Connect LED light strips together from a single power supply is possible with a few simple tricks and very inexpensive tools.
PROFESSIONAL LED strips have multiple advantages when using them as main lighting source. One of our preferred advantages is that we can adapt them to the size of the space that we need to illuminate.
Professional LED strips are those that emit 700 lumens per meter and up.
Have you ever thought that with a traditional lamps this can’t be achieved? In this article we explain how to connect LED light strips together using only 1 power supply (or driver) in one single circuit.
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CONNECT LED LIGHT STRIPS TOGETHER WITH THE 16FT. RULE
First of all, we are going to remind you that in this post we always refer to 24V LED strips with more than 700 lumens per meter, because these LED lights are classified as “professional” LED strips.
The first thing you need to know is that 24V LED strips ALWAYS, ALWAYS ALWAYS needs a power supply or driver.
If you connect a light strip directly to the current you will BURN it.
The drivers are small devices that transform the voltage adapting it to the needs of your LED light strips. Therefore, the purchase and installation of a driver or power supply should always be within your plans when lighting with LED light strips or if you plan to connect LED light strips together (two or more of them) from a single power supply.
The “ideal” is to connect led light strips to one power supply every 16ft. of linear strips.
The reason is because 16ft is usually the maximum limit of a professional LED light strip without losing amperage along the way avoiding any voltage drop.
In simple words: THIS WILL ASSURE THE SAME AMOUNT OF LIGHT THRU THE ENTIRE LED LIGHT STRIP.
The 16ft rule prevents having a lot of light at one end and fewer or none light at the other end of the LED light strips.
Now, what happens when you need to install and connect LED light strips and need more than 16ft. of light having the same light intensity throughout the entire path?
Here’s an easy and inexpensive solution:
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STEP 1: CALCULATE HOW MUCH WATTS YOUR POWER SUPPLY NEEDS
The first thing you have to do, before you connect LED light strips together is to measure exactly how many feets of LED strips you are going to install in a single circuit.
If the measure gives you more than 16ft, and you want to use 1 (one) single power supply in 1 (one) single circuit then you need to calculate the watts in order to know which driver or power supply you’ll need.
How do you do this calculation? Too easy:
When you buy LED light strips, take a good look at how many WATTS (W) PER METER the strip roll has.
For example, if your professional LED strip is 5m roll (16ft) and in the technical information it says that it has 7.2 watts per meter so it means that the entire LED strip has 36.4 watts.
If you are going to install 10 meters (2 rolls of 5 meters) then the sum is: 73 watts.
Always choose a power supply that has at least 15% more capacity than the account you took out.
Therefore, in the case of the above example, you could use a 100W transformer for 2 rolls of LED strips of 5 meters of 7.2 watts per meter.
STEP 2: EXTEND AND CONNECT THE LED LIGHT STRIPS TO THE POWER SUPPLY
From the power supply or driver you can connect as many professional LED light strips as its wattage capacity allows.
You must use two or more 3-way connectors to be able to get new connections to the new LED light strips from the transformer. There are many models of 3-way connectors: you can search for them as “multi branch connector” or “T junction wire connectors”
In case you need the LED light strips far from the power supply because their installation is farther away, you can do it using the normal cable (18) with up to 10 ft (3 m.) of extension.
If you need to install them away more than 10 ft (3 meters) from the power supply then you will need a thicker cable.
The thicker cable will prevent overheating of the conductor and any voltage drop.
For these cases we recommend you consult an electrician.
In case you need to cut one of the LED light strips in this article you will find very helpful information: HOW TO CUT AN LED STRIP LIGHTS AND KEEP THEM LIGHTING