How many led strips can you connect together? This is an excellent question that we commonly receive. Depending on how you connect the strips, the length possibilities are nearly limitless. When doing so, you must consider some logistics. Remember that the resistance of wire rises with distance when deciding how many strips to join together. With LED strips, it’s no different. As a general guideline, don’t connect more than three entire strips end-to-end without adding extra, higher-gauge power wire or additional power supply units later.
LED strip lights
One of our favorite interior design trends right now are LED lights. A strip light is a flexible circuit board with SMD LEDs and other components, usually with an adhesive backing for installation onto your desired surface – they can also be hooked up directly into circuits if you don’t want something permanent! Traditionally used in accent lighting or decorative applications only before this past year when power levels increased, making them more effective at producing brightness while using less energy compared to older models which were commonly found on fluorescent fixtures as well as halogen replacements inside lamps outside where people walk near night time illumination requirements are obvious to see in our current world.
Polymer-based electronics have been around for over four decades. Still, only recently, LEDs have dropped in price to the point where they are becoming widespread in-home lighting fixtures – with the average consumer quickly adapting to their energy efficiency, longevity, and affordability. We all love LED lights because of their longevity and the ability to “dip-and-dot” them on and off at will, but there is more than just one way to connect strips together.
Another reason these lights are so popular is because of their flexibility in where you can install them – since they are mounted onto a flexible strip, this makes it very easy to wrap them around pipes, doorknobs, railings, and trims.
The length of your LED strips is determined by the type of strip you use. You must be able to give the necessary feed/power to all strips. We always utilize a high-quality 24V 14.4 W per meter strip.
This means that for a 5-meter length, the total power usage is 5×14.4= 72W, and the first available power supply that can deliver this is 80W. It would work, but you’d be running it at maximum capacity, which isn’t ideal. So take it a step further and attach a 100W power supply.
If you need 20 meters, you can get it in four 5 meter lengths. You could simply connect them all in parallel, but you’d notice that the brightness in the strip closest to the transformer is brighter than the brightness to the end. This is the voltage drop that you’re seeing.
There are two options for dealing with this. In our example, a 500W power source is required for the 20meter. We’d connect it on both sides. As a result, both ends are connected to the power supply.
If you need 20 meters, you can get it in four 5 meter lengths. You could simply connect them all in parallel, but you’d notice that the brightness in the strip closest to the transformer is brighter than the brightness to the end. This is the voltage drop that you’re seeing. There are two options for dealing with this.
In another example, a 500W power source is required for the 20meter. We’d connect it on both sides. As a result, both ends are connected to the power supply. We recently produced a 20-meter-long strip with no voltage drop problem.
Some cautions to connect the LED strips together
Electrically, each of the 5m parts must be connected in parallel. However, they can be laid out head-to-tail until around 20m (with some voltage and brightness deterioration). Consider the case of a 15-meter-long LED strip that you want to run in a straight line.
- Connect the power supply using 10m wires.
- Connect the first 5m piece to the power supply directly.
- Connect the second piece to the wire in the middle (at 5m mark).
- Connect the final piece to the end of the 10m wire to create a 15m long LED strip.
You should never use the power supply at its maximum rating since it will run at full load all of the time, get hot, and age quickly, and you will have a broken power supply before you realize it.
It’s best to run it at half-load; if the calculated power usage is 150W, a 300W supply be suffice. It’s a little more pricey, but my primary worry is safety. This way, it won’t grow too hot, and the temperature-sensitive fan won’t have to run all the time, generating a loud whirring noise. Last but not least, if your power comes from China, it will never be as good as it claims to be (sorry folks, but that is the truth).
Remember to choose the appropriate wire size; if the wires are too small, your LED strips will be weakly lighted, and the cables will become warm (you will need to increase the size of the wire).
Can you connect multiple LED light strips together?
You can connect different brand LED light strips to each other, providing they have the same voltage. If you try connecting two strips with different voltages, then it will simply not work due to differing requirements for each strip and risk damaging them – again wasting your money! Unless you know what you’re doing, stick to the same brand!
It’s a good idea to invest in a larger power supply if you can afford it. In our example, if we use 60W per meter wire for 5 meters, the total consumption will be 30 * 5 = 150W. That falls short of 300W by 100W. As a result, you will be allowed to expand up to 20 meters of 5-meter LED strips.
If you use 80W per meter wire for the same strip length, the total consumption will be 40 * 5 = 200W. That’s well within the 300W requirement. As a result, you can run it up to 30 meters in length.
When using the supplied power supply, make sure that for 5 meters of LED strip light, you can use three power supplies at most to get a consistent brightness and voltage down the strip.
A variety of styles of LED strips can be connected together with some precautions and consideration of certain factors before installation, but this is nonsense for the less informed customer. As long as you use the same voltage LED strips from the same brand, it will work perfectly!
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