The first step to getting your LED strips to light up is to figure out how you’ll provide them with the right power input. Depending on where you got your LED strip and power supply from, you might have to follow a different setup method, but we will discuss some common setups.
To connect LED strips to a power supply, you first need to make sure that the power supply has the right LED strip voltage and power wattage. Then, your power source will determine how you can connect the LED strip. For example, if you have a plug-in power supply, you just need to plug it into a socket to power the LED. And if you have a hard-wired power supply, you can connect bare wires or use a male screw-in plug.
If you’re confused, don’t worry. This article discusses the available power supply options and the connections you need to make to light up the LED.
Before You Start
When starting any LED strip project, you first need to determine how you’ll provide power. This will determine whether the LED lights will work as they should or if they’ll malfunction or flicker.
And to figure that out, you need to understand the two aspects important for LED power. First, you need to see the available power supply options, and second, understand how you can use the LED accessories to make connections.
LED strips are usually 12V or 24V. This should help you figure out your power options.
Choosing the Right Power Supply
Power supplies for LED strip lights are unique in that they step down the voltage and convert the current from the mains AC to DC. Because of this, the power supply is known by many names, like an LED driver or a transformer.
Choosing the right power supply is very important. This is why you need to consider two things.
LED Strip Voltage
The LED voltage will help determine the power supply that will suit you. This is usually mentioned in the product description or the product photo. As mentioned earlier, it’s generally 12-24V. Once you know the voltage, you can ensure that your power supply is sufficient. So, for instance, if you have a 12V LED strip, your power supply should also be 12V.
Your LED strip’s power wattage will also be mentioned in the product description, and you can use this to determine the strip’s amperage. Once you have both the figures, you can determine if you have a compatible power supply.
The power supply’s amperage and wattage can be slightly higher, but the voltage should be the same. This is because the power supply can adjust the amount of power your LED strip needs, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally overloading the LED lights.
However, make sure you don’t use a power supply whose power rating is less than what you need for the LED strips. Doing so will only result in faulty connections and poor lightning.
How To Connect LED Strip Lights to a Power Supply
Connecting an LED strip to a power supply is relatively easy and depends on your power source.
For example, if you have a plug-in power supply with a male 2.1mm point connection, you just need to plug it into a socket to power up the LED strip.
Most LED strips have a 2.1mm female connection point that ensures a seamless connection. So all you have to do is plug the LED strip into the power supply (plugged-in), and your LED light will start to work.
However, the connection will be slightly different if you have a hardwired power supply. In this case, you have two options.
- If your LED strip has a 2.1mm female plug, you can get a male 2.1mm screw-in plug and connect it to the power supply.
- You can remove the plug on the LED strip and work with the bare wires. In this case, you can use wire nuts to connect the wires to the power supply.
Meanwhile, you will need an LED strip splitter if you use numerous LED strips with one power source. And all you need to do is connect the strip to the LED splitter’s ends and attach the female connector to the power supply’s male connector. Doing so will ensure even power distribution, and all your lights will function as they should.
As you have seen, connecting the LED strip light to the power supply isn’t tricky. You must be mindful of the power supply you should get and the connections you should make. Once you find the ideal power supply and make the right connections, your LED strip will work without fluctuating or malfunctioning.