Table Lighting Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

Now that we have gathered our materials and discussed some of the reasons for choosing a particular LED Strip and the L shaped sections, let’s get into measuring out the proper length of strip lighting, preparing the surface they will be mounted on and soldering the lengths of strip together.

As I mentioned in the earlier post, I decided to go with the indoor strip lights with the 3M adhesive for ease of installation and to avoid adding adhesive or mounting hardware to the table. LED strip with 3M adhesive bonds quickly, so make sure you prepare accordingly and measure out the area. First, I measured the perimeter of the table to get the length of strip light I will need.

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip LightsBBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

The total perimeter of the table ended up being about 9.2’ so I decided to go with 10’ of the LED strip light. Luckily, Elemental sells it by the foot, so I could get exactly what was needed for the project and have a few inches to work with in case I made any mistakes.

Now that I had the correct length of strip, it was time to lay everything out on the surface of the table and plan for mounting the strips. The first step was to place the L Shape sections in the corners.

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

Once I placed the L shape connectors down, I could take the reel of LED strip lights, and start measuring out the lengths needed to connect the corners. Keep in mind that the LED strip lights are cuttable every 3 LEDs and have markings on the strip that indicate exactly where you should cut. Elemental has a great video on cutting this particular strip.

Before cutting the strip, it is important to measure out the length, like so:

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

Once you have lined up the strip between the two L shape sections, you can mark where to cut on the strip and cut it away from the reel.

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

After you cut the four lengths of strip you’ll need, lay them all out on the table in the positions you wish to mount them. Then, using a marker, mark the corners where the L shape sections are, so you can keep track of your layout.

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

Once you have laid out all of the strips in the position you want to mount them, you will need to prep the area. As I mentioned earlier, the 3M adhesive bonds fairly quickly, but keep in mind that it will only bond well to clean surfaces. So in order to prep the area, I cleaned the perimeter with steel wool, and a damp sponge.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the area, you are set to remove the protective paper from the 3M adhesive and start laying down the strips. Some important things to keep in mind:

  • * The 3M adhesive bonds quickly, so be careful as you lay it down, because removing it may be difficult and the adhesive will not be as strong if you have to reapply it to the surface.
  • * When placing the strips, make sure you are matching the negative and positive polarities between all of the L Shape Connectors and the Strips. These are marked clearly on the end of both pieces.

 BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

Now that you have everything mounted, make sure to push down any parts of the strip that are raised, and make the strip as level as possible. You want to form a strong bond between the strip and the surface.

Now it’s on to the fun part: soldering the strips. Having a quality soldering iron will make this job a breeze. A few pointers:

  • * Let your soldering iron get good and hot before attempting to solder the strips together.
  • * Make sure the soldering tip is clean, use a damp sponge to clean it once it is plugged in, and keep it clean throughout the project.
  • * Check out Elemental’s video on How to Solder. This video is using waterproof strip, but the soldering points are still relative.

This is how the strip should look once you solder it to the L shape connectors:

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

When you are soldering the connections, make sure to leave one end of the strip open so you can connect the power supply using the locking LED strip light DC connector:

BBQ Table Project Step 2: How to Mount, Measure, Cut and Solder LED Strip Lights

And there you have it. The strip has been measured out, mounted and soldered. In the next post, we will chat about mounting a portable battery pack, and connecting the pack to the end of the strip that we did not solder. See you then!

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