How Do I Install Smart Strip Lights Around Corners?

Smart light strips have many uses, especially in creating an aesthetic in your home. You can stick them under kitchen cabinets and around your TV. You can create different moods in your bedroom or use them as a night light. In this article, I explain which equipment you can use to connect light strips around corners.

Smart strip lights can be installed around corners. You can stick one strip on one wall of the corner and a second strip on the other wall. These two strips can be connected using a corner connector or cable. Some strips can be bent around corners. And there are some other tricks you can try. 

I also discuss which smart light strips can be bent and which can be cut. If you are unsure about the best way to make your smart light strip go around a corner, read on. 

Can I Bend Strip Lights? When to be careful. 

Some smart light strips can be bent easier than others. It depends completely on how thick they are and on their quality. If a light strip is very thick, it will be difficult to bend. It also won’t adhere to the wall well when bent. Thinner strips bend more easily but may tear. Here are some examples.

Note that some of these examples are based on a review by Rachel Murphy at Reviewed.com

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Lightstrip Plus

These are quite difficult to bend. They feel rather thick and are durable, but will not adhere to a surface well when they are bent. 

Govee Wi-Fi RGB LED Strip Lights

This light strip is very thin and easy to bend. You can simply stick it around a corner. But be sure of where you want to stick it. Because it is so thin, the chances are high that it will tear if you try to relocate it later. 

These lights are very thick. This makes them poor contenders for being bent and stuck across a corner. 

Ikea Myrvarv

This light strip is built into a light-diffusing tube. It is not the ideal option for bending because it is so thick. 

If you have a thick smart light strip, or the material feels cheap, don’t worry. Bending is not a prerequisite for connecting light strips around corners. 

In a 2017 study by Statista, only 32% of respondents had ever heard of LED lightstrips by name.

statista.com

How To Connect Two Separate Light Strips At a Corner

You can stick one light strip on one wall of the corner and the other strip on the other wall. Try to get them onto the same level so they are straight. 

Using a connector 

If the lights meet right at the ends of the walls, or right in the corner, they can be connected with an L Shape Connector.

Make sure that you connect the positive ends of the two strips. 

The corner connector may need to be secured onto the wall. But if the adhesive tape on the two strips is strong enough, this might not be necessary. 

These corner connectors are also a great option if you don’t want a visible space between the two strips. 

When choosing a connector, check the following:

  • Make sure that the number of pins on the connector matches the number of terminal pads on the light strip.
  • Make sure that the order of the pins (for example RGB) matches the order of the terminal pads on the light strip.
  • You can usually buy different colors of connectors. If you have a white wall, a white connector will be most inconspicuous.
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The edge of one smart strip light has to be clipped into one end of the connector. The other smart strip light has to be connected to the other end.

Soldering the light strips 

If you don’t have a connector or don’t want to spend $10 on buying one, it is possible to solder the two strips together. You need to solder a connection between each pair of terminal pads at the ends of the light strips. 

I suggest soldering the strips together before sticking them to the wall.

Using a cable connector 

If the lights strips do not extend into the corner, you may need to use a cable connector like the 4 Pin RGB Male and Female Connector Wire Cable(10 Pack) with 10 x Male 4 Pin Plugs for 5050 3528 RGB LED Light Strip

These cables have a connector on each end. One end can be clipped onto one smart light strip and the other end onto the second strip. The cable in the middle connects the two strips and can bend around a corner. If it is an inside corner, you can stick the cable into the corner or secure it with clips. 

Connecting Philips Hue Lightstrips 

If you are using Philips Hue Lightstrips, the Litcessory products will make your life easier. This brand produces connections specifically for the Philips Hue Lightstrips. 

If your strips are too long and are jutting over the corner, you may have to cut them. 

Can I Cut My Smart Strip Lights Shorter?

Smart light strips, except for RGBIC strips, can be cut shorter to fit onto a specific surface. Many have markings to show the best place to cut, but this may result in only one functioning strip. There are ways of reusing the cut ends of a strip, for example by using a Litcessory adaptor.

Please make sure that your light strip is not connected to a power source when you cut it!

Before cutting your smart light strip, think about how you want to use the pieces.

If you have only one light strip for the corner, you will want to use both cut pieces, one for each wall. But because you are connecting them to each other, you don’t need to connect the second half to a new power source.

In this case, do not cut the strip on the cutting marking on the strip. Instead, use a sharp razor blade to remove the plastic around the light strip at the point where you want to cut it. 

You will expose a link of soldered connection points. Carefully cut down the middle of these solder points. This will allow you to extend both cut pieces. 

You can then join the two pieces with a corner connector, cable, or by soldering them. 

You should only cut a strip on the cutting marking (a dotted line) if you don’t need the second piece. 

Using leftover light strip pieces after cutting 

If you want to cut a light strip but not use it to connect around a corner, you can connect both sides to a power source. Then the second half doesn’t go to waste. It can be used elsewhere in your home. 

It is possible to buy a connector with a clip on one side and an exposed wire on the other side. You can use such a connector to make the cut end of the smart strip light usable. You will have to connect the exposed wire to a controller, which is connected to a power source. This will allow you to control the cut end remotely. 

If you are cutting a Philips Hue Lightstrip, you can use a 6-Pin to Cut-End connector from Litcessory to connect it to a second light strip. You will need to attach a connector to one end of each of the two strips you want to join. You will also need a Litcessory Extension Cable. 

Why can’t RGBIC light strips be cut?

RGBIC light strips have an IC chip. This allows each light in the strip to shine in a different color at one time. 

The IC chip is programmed to control the exact number of LED lights as are in one RGBIC strip. If you cut the strip, this will reduce the functionality of the chip. It may even result in the whole strip not working. 

RGBIC light strips do not have cut markings (usually indicated by little scissors) on them. A regular RGB strip light usually has these markings. 

We wrote an insightful article about the 4 Differences Between RGB And RGBIC Strip Lights. If this would interest you feel free to head on over there.

Home Streamliner’s Take:

When reading reviews on Amazon and other e-commerce sites, be careful of DIY tips. 

Very often, descriptions for smart lighting products are very similar on these sites. Even the names are often almost identical. Sometimes only a code distinguishes between the two. 

This means that people often write reviews for the wrong products on a product page. Individuals have spoken about cutting an RGBIC strip without it losing its function, for example. I’m not saying they’re lying. But it is quite easy to write a review for an RGB strip under the product description of an RGBIC strip from the same brand. It’s an honest mistake. 

So take these tips with a pinch of salt. In most cases, the manufacturers’ advice is best when asking DIY questions. 


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HomeStreamliner

This blog aims to share my research and first-hand knowledge in a helpful way. My goal is for you to be able to save time and find happiness in a streamlined home.