LED strips are a great way to add flair and light to any space. They come in various colors and can be used indoors or outdoors.
And when you want to add some extra water resistance to your installation, there’s no better way to go than with waterproof LED strips.
While they are easy to install, you should know a few things before you start. This blog post will show you how to solder waterproof LED strips.
We will also go over the necessary tools and materials you will need for the job. So, if you’re ready to get started, keep reading!
What Things You’ll Need:
1. Waterproof led strips
2. Soldering Iron
3. Solder and flux
4. Wire cutters
5. Wire strippers
6. Heat shrink tubing
Step by Step Guide: How to Solder Waterproof Led Strips
Step 1: Strip the Insulation
The insulation on the five-meter roll of the waterproof led strip is thick. So I found that the best way to get it off was to use a box cutter and slice down the length of the strip.
This makes it easy to remove the insulation without damaging the wires inside or leaving any bulky scraps behind.
It also leaves a bit of extra insulation on either side of the wires, which is helpful because it allows you to solder both sides at once. I found this out by accident and was pleased with the results.
Step 2: Tin the Stripped Wire End
Strip the wire ends and tin them with a bit of solder. The insulation is thick, so you may have to do this twice or more with the wire strippers. It’s easier to tin the wire ends before they are all connected.
I learned this by wrapping one of my test circuits with electrical tape and then soldering it. Unfortunately, the insulation got in the way, and the whole thing fell apart when I turned on the power.
Step 3: Heat the Solder Iron
Heat the end of the wire to be soldered with the soldering iron. Touching it against the solder attached to the tip will heat both, allowing them to flow together.
It doesn’t take long before they are ready; you can try touching them together if you want, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Step 4: Solder Both Wires Together
Touch the solder attached to the tip of the soldering iron to both stripped ends, then remove from heat. The wires should form a strong bond that heats up quickly and cools down just as fast.
Scraping the melted insulation off with a fingernail leaves an even coat of solder on each wire end, which is advantageous because it makes it easier to connect several of them.
Step 5: Heat Shrink Tubing with a Lighter
Heating the shrink tube with a lighter is easy to provide some insulation for the soldered joints. Shrink tube comes in many colors, so it’s also possible to color-code your wiring by using multiple colors of this helpful tool.
Step 6: Fit Shrink Tubing Over the Solder Joints
Slide the shrink tubing over the solder joints and use a lighter to shrink it to fit tightly around each solder joint.
This helps prevent water from seeping into the wiring and causing corrosion, which would cause an electrical short. It also protects against shorts when the wires move around while the strip is used.
Step 7: Connect All Joints to Complete Circuit
Touch each solder joint together to complete the circuit, then turn on the power supply. This should light up the LEDs and leave you with a working waterproof led strip!
Of course, it’s possible to snap one of the connectors apart to make a finished joint, but this isn’t necessary.
Step 8: Add Heat-shrink Tubing to Finish
Slide a bit of heat-shrink tubing onto each joint and use a lighter to shrink it into place. This provides insulation for the solder joints when they are exposed. It also makes the whole strip more attractive.
Step 9: Wrap Strips Around Object
Wrap each waterproof led strip around an object to light it up. This can be anything from a bowl to a bird feeder or even radiators for your car!
Think about the object’s shape and make sure to position each strip correctly so it can be lit up evenly.
Step 10: Recreate the Circuit
Restore your power supply to its original settings. If it’s a microcontroller, make sure you put all components back in their correct positions.
That includes resistors, capacitors, and integrated circuits if you are using any. If you are not, reconnect the power supply cables.
Some Tips and Suggestions
1. When cutting your strips, don’t cut it all at once; instead, cut some off and test it to ensure you are getting the length/brightness you want.
2. If you plan on running multiple lengths of strips beside each other, we suggest soldering them together first before adding any connectors.
It’s much easier to solder 2-3 joints together before adding a connector than trying and solder with the strip joint.
3. With waterproof Flexi light, we suggest soldering one wire at a time, finishing that joint before going on to the next wire. This keeps the heat from travelling up and down the strip degrading it faster.
4. When stripping your wire, try and get it as close to the end of the copper strand as you can; this will help avoid any loose strands that could short out.
5. When soldering on a connector, ensure all wires are securely tightened down before applying heat; if one is slightly lose, it will cause your strip not to work properly when connected.
6. Make sure not to get the solder on your fingers; you can end up transferring it onto a connector and shorting out the connection.
7. When soldering two strips together, try and get them as close as possible before applying heat; this will help prevent any loose strands from being able to cause a short circuit if one of them moves.
How Do You Splice Waterproof Led Strips?
The led strips come with an extra 3-1/2 inches of wire on each end from the factory. This is how you can solder LED strip lights together to create longer lengths than manufactured in one piece.
In addition, you can make your custom lengths or repairs to an existing strip. LED splicing is the process of connecting two pieces of RGB (red, green, and blue) led strips together to form a longer run.
You can use splicing to connect two led strips and extend the length of one strip. This is how you solder waterproof led strips. First, cut both ends of the LED strip at a 45-degree angle, so each piece has clean-cut ends next to each other.
Next, sold the red wire on one strip to the red wire on another using a thin wire or solder. Solder the green wire to the green wire and the blue wire to the blue wire in the same manner.
Solder a piece of shrink tube to protect the solder job. Wrap the led strip connections with electrical tape after all the wires have been soldered and shrunk.
This will protect from any water or moisture that may get into the connection while still allowing you to solder another strip easily.
Why Should You Solder Waterproof Led Strips?
It is crucial to solder waterproof led strip lights if you want them to last. Waterproof LED strips are not designed for adhesive, double-sided tape, or glue gun bonding.
Therefore, some basic precautions need to be taken when taking care of your lighting projects, surrounding areas like walls, floors, or staircases in your home or building.
Any time you’re doing any work around an area that can hold water, like your bathroom walls, for example (inset lights in the appropriate areas), installing waterproof led strips is extremely important.
If you don’t solder the waterproof led strips, a high chance of a malfunctioning circuit will occur. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all connections are soldered and heat shrinked or covered with electrical tape.
If you are interested in knowing how to solder waterproof led strips, then consider reading this full blog post.
If you’re looking for a way to light up your sign, the waterproof LED strips are an economical and efficient option. They can be used in many settings, such as bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and retail stores.
This is just one of the reasons that we recommend these products when it comes to making sure that businesses have well-lit signage at all times.
We hope this blog post helped give you some information on how to solder waterproof led strips. If you need help with anything or want more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We look forward to hearing from you soon!