LED strip lights are one of the hottest accessories around at the moment. They look good on just about anything, are cheap to get, and are easily customizable.
But can you hot glue LED strip lights? This article will fill you in on:
- The pros and cons of hot glueing LED strip lights
- How to do so most effectively.
- Can You Hot Glue LED Strip Lights?
- Pros of Using Hot Glue to Attach LED Strip Lights
- Cons of Using Hot Glue to Attach LED Strip Lights
- Best Practices for Using Hot Glue with LED Strip Lights
Can You Hot Glue LED Strip Lights?
In short: Yes! It’s perfectly fine to hot glue LED strip lights, and it’s often the easiest and most practical solution.
However, there are certain guidelines you should follow to make sure you don’t damage the light strips and achieve the results you’re looking for.
Pros of Using Hot Glue to Attach LED Strip Lights
Quick and easy to use
It only takes about five minutes for a standard hot glue gun to heat up, and then you’re good to go!
Plus, hot glue guns are so easy to use. You don’t need much practice to be able to administer just the right amount of glue you need, and they allow for a large margin of error.
Small and compact
Many heating implements are bulky and difficult to transport. Hot glue guns can fit easily in your purse or bag, making them great to bring on the go!
Strong adhesion with high-temperature glue
Hot glue guns are popular for a reason: they’re super effective!
As the glue hardens, it binds the LED light strip to whatever you’re adhering it to. In general, the hotter the glue you use, the more malleable and the stronger the stick.
The plastic coating of the LED strips also tends to soften ( and then re-harden), leading to a stronger seal.
Safe and risk-free
Hot glue does not release dangerous fumes, unlike many other strong adhesion chemicals.
While the tip of the glue gun and the glue coming out are hot, they cool rapidly so the burn risk is minimal (although you should still be cautious).
Generally, the shape of the glue gun means the heated portion is elevated and unlikely to touch whatever surface you are resting it on.
However, you should still ensure that your hot glue gun and any other heated tools are unplugged and turned off when left unattended to minimize fire or electrical risk.
Suitable for inexperienced users and cost-effective
It’s really easy to use (and learn to use) hot glue guns as they’re quite straightforward!
As LED light strips are generally straight and you have a window of time to adhere them before the glue dries, using a hot glue gun to affix light strips is generally easy even for novices.
It’s also a pretty cheap option. While purchasing a hot glue gun is an upfront cost, they can be under ten dollars for a starter model. The efficacy of this method means you’re unlikely to have ongoing maintenance costs.
Cons of Using Hot Glue to Attach LED Strip Lights
Potential warping of the LED strip light surface
Occasionally, the temperature of the gun can warp the plastic coating of the LED light strips (particularly with high-heat glue guns). This can lead to imperfections in your project.
To prevent this, let the glue cool slightly before administering it to your light strip, and make sure to avoid ever touching the metal tip of your gun to the LED strip.
Additionally, it can be useful to weigh your project down with a heavy object to ensure the light strip remains flat.
Risk of excessive glue application and unintended sticking
With hot glue, less is more! This is especially the case for more intricate projects.
There’s nothing worse than excess glue sticking your LED light strip together where you didn’t intend, and this can also lead to wasted time and materials.
If you do accidentally use too much glue, the best move is to pause, let it cool, and remove it completely by scraping or peeling it off.
You can also dab away excess glue with a thick washcloth or other heat-resistant material.
Increased risk of glue seepage into the circuitry
Very rarely, hot glue can seep through the LED light strip coating and affect the wiring.
The easiest solution to this problem is to avoid it entirely by purchasing high-quality light strips, with fully sealed outer shields.
However, this may not always be possible due to budget constraints. If you need to use cheaper LED light strips, try to let your glue cool to the point where it is tacky before applying your light strip (though this may lead to weaker adhesion).
It’s also a good idea to apply the glue to the material you are applying the stripe to, and then press them together to minimize the risk of seepage.
Best Practices for Using Hot Glue with LED Strip Lights
Be cautious of hot glue temperature
Keep an eye on your temperature, both to minimize seepage or warp and to keep yourself safe. No project is worth burning yourself or damaging your surroundings!
Use the appropriate amount of hot glue
It can be tempting to use too much hot glue if you’re worried about adhesion.
However, a constrained amount is actually best not only for maximally powerful sticking as well as minimizing the risk of imperfect results.
Opt for high-temperature glue and consider viscosity
High-temperature glue yields better results generally, although you will need to be cautious.
When applying LED strip lights, it’s important to consider the texture and viscosity of the glue as well. If the glue is less viscous (runnier), your stripes may slip or droop before the glue has a chance to dry and hold fully.
Avoid using hot glue with non-waterproof rated LED strip lights
Using waterproof-rated LED strip lights is an easy way to increase the likelihood of the success of your project. If they can repel water, they’ll be pretty likely to repel glue!
Yes, you can use hot glue on LED strip lights. In fact, it’s an easy and cost-effective method. There are a few things to consider to make sure you get it right and stay safe, but you’re sure to get it down in no time!