Can you cut LED lights? Here’s what you need to know

Can You Cut LED Lights: 8 Easy Steps & Best Helpful Guide
  • Save
LED Lighting

LED light strips are becoming more and more popular for both residential and commercial spaces, but many people don’t know if they can be cut down to size.

Can you cut LED lights? The answer is both yes and no. In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about cutting LED strip lights to make sure you get the best results. From selecting the right tools to understanding the potential consequences of cutting, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cutting LED strip lights. But most LED strips can be cut to custom lengths.

can you cut led lights
  • Save

Understanding LED strip light

LED strip light is an incredibly versatile lighting solution for a variety of applications. LED light strip is commonly used in commercial settings, such as restaurants and bars, and can also be utilized in residential settings.

LED strip lights are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and brightness levels, making them highly customizable to suit any lighting needs.

Additionally, light strips are energy efficient and last for an extended period, making them cost-effective and reliable sources of light. This guide will explain what light strips are, their benefits, and the various types available.

Can you cut LED lights? Here's what you need to know
  • Save

Can you cut led light strips?

Yes, all LED strips can be cut, with safety measures and tools in place.

With the right tools, knowledge, and safety precautions, cutting LED strips can be a successful and rewarding experience. Before attempting to cut strip lights, make sure to turn off the power and be sure to use the proper tools. When connecting the light strip and the connector, please pay attention to the front and back.

Alternatives to cutting LED strip lights

When working with LED strip lights, there are several alternatives to cutting the lights that can provide a more professional appearance. By using connectors and splices, it is possible to join two strips of LED light strips together and create cohesive lighting in any space.

Additionally, an LED dimmer switch can be used to adjust the brightness of the LED strips without having to cut the LED strip light.

Furthermore, adhesive tape or clips can be used to mount the light strip without needing to cut them, providing a secure and safe solution for mounting LED strips. All of these alternatives can bring a professional and polished look to any space.

Can you cut LED lights? Here's what you need to know
  • Save

How do you cut LED light strip without breaking them?

Measure the specific length that you want your light strip. To cut LED strip lights without breaking them, you will need to invest in a specialized cutting tool specifically designed for LED strips.

These tools typically feature a comfortable, soft-grip handle and a razor-sharp blade that is made to slice through the insulation of the LED lighting without causing any harm.

Here are the steps to follow to cut led light strips:

1. Unplug the LED light strip from its power source.

Position the LED strip light in a manner that allows you to make a clean-cut line.

2. Place the specialized cutting tool at the nearest cut line location.

3. Firmly press the cutting tool against the LED light strips and slowly cut an LED strip directly through the insulation. Make sure your cutting tool is sharp enough, so it won’t drag the adhesive backing in the process.

Can you cut LED lights? Here's what you need to know
  • Save

4. Carefully separate the LED light strips into two sections.

5. Connect LED strip lights back into their power source.

6. The LED strip is a long printed circuit board on which the light-emitting diodes and current-limiting resistors are located. On the flexible board, special cutting points are marked with a dotted/solid line and sometimes a scissors logo. This is the only place where you can cut a strip light.

7. Given cut lines pass through several contact pads, to which the conductors of the electric cable from the power supply are subsequently soldered. This is where the tape must be cut.

8. The cutting pitch (distance between the cutting lines) varies depending on the power supply and differs for different densities of light-emitting diodes:

12 V

  • 100 mm – 30 pcs/m;
  • 50 mm – 60 pcs/m;
  • 25 mm – 120 pcs/m;
  • 12,5-15 mm – 240 pcs/m.

24 V

  • 100 mm – 60 pcs/m;
  • 50 mm – 120 pcs/m;
  • 25 mm – 240 pcs/m.

220 V

  • 500-1000 mm — 30-240 pcs/m.

Thus, the normalized distances allow you to easily select the required length of the tape fragment and cut it from the roll.

The tape can be cut with a pair of scissors or a sharp knife (scalpel). The main thing is to do it carefully, without damaging the printed tracks, so you will have enough copper markings in case you want to attach strip lights in the future.

If there is an LED close to the connection point, be extra careful not to use too much force when you close the connector so as not to crush the LED.

Can you cut LED lights? Here's what you need to know
  • Save

Can I cut LED light strips and connect them?

During installation, you will need to connect strips of tape with LEDs and connect them to a power source.

Let’s get acquainted with the simple rules for performing these mounting operations. LED strips up to a total length of five meters are connected in series, “positive” to “positive” (black wire to positive), “negative” to “negative” (red wire).

The first segment in the chain is connected to the driver, observing the polarity of the power supply. Do not exceed the 5-meter length of the common connection due to the power limitation of the power supply units.

Multicolor RGB strips are distinguished by contacts marked “R”, “G”, “B”, and “-“. Connection is made to the controller, which is powered by an AC/DC converter.

If the total length of the light strip exceeds 5 meters, then a parallel method of connecting them to the power supply is used.

Decide if you need a straight connector or a 90-degree angled connector. 

Quick connectors are readily available from retailers, and they come in a range of different shapes, namely right angles, and T-tap.

Most LED strip wiring connections are made with conventional soldering. People who are far from a soldering iron can use a special connector wire.

If you’re still unsure, it is possible to get LED strip lights cut by a professional.

Can you cut LED lights? Here's what you need to know
  • Save

How do LED strip lights work when cut

LED strips are composed of a multitude of tiny LED lightbulbs that are connected in a continuous light strip. This light strip must be cut to fit into an area, and when the light strip is cut, it severs the connection between the bulbs and the power supply, preventing them from functioning correctly.

To avoid this issue, it is important to ensure that you will safely cut in the exact right spot so that the bulbs can maintain their connection with the power supply.

If you cut in the wrong place, then the LED strips will not be able to provide adequate illumination.

This is why it is essential to make sure that the light strip is cut and the LED strip is in the correct place so that the bulbs can remain powered and provide the desired lighting.

Can you cut LED lights? Here's what you need to know
  • Save


Light strips are a great option for homeowners looking to reduce energy costs and improve the look of their home. They are easy to install and maintain, and they offer a wide range of benefits. With these tips in mind, you can ensure that your LED lighting project is successful and safe.


How do you cut LED lights without breaking them?

Most strip lights have copper markings throughout the roll of LEDs. The cutting line between tipped copper dots and the strip lights should always be cut in a straight line. Cut-through copper dots without their corresponding conductive properties is void for the following sections. Using sharp scissors, you can cut LED Strip Lights down a given cutline.

Can I cut my LED lights and connect them?

Strip connectors are generally the most straightforward solution as they don’t require any tools. When the scissors come in contact with the wire strippers, they will require an extra four pins connector for reconnecting the wires. After soldering the wires together, you should always cover up the exposed wire with tape so that it is safe to use.

Can all LED lights be cut?

Yes but not recommended. When you remove the strip light from any part outside the specified cut point, it is likely to damage the component on the light strip as well as the electrical circuit board. Eventually, that will cause the strip light to stop working.

How do LED strip lights work when cut?

LED strips can simply be sliced out using scissors. Each LED ends with copper pads. All the lights should function if you have to split them. From here, the LEDs can be hooked up either with a quick connector or soldered.

How do I identify the cut points on LED strips?

Look for markings on the LED strip indicating the cut points. These are often labeled with scissor icons or designated cut lines. Consult the user manual or the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific instructions.

Can I use the remaining cut section of an LED strip separately?

Yes, the remaining cut section of an LED strip can be used separately if it has its own power source and controller. Ensure the voltage requirements match the remaining strip, and use appropriate connectors or soldering techniques to create a functional standalone unit.

Avatar photo

I have been interested in physics, electricity, and electronics since childhood. Now I live in my own house with my wife and two children. I like to repair household appliances on my own. I myself developed a project for power supply and lighting at home, and I know many secrets and interesting nuances, which I want to share on the blog.

Rate author
Add a comment

Share via
Copy link