Can You Cut LED Strip Lights: All You Need to Know

Can you cut LED strip lights? This is a frequently asked question, considering getting LED strip lights that are the right length is problematic. 

Often, you have to cut and join several pieces of the strips for your installation.

 Can you cut them anywhere, or are there specific points you should cut across?

 And after cutting, how do you join the strips together? 

Also, is it possible to trim the strips? Learn the answers to this and more in this detailed guide on how to cut LED strip lights.

Why Cut LED Strips?

For several reasons, you may need to cut your LED strips. For one, it’s hard to find an adequate size for your needs. 

After all, many strip lights have distinctive lengths and may be longer than you need. Thus, you may need to cut them into the correct size before installing them. 

Another possible reason you may need to cut a LED strip is that the corners of the room you’re installing the lights force you to do so.

 For example, you may need to cut them to cover corners and other hard-to-access points completely. 

Corners and hard-to-reach points

Caption: Corners and hard-to-reach points

Also, it may be necessary to make a new connection or remove a managed strip section.

 In this case, having indicated points makes it easy to cut and solder the strip lights.  

However, it’s essential to be careful about the spots that you choose to cut. 

That’s because it’s too easy to damage the strip lights if you fail to do it correctly. 

Can You Cut LED Strips Anywhere? 

Cutting LED strip lights

Caption: Cutting LED strip lights

No, you cannot. But thankfully, the strips come with clearly marked spots to help you do so. Note, though, that there are types of strip lights you can’t cut at all.

 Therefore, whether or not you can cut the strip will depend on the specification of the LED strip lights. 

For example, some have a scissors icon indicating where to cut. And in others, you’ll find a pair of copper dots at the end of the LEDs. 

With these markings, scissors or copper icons, you can cut without damaging your LED strips. 

Still, some types of LED strips are harder to cut, and you must exercise much caution when cutting them. That’s because it’s all too easy to compromise their functionality.

 For example, cutting waterproof LED strips can compromise their ability to withstand moisture. 

They become vulnerable and can compromise your safety, especially if they’re in the bathroom or other wet areas. 

Another example of strips that are challenging to cut is waterproof ones. See, these have a coated silicon sealer.

 And while you can easily peel off at a point of copper connection and cut, you must be careful not to damage the diodes. 

Also, you risk damaging the lights if they’re IC (integrated circuit).

Can You Trim LED Strip Lights?

Manufacturers design strip lights to fit in your desired room. They’re flexible and highly versatile. Thus, you can cut them into different sizes. 

And as mentioned, the beauty of LED strip lights is that they provide a perfect cutting point.

 Also, you can trim them to suit your needs and spaces, especially in areas that need thin lining. 

However, it would be best if you were careful not to tamper with the LEDs in the strip lights. 

Doing so may create an open circuit and thus destroy your LED strip lights. Additionally, checking for cut lines before you start cutting is generally safe.

 In cases where there aren’t any, it’s better not to attempt to cut to avoid damaging the strips.  

How to Cut LED Strips

Remember, before cutting LED strips, ensure the model allows doing so. If it’s okay to cut the strips, then proceed as follows: 

  • Measure the Length: First, measure the length of the LED lights you need to cut with an extra extension. Doing so will ensure you only end up with only a strip of the size you need. 
  • Identify cutting point: Look for an image of scissors on the strip next. In many strips, manufacturers put the image of a pair of scissors to help users identify the spot on which to cut. On some types of strip lights, you’ll find copper dots instead of scissors. 
  • Cut: Using a sharp cutting tool, such as scissors, to cut the strip at the marked or dotted point while holding it still. Ensure that you align the strip well to avoid damaging it. It would help if you cut the strip straight up and not diagonally. The copper dots help you ensure that you don’t destroy the strip’s terminals. That way, connecting your LED strip to the power supply gets easier. 

How to Connect/Fix/Solder Cut LED Strips 

As mentioned earlier, you may need to connect a strip to another to complete an installation. Here are the steps to follow to join the strips. 

Obtain Connectors 

LED strip lights connector

Caption: LED strip lights connector

First, you need 4-pin LED strip connectors. And while there are various options in the market, they’re not all compatible.

 Therefore, you must purchase one that works with your LED strip lights. 

For example, if your strip is 10 mm, get a 4-pin 10 mm connector. 

Similarly, if you have 8 mm strips, get 4-pin connectors of the exact specifications. 

Open the Connector

Thankfully, you can easily open them from their cover with your hands. But just be careful not to damage the clips.

Patch the Strips to the Connector

Next, place the two ends of the strip lights into the fastening clips of the connector. But ensure you don’t place the strips in reverse of each other, as they will not work. 

And if you’re using connectors that lack clips, connect the end-to-end naked wires of the strips to the connector. 

Also, you can slightly twist and solder them using a soldering gun to reinforce the connection. 

Cover the Connector

Lastly, cover the connectors for your safety and that of your strips. 

But before you do, it’s a good idea to connect the strip lights to the power supply to ensure all the LEDs in your strip work.   


Do LED Strip Lights Still Work When Cut?

Yes, they do. However, it would be best to cut them at specific cut marks to continue working.

 If you accidentally cut at the wrong place, it may compromise your lights from functioning normally. 

Also, ensuring proper connectivity for them to continue working is vital.  

How Do LED Strip Lights Work When Cut? 

If cut correctly, cut strip lights are as effective as the original strip.

 If, after connecting to the power supply, you find that the strip lights don’t work, it’s likely they got damaged during cutting. 

Otherwise, proper cutting should result in adequate lighting of the strip. 


So, can you cut LED strip lights? Now you understand that you can, as they allow cutting and trimming to fit your desired length. 

That said, it’s essential that you cut them at the marked points. 

Otherwise, you could damage the strip so that it’s unable to light up when powered. 

Thankfully, you now know how to cut and connect LED strip lights. Simply follow the steps outlined above, and you can’t go wrong.