Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums

Wire Gauges, Soldering and Dumb Ribbon RGB-Help Plz


Recommended Posts



So I bought this wiring:



and these lights:



A Soldering station and the Hands kit with the magnifying glass with Alligator clips.


I am having a challenge soldering the wire to the Ribbons.  I also need to understand some of the gauge wiring. I will be running maximum 16' from the controller and power supply to the strip.

as I am using the dumb RGB for wash lighting under my eves.  I did also buy some of this wiring:


which looks easier to solder to the little pads on the ribbon.  I have also thought about 22awg wire as it is a bit thinner and might adhere better with out causing shorts.


Thoughts please as this is the last part of the display to go up and if I can't solder this this weekend, then this part of the project will be scrapped for this year.


thanks for any and all advice.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The easiest way I have found to do it:  


First tin the wire ends with solder. I smear some additional solder flux on the strips pads,(messy, but really helps)

Then add a small "drop" of solder to each little pad.

I then reheat the drop on the pad and sink the wire into it.


If you place a good "drop" of solder on the pad, no additional solder is needed after the wire sinks in.

If you look at certain sections of the light strip, you will see that some spots are soldered together.


I try to match that amount of solder when placing the "drops" on the pad. 


I solder my wires to the top of the strips, but the same process can be done on the bottom.


Hope this helps...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 18g wire is sometimes tough to keep from bridging.  With only 16' runs you can use cat5 wire, even double up the wires if you want, but not needed.  The cat5 wire will really be easy to work with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I solder to the strip exactly how Steve described it. Really easy. All my wires are 18awg as well and a little tough to keep them separate on the pad so when I strip the ends before tinning, I use the 20 awg hole to "shave" off a bit. That's if your using stranded wire.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found all of the above comments to be true.  I get CAT5 cable from a relative for free, it's stranded, or I should say fine stranded compared to the security cable, and have doubled up the conductors.  I don't have any runs with the full 5m of lights attached, but in my brief testing, my lights are working with some runs slightly longer than 40'.   I also found the tin the wires, tin the ribbon pad , than just  place the two together and heat- works just fine.    I would also add, use some shrink tubing to strengthen and seal the connection. 



Edited by steve synek
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used cat5 to run 12 full 5m RGB strips off one controller.....RGB spiral trees I had on my lawn. None of the cat5 were longer than 20ft. All wires were doubled. Each strip had its own cat5 cable. Worked flawlessly but I would for sure not run farther nor more than 1 strip per cat5 cable. Short runs if using cat5 for power. Well, guess that depends on what your powering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...