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A Comprehensive Guide on Wiring LED Strip Lights (With Diagrams)

The use of LED strip lights is rapidly expanding across diverse environments. These lights are celebrated for the contemporary aesthetics they bring, plus their relatively simple installation process. This guide explains connecting different LED strips, including single-color, tunable white, RGB, RGBW, RGBCCT, and addressable LED strips.

To connect these LED strips effectively, it’s crucial to understand voltage drop and parallel connections.

Voltage Drop

Voltage drop in LED strips implies that the wires and PCB extract voltage, which results in the part of the strip near the power source shining brighter than the far end. To avoid this irregularity in brightness caused by voltage drop, there are a few strategies we can implement.

One method to bypass this issue is to establish parallel connections of multiple LED strips to the power source rather than creating a series of connections.

Additionally, ultra-long constant current LED strips can alleviate the voltage drop problem.

Parallel Connections

The most prevalent solution to voltage drop issues is connecting multiple LED strips parallelly to a power source, controller, or amplifier.

<em>led strip parallel connection<em>

Alternatively, you can avoid voltage drop by wiring both ends of a single LED strip to the same power source, controller, or amplifier.

Remember, it’s crucial NOT to connect numerous LED strips in series to a power source, controller, or amplifier.

PWM Amplifier

Each LED controller generates a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) signal. When an LED controller’s power output falls short, a PWM amplifier can enhance this power. This enhancement allows the LED controller to operate an adequate quantity of LED strips effectively.

Wiring Guide for Single Color LED Strip Lights

A single color, or mono LED strip light, is the most straightforward type. It only features two wires and produces light of one specific color.

Connecting Single Color LED Strip Lights to Non-Dimmable LED Drivers

A single-color LED strip is usually linked to a non-dimmable power source without a controller. It’s crucial to note that the combined power of all LED strip lights should not surpass 80% of the power supply’s capacity—this is a fundamental principle for power supply use.

Connecting Single Color LED Strip Lights to Dimmable LED Drivers

Occasionally, the need arises to alter the brightness level of the LED strip. In this case, it becomes necessary to connect the single-color LED strip with a power supply that can be dimmed.

The most frequently employed dimming techniques include 0-10V, Triac, and DALI.

Schematic for 0-10V Dimmable LED Driver Connection

Schematic for connecting a Triac-dimmable LED driver

Diagram for the setup of a DALI-dimmable LED driver

Steps to wire single-color LED strip lights to LED controllers

Furthermore, the brightness of the single-color LED strip light can be adjusted by connecting it to the controller.

In the absence of a PWM amplifier

When attaching a limited number of LED strips to an LED controller, there is no need for an LED amplifier.

Utilizing a PWM amplifier

For extensive lighting endeavors involving numerous LED strips, LED amplifiers are necessary when the strips are linked to the controller.

Process for wiring single-color LED strip lights with a DMX512 decoder

Instructions for Connecting Tunable White LED Strip Lights

A tunable white LED strip light, often called a CCT adjustable LED strip light, typically features three wires and two LEDs of different color temperatures. By adjusting the brightness of these LEDs, you can modify the resulting mixed CCT.

Connecting Tunable White LED Strip Lights Using Dimmable LED Drivers

DALI DT8 Tunable White LED Driver

Conventionally, dimmable power supplies regulate the brightness of single-color LED strips.

However, including the DT8 protocol in DALI extends support to tunable white, RGB, RGBW, and RGBCCT LED strip lights.

Connecting Tunable White LED Strip Lights Using LED Controllers

Only a tunable white LED controller is necessary for many adjustable color temperature LED strips. A PWM amplifier becomes essential if you’re working with a larger quantity.

Without a PWM Amplifier

With a PWM Amplifier

Connecting Tunable White LED Strip Lights Using a DMX512 Decoder

Ordinarily, a specific DMX512 decoder (with 2 channels output) is unavailable for adjustable color temperature LED strips.

However, a 3-channel or 4-channel output DMX512 decoder can control these LED strips.

Wiring Two-Wire Tunable White LED Strip Lights

A 2-wire adjustable color temperature LED strip also exists.

This 2-wire LED strip can be designed to be narrower, fitting into more confined spaces.

A two-wire tunable LED strip requires a distinct white LED controller is required for a 2-wire tunable LED strip.

Instructions for Wiring RGB LED Strip Lights

An RGB LED strip includes four wires: the common anode and the R, G, and B.

Typically, RGB LED strips are used with LED controllers but can also be paired with DALI DT8 dimmable drivers.

Wiring RGB LED Strip Lights using Dimmable LED Drivers

Use of DALI DT8 RGB LED Driver

Wiring RGB LED Strip Lights with LED Controllers

Configuration without a PWM amplifier

Configuration with a PWM amplifier

Wiring RGB LED Strip Lights with a DMX512 Decoder

Instructions for Wiring RGBW LED Strip Lights

Steps for Wiring RGBW LED Strip Lights Using Dimmable LED Drivers

Understanding DALI DT8 RGBW LED Driver

Connecting RGBW LED Strip Lights with LED Controllers

Procedure without a PWM Amplifier

The process with a PWM Amplifier

Setting up RGBW LED Strip Lights with a DMX512 Decoder

A Guide to Wiring RGBCCT LED Strip Lights

Wiring RGBCCT (Red, Green, Blue, Cool White, and Warm White) LED strip lights can add versatility to your lighting solutions, providing a full spectrum of colors and adjustable white light. Start by determining your LED strip’s voltage and current requirements, then select an appropriate power supply. Connect the RGBCCT strip to a suitable controller that supports five-channel output, ensuring you correctly match the color outputs of the strip to the controller (R to R, G to G, B to B, CW to CW, and WW to WW).

Install RGBCCT LED strip lights utilizing dimmable LED drivers

Use a DALI DT8 RGBCCT LED driver

Set up RGBCCT LED strip lights with LED controllers

Excluding the use of a PWM amplifier

Including the application of a PWM amplifier

Connect RGBCCT LED strip lights to a DMX512 decoder

Guidelines on Setting Up Addressable LED Strip Lights

Addressable LED strips, also called digital LED strips, pixel LED strips, magic LED strips, or dream color LED strips, have control ICs enabling you to command specific LEDs or clusters of LEDs. The unique feature of this type of strip is its ‘addressability’, letting you control distinctive parts of the LED strip.

Steps on Wiring SPI Addressable LED Strip Lights

The  Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) is a communication interface protocol primarily used for short-range communication, specifically in embedded systems. Motorola established it in the mid-1980s; since then, it has evolved into a universally accepted standard. Common applications encompass Secure Digital cards and liquid crystal displays.

The SPI addressable LED strip is a type of LED strip that directly processes SPI signals and adjusts the light’s color and brightness in response to these signals.

SPI addressable LED strip lights with data channel only

LED strip lights that are SPI addressable, featuring data and clock channels

SPI addressable LED strip lights equipped with data and backup data channels

Guidance on wiring DMX512 addressable LED strip lights

The DMX512 addressable LED strip is a specialized light strip that directly interprets DMX512 signals, eliminating the need for a DMX512 decoder. It modifies the light’s color and brightness according to the received signal.

Before utilizing the DMX512 addressable LED strip, assigning the DMX512 address to the strip is necessary. This step is required only once.


After perusing this piece, I hope you’ve gained a comprehensive understanding of how to wire various LED strip lights properly.

At MyLikeLed, we manufacture top-tier LED strips and LED neon flex products. All our items undergo thorough inspection in high-tech labs to guarantee absolute quality. Moreover, we provide a customizable selection of our LED strips and neon flex. Therefore, for superior LED strips and LED neon flex products, get in touch with MyLikeLed without delay!


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