LED Strip Lights Not Working and How To Fix Them

Sometimes you may find that your LED strip lights are not working as you expect. And LED lights are very durable, with some lasting for as long as 65,000 hours of service or more. 

Therefore, when a problem arises, inspecting and seeing where the problem is is essential. Once you do so, evaluate its nature and take the necessary steps to correct it. 

Today’s guide explains why your LED strip lights are not working and what’s causing the faults. Additionally, it covers possible solutions to LED strip light issues.  

Things Causing An LED Strip Light To Stop Working?

Soldering contacts onto an LED strip

(Soldering contacts onto an LED strip)

As much as LED strip lights are durable, they too stop working for several reasons, including:

Wrong Power Source

Powering your LED lights with a higher voltage than needed will damage them.

For example, you will damage them if you power 12V LED strips with a 24V power source.

Consequently, ensure you use the right power source to increase their lifespans. 

Issues With the Power Grid

Your LEDs may stop working if there’s a voltage spike or power surge in the grid.

Alternatively, you may have many devices relying on a single power source hence little power to operate your LED strips.

In this case, the strip is still fine; you only have to turn off power-intensive devices you don’t require. 

Low-quality Materials

Sometimes, your LEDs may develop issues with the solders and loose connections resulting from poor manufacturing processes. When you buy low-quality LEDs, expect them to fail without warning. 

Loose Connections

A common reason why LEDs fail is that there’s a loose connection either at the power supply end or within the strip.

Moreover, you may find that the -ve and +ve terminals touch hence short-circuiting your LED strip.  

Common Problems with LED Lights 

A closeup of an LED strip light

(A closeup of an LED strip light)

LEDs are Flashing

LEDs that start flashing following a regular pattern signify power supply issues.

For example, if they turn on for a second, then off for a similar duration, and on again, you are overloading the power supply. 

If your 5-meter LED strip draws 3 watts per meter, the total power you must supply sums up to 15 watts.

When you supply it with 10 watts, the LED strip goes into an overload protection mode.

In other words, it will turn on and off since the power supply is insufficient to keep it on. 

A Section of the Strip Is Not Working

Sometimes, a section of an LED strip may not work, whereas the rest is fine.

For instance, if you operate an RGBW strip, turn it to red only for some sections to show blue light. In such a case, it means that one color of the strip is not working. 

Additionally, you can easily prove so by switching the LED strips between the red, green, blue, and white lights. At one point, you will notice that the section remains unlit. 

RGBW LEDs Display Different Color

(An RGB LED strip light)

All the LEDs are working except those of a given color along the entire strip length. In that case, either there is a soldering issue affecting the negative cable of the strip or a poor connection to the receiver.

Additionally, there’s no way all LEDs of a given color don’t work while others operate fine.  

LEDs Develop Excessive Heat

Generally, LEDs develop minimal heat, meaning they are faulty if they get too hot. In this case, you are overpowering the LED strips, like using a 24V power supply to run a 12V LED strip.

Additionally, it may be that the positive and negative connections are touching and short-circuiting your strip.

Led Strip Trips Circuit Breaker

Circuit breakers trip if your faulty power supply or circuit draws excessive current.

In other words, circuit breakers trip to protect your LEDs in a current or voltage spike scenario.

Therefore, if your circuit breaker keeps tripping, the power supply is likely feeding in a high current. 

How To Fix Common LED Problems

Repairing a broken LED strip light

(Repairing a broken LED strip light)

LEDs are Flashing: To solve the issue of LEDs flashing, ensure that you power the strip with enough wattage.

And you can do so by powering it with a larger power source with a capacity that outmatches the demands of the strip.

Additionally, you can add a second power supply to pair with the existing one and increase the wattage. 

A section of the strip is not working: Generally; the best solution is to replace the portion of the LED strip that is not working. Furthermore, you may buy a new strip as they are relatively inexpensive. 

RGBW LEDs display different colors: Inspect the cables between the strip and controller, especially if you have a connector block extender. Afterward, rebuild the system checking each cable for any loose ends. 

LEDs develop excessive heat: Power your LED strip lights with the appropriate power source.

Second, check for any contacts between the positive and negative connectors.

LED strip trips circuit breaker: Know your circuit breaker capacity by removing all devices from the power supply and reconnecting them individually.

You will know its limit once it trips, helping you to understand the faulty strip.


Can you repair your LED strip lights?

It is possible to repair LED strip lights after knowing the issue. Common areas that need repair in LED strip lights are burnt lights, broken connections, and power supply issues.

First, if the LEDs are burnt, you’ll have to desolder the specific component, like a resistor or LED. 

Afterward, replace it with a compatible replacement. Second, check the connections using a continuity tester to see if electric current flows through. 

Suppose it doesn’t look for any issues and resolder them securely. Third, use a different power supply to power your LEDs if you suspect that the power supply is the problem.  

Is it expensive to repair LED strip lights? 

Repairing LED strip lights is generally cheap, but the cost depends on the issue’s nature and the damage’s extent.

For instance, you may spend more if your LED strip has several LEDs that are not working.

Other costs you may incur are at the diagnostics and troubleshooting stage.

You are better off repairing it if you have the right tools and skills. However, your skill level and availability of materials may still make the repair job harder for you.

Regardless, consider the repair costs against the price of a new one, as sometimes the latter is the better option. 

What’s the LED strip light lifespan?

LED strip lights are very durable, with high-quality ones having lifespans of 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

In other words, operating it for 8 hours a day will last you between 17 and 34 years. 

In comparison, fluorescent and incandescent lights have shorter lifespans of 1,000 to 10,000 hours.

However, the lifespan of LED strip lights may be shorter if you subject them to harsh conditions. 

For example, using an LED light lacking waterproof capability in the rain will shorten its life if you don’t provide a cover against rainwater. 


As much as LED strips are durable, they, too, will stop working at some point. In most cases, it may take years before doing so, especially if you maintain them well.

If you are no longer working, don’t worry, as there’s a remedy for any LED issue. 

However, if the repair costs outweigh the replacement charges, we recommend buying a new one.