How to Connect Led Strip Lights to Mains

Imagine a world where you can feel the warmth of your home even when it is freezing outside. If this sounds like something that would get you through the winter, then read on!

We will show you how to connect led strip lights to mains and get your home ready for this chilly season. 

How-to-Connect-Led-Strip-Lights-to-Mains

Led strip lights offer a simple way to light up your space with an energy-efficient, low-wattage light that won’t burn out like traditional bulbs.

Connecting them to mains power is easy and requires only one wire’s worth of work! Read on for all the steps involved in getting started with LED lighting in your home. 

10 Ways on How to Connect Led Strip Lights to Mains

1. Connect Mains Voltage LED Strip Lights Directly

The most common method of connecting LED strip lights is to connect them to mains voltage directly.

This will require a unique power supply (e.g., a buck converter ) such as Step-Down Voltage Regulator Module 3A Buck Converter Adjustable 12V to 5V DC with Low Ripple for DIY Project.

This voltage regulator module can reduce a voltage from 220V to 12V with a maximum of 3A current.

2. Connect Mains Voltage LED Strip Lights Using a Transformer

Transformers take electrical power from the primary supply source and step down the voltage, which is safe to use within your project. 

The transformer you choose should be able to supply the power needed by your LED strip lights.

Led-Strip-Lights-Using-a-Transformer

The disadvantage to this method is that it can be hazardous if you don’t know what you are doing, so I do not recommend attempting it unless you have experience in electronics and electrical safety.  

3. Use Transformer with Ceiling Fan

Transformers work well to reduce the voltage to a level sent to the LED strip via an additional wire.

You can buy a kit that includes both your transformer and fan, or you can find everything separately.  Look for an all-in-one kit designed to be installed in existing ceiling fans.

4. Use Transformer with Existing Wall Socket

Most wall sockets have a built-in transformer for low voltage lights. If you use LED strip lights with a higher draw, this may not work well.

However, if your usage is lighter than the maximum capacity of the transformer you find in the wall socket, it will likely work. Just remember to keep your LED strip lights less than 12″ away from the wall socket.

5. Use Transformer with Battery Box

The transformer will help reduce voltage to safe levels, but you will also need a battery box to power the LED strip lights when there is no main electricity available.

The Transformer/Battery Box Kit from Cajun Line Locators works well for this type of setup.

6. Use a Buck Converter with a Battery Box

A buck converter is a device that supplies power to LED strip lights at a constant voltage. Some models have adjustable voltage output, which makes them an excellent choice for powering LED strip lights.

7. Using a Step-Down Voltage Regulator

A step-down voltage converter is also a good choice for powering LED strip lights and bulbs. They can supply a constant voltage and help protect your LED strip lights from damage.

Using-a-Step-Down-Voltage-Regulator

8. Use Power Sharing Via Wires in Parallel

Wires can be used to share the load (i.e.,  power ) between two or more LED strips of similar type and voltage.

You can use this method with both built-in transformers and external ones, but you will need to know how much voltage your strip needs before connecting wires in parallel.

9. Connect Mains Voltage LED Strip Lights to Electronic Load Drivers

If you want to connect LED strip lights to mains voltage using a higher power supply (e.g.,  120W adapter ) than your transformer allows, you can use an electronic load driver.

This is usually done with 12V strips, but some adapters allow for 18V or 24V drive voltage. When buying a 12V power supply, make sure its maximum current is at least three amps.

For an 18V or 24V adapter, the maximum current should be more than four amps.

10. Use a Power Supply Unit as a Constant Voltage Source

You can use a power supply unit as a constant voltage source. To do this, plug your LED strip lights into the wall socket and set up the output to match the current of your strip lights.

For example, you could purchase a 12V 2.6A power supply unit and use it to power a 12V strip light that draws 2.6 amps.

Can Led Strip Lights Be Hardwired?

Most-LED strip lights designed for indoor use need a transformer to run them. The transformer is usually built into the LED tape or comes as a separate unit.

In either case, the tape has to be connected to one side of the transformer and from there it will be fed with power from a mains wall socket.

Led-Strip-Lights-Hardwiring

The final connection that feeds the transformer is made via a plug. That’s why most LED strips are supplied with a plug.

They need to be plugged in to make it possible to connect them at the final point. After all, an extension lead has two jacks or sockets on one side and two connections for the live and neutral wires on the other.

That would be a big mistake, however.

The reason is that LED strip lights have a way of generating heat, and the insulation between the two ends of the tape will not be able to handle a direct connection to a mains socket without catching fire.

Some Things That Many People Do Wrong

a) Overloading the circuit

This is one common mistake often committed by most of us who are not well conversant with electrical wiring and electronics.

It is recommended to use only up to 3m strip lights per meter in length without exceeding 18W per meter. Also, you should have at least a 4Amp capacity in the circuit breaker to avoid overloading whenever the lights are switched on.

b) Connecting white and black wires together

You must never connect these two different colored wires. This can lead to a short circuit that may cause accidents when it gets hot.

c) Connecting the black and red wires

By mistake, this can be so confusing because it looks like they are similar. The only difference between them is in their function.

While the black wire is for neutral, ensuring safety, the red wire is for positive, which provides power to light up your LED strip lights.

Connecting-the-Black-and-Red-Wires-Together

It is highly recommended to use a tester or alligator clips to help you connect the wires more easily.

d) Connecting wires that carry power with those that don’t

When dealing with electrical wiring, you should always ensure that you know which wire takes electric power and which one does not.

Failure to do so may result in a shock or may even lead to a fatal accident.

e) Using wires that are too thin

As already mentioned, the circuit breaker capacity should be a minimum of 4 Amp for every 3m LED strip light.

Wires that are thinner than this may cause considerable resistance, leading to overheating and failure of the system.

Final Words

The above information provides a clear indication of how to connect LED strip lights to mains, but it is highly recommended to seek expert advice when in doubt.

It is important not only for the safety of yourself and your family but also for other people who may be using the same electrical system.

Nevertheless, I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any questions to ask feel free to comment below!

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