How To Fix LED Light Strips

Light-emitting diodes or LEDs are a type of lightbulb commonly found in our homes.

An LED strip light simply refers to a number of LED lights that are part of a flexible circuit board which can be installed almost anywhere in the home.

The lights themselves are quite powerful and come in a variety of colors and brightnesses. 

If you have these in your home and you’ve found that some of them are broken, don’t panic. You might not need to call an electrician out just yet.

Light strips can malfunction when there is a faulty connection between wiring or two pieces of strip. In this article, we explain how to fix LED light strips (see also ‘How To Connect Multiple LED Strip Lights‘) depending on the problem.

My LED Lights Won’t Turn On 

When the LED strip is connected to a power supply and still doesn’t light up once the switch is turned on, there are a few simple things you can check that can get things going again.

The best way to do this is to work your way from the power source to the light strip itself. 

Starting At The Power Source

If the lights won’t turn on, it could be an indication there’s an issue with the power source.

Find out what the maximum voltage is for the power supply to ensure it can handle the amount of light strips attached to it.

This information can be found on the back of the power supply uni and the LED strip itself. 

If the problem persists, make sure your power supply is working properly.

This can be done using a multimeter which can demonstrate how much voltage is going through the output, if this is less than the voltage stated on the unit then you might have a malfunctioning power supply. 

Move On To The Accessories

Any accessories that are on the same circuit such as dimmers and controllers need to be checked and removed to establish if they are the issue with the LED strips.

Once removed and the LED strips work then it’s safe to assume you have an issue with the dimmer or controller. The connection from the accessories to the light strips may also be the issue. 

Loose Connections

Check that all the connectors and wires in your circuit are in place and where they need to be as you may find that one has fallen out therefore breaking the circuit.

Loose connections could also come in the form of screws that need a little more tightening. Solderless connectors are common contact failure areas, re-insert LED strips to resolve the issue. 

Check For Short Circuits

Visually check the circuits to make sure positive and negative wires are wired correctly and aren’t coming into contact as well as checking all wires are sufficiently separated.

Light strips may not function if the polarity (positive and negative) is flipped as the flow of current cannot be achieved.

Using a multimeter can test for invisible signs of short circuit issues when applied to the positive and negative copper pads of the LED strip.

Any resistance value indicates there is a short circuit and can imply that the LED strip itself is the issue.

This can commonly occur where scissors have been used to cut the strips, damaging the copper wires.  

My LED Lights Aren’t Working At Peak Brightness

Strips that are losing brightness over time indicate there is a malfunction. A simple explanation for this is that the LEDs are losing brightness themselves.

Although the lights are designed to last for more than 36 thousand hours, lower quality products can lead to failures. In this case replacing the LED strip is the only solution. 

If the input voltage is too low or has dropped below the designed voltage then there isn’t enough power feeding to the lights causing them to appear dimmer.

This is caused by problems with the power supply, check to see if there is a loose or corroded connection between the strip and the power source. 

My LED Lights Aren’t Working At One End

Unfortunately, if this is your issue it indicates that you have a low-quality LED strip which isn’t receiving enough voltage to power the end lights.

If the circuit design is too long, i.e. if the LED strip is too long it can exceed the power rating for strip sections leading to a voltage drop. As a result, the voltage drops as it moves along the strips and away from the source. 

Checking your LED strip wiring to ensure all the contacts are clean and sufficient is one way to potentially resolve this problem.

Excessive electrical resistance can be caused by corroded copper wiring and poor electrical contact resulting in a voltage drop. Make sure your wires have a sufficient thickness. 


When handling anything electrical safety is of the utmost importance. Before you go fiddling with wires make sure the strip lights aren’t connected to a power supply.

If you’re making adjustments to your strips such as cutting them, always use a sharp pair of scissors or blade with caution. No one wants a broken light and one less finger. 

Finally, if you don’t feel comfortable checking any of the potential issues highlighted here then call a professional!

There’s no shame in staying safe and letting the professionals do their jobs. 

Final Thoughts

If none of these tips highlighted the problem or they are beyond repair, then it is probably time to upgrade your LED strip lights.

When replacing your strips, be sure to avoid the ‘budget’ and low-quality products available, if the deal seems too good to be true that’s because sometimes it is. 

Luckily there are many affordable options out there that can come with all sorts of fun accessories such as remotes and color changing options. 

We hope you found this article interesting and informative, helping you to fix your LED strip lights!