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Posted by Doug Root on 28th Jun 2019

LED Strip Lighting: Getting Started in Your Home

If you're looking for a DIY project that can help you to  highlight an area of your home, then consider installing LED strip lights. They're a visually appealing addition to the bar in your basement or the hutch in the dining room. You can easily accomplish the project on your own, as long as you're careful and diligent. Shop for an LED strip light kit at Atlanta Light Bulbs, then check out the following tips.

Pick the Place

Installing LED strip lights is an easy DIY home improvement project. The first step, of course, is to pick out a spot that you want to highlight or illuminate. Typically, homeowners  install LED strips under their cabinets, their home bars and butcher blocks, and along the tops of bookshelves or built-ins. As long as there‚Äôs space for the strip, however, you can choose just about any area. For example, if you have a china cabinet or hutch, then you may want to install lights above each individual shelf to spotlight the items on display. That's why bookshelves are a popular pick, as well. Most people have an idea of their desired location before purchasing a kit. You should, too, so that you can make the most informed choice when you finally buy a lighting strip.

Choose the Perfect Kit

For the most part, LED strip light kits run on 12 volts. Because you have to do the wiring yourself on at-home DIY jobs, you need to ensure that you intend to place the strip in an area that has access to a power connection. Moreover, check to be sure that the connection has enough voltage. Then again, you can also browse the selection of LED strips at Atlanta Light Bulbs to locate a versatile kit. Many of them can also be turned into battery-operated lighting strips. Again, that's something that requires the DIY approach, but you shouldn't have trouble with it. The instructions ought to be fairly clear, and you can find a variety of written tutorials and video demonstrations on the internet.

Bear in mind that LED strip lights come in an array of brightness, color, and wattage. You may want low lights that give off a soft golden glow. No problem. On the other hand, the area where you want to install the LEDs might benefit from bright white lights. There's no shortage of those, either. Going a step further, you can even hook up your lights to a  dimmer switch so that you can control the brightness. LEDs that you can dim are ideal around your home bar. You'll find that these lighting kits are endlessly adaptable. As long as you know how to strip wires and connect them properly, you can customize your lighting kit.

Gather All Your Tools

When DIY enthusiasts run into trouble with installing LED strip lights, it's usually because they've missed a step or don't have the tools they need. Before you begin the installation process, gather all of the tools you need. Lay out each item in front of you to ensure that it's within reach. Preparation is the key to the success of DIY projects. Having everything near at hand will save you hours of frustration as well.

The good news is that you don't need a whole toolbox worth of tools to accomplish the job of installing an LED strip. However, that depends on what you intend to do. For instance, to add a dimmer switch, you'll need additional equipment, including the dimmer itself. Other than that, the job calls for:

  • A 12V power supply
  • A tape measure
  • Sharp scissors
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire nuts
  • Black electrical tape

You may also need solderless connectors that go strip-to-strip, along with a wire extension and hanging strips. Talk to the experts when you make your purchase for helpful advice and tips.

Try a Mock Installation

A mock installation takes things a bit further than simply placing all of the tools you need in front of you. Prepping for the installation of an LED strip light kit involves getting into the kit, as well. Remove all of the components of the kit from the box and unroll the strip of LED lights. While the lights are still uncut, you need to plug them into your power supply, then flip it on so that you can check the brightness of the lights. For this step, you're also checking to make sure that all of the lights in the strip work. That way, you can decide if you need something brighter, want to use a dimmer switch, like the color of the lights, and whether the unit is defective. If the functionality isn't up to par or you need a different style of LED lights, now is the time to pack up the kit and return it. Otherwise, you're good to go.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Measuring twice and cutting once is the golden rule in DIY work. It applies to installing LED strip lights, too. Going back to the point about how adaptable LED strips are, you can cut the strip to fit the space where you want to install it. As long as you're careful with the wiring, you can cautiously cut the strips into several smaller pieces. However, you have to cut them to the proper length, or else the effect will appear uneven and inexpertly done. Measure the area of installation twice, then measure the strip light before you begin to cut. Use a pencil mark, a marker tick, or even a piece of tape to carefully mark the places where you need to cut. Not only does this ensure a seamless installation, but it also guarantees that the strip lights will fit into their niche as cozily as possible.

Atlanta Light Bulbs is here to help you with the task of installing LED strip lights.