LED light strips are a fantastic way to decorate your home. They’re even used as outdoor lights by some. The basic design makes it fun and simple to transform a place.
However, you may need to relocate your LED light strips at times. Continue reading to learn how to reuse LED strips.
What are LED Light Strips?
LED light strips are versatile circuit boards packed with LEDs attachable practically anywhere you wish. They add intense lighting in different colors and levels of brightness.
They come in many variants but generally have similar features. Check the table below:
Single or multiple colors
Bendable up to 90 degrees
Dustproof and waterproof
Voltage, lengths, brightness, and more
2 Popular LED Light Strips
It’s fascinating to experiment with LED light strips and see what kinds of designs you can come up with on the wall. Here are two popular types you can consider:
Minger LED Strip Lights
This electric strip will look great in any space of your home. It is water-resistant but used in kitchens and bathrooms. The strip is slightly flexible, allowing for more creative design options. It even comes with remote control.
Phopollo LED Light Strip
More than 65 feet long, this strand may be long enough to cover all four walls depending on the size of your room. The narrow light strip is coiled on a wheel for quick and easy installation.
Because the strip employs LED bulbs, you know it will last a long time. You can pick between multiple colors or just one. Managing the lights is simple due to the provided remote.
5 Easy Steps to Reuse LED Strips
Here are four easy steps to follow if you want to remove your LED light strips and use them somewhere else.
Step 1: Heat the adhesive to remove the LED strip
It’s always best to remove the LED from the power source. This is critical because live electricity is hazardous. However, some say LED strips are an exception. Sometimes the extra glow proves helpful when you want to see the endpoints of the strips.
LED lights are connected to a 120-volt socket despite their low voltage. You won’t get electrocuted when you unplug the lights.
The strong adhesive at the backside of the strip can adhere to a wall or any surface for several years. It won’t readily peel away and can pull off the paint.
If you’ve used the 3M adhesive that goes with your LED strip and placed it on a sturdy surface, the odds of your LED lights destroying the walls are slim.
However, pulling the strip will peel paint if you won’t be mindful. You don’t want to damage any section unless you’re changing the color of your walls. Delicately pull them away instead of ripping off the LED strips.
Heat the tape using a hairdryer before detaching the LED strip to avoid damaging the walls. You can direct the heat exactly where you need it.
Begin moving the hairdryer slowly along the LED strip, using a low to medium setting. You should soften and release all the adhesives without destroying anything.
Keep in mind that too much heat will limit the life of your Lumen. So, ensure you heat your LED strip for not over two minutes.
This will make it easy to remove the strip without peeling any paint from the walls. Maintain the heat until you feel that the strip is becoming easier to pull off.
Start at one side that you can easily access and work your way to the other. It’s difficult to rip the LED strip off from the midsection because it can ruin the wall and the strip.
Step 2: Insert and wiggle a flat or a dull object under the LED strip
Get a flat, thin object, such as a coin. You may also try using a butter knife or an old credit card. Take care not to scratch the paint, regardless of the item you will be using.
Insert the flat object underneath one side of the LED strip. The heat has softened the adhesive, so all you have to do now is work on it.
Once you’ve lifted one end, wiggle the flat object underneath the LED strip until you get to the other side. The back-and-forth stroke will not scrape the surface. It will slowly raise and remove the strip.
While wiggling, gently detach the LED strip from the wall with your other hand. Continue wiggling until the strip is disconnected from the wall.
If you see that the adhesive is particularly stubborn, ask the assistance of a friend to handle the hairdryer and reheat the adhesive as you advance along the LED strip.
As the stickiness breaks, you should gently tug on the strip. Strong pulling can chip the wall and the strip. Do not stop once you’ve started detaching the LED light strip. The adhesive hardens as it cools, and you face the danger of harming the wall.
However, the adhesive can be too tough and won’t come off clean. Accept that you’ll either have to leave the LED strip there or repaint in this instance. Most types, though, have an adhesive layer that can yield when heated even if they are sturdy.
Step 3: Get rid of the sticky residue
LED light strips with a super sticky adhesive can leave your wall with some residue on your after removal. It can scratch the paint or portions of your wall if handled carelessly.
Don’t worry! Your wall isn’t ruined. You only need to give it a thorough cleaning so it won’t trap dirt and dust.
You may use your fingers if there’s just a small amount of residue. Rub the trapped adhesive gently. The residue will ball up, making it easy to remove off the wall. If there’s lots of it, clean it up using a rag or soft sponge with water and mild soap.
You can also try other options below to scrape the residue off.
- Use a moist cloth with lukewarm water to remove sticky residue from vinyl or acrylic surfaces.
- Try a heat gun or blow dryer to heat and soften the adhesive. Heat it for one minute, and then gently scrape away the residue.
- Apply acetone or rubbing alcohol to delicate areas. However, alcohol can ruin the paint, so use caution while using them.
- Using a rag, apply WD-40or citrus-based cleaner to the wall and massage it back and forth until it turns clean.
Step 4: Reapply adhesive
It’s time to put adhesive to the LED strips once again if you’ve decided where you’ll relocate them. After you’ve taken down your LED strips, the idea is to reuse them.
There’s no cause why you couldn’t use them on another spot. The only challenge is making the LED strips since the adhesive layer is removed.
But don’t worry! There is a solution. It’s also simple and inexpensive, so there’s no need to be concerned.
First, if the old adhesives have already shed their stickiness, get rid of them. Whether you want to replace just the portions that have lost their stickiness or the entire LED strip, you must first remove the old adhesives off the surface.
You can’t just use them again because they will not stick tightly like when they were first used.
Simply dampen an old cloth in a citrus-based cleaner or acetone and gently but firmly rub the adhesive. Use caution not to excessive water as this may cause damage to your LEDs, causing them to malfunction.
Allow the back of your LED strips to dry before applying the double-sided tape. After that, you can begin re-sticking your LED strip lights.
Step 5: Re-stick the LED strip lights
You can select from a range of adhesives for re-sticking, including command strips, glue dots, W3 tape, adhesive tapes, and double-sided tapes.
However, the use of adhesives to re-attach the LED light strips is not required. They can damage furniture or walls because of their extreme stickiness. You may also be hesitant to reuse them after failing earlier.
If you think adhesives aren’t right for you, you have a few more options to consider. Mounting putty, hot glue, and cable ties are a few examples.
Mounting putties are a handy alternative to nails, glue, and staples that many people utilize.
Shape the putty into the form you desire before using it to re-stick your LED strips. Mount the strip on the new spot after carefully sticking the putty at the rear of your strips.
You can also try hot glue. It is beneficial since it does not include toxic ingredients. Your strip and the wall will both be protected.
If you go for hot glue, make sure to keep the temperature under control. The LED strip could melt if it’s too hot. Cable ties are a common type of fasteners used for electrical wiring. Amazingly, they can re-stick LED strips instead of adhesives.
Make sure the ties you’ll be using are clear, so they don’t obstruct the strips’ light output.
Flexible LED light strips are becoming increasingly popular in current lighting design globally. They’re very efficient in terms of color choices, brightness, and installation.
You can also move and reuse them in another location if you want to. Simply follow the steps outlined above on how to reuse LED strips.