How To Put Up LED Lights Without Ruining The Paint

Understanding how to put up LED lights without ruining the paint is crucial for a good lighting experience without damaging your home. 

Generally, if you don’t implement the LED lights installation process well, you’ll notice the wall paint peeling off. 

Luckily, we have several approaches you can use to prevent LED lights from ruining your paint. 

For example, you can apply adhesive hooks or clips supporting delicate surfaces. 

Moreover, you can employ transparent mounting tapes, which offer a strong but gentle attachment. 

Today’s article helps you understand how to install LED lights without damaging your wall. Let’s get rolling!

Understanding LED Strip Lights

LED strip lights are gaining more ground recently, even replacing the popular incandescent and fluorescent lights. These lights are designed with a flexible circuit board containing small light-emitting diodes.

Light-emitting diodes are special diodes that emit visible lights when current passes through, causing electrons and holes to recombine. 

We prefer these lights to conventional lights (incandescent and fluorescent) thanks to their high energy efficiency converting at least 90% of the input energy into light.

Funny enough, they still produce more light after consuming less power than conventional options. 

Moreover, they’re flexible and versatile, thus allowing for easy installation in different settings. You can easily cut them into different lengths, bend them around irregular surfaces, and stick them to different areas. 

Surprisingly, you can access LED strip lights in various colors, like single-color and RGB options, to customize different color combinations.

Modern LED lights even provide control features like smartphone apps that allow you to change color or adjust brightness. 

Some common LED strip light applications include: 

  • Creating ambient lighting
  • Offering functional lighting
  • Enhancing interior decor
  • Accentuate architectural features

Sticking LED Lights on A Wall Without Damaging Paint

A person installing LED strip light

(A person installing LED strip light)

You can choose any of the below approaches to stick your LED strip lights on any wall without damaging the paint.

Adhesive Hooks/Clips 

Adhesive hooks and clips are reliable for sticking LED lights on any wall without damaging paint. First, install the adhesive strips on the clips at the back of your LED strip light and then mount them on your desired surface.

However, the hooks you choose should match the size and weight of the strip lights. 

Transparent Mounting Tape

You can also apply transparent mounting tape to support almost any painted surface. This option involves cutting the tape into smaller sections and sticking them at the back of your LED strip lights.

Finally, firmly press the LED strip onto your wall for a strong yet gentle attachment. 

Velcro Strips

Velcro strips provide a hook-and-loop fastening system that offers a secure attachment while allowing an easier removal option.

To use this option, fix one side of the velcro strip to your LED strip light and the other to the wall surface. However, take caution not to damage the LED strip lights. 

Removable Adhesive Putty

Interior design with modern lights

(Interior design with modern lights)

This option is otherwise known as mounting or poster putty, and we mainly use it for lightweight or small LED strip lights.

With this approach, you just place some putty into small balls at the LED light’s backside. 

Next, press the strip lights with adhesive putty to the wall and allow some time for strong adhesion. As a result, you’ll achieve a damage-free and permanent solution. 

Magnetic Strips

Some LED strip lights come with attached magnetic backing or pre-designed magnetic strips.

Therefore, you can just stick a magnetic strip on your wall and lay the strip light over it. You’ll get a firm and secure connection as though they’re two magnets connected. 

Hanging LED Lights Without Adhesives

Modern kitchen with LED strip lights

(Modern kitchen with LED strip lights)

We have several alternatives to using adhesives regarding hanging LED strip lights, as we’ll highlight below.

Tension Rods

We use tension when we want LED strip lights to hang between two structures, especially walls. With this option, you fix the tension rod between your desired points and then attach LED strip lights. 

Rails or Curtain Rods

You can attach LED strip lights if you have rails or curtain rods in your home. Just employ small clips and hooks to hold the strip lights in place on the rods. We recommend this solution to create a straight LED light line. 

Command Hooks

Another worthwhile option is command hooks which are adhesive-based solutions. They offer the best results if you match the command hooks with the LED strip weight.

Moreover, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions when attaching the hooks to a surface and then hanging the LEDs on it.

Similarly, follow the removal guidelines to remove the strips from your surface without damaging the paint. 

Wire or String

This option involves attaching hooks on your intended surface and attaching a string or wire to them.

Fasten the wire/string, then attach your LED strip lights to the string. With this approach, you can achieve a customizable and creative design. 

Cable Clips

We also have small clips that hold wires/cables in place, and they come with adhesive backing, although with an option of securing with small screws.

You just need to regularly attach the cable clips to your desired surface and clip the strip light on them. 

What Makes LED Lights To Damage Paint? 

Yellow paint peeling off

(Yellow paint peeling off)

Generally, LED lights will not damage, but we have installation-related factors that can cause your paint to damage. 

Adhesive residue: After using adhesive-based mounting options like clips and tapes, they might leave some residue on the surface. If you use low-quality adhesives or remove them improperly, it results in a sticky adhesive that is difficult to clean. 

Removal technique: If you want your wall to remain intact even after removing the LED strip light, you should do it with maximum care. Most adhesives come with proper removal instructions that you must abide by to remove the LED lights successfully. 

Poor adhesion: If you employ a weak adhesive or a solution that isn’t perfect for your surface, the strip lights might fall off. And when the lights fall off, they might carry along some paint, thus damaging your wall. 

Heat generation: Although LED strip doesn’t generate much heat like conventional options, we still have high-power LEDs emitting heat. And in the absence of heat management systems or proximity to the wall, the heat from these LEDs might cause paint discolorization or peeling. 

Electrical wiring: If you install the electrical wiring improperly, you might damage the wall and, in the process, affect the paint. 


Do LED lights damage paint?

Yes and No! Under normal conditions, LED strip lights will never interfere with your wall paint. However, as soon as you interfere with LED strip light removal or use low-quality adhesives, you’ll notice some damage to your wall paint. The only solution would be installing and removing LED strip lights per the manufacturer’s guidelines. 

Do LED lights damaged wood? 

No! LED lights emit less heat than fluorescent and incandescent lights, which won’t be enough to damage wood. And to further limit the effect of LED lights on heat, avoid direct contact with wood, employ proper heat management systems, avoid harsh adhesives, and apply appropriate mounting techniques. 

Final Remarks

LED strip lights are versatile; you can install them on almost every surface. The standard options for sticking LED strips to a surface include using magnetic strips, adhesive hooks, and velcro strips. Moreover, removable adhesive putty, tension, and transparent mounting tape are still available. 

And if you’d like to hang LED lights without adhesives, we recommend tension rods, cable clips, and command hooks.