Often, you will use more than one light strip to create a cool effect in your home. You may want to cover a large area, such as running LED strips along the underside of all your kitchen cabinets. If these strips are in the same area, you might want to control them with a single remote.
You can control multiple strip lights with only one remote. If each LED strip has its own controller, you can sync all the controllers with one remote. It is also possible to connect more than one strip to one controller, but there is a limit. Some remotes are better at controlling multiple strips.
You have several options when connecting a light strip to a remote. These depend on the type of remote you are using, as well as how your strips are connected to a controller. In this blog post, I explore some basic methods you can use to link your LED strips to a single remote. I also discuss some problems you may encounter, and how these can be overcome.
- How To Control Multiple LED Strips With A Single Remote
- Make sure you have the right equipment
- Connecting multiple light strips to a single-zone remote
- Check the product manual to see how your specific strip should be synced.
- Connecting multiple light strips to a multiple-zone remote
- Connecting several smart light strips to your phone
- Multiple lights with one receiver or power source
- Place light strips’ receivers near each other
- IR vs RF Remote Controllers For Strip Lights
- Stick To LED Lights Strips And Remotes From The Same Brand
- Can I Control One LED Strip With Multiple Remotes?
- Why Is My LED Strip Remote Not Working?
- Connecting Your Light Strips To Your Phone Using Wi-Fi Or Bluetooth
- Why Don’t My Strip Lights Connect To Wi-Fi?
- Why Don’t My Strip Lights Pair With Bluetooth?
- Home Streamliner’s Take:
How To Control Multiple LED Strips With A Single Remote
Make sure you have the right equipment
It is important to understand how an LED light strip is controlled. There are a few parts that you need along with the strip.
Firstly, the strip must be connected to a power source. Usually, this is via an electrical socket. You can also use batteries, but LED light strips (especially the color ones) use quite a bit of power. So chances are that you will have to replace your batteries quite often.
Secondly, your light strip has a receiver attached to it. It picks up a signal from your remote or phone and adjusts the lighting accordingly. The receiver is sometimes referred to as the driver or the controller.
In white light strips, the controller can only turn the lights on or off, or control their brightness. In color light strips, the controller can also change the colors of the strip.
Thirdly, if you want to control the strip remotely, you will need a remote. Smart light strips can also be controlled using an app on your phone. In this case, the phone acts as the remote control. Most LED strips come with a remote control. If they are app-controlled, there may not be a remote.
Fourthly, some smart strip lights require a hub to function. The strip lights connect to the hub, which connects them to your phone.
You must buy the right strip light for what you want to use it for. For example, if you want one single strip in your home, make sure you don’t buy a strip that requires a $200 hub. But if you already have a hub that controls other smart devices in your home, get a strip that can also connect to the hub.
Connecting multiple light strips to a single-zone remote
Single zone remotes can only control one zone at a time. However, you can add more than one light strip to this zone.
This will differ slightly from brand to brand. But in most cases, a light strip is synced to the remote by holding a button on the remote for a few seconds.
For example, to sync the Monster IlluminEssence Strip to its remote you have to hold the ‘S up’ button.
Some receivers have a “learn” button which you need to press first. Then you need to press a button on the remote to create the connection.
Check the product manual to see how your specific strip should be synced.
To control a second light strip to the remote, you simply sync it to the remote as well. Once both strips are synced to the remote, the remote can be used to control them both.
If you switch on the lights on the remote, both light strips will turn on. But the remote must be in the range of the receiver of both light strips.
Take note that many remotes have a limit of how many amps they can control per channel. So there may be a limit to how many lights you can connect to a single-zone remote.
Connecting multiple light strips to a multiple-zone remote
Multiple zone remotes allow you to connect many lights strips to it. It can also control the strips separately, unlike a single-zone remote.
For example, an 8-zone remote can control 8 different zones. It has buttons with the numbers 1 to 8 on it. Pressing a numbered button selects a zone to control.
Each LED light strip will have its own power source and its own receiver.
Once again, check the manual of your specific light strips to see how to sync a strip to a remote.
With multiple-zone remotes, you can connect one light strip to each zone. You do this by syncing each strip to an individual number button on the remote.
You can also connect several light strips to one zone on the remote. For example, the receiver may have a “learn” button on it. You can press the learn button of multiple receivers quickly after each other. Then you can press one numbered button on the remote. All the strips will be connected to one zone. If you do anything to that zone, like turning the lights on or off or changing colors, all the strips will respond.
On a multiple-zone remote, you can also control several zones together. You need to press the numbers of several zones quickly after each other to select them as a group.
Find more nifty ways to use Group Control for your Smart Strip Lights from this insightful article we wrote.
Connecting several smart light strips to your phone
If you have smart light strips, they can be connected to your phone via an app.
Each light strip (with its own controller) must be connected to the app as an individual light.
Multiple lights with one receiver or power source
There is another way to control multiple strip lights with one remote. You can have one power source or receiver for several strips.
Many smart light strips can be bought with extensions. These can be clipped together using connectors. Only one power source is needed, and one controller controls all the strips in the extension.
However, there is a limit to how many lights you can connect in series. In most cases, you can connect up to 10m of strip lights. If you only need this length, you can control these lights together.
There is another way in which you can add even more strip lights to a single power source and controller. You can connect the lights in parallel. You can use a splitter to achieve this. A remote or your phone will connect to one controller and control all the lights attached to it.
Place light strips’ receivers near each other
A remote control needs to be able to communicate with the receivers on your lights strips. Each receiver has a range in which it can pick up the signal from the remote.
If you have many light strips with their receivers, try to place the receivers near each other. This increases the chances of the remote control controlling the light strips together.
Otherwise, you might press the button to turn on your lights and only two out of three strips respond. When you then bring the remote closer to the third strip’s receiver and turn it on, one of the others may turn off again.
It also depends on if you use an IR or RF remote, or if you have a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.
IR vs RF Remote Controllers For Strip Lights
When you want to control more than one strip light with one remote, an RF remote control is probably better. RF stands for radiofrequency. This type of remote has the benefit that it does not need to be pointed directly at your light strip receiver.
IR stands for infrared. These remotes usually have a shorter range than RF remotes. You also have to point them directly at the receiver.
If you want to switch on multiple different light strips, you want to avoid having to point at each receiver. You want to press one button and turn on all the lights. RF remotes increase your chances of being able to do this.
Stick To LED Lights Strips And Remotes From The Same Brand
When you want to control multiple LED strips with a single remote, you will be better off using the same brand.
The best option is to use the same brand for your strips and your remote.
In some cases, the remote from a specific brand may be very expensive, or out of stock. In this case, try to use LED light strips from the same brand. You can then use a remote control from a different brand.
The more brands and types of strips and remotes you use together, the more problems you will have.
Can I Control One LED Strip With Multiple Remotes?
It is possible to connect an LED light strip to more than one remote. You simply need to sync the strip to both remotes. Controllers usually remember an LED light strip’s last settings. If you are using multiple remotes to control a strip, the remote you used last will decide on the LEDs’ settings.
This is practical if each member of your family has a remote to your lights, for example.
Why Is My LED Strip Remote Not Working?
Here are several possible reasons why your LED strip remote may not be working:
- The battery may be flat.
Try to replace the battery and see if that helps.
- If the remote is new, there may be an insulation label placed underneath the battery.
This strip helps to preserve the battery’s life. Remove the strip and see if the remote works.
- The battery may not be in the right position.
Check that the battery slots perfectly into its slot in the remote.
- Your remote may be too far away from the receiver.
This is often a problem with cheap remotes and many IR remote models. Move closer to the receiver and point your remote directly at it to see if it works.
Connecting Your Light Strips To Your Phone Using Wi-Fi Or Bluetooth
If your light strip is connected to an app on your phone, it will use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections are generally more reliable than RF or IR connections.
A connection via Wi-Fi allows you to control your lights from further away than Bluetooth. Product descriptions include whether a smart light strip connects via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Make sure you select the correct one when making a purchase.
If you are struggling to connect your strips to your phone, here are some possible solutions:
Why Don’t My Strip Lights Connect To Wi-Fi?
Smart light strips may not connect to your phone if your Wi-Fi network is set to 5GHz. Your strips may also be too far away from your router to create a connection. You may have entered your Wi-Fi password incorrectly in your app. Your router may have a firewall. Here are some other possible reasons:
1. Your Wi-Fi network may not be set to 2.4GHz.
Most smart devices, including most smart light strips, require a 2.4GHz network to connect. Most routers support a 5 GHz and a 2.4 GHz network, so make sure that your router is set to a 2.4 GHz network.
2. Your light strip, phone, and router may be too far apart.
To connect your light strip to your Wi-Fi connection, it needs to be quite close to your router and your phone. If the distance is too great, bring your light strip closer to your router and phone.
If your Wi-Fi connection is too weak, you may need a booster to increase coverage throughout your home.
3. You may have entered the wrong password.
When entering your Wi-Fi password in your smart app, make sure you don’t make a mistake. Pay attention to capital letters.
Some apps don’t allow you to enter special symbols, so try to use a Wi-Fi password that has only numbers and letters.
Some apps also have a password limit length, so try a shorter password if all else fails.
4. Your app may be out-of-date
Try updating your smart app if there is an update available.
5. Your router may have a limited number of devices
Your router may have reached the limit of how many devices you can connect to it. You may have to disconnect some devices. If some devices can be used on the 5GHz network, connect them to that network instead. This will create space on the 2.4GHz network for your smart strip light.
6. Your router may have a MAC address filter
Such a filter will block the strip light from connecting. Remove the device from the MAC filter list and try connecting it again.
If you are still struggling to connect your smart light strip to your Wi-Fi, you can also try these methods:
- Delete the strip from your app (if it’s already connected) and unplug it for 10 minutes. Then reset the strip light and try to re-connect it.
- Turn off your router for 10 minutes and then try again.
Why Don’t My Strip Lights Pair With Bluetooth?
When your smart strip lights don’t pair with Bluetooth, there may be a problem with your phone’s connection. Possibly, Bluetooth is not on for your app, or the app can’t access your location. Resetting your strip lights or simply unplugging them for 10 minutes may also help. Some other tips are:
1. Try rebooting your phone.
Sometimes turning your phone off and on again helps to re-establish the connection.
2. Update your smart app
Connection issues are often fixed in new versions of the apps used to control smart light strips. Update your app to see if that helps.
3. Check your app settings
To connect your smart light strip to your app via Bluetooth, your settings in the app need to be right. Make sure you have “Bluetooth” as ON for the app. Also, make sure that the app can access your location.
Home Streamliner’s Take:
There is a constant improvement in smart lighting technology. The latest technology is easy to use and very comprehensive.
So if you can buy a smart light strip, I would suggest it over a non-smart light strip. These smart light strips are easier to control with your phone. Generally, connections are also more stable. And you can group smart light strips in smart apps. So you don’t have to worry about syncing light to remote controls.
But you may already have many LED light strips controlled by a remote. Replacing them with smart light strips may be a waste. In this case, I hope this article was helpful to you.
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