Can You Put Tacks in LED Strip Lights? Tips and Safety Info

You have a brand new strip of LED lights, and you’re excited to transform your space! 

But what installation methods are the best? In this article, we investigate whether you can use tacks to install your LED strip lights. We look at:

  • Pros of using tacks
  • Cons of using tacks (including safety considerations)
  • Alternative methods of installation.

Let’s get straight into it!

So, Can You Put Tacks In Led Strip Lights? 

Yes, but there are a few considerations! Using tacks in your LED strip lights is an easy, cheap option that stays up well. However, there are some safety concerns you need to watch for, so make sure you do your research before using this method.

Pros of Putting Tacks in LED Strip Lights 

While tacks aren’t the first recommended choice for putting up LED strip lights, they do have some advantages over other methods: 

Good for reinforcement 

LED strip lights can be prone to falling, and using tacks provides an extra layer of support. They anchor the strips very securely, keeping them firmly in place. 

Cheaper option 

Tacks a very cheap; you can buy a big packet for only a few dollars! If you don’t have the budget to shell out for specialized mounting clips, using tacks is a tempting alternative. 

Ideal for soft materials 

Adhesives don’t stick well to softer surfaces like corkboards, making tacks an ideal alternative. They fit snugly and firmly into softer materials, so your lights won’t sag or fall. 

Easy installation 

Another advantage of tacks is that you don’t need any special tools to use them. 

Other mounting hardware requires the use of drills, screwdrivers, or other equipment. With tacks, you just need a thumb! Installation is mess-free, hassle-free, and super quick.

Cons of Putting Tacks in LED Strip Lights 

Although there are some advantages to using tacks in your LED strip lights, there are also some serious drawbacks to using them as your installation method:


LED light strips have electrical wires running through the length of the strips. When you insert tacks into the strip, you risk the tack coming into contact with the wiring or other electrical components of the lighting. 

This can not only prevent your LED lights from working – it can cause permanent damage as well. This means that even after the tack is removed, your LED light strip may never work again. 

Fire risk 

Short circuits in your LED strips don’t just risk ruining your lights; they can escalate to cause a fire

If the metal spike of the tack is touching a wire, it is possible for electrical resistance to cause the tack to heat up. This can eventually lead to a fire if the light strip is left on for long enough. 

If your LED light strips are near flammable materials such as curtains or drapes, the risk is even higher. Even if the heated tack doesn’t start a fire, it can melt the plastic components of the LED strip and cause irreparable damage. 

Removes waterproofing 

The plastic coating on an LED light strip is fully waterproof, protecting your LED lights from moisture. You may think this isn’t important if your LED lights are kept inside where they’re protected from the elements, but you’d be wrong!

Even indoors, humidity levels can easily be high enough to condense on LED lights – which can subsequently degrade the internal components. The waterproof coating also protects your lights from accidental spills or leaks. 

When you pierce the coating with a tack, the protective, waterproof coating is instantly compromised. 

Water can begin to seep into the interior of the strip, corroding the components and shortening the lifespan of your strip lights. 

Risk of damaging LED light strips and the wall

As well as the risk of damaging the electronics, piercing the strip can damage the lights themselves and the tack can damage the wall or wallpaper.

A poorly placed tack can crack or damage the tiny bulbs, causing sections of the strip not to work. 

Alternatives to Putting Tacks in LED Strip Lights 

So, using tacks for holding up your LED strip lights is probably not ideal. Thankfully, there are plenty of safe, effective alternatives!

Adhesive hooks or clips 

Adhesive hooks or clips are a great, non-damaging way to mount your LED light strips. They are designed specifically for mounting light strips and come with an adhesive pad on the back that can stick to almost any surface. 

Installation is easy – and best of all, moving them around is a breeze! 

If you’re someone who is constantly redecorating, adhesive hooks or clips let you change things around without worrying about leaving holes or marks on your walls. 

They are also totally safe for the strip lights themselves, with no chance of damaging the electronics. 

Mounting brackets 

Mounting brackets are a great choice for longer-term installations. If you’re confident that you’re not going to be constantly changing up where your LED light strips are placed, they’re the perfect choice!

They need to be screwed into your preferred surface, and then the LED strip can be slotted into place. 

These are also a great choice if you have a particularly long run of LED strip lights; they are strong enough to hold up heavier loads without slipping or sagging. 

Cable ties 

If you’re trying to attach your LED light strips to irregular surfaces like a railing, bed frame, or pole, then cable ties are your best choice! They’re cheap, easy to use, and can be looped around objects and then tightened. 

Once you have your LED light strip held in place, you can trim the end of the cable tie to make it nice and neat. 

Just make sure you don’t do them up too tightly; over-tightening can damage the strips!

Hot Glue

Hot glue is another popular and flexible method for mounting LED strip lights, especially on surfaces where adhesive hooks or clips might not stick well, or where other methods aren’t feasible.

Remember though, while hot glue is generally easy to remove, it can leave residues on some surfaces.

Plus, not all surfaces react well to hot glue, and there’s the potential for damage. You should always test a small, inconspicuous area first before committing to using hot glue to install your LED strip lights.


LED strip lights elevate any space instantly, but the right installation method is key. 

While tacks are a cheap, easy option, they come with several risks that can compromise the longevity of your LED lights – and even your safety!

Due to the potential dangers, it’s better to use safer alternatives such as adhesive hooks, cable ties, and mounting brackets. This will ensure your LED lighting is safe and can shine on for years to come!

John Bayly

John Bayly

John has dedicated his career to the lighting industry. Starting out as an interior designer with a specialism in lighting, he went on to found his own commercial lighting business. He now shares his expertise and passion for all things lighting with readers of