Double sided tape is the antidote for your LED light strips that keeps drooping and making a mess. The manufacturers tell you the adhesive is going to stick, but you and I know better.
In this article, we will learn about different types of double sided tapes that can be used with LED light strips and also a step-by-step guide on how to implement them. Let’s get right to it then!
Table of Contents
What Is The Best Double Sided Tape for LED Light Strips
3M VHB is standing tall among a highly competitive market of double sided tapes as the very best. Apart from its availability in a range of sizes and shapes, you can slice to your convenience as well. In addition, this tape complements the pre-existing adhesive on your LED strip light.
If you have a very narrow strip of LED (3/8 inches or lower) and wondering if you are ever going to find a thin tape, 3M VHB comes at 0.4 inches in width, which makes anxiety vanish instantly.
A word of caution while using this tape is that if you attempt to remove it on a whim, it can damage the paint of the wall or wood, or other surfaces. Therefore, think thoroughly before applying the tape and take proper measures first if you are to remove it.
Type Of Double Sided Tape
There is a diverse range of double sided tape available in the market, and you have to know which is which to make the best choice.
Removable Double Sided Tape
Who wants to see their walls get ruined just because they pulled off the tape? If you want something for your trial-and-error process to find the best spot for your aesthetic LED strip, using 3M 5952 VHB can be an excellent option. This US-made tape is not only highly durable but also easily removable.
Although this removable double sided tape from 3M is moisture resistant and provides amazing robustness on a smooth and polished surface, you may need additional tape for rough and uneven surfaces.
Transparent Double Sided Tape
The best fit for your LED strip may be the invisible or transparent double sided tape, where the naked eye won’t even notice that it is mounted with tape! You can consider transparent tapes that provide strong adhesive grips and are also removable. However, keep in mind that such tapes need to be used with special preparation solutions so that they are not stained. Also, you have to use a heat gun or steamer to lower the adhesive force of the tape first before removal so that it doesn’t damage the wall.
Scotch Double Sided Tape
If you need to attach LED light strip to a position temporarily, you can make use of scotch double sided tape. Such tapes do not come with strong adhesion to last longer, and if your lights make the slightest heat, the tape will start to come off. You can use these tapes on a trial basis, but it is best not to rely on them to hold your LED strip high.
Strongest Double Sided Tape
The most appealing feature of a tape for your LED strip is its strength and resilience. 3M VHB tape is the strongest double sided tape in the market as it has aced the industry’s toughest challenges and stood out. Scotch or transparent tapes may make your lights look pretty, but they won’t remain pretty if they fall down with weak tape. With this tape, not a chance!
Moreover, this tape is not so difficult to remove if you prepare the surface according to the removal instructions properly.
Adhesive Backing for Standard Light Strips
Once you have acquired the double sided tape of your choice, you have to consider the need for a proper adhesive backing. Most LED light strip kits inherently contain adhesive that can cover your DIY project. That being said, if you are working professionally on a residential project or an industrial/commercial project, you cannot take the matter of adhesive backing lightly.
The most common adhesive used adhesive backing is 300LSE from 3M, and most brands mention they have utilized this particular version of adhesive backing or the other. 300LSE is quite alright if the surface is properly prepped, but if you need more strength, apply additional double sided tape for long-term robust applications.
How to Add Double Sided Tape to an LED Light Strip in 5 Steps
Step 1: Pick Your Tape
Determine the type of tape you need for your LED light strip. For aesthetic purposes, you might be inclined towards the transparent double sided tape. However, in most cases, it is best to go with the strongest double sided tape, for example, something like 3M VHB tape.
Step 2: Size Matters
You definitely don’t want to see tape extending outside the LED strip. Therefore, you have to pick the tape that matches the dimensions of your strip. Typically, LED strips have a 10mm width and 20’ length.
Step 3: Cut the Tape According to Your Strip
The double sided tape needs to be cut into 12-inch or 23-inch sections so that you can manage it with ease. Even with 20 feet roll of the strip, you should not deal with the entire tape in one go. Rather, slice the tape into easy pieces, and take it one small slice at a time.
Step 4: Adhere to the LED Strip with Caution
After you have sliced up the tape, take off the protector portion away and bring out the adhesive part of the LED strip. Then, the double sided tape needs to adhere to that portion, and leave it on so that you can adhere it to your desired surface later.
Step 5: Take a Trial Run
Once a strong double sided tape is set on a surface, it becomes difficult to perform modifications. That is why we suggest doing a few mock-ups or trial runs with scotch tapes to see if you are really sure about how you want to put up your lights. You could also try it out with the adhesive of the LED strip since it is not that strong to check out your ideas in real life. Once you have made up your mind, adhere the double sided tape to the surface.
How to Set Up LED Light Strips on a Flat Surface
Installing LED light strips is pretty exciting, and we often cannot wait to see them glow. However, you must not forget to prepare the surface before putting up the strip or the tape. If the surface is dusty, even the strong double sided tape won’t stick. Here are a few things you can do to avoid this issue:
- Check if the surface has any wetness or dust. If you find any, clean it up immediately and make sure it is dry.
- Then use a wipe drenched in alcohol and water solution to eliminate any remaining unwanted particles on the surface.
- If you are in cold weather, especially if it is lower than 15oC, make use of a dryer or a heat gun to pre-heat the adhesive.
- You may turn the lights on while attaching the tape to the strip to utilize the generated heat from it.
- Do not rush the process, and side-to-side movement needs to be slow, smooth, and steady.
Frequently Asked Question
Can You Use Double Sided Tape on LED Lights?
Yes! Double-sided tapes are perfect for LED lights. However, you have to get such a tape that can withstand the heat generated by the lights and can stick to the surface you wish to mount the lights and thickness so that fitting isn’t awkward.
How Do You Tape LED Strips?
Peel off the protective cover from the LED strip and adhere to the double sided tape with the strip carefully. Be mindful of the size of the tape and make sure it matches the width of the strip. After you have attached one side of the tape to the strip, carefully adhere the other side to the surface.
Why Won’t My LED Light Strips Stick?
To make sure your LED light strips stick, clean the surface with a 50-50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water to eliminate even a speck of dust. Choose the strongest double sided tape in the market and adhere it to the LED strip and the surface with caution. Pick a spot that isn’t too hot since the heat may degrade the adhesive property of the tape.
Now This Is Up To You!
Double Sided tape is your best buddy if you are working with LED light strips. There is no issue with using glue guns, soldering, or any other hassle. We have discussed a few types of double sided tapes for LED strips, along with how you should prepare the surface and apply the tape. Check carefully again before you put on the tape because, with time, the adhesion of the tape will form a stronger bond with the surface.
My strong expertise is illuminating spaces. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for transforming environments through lighting, my dream is to leave indelible mark on the world of light design. Below are few facts of my biography, highlighting career and hobbies. Click here to contact me.