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 masking tape or a light weight to secure the strip light to your work bench to stop it from moving while you solder it
4 - Tin the ends of your wire
Strip back approximately 5mm of the outer jacket from your two core wire and apply solder directly to the end of the wire. When completed correctly the entire tip of the wire should be a silver colour. Clip the tips back to roughly 2mm long and over even length.
5 - Tin the solder pad "dots" on the LED Strip
Place the sharp tip of the soldering iron directly onto the "dot" on the LED strip and apply solder. When you remove the iron there should be sufficient solder to cover the dots, but not so much as to overhang and touch the other pad.
6 - Connect the wire to the strip
Hold the tinned end of the wire on top of the tinned pad on the strip and press the soldering iron on top until both the solder on the wire and the pad melt together. Once the solder has melted, remove the iron while holding the wire still and gently blow on the join to quickly set the solder.
8 - Visually inspect the solder joint
The joint should be clean and secure with both wires securely attached. Make sure that there is no loose solder or overhanging solder that is touching and will short circuit.
9 - Test
Once the join is cool and dry, connect to an appropriate power supply to test that it is working
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.