Why are my LED Light Strips not sticking properly?

By LED Lighthouse

LED light strips offer a versatile and stylish lighting option, enhancing the ambience of any room. However, an issue often faced is their inability to stick properly to surfaces. This sticking problem can result in inefficient lighting and even harm the strips themselves. In the article we aim to explore the root causes of this prevalent issue, examining factors that affect the adhesion of LED strips and offering solutions to improve their grip on various surfaces.

The Importance of Using a Proper Adhesive

The adhesive on the back of LED light strips plays a crucial role in their function and longevity. Secure adhesion ensures the strip lights stay in place, maintain consistent lighting, and prevent potential damage from falling or bending. Moreover, proper sticking lights ensure a neat, professional appearance within your home decor.

Sticking LEDs on surface

Common Reasons for Adhesive Failure

  • Improper Surface Preparation: A clean, dry surface is the foundation of effective adhesion. Dust particles, oils, and moisture can act as a barrier between the adhesive and the surface, preventing a secure bond. Just as you wouldn’t paint over a dirty canvas, applying your LED strip lights to a dirty or damp surface will likely lead to suboptimal sticking.
  • Inappropriate Surfaces: While LED strips are adaptable, not every surface is suitable for them. Too rough surfaces like textured walls or brick can prevent the adhesive from making full contact, reducing its effectiveness. On the flip side, excessively smooth or glossy surfaces, like polished stone or ceramic tiles, may not provide enough grip for the adhesive to hold.
  • Heat and Humidity: The adhesive on LED strips is composed of chemicals that react to environmental conditions. High heat can soften the adhesive, causing it to lose its grip, while excessive humidity can introduce moisture that hinders proper bonding. Locations near heat sources, like stoves or heaters, or in damp areas like bathrooms or basements, can be challenging for LED strip adhesion.
  • Poor Quality Adhesive: All adhesive LED lights are not created equal. Some lower-end products may compromise on the quality of adhesive to reduce costs, resulting in poor sticking performance. Even with perfect surface preparation and ideal environmental conditions, a low-quality adhesive might still fail prematurely.
  • Prolonged Use: The adhesive’s sticking power doesn’t last forever. Over time, due to environmental exposure and wear and tear, the adhesive can lose its stickiness. As a result, even if your LED strips were installed perfectly, they may begin to peel off after months or years of use.
  • Too Much Bending: LED strips offer flexibility for creative lighting designs. However, every material has its limits. If you bend the strips excessively or frequently, it can strain the adhesive, causing it to lose its bonding strength.


Solutions for Adhesive Failure

  • Clean and Prepare Surface: The first step in ensuring your LED lights stick properly is proper surface preparation. Use an alcohol-based cleaner to remove dust, oils, and other residue from the surface. Once clean, ensure the surface is fully dry before applying the strip lights. Alcohol-based cleaners are preferred as they evaporate quickly and don’t leave behind residues that could affect adhesion.
  • Choose the Right Surface: Pay attention to the type of surface you’re planning to apply your LED strips too. Ideally, it should be a flat, matte surface that is neither too rough nor too smooth. Such a surface provides the right balance of grip and contact for the adhesive to work effectively.
  • Protect from Heat and Humidity: Consider the location of your LED strip installation. Avoid areas that are prone to high heat or humidity. If such conditions are unavoidable, you might need to resort to alternative mounting methods that are more resistant to these conditions, such as mounting clips or adhesive tapes designed for challenging environments.
  • Select High-Quality Strips: The quality of your LED strips plays a significant role in their adhesion performance. High-quality strips, like those from LED Lighthouse, use superior adhesives that are designed to stick well and last long. While these strips may come at a slightly higher cost, their performance and longevity often provide better value in the long run.
  • Replace Adhesive: If you find your strips peeling off due to worn-out adhesive, don’t rush to replace the entire strip. You can refresh its sticking power by applying strong double-sided tape or adhesives specially designed for LED strips. Just ensure the strip and surface are clean and dry before applying the new adhesive.
  • Avoid Excessive Bending: When designing your lighting, remember to respect the material limits of your LED strips. While they can handle gentle curves, sharp bends can put undue stress on the adhesive. If your design requires sharp angles or complex shapes, consider using connectors or smaller sections of strips to achieve the desired effect without compromising adhesion.

Sticking to corners









Alternative Mounting Methods

If the adhesive fails or is not an option due to the surface material or environmental conditions, consider these alternative mounting methods:

  • Mounting Clips: These are small, clear clips that you can screw into your surface and clip your LED strip into. Mounting Clips
  • Adhesive Tapes: High-strength adhesive tapes, specifically designed for LED strips, can provide a more secure hold. Double Sided Foam Tape
  • Aluminium Channels: These not only help in mounting but also act as a heat sink, prolonging the life of your LED strips. LED Profile – Extrusions & Casings
  • LED Coving: Moulded from a light, easy-to-use material. The profiles we sell are a one-man job, meaning a quick, hassle-free installation. LED Coving

Preventative Issues with LED Strips

Advice Summary

Having your LED light strips not sticking properly can be a frustrating issue. However, with the right understanding, preparation, and materials, you can ensure secure and effective adhesion. Remember, sometimes, the key lies in choosing quality products. At LED Lighthouse, our LED strip lights are designed with superior adhesives to provide a strong, lasting hold, making them an excellent choice for all your lighting projects.

Remember, the art of how to stick LED strip lights on a wall lies in preparation, proper installation, and quality materials. If you’re experiencing trouble with your current strips or looking to upgrade, browse our range of premium LED strip lights at LED Lighthouse. You won’t be disappointed!

If you are experiencing any other issues with your LED Strip Lights, check out our Troubleshooting Guide.

Home Installation of LED Strips

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More Resources

By LED Lighthouse

Below are a few useful guides to helping you choose the right LED lighting for you project. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

About LED Lighthouse

Specialist supplier of quality LED lighting

Established in 2011, we are dedicated to supplying quality LED lighting at an affordable price. We offer LED Lights and components from some of the best manufacturers including Integral, Samsung, Epistar, Meanwell and Ltech.
Due to customer demand, in recent years we've grown to specialise in LED Strip Lights and associated parts, developing many of our own products.