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

 June 21

by LearnStageLighting.com

Most LED tape projects involve a bunch of soldering. 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

If you are using Christmas light type lighting, which is recommended for this type of project, you can easily connect without soldering because these types of pixels come with waterproof plugs attached. These plugs are called the x-connect.

When you purchase these plugs you can also buy what is called a “pigtail”. A pig tail 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. This same connector is also on the end of the lights and so you can simply plug it in from there.

Extensions

One thing you may have to be aware of is a bit of a voltage drop when using this method but that is easily remedied. You can purchase extensions at most shops that sells lighting and can then use the extensions to provide the excess you need without having to solder.

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 scotch locks 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 plyers, and then your wires are connected.

You can then take this new custom end that you created with your scotch locks and attach them to an extension or to an x-connector and you have your custom length project completed with no soldering.

Closing

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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