Before attempting to solder your LED strip lights, its important to first ensure you have the correct tools to do the job properly and ensure a good quality solder join. We recommend a soldering iron of between 30w - 60w with a nice pointed end and ideally temperature adjustable (not essential though). The higher temperature is better as you will not need to spend as long heating the joint and potentially damage to electrical components. We also recommend using a Roisen core solder and having a steel cloth or damp sponge handy for leaning the tip of the iron if required.
2 - Heat your iron and clean it
You will never get a good clean solder join if you do not let your iron heat up to its optimal temperature, nor if you are using it with a dirty tip and old left over solder on it. When the iron is at temperature, wipe with a damp cloth or steel wool to get the tip nice and clean.
3 - Secure the LED Strip
Use a light weight or masking tape to hold the strip still on the bench to prevent it moving during soldering
4 - Tin the ends of your wire
Strip roughly 5mm of the outer jacket from the 4 colour RGB wire. Touch the soldering iron to the end of each piece and apply a small amount of solder to the exposed wire. The solder should melt into the wire. When complete - clip or trim the ends of the tinned wire to approximately 2-3mm in length
5 - Apply solder to the strip solder pads
Place the sharp tip of the soldering iron directly onto the "dot" on the LED strip and apply solder. When completed there should be a small dot of solder left on the pad - ensure there is no excess that overlaps and touches other pads
6 - Solder the wire to the strip solder pads
Hold the tinned end of each wire in turn on top of the strip solder pad and press the soldering iron firmly on top until both the solder on the pad and the wire both melt together. Once the solder has melted, remove the soldering iron while holding the wire still and blow on the join to quickly set it
8 - Inspect the joint visually
The finished join should appear as one lump of solder with the wire firmly attached, make sure there is no excess solder or stray wire strands touching other pads
9 - Test
Once the join is cool and dry, connect to an appropriate power supply. Apply power in turn to the Red, Green and then blue wires to confirm these are the output colours
10 - Heat Shrink
Peel back a small amount of the 3m adhesive tape backing and slide a 25 - 30mm piece of heat shrink over the solder join. Apply heat to shrink and retest.