How to Remove LED Strip Lights Without Damaging Wall: A Quick Guide
In an earlier article, we briefly wrote about how to hang LED strip lights without damaging your walls. We had a lot of people looking to install their new LED strip lights, and they wanted to make sure they did it in a way that would allow for easy removal later on.
Well, now that time has come! If you’re reading this article, I’m guessing you’ve decided to either upgrade your strip lights, move them to a different part of the room, or you need to temporarily take them down to redecorate your room before putting them up again.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. If you’ve been wondering how to take LED strip lights off the wall without damaging either the lights or the wall itself, you’ve come to the right place.
Step 1: Clear the area
The first step may seem obvious, but it needs to be done.
You’ll want to remove any paintings or artwork from the wall, as well as any home fixtures or anything similar. You want a completely free space to do this.
Step 2: Cut off the electrical supply to your LED strip lights
The next step is to cut off all the electricity powering your LED strip lights. Whenever we’re handling light fixtures, it’s always advised they are turned off and fully powered down before we start.
Step 3: Make sure you have access to an electrical outlet/plug
The way to successfully get your LED strip lights off the wall without damaging the wall itself is to heat up the adhesive attaching it to the wall. So, you will need to have an electrical outlet or plug nearby to power the tool creating the heat.
If there is not one in your immediate area, you will need an extension cord, similar to the one you’d use to reach from your house into your garden when using a power tool like a lawnmower.
Step 4: Using a hairdryer or heat gun, slowly warm up the LED strip
To create the heat, we suggest using a heat gun on a low power setting. Obviously not everyone has access to a heat gun in their home, so a hairdryer will achieve the same effect.
Being careful not to burn the LED strip itself, slowly run the hairdryer or heat gun along the LED strip, maintaining a 10-15cm distance between the end of your heat tool and the LED strip at all times.
The key here is that you’re not actually trying to warm up the light strip itself, but instead the adhesive attaching the light strip to the wall. The warmer you can make the adhesive, the easier and cleaner it will come off the wall.
It's very similar to how you heat up a label on something that’s glass, plastic, or metal to make it easier to take off.
That stubborn adhesive on labels can be a nightmare to get off. You’ll know instantly whether its going to play ball or not - it’ll either come off perfectly or it’ll start breaking up, with some of the label coming off and others staying attached to the surface. But, by heating it up, you weaken the grip of the adhesive, allowing for easy removal.
And this is exactly the same process we’re trying to achieve with the adhesive on the back of our LED strip lights. Using a bit of heat, we’re going to weaken the strength of the adhesive, allowing us to easily remove it without damaging the wall beneath.
Step 5: Slowly peel your LED strip light off the wall
Once you’ve heated the strip for a few minutes, starting at one of the ends, slowly start peeling the strip from the wall.
Ensure you do this slowly enough that the paint does not come off with the strip - it can be tempting to go too fast, or convince yourself that if you quickly pull it off the wall it’ll be fine. It won’t! Have patience.
You can stop and re-apply the heat!
Feel free to re-apply the heat if you need to mid-way through taking the LED strip off the wall. Remember, you came here to find out how to remove your LED strip light without damaging the wall, and this patient approach is how.
So, if that necessitates stopping while half the light strip is off the wall to re-apply some heat for 3-5 minutes, so be it.
You may need to clear off any adhesive residue
Once your LED light strip has been removed, depending on the type of adhesive you may need to wash away some of the adhesive residue that was left on the wall.
There are products you can buy specifically for this purpose, such as Goo Gone, however if you’re on a budget you may be able to achieve a similar effect with some warm soapy water.
Following this guide step by step, you should now know how to remove LED strip lights without damaging your wall.
If you’re looking for a no-fuss LED strip light that looks great and is easy to install (and more importantly is easy to remove and re-use!), check our our LED Strip Light here at Cavelights!