Troubleshooting LED Strip Lights — Blog 1

A bad pin connection also includes a backwards connection or reversed polarity. Typically one side of the strip light carries a positive charge, noted by a single dashed line, and the other side has the negative charge, usually noted with the manufacturer logo. The arrow on your connectors should point to the plus sign on your strip lights. RGB or color-changing LED strip lights are particular susceptible to this reversed polarity problem. If your RGB strip lights won’t change colors try flipping your strip light around and reconnecting it.

Incorrect Power Source – Make sure to double check which power source your lights require. LED strip lights are available in 12 or 24-Volt versions. A 12-volt strip light is typically used for short runs, such as for automotive vehicles or motorcycles, which is how many people are able to skip installing an LED driver and hardwire the lights to a 12-Volt DC battery. 24-volt strip lights are better for slightly longer runs, commonly in homes for under cabinet and staircase lighting or in RVs. Under powering your lights, such as using a 12-Volt driver for 24-Volt strip lights, is likely to cause your lights to flicker, dim, or not light up at all. Vice versa, overpowering your rope lights will make your lights hot to the touch, ultimately causing the wiring to fry and your lights to fail. The driver or transformer’s output voltage must match the input voltage needed by your strip light.

Bonus Tips

What is the maximum run length for LED strip lights?
The maximum run is 16 feet for 12-Volt strip lights. Generally speaking, the max run for 24-Volt strip lights is also 16 feet. Although, you might be able to squeeze out another foot or two of length because of the higher voltage.