Can You Cut LED Light Strips?

LED light strips have a fixed length, generally 5 meters/16.4ft in a roll. The problem is that it is not always the suitable length for your LED project, so people often ask whether the LED light strip can be cut. 

Regarding whether the led strip can be used normally after cutting, this is not a single question, it involves other factors. In general, if the led strip light has a cutting line, it can be cut. If not, it means you may not be able to cut it. And if you cut the led strip wrong, the result is unfortunate. It may cause damage to the led light strip.

First, Can Your Light Strip Be Cut?

Before you start cutting your LED strip lights, the key is to determine if they can be cut without compromising their functionality. Most LED strips are designed to be cut at specific intervals, such as one LED, three LEDs, or six LEDs. And mark it with a cutting line or scissors icon where it can be trimmed.

Cutting the strip at these designated locations ensures that the individual LEDs and circuits remain intact so that the strip will function properly after cutting.

To avoid damaging your LED strip, please check that your strip design can be cut to a fixed size. If your strip doesn’t have clearly marked cutting lines, you shouldn’t be cutting them.

Can You Cut LED Lights Anywhere?

Cutting LED strips seems to be a difficult problem for many new users. It is important to understand that you cannot cut the LED strip arbitrarily along its length. Careless cutting may damage its internal components, resulting in malfunction or loss of function. You have to follow the correct way of cutting.

How to Cut LED Strips?

Cutting led strips is a very simple task, just as simple as cutting newspapers, but it requires you to be more careful. 

Step 1. Prepare a measuring ruler and scissors.

Before cutting led light strips, you should prepare a measuring rule to measure the needed length of your led lighting project, and a scissor to cut. It is difficult to cut the led strip lighting without tools.

Step 2. Measure your project length and mark the place you want to cut.

When you install the led light strip, you find that the led strip is longer than you actually need, and you need to cut off the extra part. 

The first thing you need to do is to measure the length of your led light project. Make a mark where you need to cut to avoid cutting mistakes. When cutting the led light strip, please strictly confirm your length. If you don’t cut to the right position, you need to cut again.

In order to avoid duplication of work, confirm the cutting length before cutting. Once cut short, the result will be very unpleasant. But it’s not impossible to solve. It is not ideal to buy a new led light strip and cut it again. Since the led strip can be cut, you can prepare a strip light with the same length as the missing and connect these two parts together by welding or using led light connectors.

►Step 3. Find the cutting line at the cutting position and cut it.

Use a scissor to cut the led strip light along the cutting line. In the cutting process, be careful not to cut to the area beyond the cutting line. There is a cutting unit between two adjacent cutting lines.

The cutting unit is usually related to the LED working voltage, generally 5V for one LED light, 12V for 3 lights, and 24V for 6 lights for one cut. If you cut the led strip in the area between the two cutting lines, the circuit board in this area will be damaged, and the LED lights in this area will not light on.

Where to Cut LED Strip?

A LED light strip is composed of multiple independent circuits, and two circuits are separated by a cutting line. The cut line may be dashed or solid or marked with scissors, it depends on different led strip manufacturers. Cutting led strip in a straight line at the cut position is the only correct way.

Sometimes all you can see is two copper solder pads, the clipping should happen in the center position of them. In this way, the ends of the light strips on both sides after cutting have copper for the next connection.

If You Cut LED Lights Will It Still Work?

As long as you cut the light strip correctly, it will continue to work normally. Some people may encounter such a problem: I cut my led lights and now they don’t work, why does this happen? There are several possibilities:

  1. Your lights are not cuttable.
  2. You are not cutting in the correct position.
  3. You cut off so much copper that it can’t make the connection again.
  4. The connector is not installed properly. It didn’t puncture the circuit board.
  5. Wrong wiring.

How to Reconnect Cut LED Strips With an LED Connector?

The following is a product picture of RGB color changing led strip light, this picture can help you build a general impression of the RGB light strip, and quickly distinguish which is the RGB led strip. 

RGB color changing led strip lights have four connection points, so when speaking of 4-pin, you have to know it is RGB color changing led lights. And so if you want to connect RGB led strip lights, you need to prepare an RGB 4-pin led connector.

When connecting RGB led light strips, open the RGB led strip connector, slide the RGB led strip into the fast connector, and close the cover. Pay attention to that the positive pole must be connected with the positive pole. If you connect wrong, the RGB led strip light will not work. 

Other led strip light connection with solderless connectors is like this way. The difference is that different led strip lights use different led strip connectors. You can’t use the RGBW led light strip connector to connect the RGB led strip.

How to Know What Your LED Strip Light Is?

The led strip light connectors of each kind of led strip light are different because the connection points are different. You can judge what kind of your led strip is by knowing the connection point. It is not a difficult thing.

You just need a little patience to understand the connection point knowledge. And when you completely understand, you can easily distinguish multi-color RGB led strip lights from others.

►Single color high CRI led strip lights need to use 2-pin led connectors.

►Tunable white led strip lights should choose the 3-pin led light connector.

►RGB led strip lights use the 4-pin led connector

►RGBW led strip lights use 5-pin led strip connectors.

►RGBCCT led strip light uses 6-pin led strip connector

►Single signal addressable led strip lights use 3-pin led connectors.

►Dual signal and breakpoint resume digital led strip lights use a 4-pin led strip connector