How to Remove LED Lights From Wall: Everything You Should Know

Is it time for a change, and now you’re wondering how to remove LED lights from wall? Maybe you’re bored with your current lights and want a new look. 

Or you need to move and have to take them off the wall and install them elsewhere. 

No matter the reason, remember that LED strips are very delicate, and it’s all too easy to do it wrong and damage the lights. 

This article explains how you can go about removing LED strips without damaging your walls. 

How to Remove LED Strips Without Damaging Wall

Before you start, keep in mind that you must be extra cautious when removing strip lights from the wall. To safely remove LED strip lights, follow these steps:

First, apply heat to the adhesive: By applying heat, it loosens the adhesive. That way, it’s easier to remove it without damaging the wallpaper or paint. 

You can use a hair dryer to heat along the adhesive, but not for more than two minutes. 

Next, once the adhesive loosens, use a blunt, flat object as a wedge between the strip and the wall. Now peel off the strips gently.

 If you do it abruptly, you will damage both the strips and the wall. 

Other Methods of Removing LED Strip Lights

Interestingly, you can employ other alternative methods when removing strip LED lights from the wall. These include:

  • Solvents: Some solvents you can use are isopropyl alcohol and acetone. Simply put some in a standard spray bottle, then carefully spray the top portion of the adhesive and let it seep in. Note this may take a few minutes. After it’s soaked, you can remove the strip. 
  • Rubbing alcohol: What’s unique about this method is that it works well on latex walls. Simply use cotton balls or a piece of cloth to rub some alcohol over the adhesive. Doing so loosens the adhesive, making it easy to remove. After removing the strip, just ensure you wipe the surface to prevent the thinner from penetrating the wall.
  • A cloth and warm water: In this method, all you need to do is wet the cloth with some warm water, wring it, and then place it on the strip. Let the cloth sit on the adhesive for a few minutes to soften it before you can peel it off.   

Tips for Removing LED Lights Without Removing Paint

The following are some tips to employ to ensure you succeed at removing LED lights without peeling the paint:

  • Disconnect from the power: Before removing the strips, always disconnect the lights from the power. 
  • Apply heat: Use a heat source such as a hairdryer to apply heat onto the strips. Just be careful not to expose the strips to too much heat or for an extended period. Otherwise, it may cause lumen degradation. Two minutes is enough. 
  • Use a plastic scraper: A plastic or metal scraper, such as a butterknife, can help make it easier to remove the loosened adhesive. That said, because of their nature, metal scrapers can easily remove the paint on the wall if you’re not careful. But plastic scrapers are gentler and will not remove paint.  
Plastic scraper

(Caption: Plastic scraper)

  • Please start at the corner: Once the adhesive gets dislodged from the wall, start peeling from the corner. That way, you get to work around the LED strip rather than trying to take it all out at once. Thus, it minimizes the possibility of damaging the paint. 
  • Pull gently: LED strips are very delicate, and you must be gentle when peeling off the loosened strip
  • Clean the surface: After removing the adhesive, clean the surface. To clean, you can use a mild detergent or rubbing alcohol. Alternatively, use a damp cloth to clean and then a dry cloth to dry the surface.  :

Do LED Strips Damage Wall?

While the LED strip lights may not damage your walls, the type of adhesive you use may. 

See, cheap adhesives easily pull off the paint on the wall while removing the strips. Other factors that may contribute to damage to your walls include: 

  • The durability of your paint or wallpaper: If the paint is of poor quality, it’s bound to come off. 
  • How long the strips have been on the wall: The longer the adhesive stays on the wall, the harder it gets to remove it. Likely, it will damage the paint or wallpaper when you’re removing the LED lights.  

Do LED Strips Damage Wallpaper?

Whether or not the LED strip damages your wallpaper largely depends on the type of surface the wallpaper is on.  

For example, you must be careful if it’s bare drywall. This one gets easily damaged, whether it’s painted or wallpapered. 

With such surfaces, the wallpaper merely serves a decorative purpose and is very delicate and tightly glued to the surface. Thus, it can easily tear off.  

On the other hand, wallpaper on a wooden, tiled, or plastic surface doesn’t tear easily. Also, they’re easier to remove. 

Do LED Strips Damage Wooden Surface?

Generally, wooden surfaces are safe when removing LED strip lights. After all, the heat you apply when removing the strips is too low to ignite a fire. 

That said, there are other factors that may cause a fire, for example, faulty wiring, that could cause a spark when removing the strip. 

That’s why it’s essential to ensure the power is off before removing the strips. 

How to Fix Damage Caused When Removing LED Strips  

Sometimes, even with all effort and caution, some damage may occur. Should that happen, here’s how to patch and repair the damaged area:

  • Sand down the affected area: You can use sandpaper to smoothen out rough edges around the damaged area. 
  • Apply filler: Some examples of filler you can apply are a spackling paste (also known as spackle) or drywall. Often, these putties come with specific manufacturer specifications and instructions on usage. Just ensure you give the filler enough time to dry. 
  • Sand the repaired area: Once again, using fine-grit sandpaper, smoothen the surface after the filler has dried properly. When sandpaper the repaired area, it ensures the filler adheres well to the surface. 
Sanding repair area

(Caption: Sanding repair area)

  • Prime the area: Next, apply a primer coat to the damaged area. That way, the paint or wallpaper has something to stick on to. Also, priming ensures the paint achieves a seamless finish.  But like with the filler, ensure the primer dries well before applying the paint or wallpaper. 


Do LED Lights Peel Off Paint? 

In and of themselves, LED strip lights don’t peel off paint. It’s the adhesive used on their backing that’s the culprit. 

Especially, peeling off of paint occurs if the adhesive used is of poor quality. Also, if the lights have stayed on too long. 

Another reason LED lights peel off paint is if you apply too much force when removing the strip.   

How Do You Remove LED Strip Lights From the Wall and Reuse?

To successfully remove LED strip lights from the wall, apply heat to loosen the adhesive. 

Then start removing the strip from one edge gently and patiently. 

You can then apply more adhesive then reattach the strip back. But before reusing, ensure that the surface is clean and dry.


Now you know all about how to remove LED strip lights from the wall without damaging the paint or wallpaper.

 Simply follow the steps outlined above on how to remove the strips and you can’t go wrong. 

Whatever you do, remember to be gentle and careful and don’t overexpose the strips to heat.