The Ultimate Guide To Tape LED Strip Lights

Whether you seek to add an eye-catching display or create an excellent ambiance in your living space, tape LED strip lights are an energy-efficient and cost-effective approach.

For your information, we sometimes refer to these lights as LED ribbons or LED tape lights, a particular type of flexible strips with several small LED lights. 

Surprisingly, LED tape lights receive an adhesive backing to make installation easy. 

Tape LED lights are available in various colors, including single-color and multi-color RGB, which provides room for customization.

This light guarantees that your commercial or residential acquire a new appeal. 

Today’s article discusses LED tape light types and their installation process. Let’s get rolling!

Understanding Tape LED Strip Lights

An electrician mounting a tape LED strip

(An electrician mounting a tape LED strip)

Tape LED strip lights are known as LED ribbon lights and involve mounting small LEDs on an adhesive-backed tape.

 When you compare their performance with incandescent lights, tape LEDs offer energy efficiency, thus presenting a cost-effective approach. 

You’ll find these lights in various lengths, and you can extend them how you like to fit into multiple spaces. 

Moreover, tape LED lights come in different colors, including single-color and multi-color RGB lights, which offers room for customization. 

Types of Tape LED Strip Lights

An LED strip light

(An LED strip light)

We have multiple LED tape light types with unique features and qualities, as we’ll highlight below. 

Single-color LED Lights

These lights can only emit one light color at a time, including blue, green, red, or white. 

Therefore, you can use them for general illumination or a specific purpose, like creating a particular atmosphere. 

Also, these lights offer a uniform and consistent light output; you’ll find them easy to install. 

RGB Strip Lights

An RGB LED strip light

(An RGB LED strip light)

The primary light colors are the RGB lights of red, green, and blue. 

Therefore, this type of light has green, blue, and red LED bulbs that emit individually or together to create the required color spectrum.

 Thus, RGB strip lights offer the best customization options, and we mainly employ them in developing lighting designs and color-changing displays. 

RGBW Strip Lights

For the name, we can tell that RGBW is closely associated with RGB strip lights but have an extra white color element.

 Therefore, they’ll also give you a dedicated white light beside the full spectrum.

 We apply these strip lights where pure white and dynamic color illumination is required. 

Tunable White Strip Lights

As the name suggests, these lights allow you to adjust the light output color temperature. Therefore, you can switch the white light’s warmth and coolness. 

This applies to warm light at 2700k, cool white at 6500k, and anything between. 

We recommend tunable lights where you would like to simulate natural light or develop a unique light mood. 

High-density Lights

We define these lights by their high number of LEDs per unit length (meters). Generally, such an arrangement offers high-intensity and more concentrated light. 

Therefore, you can use tunable lights in applications that require a more pronounced light effect or brighter illumination. 

Waterproof Strip Lights

These are water-resistant strip lights that are designed to resist moisture exposure. 

You’ll be surprised that the lights won’t even damage when you submerge them fully into the water. 

Therefore, we recommend waterproof lights in places exposed to moisture, like bathrooms and the outside environment. 

Smart Strip Lights

When we hear an electronic device is smart, it has extra features that enable it to function without manual control. 

Therefore, smart strip lights are Bluetooth or Wi-Fi enabled to allow you to control everything from a smart home assistant or a smartphone. 

Moreover, you’ll encounter extra features like dimming capabilities, voice control system integration, scheduling, and color-changing modes.

 You’re guaranteed a personalized lighting experience thanks to advanced control features. 

Installing An Tape LED Strip Light

LED strip lighting in different colors

(LED strip lighting in different colors)

The process of installing tape LED strip light is quite straightforward, and you’ll need the following tool:

  • Wet cloth
  • Measuring tape
  • Double-sided adhesive
  • A ladder if you want to install it on the ceiling
  • Scissors

Select The Surface

You can’t just wake up and install tape LED strip lights anywhere since each option has a unique installation surface. 

For example, if you want to improve the brilliance of your kitchen, install LED lights above the cabinets or under the countertops.

 And if you want to add more color to your room, having an RGBW LED light is the way to go. 

Smart LED strip lights should be considered if you seek a cleaner surface when installing LED on the ceiling or wall. 

Measure Your Surface

After settling on the area where you wish to install your tape LED light, you can take measurements. 

And since most LED lights are adjustable, you can customize them to fit different lengths. 

Record the measurements for reference later in the installation process. 

Adjust The Strips

Purchase a strip extension if the installation length is more than the strip. 

While adjusting the strips, avoid connecting the lights at 90 degrees to each other but rather use a flexible connector or make small loops to change direction. 

Moreover, only cut along the market strip marked areas to avoid damage. 

For safety purposes while handling the strip, disconnect it from power while cutting and installing it to avoid permanent damage.

Clean The Surface

After fitting the strips, clean the surface in preparation for LED light installation. 

You just need to wipe the area using a wet cloth. 

Ensure you remove all the debris and oil and then dry the surface. 

Place The Strip Lights

After preparing the surface, peel the backing from the strip light adhesive. 

Press it on the surface and hold it for about ten seconds.

 If ten seconds is not enough, hold until the light firmly sticks to the surface. 

Repeat this process every 6 inches until you finish installing on the whole surface.


Can double-sided tape hold LED strips? 

Yes! You can use double-sided tape to hold your LED strip in place.

 Most LED strips come with adhesive backing, usually, a double-sided tape, to firmly install their LED on ceilings or walls. 

The adhesive binds the strips on the surface, so they should always be clean.

 And if you think an adhesive won’t be strong enough, we recommend mounting clips. 

Do tape LED strip lights get hot? 

It’s a common thing for all sources of light to emit heat. 

However, in the case of LED strip lights, the heat is so little compared to traditional incandescent light to the extent that you won’t feel it. 

Generally, LED strip lights have high energy efficiency, and most of their energy is converted into light. The limited heat emission translates into a longer lifespan. 

Can you just cut tape LED strip lights anywhere? 

No! You can’t just cut LED strips anywhere since they have designated cutting points clearly marked by scissors’ icons or copper pads. 

Therefore, you can use these marked points to trim your strip to your preferred length.

 If you ignore these and cut your strip anywhere, you might damage the circuitry. 

Final Remarks

Very few lighting options can give the eye-catching display or excellent ambiance we find in tape LED strip lights. 

Besides these lights offering energy efficiency, they also come with adhesive-backed tapes to make installation easier.

 If you follow our installation guide above, we guarantee a well-lit space. 

Surprisingly, you’ll have various options, including smart, waterproof, high-density, tunable, and RGBW strip lights. 

Generally, tape LED lights offer better performance than incandescent lights.