Can You Cut LED Lights? Everything You Need to Know


Can You Cut LED Lights? One of the main benefits of using LED light strips is that they are highly functional. If you are working with an even surface, you can place them almost anywhere.

However, when cutting LED lights, things become a little more tricky! You need to ensure that you have the right LED lights to cut and follow a series of essential steps to ensure you do not ruin your LED lights forever.

This article will discuss when you can and can’t cut LED lights, how to do so, and how to tackle any issues that might occur along the way.

Can I cut LED light strips?

Ultimately, the answer depends on the particular product you have chosen. A simple rule to follow is that if the light strip contains a cut line, you can cut it; if it doesn’t, you can’t.

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips You Can’t Cut

There are two types of light strips you shouldn’t cut. 

First, you should not cut any light strips that use an individual IC chip for control. To identify these LED strips, look at the copper sections. If they contain a small image of scissors, you can cut them. If the scissor icon is not there, you should not miss them.

Another type you shouldn’t cut is RGBIC ones. Unlike regular strip lights, RGBIC lights will malfunction if cut.

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips

How to Cut Led Strip Lights


  • A heat gun to shrink tubes
  • A pair of wire cutters
  • Powerpack or transformer
  • A pair of scissors


Measure the length

Firstly, you need to cut off the additional part of your light strip to make it the correct size. 

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips

Look for the scissors logo on the light strip.

Next, locate the nearest scissor icon to your desired length, and cut the excess string across the position highlighted by the scissors icon.

How do you connect LED lights after cutting?

If you are keen to re-connect your LED lights after cutting, you will need an additional four-pin connector.

However, if you do this incorrectly, it could stop the light strip from working altogether. Therefore, always double-check your lengths before cutting to avoid having to try re-connecting your strip.

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips

Buy an LED strip light connector.

There are various strip light connectors, so ensure you choose one that suits your light strip. If your light strip is 10mm wide, individual connectors will work better with that size than others.

Open the connector

If your connector has a cover, you need to open the connector from the side.

Place the light strip into the connector.

Place both cut ends of your LED light strip on your fastening clips located on the connector. Be careful not to reverse them by mistake.

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips

Cover the connector

Once you have placed your light strip in your connector and connected the power, close the cover and test if the light strip usually lights up. Adjust until this happens.

Connecting without Connectors

Sometimes, connecting LED strips using a solder directly to the ribbon is possible. Melt your solder straight onto the copper dots, and use a black wire to line up with the negative icon and a red wire for the positive icon. You will need some old wires to execute this option.

Next, use wire strippers to strip half an inch of your wire casing off. Twist the end of your wire to combine the frayed ends, and attach your wires with the solder.

Once you have connected the strips, plug in your strip lights to see if they work.

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips

Troubleshooting: LED Strip Not Working After Cutting

If you notice that your LED lights are not working after cutting, you need to check whether you were meant to cut them or not.

If you were not meant to cut the LED lights but have already done so, the LED lights will break and become unsalvageable.

However, if your LED strips allow you to make cuts, you should check whether you have created your incision correctly.

If you cut outside the cutting line on your LED strip, it will cut the individual circuit. Then, you must trim back your ribbon to the nearest cutting line.

Finally, if you notice that your LED strip cut works but the brightness of your lights have changed at each end, that is due to a voltage drop.

LED Light Strips

LED Light Strips


Will each side still work if you cut a set of led lights?

If you stick the markings and re-connect each side with the correct polarity, each side will still work.

Where to cut LED light strips?

Many light strips will contain identical markings which highlight where to cut. The copper sections that show each couple of inches across the light strip roll are where you should cut.

Can you cut LED lights without ruining them?

It would help to cut the light strip, so both sides contain enough copper markings. When you re-connect them, each side can make a proper connection.


As stated in this article, before you make any incisions, you need to ensure that the type of LED light strip you have is okay to cut. Otherwise, you will break it immediately.

And make sure you double-check that the length you have chosen is right for your needs. Cutting LED lights is a tricky procedure, but re-connecting them is even more challenging and, in some instances, quite expensive.

Check out our blog to learn more about what you can and can’t do with LED lights!

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