor LED strip lights in good condition, perform regular maintenance. Check the LED strips and connections for damage or wear from time to time. Clean the strips and lenses as necessary to maintain their brightness and performance.

8. Enjoy Your Outdoor LED Strip Lights

 

Once you have everything set up and installed, it’s time to enjoy the beautiful lighting in your outdoor areas. You can create different lighting moods for different occasions, from romantic dinners to lively gatherings. To make the most of your outdoor LED strip lights, you can use timers or smart controls to automate lighting schedules.

By following these steps and considerations, you can choose the right outdoor LED strip lights, install them safely, and transform your outdoor spaces into well-lit areas that meet your specific lighting needs. You’ll love the improved ambiance, functionality, and security that outdoor LED strip lights bring to your outdoor living experience.

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