Strip light pieces -- connecting / butting together

Discussion in 'RGB Lights - Intelligent Pixels and 3-Channel RGB' started by tt9900, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. tt9900

    tt9900 New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello -- I've been researching and reading up on LED RGB lighting, and I've found some great answers and help from google results of posts from this forum. I had a question that I was not able to find an answer to that way (there probably is one somewhere, but I haven't found it), so I figured I would post the question myself.

    I was wondering if it is possible to connect leftover pieces from cut strip lights together to make a longer piece. For example, if I had some 3 ft pieces cut off of different full length strip lights, would I be able to connect them together, and make a 5 ft piece or something like that?

    I've seen how pieces can be cut and wired together such as to go around windows, but I was wondering more about connecting them without a gap to make or at least make the appearance of a longer piece. Would it be something simple like soldering the copper sections between the two pieces together?

    Is this something that is possible, or are there any potential issues from doing this if it is possible? (Also if it is possible, are there any suggestions to do so in a clean / more seamless way?) If I'm way off, just let me know --I'm only researching right now so any advice would work.

    Thanks
     
  2. heathwithnoteeth

    heathwithnoteeth Full Time Elf Generous Elf

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Messages:
    436
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    sheidow park
    the strips you buy would have been connected together by soldering the pads together with a dob of solder (I think?) if you need to waterproof them, use some neutral cure silicon and clear heatshrink to seal the join if they are in a silicone rubber sleeve
     
  3. OP
    OP
    tt9900

    tt9900 New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Kitman

    Kitman Full Time Elf

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2014
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Munno Para
    All strip lights can be cut and joined, the only difference is where abouts you can cut the strip.
    For strip that is say 60 leds / 60 ic's per meter you can cut these after each led where the copper connectors are and then solder onto thee copper connectors. something like 60leds / 20ic's per meter they can only be cut every 3 leds, but again you will see the copper connectors which is where you can cut them.


    To join yes you simply join the same type of strip together using the copper connectors, so if you had 3 pieces half a meter in length each and they were all the same type 12v for example then you just but the pieces together and solder across the copper connectors and then waterproof the join somehow, as Heath suggested with some neutral cure silicon and heat shrink, or if you have some length of silicon tube spare you can take all of the silicon off the existing strip and feed it through a new piece.
     
  5. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    738
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    collie
    Find Me On:
    Aside from being the same voltage, just double check they are the same pinout.
    If you are using 2 different type of strip check that the + data and - are in the same position.
    Also depending on the controller, make sure they are the same type of strip, as in the chip that controlls it and the rgb colour layout.
    If you use something like an f16 controller, this isn't as big a problem as you can change the info in the setup halfway through a strip to make it match.
     
  6. i13

    i13 Senior Elf

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    775
    Likes Received:
    6
    I agree with Kitman and scamper. Elaborating on the RGB order, some strips are RGB, RBG, BRG, etc. It varies between orders. Some controllers can compensate for this but not others. Vixen also allows you to map every channel individually as a last resort but xLights doesn't.

    Silicone and heatshrink will work for waterproofing the join. The heatshrink does not need to be clear unless you use a piece that's long enough to overlap the LEDs themselves. I use black heatshrink and I 100% can't see it when the strip turns on.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    tt9900

    tt9900 New Elf

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you to all for the advice and input

    I see what you mean depending on the type of strip -- I'll definitely make sure to make the cuts at the proper points. I was hoping it would be a simple solder between the copper connections, so that's good to know. I also like both those ideas for waterproofing -- I didn't even think about slipping another piece of tube over it but that makes sense.


    I plan on having them be identical strings (same product # at least, might only be different I guess if they sometimes vary strip by strip), so I'll check before I do any connecting. But thanks for letting me know -- I'll definitely have to look closely before doing anything.


    I actually didn't realize the rgb order can vary like that, so I'll check that as well. I see what you mean about the heatshrink -- I've looked at some strips and there does tend to be enough space between the leds in most cases to make the connection without overlapping the lights, so that's good.

    Everyone definitely answered my question very thoroughly -- thanks again for your help everyone!
     

Share This Page