Yes, you can cut LED light strips as long as cut signs or scissors icons are visible on the strip. If there is no scissors icon available in the middle of the copper connection, it means you can’t cut that LED light strip.
LED light strip is an easy & affordable way of bringing color to a room for various purposes like studying, gaming, listening to music & many more. However, most people aren’t privileged enough to receive the perfect-sized LED light strips for their work & that’s where they want to cut LED Light strips for fitting purposes.
If you’re trying to decorate your room & stumbled upon the question, “can you cut LED light strip?” – this article is for you. In this article, I will explain the topic in-depth by providing quick & extended step-by-step responses within a while. Take the quick response first:
Quick Guide: Cut & Connect Your LED Light Strips With Simple Steps
Though it’s not a step-by-step guide on how to cut LED Light strips, instead- it’s just a quick overview of how to do it. Stay tuned for the detailed step-by-step guide in the upcoming segment.
- Choose your preferred strip light.
- Make a quick setup without unpacking the whole strip & check if they light up while providing electricity.
- It’s necessary to check before cutting the strips as you’ll void the warranty after doing any changes (cutting/soldering) to the strips.
- If the strip & adapter works fine, it’s time to cut the LED Light strips with a pair of scissors on the cut lines (cut lines consist of the scissors icon).
- Make sure to cut in the middle of the copper connection or the cut lines.
- Use connectors (Amazon) the best & easiest way to reconnect the LED light strips.
Where To Cut LED Light Strip?
You can’t just cut anywhere off the LED strip & call it a day. If you cut the LED light strip in the wrong location, serious consequences can happen.
There are some rules more or less all the brands follow while determining the distance from one cut line to another in their LED light strips. These are:
- 100 mm distance for strips with 30 LEDs per meter
- 50 mm distance for strips with 60 LEDs per meter
- 25 mm distance for strips with 120 LEDs per meter
- 15 mm distance for strips with 240 LEDs per meter
That means you’ll need higher count LEDs per meter strip if you want more flexibility while cutting the LED Light strips.
You don’t need to sit with a scale & strips to measure the cut lines. Follow the scissors icon integrated cut lines in the strips & you’re good to go.
Q: What Should I Do if There Are No Scissors Icons/Visible Cut Lines?
If there is no scissors icon or visible cut lines, you can’t cut the LED light strip. It’s the company that’s saying you’re not allowed to make changes to the strip by cutting & connecting it together by any means.
Q: What Will Happen If I Fail To Cut in the Straight Way?
You must cut the strips with sharp scissors in a straightforward way. If you fail to do so, you’ll notice your LED strips are malfunctioning. This may not cause a defect to the entire strip, but it will eliminate the corner LED lights & it won’t look that good for sure.
How To Cut LED Light Strip Correctly: Step By Step Guide
You’ll have a wonderful lighting experience if you follow these steps to cut the LED Light strip correctly:
Note: You won’t need anything other than sharp scissors to perform this tutorial.
Step 1: Measure & Determine the Total LED Strips Requirement
At first, you’ll need to measure your space to determine how long LED strips you need. After the measurement, it’s time to check how much you got & how much you need to cut off.
Step 2: Check If Your LED Strip Is Working & Spot The Cut Lines or Copper Connection
After confirming how much you’ll need to cut off, don’t cut right away! First, check if the LED strip is working or not. If it’s not working as intended, call for a replacement immediately. Getting a replacement for faulty strips is mandatory, as you’ll void the warranty anyway when you cut them.
Now spot the cut lines on your strips. You can easily find the cut lines in the middle of the copper connection. Remember, you’ll have to cut through them.
Step 3: Determine The Nearest Cut Line
As you have already determined your desired LED strip length, now it’s time to choose where you can cut. Though you’ll get cut lines after a few millimeters, you’ll have to decide which cut lines you’ll cut.
Step 4: Use A Sharp Scissor For Cutting The Strip
Finally, it’s time to cut the LED light strip with a sharp scissor. You need to be very careful while cutting as it will decide whether or not your LED light strip will light up again. If you fail to cut the strip right in the middle of the cut lines, you’ll surely lose your corner LEDs.
That’s why you should always cut in the middle of the cut lines. It will be best if you follow the scissor icon & cut through it.
Can You Cut All Types of LED Light Strip?
No, you can’t cut all types of LED light strips. If the LED light strip consists of Individual IC chips (basically the RGBIC strips) – you can’t cut & connect it. These type of LED light strips don’t allow you to do so.
That means you’re left with only one option to identify whether you can cut the LED light strip or not & that is spotting the scissors icon on the copper connection.
Can I Cut Waterproof LED Strip Light?
Yes, you can cut waterproof LED light strips. However, you’ll ruin the coating that ensures the waterproof feature while cutting the LED light strip.
To cut the waterproof LED strip correctly, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Measure how much LED light strip you’ll need to cut.
- Step: 2: Take sharp scissors & cut through the middle of the cut lines straightly.
- Step 3: Now Take a cutter & peel off the silicone coating that makes the strip waterproof.
- Step 4: After peeling off the silicone coating, now you can connect the light with others led strip lights.
Note: Cutting a waterproof LED light strip is prohibited if you intend to use the LED light strip underwater after cutting it.
Will both Sides Of the LED Light Strip Work After Cutting?
Yes, both sides of the LED light strip will work after cutting. You can individually light up the strip parts by providing proper electricity.
However, you’ll need to be careful while connecting LED light strips to the power source. If you fail to connect them properly by matching the colours or voltage (+ve or -ve) properly – your strip won’t work.
4 Things To Do If LED Strip Stops Working After Cutting
If you have cut your LED light strip correctly by following the cut lines with the scissors icon, you shouldn’t face any problems afterward.
Doing otherwise can cause malfunction to the strip. What will actually happen is – if you miss a cut in the middle of the cutline, you may cut the LED’s IC chip & that particular LED won’t light again.
If you believe you’ve done the cutting part right & your LED strip stops working afterwards – follow these steps to solve the issue:
- Make sure the power adapter voltage matches the strip light voltage.
- Ensure you’ve connected LED light strips properly, matching with the +ve to +ve part & -ve to -ve part.
- Check if you have exceeded the length limit of your LED Light strips. Every LED light strips come with a length limit & users shouldn’t exceed it while expanding.
- Check for loose connection or no connection at all.
Unless your LED strip is faulty, you should fix this ‘not working’ issue by following the four steps mentioned above.
How To Reconnect Cut LED Strips
You can connect your LED light strips in various ways, such as soldering iron, connectors, extension cable & so on. However, I suggest using connectors as they are the safest & easiest way around. If you’re interested in learning the steps for reconnecting cut LED strips, check out my article on this topic I’ve written How to connect led light strip together.
I hope this article answered your question, “can you cut LED light strip” along with solving confusion around this. I’ve also mentioned the proper way of cutting LED light strips in a step-by-step manner so that you can follow & do it easily.
I am Mark Braeden, a professional electrician based in California. With over a decade of experience in the electrical industry, I have launched this website with the aim of sharing my expertise and providing solutions to common lighting issues that can cause frustration for homeowners.
Whether you need help selecting the right bulb for your living room lamp or require guidance in installing LED strip lights, I am here to assist you.
But it’s not just about fixing problems. I’m also here to inspire you with all sorts of creative lighting ideas that can transform your home.