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What to do with leftover LED strip. Guide to cutting and connecting LED strip


In this article, we will help you to use your LED strip correctly. You will learn how to cut and connect the leftover LED strip, learn about its types, and be able to decorate your room unimaginably.

Having appeared for the first time, LED strips immediately made a splash among designers and architects. The use of LED strip light made it possible to create lighting effects that were very difficult or impossible to obtain in other ways. LED strip lights are easy to install and can be controlled using a remote control, a built-in switch, or even a smartphone.

what to do with leftover led strip

With the help of LED strip lights

Dark corners can be lightenedset up a cinema room

Give your living room a cinema vibe by adding LED strip lighting to the back of the TV.

Illuminate a wall-hung vanity

An easy way to upgrade a tired-looking bathroom is to add waterproof battery-powered LED lighting underneath a wall-hung vanity to create a warm glow that’s atmospheric and adds to the feeling of space.

What to do with leftover LED strip. Guide to cutting and connecting LED strip

Bring in a night sky

In the bedroom, the night sky is created using an adhesive backing, purple LEDs, a cute crescent-shaped wall lamp, a rotating star projector, etc.

Most LED strips are available in the form of long coils ranging from 3 to 16 feet in length.

And you may have such a question: “What to do with the remaining LED strip lights?”

You bought flexible rigid lamps, monochromatic or RGB, waterproof or not waterproof. Regardless, often all these tapes have one thing in common: they can be cut off. Each LED strip light will have straight or dotted black lines at regular intervals.

At these specific points, the circuits are completely closed, so these are the safest places to cut LEDs without harming them. If you cut LED light strips, and if you cut them along the designated lines, then they will work.

Cutting the LED strip light elsewhere, will cause this circuit and possibly the venture tape to stop working. But don’t worry because LED strip lights consist of several separate contours, so each cut line marks the end of one contour and the beginning of a new one.

Can you reconnect the LED light strip that has been cut off?

The first connection method

It may happen that you cut LED light strips too short. Is it possible to connect the two parts, or will you have to buy a new tape? Provided that you cut along the designated cutting straight line, the LED strip lights can be reconnected.

There are different ways to connect the two parts of strip lights. The easiest way is to use the connector. Quick connectors are readily available from retailers. They come in different shapes, namely rectangular and T-shaped. If you cut in the wrong place, there is no way to reconnect the two LED light strips.

What to do with leftover LED strip. Guide to cutting and connecting LED strip

Are you ready to connect LED strip lights? Here’s how to do it using the connector

Make sure you have bought the right connector for your tapes – it requires the same number of pins, and it must be of the right type (straight, angled for corners, or with a wire between them). Open the LED strip light clips on the correct connectors. After making sure that the contacts touch the connector contacts, insert the light strips into the connector.

Can you connect different brand LED light strips together?

Is it possible to connect LED strips only with the same voltage?

If LED light strips of different brands have the same voltage, you can connect them to each other.

It is not possible to connect LED strips with different voltages.

They won’t work because of the different voltage requirements for each band. In addition, you risk damaging them.

Different polarity

The polarity of LED strips of different brands may differ – make sure that the positive connectors are aligned. You should see a plus and minus symbol next to the copper pads to direct you.

So, if you decide to connect LEDs of different brands, you may find that one of them wears out faster or starts to fade since different brands of LED bulbs can be made with different qualities. It is always easier and better to connect LED strips made by one company, even if it seems unprofitable.

What to do with leftover LED strip. Guide to cutting and connecting LED strip

How to connect LED strip lights without a connector?

The second connection method

It is possible to connect LED strip lights without a connector. To do this, you will need to solder some connections!


You can use a soldering iron to solder the voltage and red, green, and blue contacts to the next wiring. Soldered joints are stronger mechanically and can provide greater efficiency due to extension cords.

It is recommended to solder the connections if you use too much current.

If the LED emitters have particularly high brightness, some connecting wires are not suitable due to the high power of the strip. Let’s assume that you have the skills and equipment for soldering. Then it will be better for you to solder if your tape is running with a high current. After that, cover them with shrink wrap, protect the joints or seal the joints with duct tape.

Should LED strip lights be connected in series or in parallel?

Parallel connection

In a sequential circuit, your light strip will be connected directly to each other. The power supply will only be connected directly to the first LED strip light in the circuit.

Since the current is constant in these circuits, and the voltage is distributed between the LED rope lighting, you can get different brightness throughout the circuit, and you need to make sure that the power source you are using has a constant current. If one of the bands in your series fails, the whole circuit will stop working.

In a parallel circuit, each strip is connected to a power source. The current is distributed between each band, but the voltage is equal. Although they are difficult to install, if one of your strips fails, the rest will remain on fire. However, the current will be redirected instead.

If you used a parallel circuit for only two bands, then when one of them fails, the current for the other band doubles, which can power leads to its burnout.

What to do with leftover LED strip. Guide to cutting and connecting LED strip

Serial connection

If you need constant LED lighting, it is best to use a serial connection.

For longer connections, you will need a very high DC driver to prevent performance degradation. If you lose one strip, you won’t get light until you replace it. For complex circuits with a large number of LED rope lighting, a parallel circuit will be more difficult to install, but it will remain partially illuminated if the strip fails.

LED strip lights do not work after cutting

Is it possible to cut?

Adjusting the length of the LED strip light may seem simple, but mistakes can occur. First of all, it is important to make sure that your lamps were designed for cutting. If the LED strip light was not intended for cutting, then the damage caused will not be canceled. In these lamps, the circuit runs continuously along its entire length.

If the LED light strip is intended for cutting, then you should check that you really cut them along the specified cut lines. Cutting outside of the cut lines will disable this separate circuit. If your LED strip light is working but has a different shade of brightness at each end, the case is due to a voltage drop.


12V LED strip direct light should not exceed 10 feet, and 24V should not exceed 15 feet.

The voltage drop can be prevented by reducing the strip length for each power supply.

Do your RGB LED strips not change color? This indicates that you have incorrectly aligned the polarities when connecting them. To improve the situation, turn the tape over and reconnect it.

What to do with leftover LED strip. Guide to cutting and connecting LED strip


What can I do with cut LED strips?

Unplug your LED strip lights before starting. Then take make measurements for cutting LED light strips. Make incisions with standard scissors in accordance with the measurements.

You need to cut LED strip lights, specifically, the copper section that is on the LED lights, at intervals of a few inches. An equal amount of copper dots should remain on each section of the LED light strip. This is necessary in order for the contacts of your connector to work.

Next, you need to prepare a small plastic joint without a gapless or jumper and remove the adhesive base to ensure a clean connection. Insert each section of the LED light strip lights into the connector. Clamp the sections with special clips on the connector.

Correct polarity

It is important that the polarity is correct for the voltage to pass through. And finally, connect LED strip lights. If there is no light, check the polarity.

Is there a way to reuse LED strip lights?

After you cut LED strip lights, and if you cut them correctly, then both sides of them will work. Earlier, it was said that the cut point is a safe place to disconnect the circuit without damaging it. Each section between the cut points is a separate circuit, so it doesn’t matter which cut point you decide to use, as long as it’s the only place where you make the cut.

You will be able to reuse the other half of the LED strip lights.

Can you cut leftover LED lights?

Before cutting the light strip, you need to make sure that the tape you bought can be cut so that an unforeseen situation does not occur, because of which your light tape will be unsuitable for its further operation.

You need to disconnect it from the power supply. Direct cutting of a light strip connected to an energy source is extremely dangerous.


No matter how big or small the LED light strip is, you can use it all. And if you now have the leftover LED light strip, you will surely find a use for it.

If you are still not confident in your abilities, you can order professional cutting of LED light strips. However, following this guide, you will personally cope with this task. Choose your correct way.

Feel free to buy an LED light strip and decorate the ceiling of your bedroom, kitchen cabinets, bathroom, or any other. Let it bring unforgettable beauty to your home.

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