How to Wire LED Strip Lights(Diagram Included)

how to wire led strip lights

LED strip lights are becoming increasingly popular in a variety of settings. Many people enjoy the modern look and feel that they create, as well as the fact that they are relatively easy to install. This article will detail how to wire various types of LED strips, including single color, tunable white, RGB, RGBW, RGBCCT, and addressable LED strips.

To better understand how to wire, we need to learn about voltage drop and parallel connection first.

Voltage drop

The LED strip voltage drop means that the PCB and wires will draw voltage, causing the part of the LED strip near the power supply to be brighter than the end. The brightness inconsistency caused by the voltage drop is something we need to avoid.

We can avoid the voltage drop problem by connecting multiple LED strips to the power supply in parallel rather than serially. 

Alternatively, we can use ultra-long constant current LED strips.
For more information on voltage drop, please read What is LED strip voltage drop?

Parallel connection

The most common way to avoid voltage drop problems is to connect multiple LED strips in parallel to a power supply, controller, or amplifier.

led strip parallel connection
led strip parallel connection

Another way is to connect both ends of the LED  strip to the same power source, controller, or amplifier.

led strip both end connection
led strip both end connection

Be sure NOT to connect multiple strips in series to a power supply, controller, or amplifier.

led strip serial connection
led strip serial connection

PWM amplifier

All LED controllers output a PWM signal. If an LED controller does not output enough power, a PWM amplifier can increase the PWM power, thus allowing the LED controller to drive a sufficient number of LED strips.

How to wire single color LED strip lights

The single color or mono  LED strip light is the simplest. It only has two wires and can only emit light of a specific color.

single color led strip light
single color led strip light

Wring single color LED strip lights with non dimmable LED drivers

The most common is a single-color LED strip connected to a non-dimmable power source with no controller.

Please note that the power of the total LED strip lights should not exceed 80% of the power supply power, which is the principle of 80% of the power supply power.

led strip parallel connection
led strip parallel connection

Wring single color LED strip lights with dimmable LED drivers

Sometimes, we need to adjust the brightness of the LED strip. So we need to connect the single-color LED strip with the dimmable power supply.

The most common dimming methods are 0-10V, Triac, and DALI.

0-10V dimmable LED driver connection diagram

single color led strip 0 10v connection diagram
single color led strip 0 10v connection diagram

Triac dimmable LED driver connection diagram

single color led strip triac connection diagram
single color led strip triac connection diagram

DALI dimmable LED driver connection diagram

single color led strip dali connection diagram
single color led strip dali connection diagram

Wring single color LED strip lights with LED controllers

In addition, the single-color LED strip light can also be connected to the controller to adjust the brightness.

Without PWM amplifier

When you connect a small number of LED strips with an LED controller, an LED amplifier is not necessary.

single color led strip controller connection diagram without amplifier
single color led strip controller connection diagram without amplifier

With PWM amplifier

For large lighting projects, many LED strips are required. LED amplifiers are needed when many LED strips are connected to the controller.

single color led strip controller connection diagram with amplifier
single color led strip controller connection diagram with amplifier

Wring single color LED strip lights with DMX512 decoder

single color led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram
single color led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram

How to wire tunable white LED strip lights

Tunable white LED strip light, also called CCT adjustable LED strip light, usually has three wires and two different color temperature  LEDs. You can adjust the brightness of two different CCT LEDs to change the mixed CCT.

tunable white led strip light
tunable white led strip light

Wring tunable white LED strip lights with dimmable LED drivers

In most cases, dimmable power supplies can only be used to adjust the brightness of single-color LED strips.

However, DALI adds the DT8 protocol to support tunable white, RGB, RGBW, and RGBCCT LED strip lights.

DALI  DT8 tunable white LED driver

tunable white dt8 dali connection diagram
tunable white dt8 dali connection diagram

Wring tunable white LED strip lights with LED controllers

Only a tunable white LED controller is required for a small number of adjustable color temperature LED strips. If the number is large, then a PWM amplifier is needed.

Without PWM amplifier

tunable white controller connection without amplifier diagram
tunable white controller connection without amplifier diagram

With PWM amplifier

tunable white controller connection with amplifier diagram
tunable white controller connection with amplifier diagram

Wring tunable white LED strip lights with DMX512 decoder

Generally, there is no dedicated DMX512 decoder (2 channels output) for adjustable color temperature LED strips.

But we can use the 3-channel or 4-channel output DMX512 decoder to control the adjustable color temperature LED strip.

tunable white dmx512 decoder connection diagram
tunable white dmx512 decoder connection diagram

Two wires tunable white LED strip lights

There is also a 2-wire adjustable color temperature LED strip.

There is also a 2-wire adjustable color temperature LED strip. The 2-wire color temperature LED strip can be made narrower for some narrow places.

For more details, please click here.

2-wire tunable LED strip requires the unique tunable white LED controller.

2 wire tunable white led strip connection diagram
2 wire tunable white led strip connection diagram

How to wire RGB LED strip lights

RGB LED strip has four wires, which are common anode, R, G, and B.

RGB LED strips are mainly used with LED controllers but can also be used with DALI DT8 dimmable drivers.

rgb led strip light
rgb led strip light

Wring RGB LED strip lights with dimmable LED drivers

DALI  DT8 RGB LED driver

rgb led strip dali dt8 connection diagram
rgb led strip dali dt8 connection diagram

Wring RGB LED strip lights with LED controllers

Without PWM amplifier

rgb led strip controller connection without amplifier diagram
rgb led strip controller connection without amplifier diagram

With PWM amplifier

rgb led strip controller connection with amplifier diagram
rgb led strip controller connection with amplifier diagram

Wring RGB LED strip lights with DMX512 decoder

rgb led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram
rgb led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram

How to wire RGBW LED strip lights

rgbw led strip light
rgbw led strip light

Wring RGBW LED strip lights with dimmable LED drivers

DALI  DT8 RGBW LED driver

rgbw led strip dali dt8 connection diagram
rgbw led strip dali dt8 connection diagram

Wring RGBW LED strip lights with LED controllers

Without PWM amplifier

rgbw led strip controller without amplifier connection diagram
rgbw led strip controller without amplifier connection diagram

With PWM amplifier

rgbw led strip controller with amplifier connection diagram
rgbw led strip controller with amplifier connection diagram

Wring RGBW LED strip lights with DMX512 decoder

rgbw led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram
rgbw led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram

How to wire RGBCCT LED strip lights

rgbcct led strip light
rgbcct led strip light

Wring RGBW LED strip lights with dimmable LED drivers

DALI  DT8 RGBW LED driver

rgbcct led strip dali dt8 connection diagram
rgbcct led strip dali dt8 connection diagram

Wring RGBW LED strip lights with LED controllers

Without PWM amplifier

rgbcct led strip controller without amplifier connection diagram
rgbcct led strip controller without amplifier connection diagram

With PWM amplifier

rgbcct led strip controller with amplifier connection diagram
rgbcct led strip controller with amplifier connection diagram

Wring RGBW LED strip lights with DMX512 decoder

rgbcct led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram
rgbcct led strip dmx512 decoder connection diagram

How to wire addressable LED strip lights

Individual addressable led strip, also called digital led strip, pixel led strip, magic led strip, or dream color led strip, is a led strip with control ICs that allow you to control individual LEDs or groups of LEDs. You can control a specific part of the led strip, which is why it is called ‘addressable’. 
For more information, you can read The Ultimate Guide To Addressable LED Strip.

How to wire SPI addressable LED strip lights

The Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) is a synchronous serial communication interface specification used for short-distance communication, primarily in embedded systems. The interface was developed by Motorola in the mid-1980s and has become a de facto standard. Typical applications include Secure Digital cards and liquid crystal displays.

The SPI addressable led strip is an LED strip that receives SPI signals directly, and changes the color and brightness of the light according to the signal.

spi addressable led strip light
spi addressable led strip light

SPI addressable LED strip lights with data channel only

spi addressable led strip with data wire only connection diagram
spi addressable led strip with data wire only connection diagram

SPI addressable LED strip lights with data and clock channels

spi addressable led strip with data and clock wire connection diagram
spi addressable led strip with data and clock wire connection diagram

SPI addressable LED strip lights with data and backup data channels

spi addressable led strip with data and backup data wire connection diagram
spi addressable led strip with data and backup data wire connection diagram

How to wire DMX512 addressable LED strip lights

The DMX512 addressable led strip is an LED strip that receives DMX512 signals directly, without a DMX512 decoder, and changes the color and brightness of the light according to the signal.

dmx512 addressable led strip light
dmx512 addressable led strip light

Before using the DMX512 addressable LED strip, you need to set the DMX512 address to the LED strip, and this operation only needs to be done once.

dmx512 led strip wiring diagram
dmx512 led strip wiring diagram

You can download the dmx512 led strip wiring diagram PDF version.

DMX512 address setting

FAQs

RGB LED light with 4 wires, black, red, green, and blue. The black wire is the positive pole, and red, green, and blue are the negative pole, corresponding to the LED’s red, green, and blue light.

Connect multiple LED strips to the power supply in parallel to avoid voltage drop issues.

You can connect multiple LED strips together, but the length of the series should not exceed 5 meters. If the length of the LED strips in series exceeds 5 meters, both ends need to be connected to the power supply to avoid voltage drop problems. At the same time, it is necessary to ensure that the total LED strip’s power does not exceed 80% of the power supply.

You can connect as many LED strips as you want to a power supply, but you need to connect them in parallel and ensure that the total power of the LED strips does not exceed 80% of the power.

Connecting the LED strips in parallel to the power supply is better, avoiding voltage drop issues.

You can hardwire the LED strips, but connectors are recommended for future maintenance.

You can connect multiple LED strips to a single power supply via connectors or hard-wiring.

LED light strips are generally low-voltage constant voltage 12V or 24V input, so you need a constant voltage output of 12V or 24V power supply.

No, transformers are only required for LED strips with low voltage input. For high-voltage LED strips, it can be directly connected to the mains, 110Vac or 220Vac.

Do not wire low-voltage LED strips to the wall switch. Because the voltage output by the wall switch is 110Vac or 220Vac, this will destroy the low-voltage LED strip. But you can connect the high-voltage LED strip to the wall switch.

The tunable white LED strip has 3 wires: brown, white, and yellow. The brown wire is the positive pole of the led strip, and the white and yellow are the negative pole of the led strip, corresponding to white light and warm white light, respectively.

A single-color LED strip light has 2 wires, usually red and black, corresponding to positive and negative.

Conclusion

I believe that after reading this article, you already have an understanding of how to wire different kinds of LED strip lights.

LEDYi is a factory specializing in producing high-quality customized LED strips and LED neon lights. We were founded in 2010 and now have a modern dust-free workshop of more than 5,000 square meters, more than 200 employees, and an R&D team of 15 members.

If you have questions, we are always here to help you.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi kindly let me know if the distance will affect the LED strip . so do you confirm that we should use a wiring gauge (diameter ) of 1.5 mm? to avoid the unwanted effect or dimming ?and what is the permissinable distnce for wiring gage of 0.5mm?
    Thanks

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