How Flexible are LED Strip Lights? 2017-06-16T15:45:27+00:00

InStyle’s LED tape offers you more flexibility than other forms of lighting. You can fit it to curved surfaces, twist it and even loop it back on itself. (After all, it’s supplied on reels!)

LED strip lights installed on a curved surface

LED tape looped around a standard reel

So bending your LED strip lights for installation on a curved surface is very straightforward. But what if your projects needs its LED tape to be bent flat (across the PCB’s edge), as in the picture below?

LED Tape bent at 45 degrees

We don’t recommend bending your tape to more than 45 degrees across the PCB’s edge. (Take care not to damage the PCB mounting, and always make sure you bend the tape at a marked cut-point.)

If you need to bend your LED tape laterally (across the edge of the PCB) to an angle greater that 45 degrees, then we suggest these alternative approaches:

  1. Bending LED tapes laterally using connector clips
  2. Bending LED tapes laterally using soldered links
  3. Bending white LED tapes laterally (very short runs)


1. How to bend your LED tapes laterally with clip-on connectors

If your LED tape needs to bend at an angle greater than 45 degrees (for example, to go around a right-angle corner), then we do not recommend physically bending it. Instead, we suggest one of our tape connectors.

2-core flexible-link connector - open

Clip-on connectors have a standard 150mm cable. This length cannot be adjusted, so you’ll have to find space to hide any excess cable. This can be a problem for some installations.

InStyle’s LED tape has a wide beam angle of 120 degrees, so it can be quite forgiving if the LEDs are not perfectly positioned. But even so, be careful not to space the LED strip sections too far apart like so, as this will lead to ‘dark’ patches in the light produced by the LED tape run.

LED clip-on connectors should not be widely spaced, as this may lead to 'dark' areas

Instead, you should position the LED strip sections close together. The goal is to keep an even amount of space between the LEDs on the boards, like so:

LED clip-on connectors should be positioned close together for an even lighting effect

This video explains more about our clip-on tape connectors.

Tape-to-tape connectors by InStyle LED


2. How InStyle can solder flexible links so your LED tapes bend laterally

You can order your tape with flexible LED strip connectors already fitted. Tell us where you want your tape to bend, and we’ll cut and solder your flexible connector(s) before your order is dispatched – so it’s ready to use right out of the package.

Link cables are completely customisable, so they can be cut to fit your LED strip lighting project exactly – without excess cable, or with longer cables if required.

Like this:

LED strip bent to 90 degrees, using a very short (custom) flexible link


3. How to bend your white LED tapes laterally (short runs only)

Very flexible LED strip lighting

If your project requires a short run of white LED tape, why not use LED flex tape for the job? Unlike standard LED strips, our LED flex tape’s PCB mounting is cut in a unique zig-zag that means it can bend at extreme angles on a flat surface.

Designed with signage and display lighting in mind, this specialised type of LED tape is intended to make illuminating channel/moulded lettering, brand logos and other shapes a simple task.

InStyle’s white LED flex strips draw 12 watts per metre and are available in a choice of warm white or pure white shades (1200 / 1300 lumens per metre).

LED flex tape bends easily

Note that this specialist flex tape is only suitable for very short runs, as the cutaway PCB impacts heat dispersal.


But what about my LED tape extrusions? Can they bend too?

Yes they can! Bendable aluminium LED tape extrusions are now available. You can order yours from InStyle LED today.

Bendable aluminium LED tape extrusion

LED tape extrusion bent in an arch

Flexible LED profile can bend much further than traditional extrusions