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Troubleshooting Your Linear Lighting – Cutting/Assembly

In this guide, we will give some quick tips and tricks to help you on your way with assembling your Brilliant™ LED lighting project! In this guide we will outline strategies for easy installation and common problems you may encounter when installing accessories or additional sections of LED rope light or LED strip light. If you need help with troubleshooting your LED lighting controller please visit our Troubleshooting Universal Controllers Guide for help with our most popular controllers.

REMEMBER! Please, always use caution when testing lights and when working with electricity! Ensure that power is off by unplugging the lights from the power source when establishing connections and troubleshooting lighting issues.

Cutting Rope Lights – To ensure the best connections possible, make clean cuts to the lights with the appropriate cutting tool ONLY at the designated cutting intervals. Different products have different cutting intervals. We suggest our Rope Light Cutter for cutting larger, thicker 120 Volt lights, while a durable, sharp pair of scissors will cut through our 12 Volt Strip lights.

For a more detailed cutting interval instruction guide with pictures, please click the link below that corresponds with the style of lights you wish to use for your project.

120V LED Rope Light Cutting Instructions | RGB LED Rope Light Cutting Instructions
120V LED Neon Rope Light Cutting Instructions (Cutting for RGB is same)
120V SMD LED Neon Strip Light Cutting Instructions
120V LED Strip Light Cutting Instructions (RGB Instructions included)
120V Incandescent Rope Light Cutting Instructions
12V LED Strip Light Cutting Instructions

Pre-puncture holes – Another good practice when assembling your rope or strip lights is to pre-puncture the wires in which the power connector pins will be inserted with one of the sharp ends of the pin (Figure 1). This helps prepare the holes for easier insertion. Be sure that the pin is touching the wires inside the sections of light, and that you are not inserting the pins into the open cavities within the sections of light (Figure 2).

Polarity – Most issues with lights not working is due to incorrect polarity. When dealing with linear lights, it is critical to understand that there is a specific direction in which electricity flows to power the LEDs, known as polarity (Figure 3.1 & 3.2). When installing power cords or other accessories, be sure to test the lights as you go, before adding any type of silicon sealant or heat shrink tubing. If you find after adding accessories that the sections of light will not turn on (Figure 4.1), you can rotate the accessory or lighting over 180 degrees (Figure 4.2) or use the other end of the sections of light (Figure 4.3) to achieve polarity.

This is most easily shown with one of our best-selling products, the LED Rope Light. As you can see in Figures 5.1 and 6, when assembling accessories, we usually make sure they are flush with each other, but the two parts being flush does not necessarily mean they are polar. If we take the accessory or light and flip it 180 degrees it reverses the polarity (Figure 5.2). This makes it look skewed when connected (Figure 7). We can then re-assemble the project and re-test the lights. The plastic cover on the accessory can be warmed with a hairdryer to make it more malleable for easier insertion.

Hardwiring – Although it is possible to hardwire your lighting project for numerous applications, we always recommend that you consult a licensed electrician before doing so due to the varying Electrical Codes used across the nation.

Questions – People like to use our lights for all sorts of different applications because they are so versatile! So, what happens when you still have questions or can’t find the products you need to finish your project? Check out our FAQs page for more information, or Email or give us a call! Click here for contact information. Business hours are Monday – Friday from 7AM – 6PM MST. When you contact us, our friendly staff can help assist with questions you may have along with finding the lights and accessories you need for you project.

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