do led strip lights need to be plugged in

Do LED Strip Lights Need to be Plugged in?

LED strip lights are more popular now and used by almost everyone. But their users are still confused. Do LED strip lights need to be plugged in?

If you are working with LED strips or want to install them in your workspace or house, you must have knowledge of how to plug in LED strips and why it is needed to plug them in. Also, about the ways to use LED light strips without plugging them.

How Do LED Strips Work?

LED strip lights are also known as Tape Lights. They consist of the number of diodes, depending upon the length of the strip and density of the diodes, that emits light when current passes through them.

If you are considering LED strips that can work without electricity, it’s only your imagination. 

LED strip lights are not some kind of magic, it needs the power to run. So, you need to provide the necessary power to the LED strip lights to glow them.

However, they require less power than other types of lighting strips and ordinary bulbs. They are more efficient technology that can convert 90% of power into light and produce little amount of heat.

Such strips have unique features that make them different from others. Such as, they are flexible, you can bend them vertically at 90°, you can cut them according to the length you need and they are both waterproof and non-waterproof.

They are also preferred because LED strips cost less electricity and save you money.

Can LED Strips Work Without Plug?

LED strip lights can work with or without a plug, but it’s impossible to run them without electricity or a power supply.

But you first need to know when you need to plug in your strip lights and when you can use them without a plug.

If you are installing LED strips permanently or for a long time, then it’s the best choice to plug in. If you use a battery or any other source, you need to recharge or replace them after some time which costs more. So for a long usage, plug in your LED strips.

If you want to install strips temporarily then you don’t need to hang wires, you can choose any other alternate option to use strips without plugging them. 

If you are going to hang the strips at a place where the electrical outlet is not available such as outdoor lighting or if you install LED strips on fabric, then you can use a suitable battery to run LED strips.

LED Strip Lights That Don’t Need To Be Plugged In?

If you want LED strips that don’t need to be plugged in, you can buy battery-powered LED strip lights that are specially designed for batteries and work without an electricity outlet.

But if the battery pack is not available with strips then you can use the suitable battery according to the voltage of LED strips.

The main advantage of using strips that don’t require to be plugged in is that they can be used in the absence of the main power that is supplied in houses. Moreover, they are portable and easy to handle. You can change their location after some time without any difficulty.

If you are willing to try them, choose the chargeable LED strips or batteries so you don’t need to replace them.

How To Power LED Strip Lights?

To power LED strips, you first need the appropriate power supply that matches the voltage of LED strips.

The power supply is named a transformer or LED driver. LED strips need a transformer to get the desired outcome. That’s because the standard power supplied to homes is higher than the need for strips and is AC. Strips required less power DC current. So, a transformer is needed to step down the main power and convert it into DC.

So, you first need to select an appropriate transformer that matches the need for LED strips. Otherwise, an inappropriate power supply can damage LED strips.

After that, follow these steps to connect your light strips to the power source.

  1. Before working, turn off the power source.
  2. Prepare your LED strips. If their length is greater than the required length, you can cut them at the mark of cutting.
  3. Carefully, identify the positive and negative terminals on the strip lights and power supply.
  4. Connect the positive terminal of strips to the positive terminal of the power supply and the negative with the negative terminal of the power supply.
  5. Now plug in your power source into the power socket.
  6. Test the connections whether the strips glow or not.
  7. Secure the connections with electrical tape and enjoy.

Safety Precautions When Plugging in LED Strip Lights

Electricity can be fatal if you are not careful. So, safety precautions are important if you are working with electricity. It will not only be safe for you, but it will also secure your house from any electrical hazards.

Here are some safe measures that can be taken into account while plugging in LED strips.

  1. First, check the voltage compatibility of the power source and light strips. Use the right power supply that meets the specifications of led strip lights.
  2. Verify the polarity of the power source and strips before connecting them. Otherwise, you will damage your strips
  3. Make your connections secure and insulated. Use the electrical tape for proper insulation.
  4. Avoid overloading the circuits. It can cause electrical hazards.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for connections. If you’re not confident then hire the electrician who can do it for you.
  6. Keep the power source and strips away from water if they are not waterproof.
  7. Inspect the power source, strips, and connections regularly. If you find any faults, immediately replace or repair them.

Alternatives to Plugging in LED Strip Lights

There are many ways to use LED light strips without plugging them in. Such methods are beneficial for temporary installations and outdoor installations where power outlets are not available.

Here we will discuss four methods for using LED strips without a plug. All of these are portable and you can use them at different locations. You can choose any of your favorites.

Remember, for each method, you need wires and connectors. So, buy the wires and connectors compatible with your light Strips. Otherwise, it can cause damage.

USB LED Strip Lights

usb led strip lights

USB LED strips are specially designed to be powered via USB. You can use Laptops, Computers, Power Banks, and some Modern TVs as a source for your strips.

This method is beneficial for 5V LED strips. It’s easy to install, you can change their location with the time.

This method is suitable for outdoor lighting only if you connect them to Power banks. Otherwise, you can’t bring your computer, laptop, or TV out of your house just for lighting 

Power Bank

It’s the best method to hang your strip lights on the exterior of houses. Power banks are easily portable and rechargeable.

Their battery life depends on the capacity of the battery and usage.

Moreover, it is the best option in emergency situations, where the power source is unavailable and you need light.

Portable Battery

Portable batteries can also be used with LED strip lights. Some strips of light already have batteries, otherwise, you can power your strips with a battery that is compatible with your strips.

While selecting the battery, check whether its output matches with strips or not.

You can check the power of strips by using the formula:

check power of led strips formula

By this formula, you can easily compare the power of the battery and strips.

Solar Powers

While working with solar power, choose the strip lights that are designed to be powered by solar energy.

This method has many advantages over other methods such as this is energy efficient and costs zero on your electricity bill. Moreover, it requires minimal maintenance over time.

While choosing the solar panels for LED strips, check the current and voltage requirements and select the one that can generate the power suitable for strips.

Solar-powered LED strips have rechargeable batteries. You can recharge them during the day and use them at night.

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