Can you build an LED Tape or Pixel Design Without Soldering?

pixels Feb 07, 2023

Most LED tape projects involve a bunch of soldering, which might make you think, "Gosh, I don't want to do that!"...Not if you use this approach!

When it comes to working with LED pixels one of the common questions regarding the challenges is if you can build an LED tape or pixel project without having to solder? The answer to this is yes!

So how do we go about doing this? Let’s discuss!

Getting Started

The first thing that you will need to help you out in this process is an LED pixel controller. There are many varieties and options of these, so just choose whichever suits your preferences and needs the best.

You will notice on the controller that there are little green plastic parts called terminal blocks which are removable. The terminal blocks are where you will insert your wires. You will do this by taking a small screwdriver and loosening the blocks until you can strip and insert the wires properly. This part requires no soldering as of yet.

Pixel Plugs

It used to be that you would direct wire some sort of extension cable to your pixels, and then solder it into your strip, etc.  Not any more!

Today, the animated Christmas light hobby gives us SO MANY options of different sizes and types of pixels that you can use without soldering.   And the best part is that pretty much ANY type of pixel can be purchased with the xConnect plug already installed, so no soldering!

When you purchase these plugs you can also buy what is called a “pigtail”. A pigtail is fairly straightforward in its use. You simply wire it into the terminal blocks and then you are able to connect it to the X-Connect connector.  Or, strip an extension and use it as a long pigtail!  Anywhere that sells these pixels should also sell pigtails, including our store!

Custom Lengths

If you are working on a project and find that you need to cut a custom length of pixels you may find that you might have to solder to make it work the best, or you may not.

This is where 3m Scotchlocks come in! These tiny pieces are a product that are IDC connectors. What this means is that they stab the wires and create a connection without soldering. The cool thing about these is that you are able to simply place your wires into the scotch locks, close them tightly with pliers, and then your wires are connected.  We DO recommend the specialty Scotchlok pliers if you're going to do a lot of them.

You can then take this new custom end that you created with your scotch locks and attach them to an extension or to an XConnect and you have your custom length of pixels created with NO soldering :)


When it comes to working with pixels and creating custom projects, you can absolutely do it without soldering and it is actually a lot more simple than you might have imagined! If you haven’t had a lot of experience with soldering or perhaps just want to save yourself time and effort then use these tips to make life easier. You will have your LED tape or pixel project completed perfectly before you know it!


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