Philips Hue Lightstrips: Bending, Cutting & Re-Attaching - Smart Home Point
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Philips Hue Lightstrips: Bending, Cutting & Re-Attaching – Smart Home Point

Philips Hue light strips have some really cool features and can work great in various places around your home, especially behind your TV and in your kitchen. I’m actually considering using them in my kitchen, but wanted to know exactly how many packs of light strips to buy, since I may need to cut them down.

I’ve read that you can cut them with the ‘v4’ light strips, but how do you reattach and reuse them if you’ve only bought one pack? I wanted to find out this and more before adding smart lighting to my kitchen, hence this post.

Reading: How to connect philips hue strip

philips hue light strips can be cut (every 33cm), but only newer light strip models plus v4 can be “officially” re-attached later. Alternatively, you can use third-party connectors, such as those from litcessory.

overview of philips hue light strips

installing led strip lights around the house has become increasingly popular in recent years, so philips hue smart led strip lights, the hue strip light range, were always pretty unavoidable.

They can be installed in different places, although the most common areas of the home are:

  • behind the TV, to create cool ambient lighting effects. You may also be able to sync the light strips to what’s playing on your TV (using huesync), but this may vary depending on the light strip model and how you play content on your TV.
  • under counters and shelves, which is especially useful in a kitchen to create nice ambient lighting.
  • around desks (such as computer desks) to allow you to ” set the mood” of whatever you want to be doing/watching. playing a desert based pc game? set the light strips to a yellow orange color! watching frozen (be honest)!? place the light strips in blue or blue white.
  • around the ceiling, where there is molding or cornices. this can really help a room stand out and be used to provide good lighting, especially at night where you may want a dim yellow light to simulate the sunset.

In the following youtube video you can see an example of hue light strips being used over a door:

There have been four main generations, hue called “versions”, of the indoor strip light over the years. the interior light strip is called “light strip plus”. then there’s an “outdoor light strip” model that’s waterproof, along with a “gradient tone light strip game” that sits behind the TV and reflects the color of whatever’s on the screen.

I’ll get to this later, but what’s common to all hue light strips is that they are ultimately all powered by plugging them into a wall outlet (attempts to wire them would void your warranty):

different generations/versions of hue light strips

As mentioned above, there are three main types of hue light strips:

  • indoor ones, known as philips hue lightstrip plus.
  • outdoor ones (water resistant up to ip67), called philips hue outdoor lightstrip.
  • strips ‘behind the tv’ light strip, a range launched in September 2020 and called the philips hue play gradient light strip.
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The outdoor light strip was first released in August 2018 and is still in its first generation, just like the gaming gradient light strip. however, indoor strip light models have had a few iterations:

  • hue lightstrip – Released in 2012-2013.
  • hue lightstrip plus v2 – Released in 2015 and offers 1600 lumens – a huge increase over the original light strip.
  • hue lightstrip plus v3 – Released in 2017, which was primarily a design revamp.
  • hue lightstrip plus v4 – Released in June 2020, offers a connector to reuse cut pieces on other light strips. light hue.

In terms of being able to cut, bend and reposition hue strip lights, they can all be bent, but cutting and repositioning them is only officially supported with the recently released indoor plus v4 model.

Related Reading: Philips Hue Light Strips: Width Guide

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However, since there has always been a demand to cut and reuse toned light strips, there are various third party approaches for some of the other models; I cover this in the final section.

bend philips hue light strips

Unless you’re running your light strips in a large row, you’ll probably need to bend them at some point. this may be so they can turn a corner between two perpendicular surfaces (such as between two walls or a corner kitchen cabinet), go around a curved surface, or run around parts of your desk.

if you want a fairly smooth curve, you can easily do this with any shade of string lights (or led strip lights in general) due to the material they’re made of – a kind of flexible material of rubber/silicone.

however, if you need to make a steeper 90° angle bend, then you have two main options:

option 1: just fold the strip directly

if you can, simply folding the strip straight is probably your best option; you just have to make sure that your curve doesn’t damage the light strip. in other words, you should avoid bending where there are solder joints, light diodes, or resistors:

hue strip lights have “cut here” marks, and are the perfect place to make a curve.

when bending you need to make sure you don’t just create a protrusion (in the corner) in the light strip as this will lead to having too many leds in that corner area resulting in a poor overall lighting effect .

The best way to make a curve in this case is to bend the strip 45° to the opposite angle you want to bend (so the strip now has a 90° corner) and then fold it back. otherwise:

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option 2: buy a corner joint

If the above method doesn’t work for some reason, you can purchase a third party corner joint known as a “corner connector”. you cut the two strips at the cut intervals and then rejoin them using the corner connectors.

this can work very well and leads to a slightly better overall finish than method 1, even if it’s a bit of a hassle having to buy additional connectors.

cut then reuse/reposition hue light strips

hue plus light strips are expensive at over $75 for the core package, which means that if you need to cut them down (because there’s a gap in the intended print run, for example), you’ll probably want to re-use the clipping at a later date.

so it’s great that the plus v4 model released in mid-2020 supports clipping reuse, right? well…

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Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. first of all, hue light strips can only be cut every 13″ (33 cm), a greater distance than many of their competitors:

This means that sometimes your main (usable) strip will end up longer or shorter than you would have liked, same with your leftover strip.

but assuming your cutout is of usable length, you can just connect it to another v4 plus light strip kit using the included connector:

the reason i say you can just plug it into another kit is because the cut end needs to be powered and run through a controller (remember hue light strips ‘speak’ zigbee which means it needs to have a hue light strip controller). unfortunately you can’t buy the tone controller separately.

this akk means that in order to use the official light strips v4 slicing feature, you need to buy two packs of light strips, which cost around $150. this could get very expensive, especially if you only want a 40″ (1 meter) run, then a gap, then another 20″ (50 cm) run – you’d have enough tone light strips from a single package, but trimming could not be used by purchasing a separate package (with a separate controller and power supply).

Is there a solution to this problem? and what about v2/v3 light strips? well luckily yes you can cut and reuse the cutouts using litcessory adapters. you can also attach a cut end piece to the hue extension kits and then move on, saving you money in the process. you can also use adapters from other companies, but litcessory is the main supplier and you can buy from their website and amazon as well, so I thought I’d mention them here.

using litcessory to rejoin and split philips hue light strips

Litcessory’s FAQ page and blog cover some common use cases of combining hue light strips with their connectors, although I wanted to show you how you could use one hue plus light strip kit and two extension kits. , along with litcessory products, to add smart light strips to the following part of my kitchen:

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Kitchen smart lightstrip plans with measurements - one section is 24", the other is 122"

Kitchen smart lightstrip plans with measurements – one section is 24″, the other is 122″

So overall it is a bit less than a 145″ (3.7m) run, but there’s a gap for the dishwasher. This means that I have two options for installing Philips Hue Lightstrips. I can either purchase:

  • two hue light strips plus separate kits (which cost about $150): one for the left hand area and one for the right hand area.
  • one strip hue light kit plus extension kit (which costs about $20) – to extend the travel of the right hand area, as the standard kit is only 78″ (2m).
  • this option would cost me up to $170 and create a lot of waste on the left hand stroke which is only 24″ (60 cm)

or could buy:

  • one single tone light strip plus kit (costs about $75) – I can use this on the right side.
  • two tone light strips plus extension kits (costs about $40 total) – one can be used on the left side and the other on the right to extend the run there.
  • two ‘driver to 6 pin’ accessory connectors ($30 total)
  • one fixture divider ($15)
  • this comes to a total of $160 and reduces the waste of tone light strips…but produces additional “waste” ( of resources) by having to include three additional connectors.

It’s complicated. not a great option either. but in terms of why I would need three litcessory connectors, your blog post explains it very well, but the gist is that the litcessory splitter (the device that means I can run a hue light strip extension on a single controller) needs to be connected to the tone controller via a ‘6-pin driver’:

Hue lightstrip and Litcessory example - I

Hue lightstrip and Litcessory example (to handle the gap from my dishwasher).

In this case, it probably isn’t worth me buying the Litcessory connectors – I may as well spend a tiny bit more money and have two separate Hue light kits. Of course, these will then work independently of each-other which is another flaw.

The little-needed connectors prevent this (since all the tone light strips link into a single tone controller), plus you can actually link much more than just 2 or 3 tone light strips. you just need to make sure that the total run of the hue light strips (going to a single controller) doesn’t exceed 33 feet/10 meters.

Related Reading: Philips Hue Light Strip Mounting Guide (Don’t Use Standard Adhesive!)

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