Do LED Light Strips Damage Walls?

Well it might cause a hell lot of hassle to personalize an area when you are renting an apartment without causing irreversible damage to the fittings and fixtures. If renters cause cracks or holes in the house, landlords are permitted by current leasehold legislation to withhold money from the security deposit. 

LED strip lights, however, seem to provide a workable answer to this problem. They have the capacity to completely alter a space, giving it a cosier atmosphere. When the tenants are shifting to somewhere new, these strips can be easily eradicated, thanks to their semi-permanent 3M adhesive base.

LED light strips are fantastic for both indoor and outdoor lighting decorations. This help improves your room’s look easily due to the compact design. 

But occasionally, you might have to relocate your LED strips. For instance, you could be relocating to a new location or wish to relocate the lights to another wall. The issue is taking apart and reusing your LED light strips without deteriorating the walls.

LED Light Strips are not Hazardous for Walls

Damage on walls from LED strip lights is uncommon, yet it relies on multiple situations, such as the strength of their backing adhesive, how long they have been applied, how durable the paint or wallpaper is, etc.

A fundamental benefits is the ability to find LED light strips wherever the customer wants. They don’t have to be clanged to on the same wall or even the same house, same thing applies to the traditional light fixtures. 

Thus, you don’t have to let go of your LED strips behind when you move, which helps you save costs and effort in purchasing new lights.

Adhesiveness of LED Light Strips

LED light strips, regardless of their colour or length, very certainly all feature 3M adhesive as the backing. The 3M adhesive is considered to be the best and is the industry standard for all adhesives because of the high-quality acrylic used for its manufacturing.

This acrylic has a variety of uses. It can be described as an extremely viscous liquid and an elastic solid. 

Because of these properties, the 3M adhesive can easily slip through surface blemishes and unevenness, making a solid bond with whatever surface it is applied to.

Thus, good-quality LED light strips can be used on a wide range of surfaces. However, 3M does have its flaws as well. It tends to lose its adhesiveness over time and has trouble adhering to shiny or greasy surfaces. Moreover, it does not react well to humidity and dampness too.

Because of these drawbacks, people for sticking their LED strips with other adhesives. Individuals use a variety of techniques for this, including double-sided tape, foam tape, hot glue, glue dots, Gorilla tape, etc.

What Type Of Surface is Damaged by LED Light Strips?

It is a known fact that interior design trends are always evolving. Your options and style are different now than they were a few years ago. You may not want to paint your room bright pink as you once wanted a few years ago. 

Similarly, you won’t want the same LED light strips in the same location forever as well. However, relocating them will be determined by the type of surface you have adhered to them on.

For instance, if the wall is made of wood or tile, i.e., a smooth surface, there shouldn’t be any issues. The wall won’t be harmed when the strips are peeled off. 

The worst scenario that could occur is that a little adhesive residue that has to be cleaned off could still be there.

On the other hand, if the wall is painted, wallpapered, or just plain drywall, there have been some issues. These surfaces are particularly vulnerable to degradation since they are composed of multiple delicate layers. 

Wallpaper is, in simple terms, mere paper. Any type of paper will produce a solid bind when powerful glue is applied. Thus, if you pull off the adhesive, i.e., the LED strips, you will find it difficult. It’s conceivable that your wallpaper will peel or tear off.

Similarly, paint tends to age and gets extremely delicate with the passage of time. Therefore, pulling off LED strips usually cause old paint to be peeled off. Sadly, fresh paint is not always the greatest choice either. 

Although freshly painted surfaces might seem touch-dry in about 24 hours, final curing often takes up to a month. 

Thus, if the strips are used on a freshly painted wall, the paint would cure around them. In essence, the paint’s link with the LEDs would grow stronger as compared to its bond with the wall.

Therefore, in simple words, high-quality LED light strips do not pose any harm to the walls. Nevertheless, the case may change based on a number of variables, such as:

  • The durability of the paint or wallpaper
  • The strength of the adhesive
  • The duration of the LED strip being installed on the wall
  • The surrounding climate or environment

Removing LED Light Strips Safely from the Wall

If you stick your LED light strips to a sturdy surface and use their original 3M backing adhesive, they won’t cause wall damage. 

Nevertheless, if you want to remove your strips with the least amount of damage, then you can follow these simple steps:

  • Disconnect the power sources of your LED strips.
  • Heat the adhesive coating on the strip using a hairdryer. It will become softer and simpler to remove. However, use the hairdryer for no more than two minutes to avoid any damage to the LEDs.
  • Insert a flat item (like a credit card or butter knife) under the LED strip, starting at one of the corners, and wiggle it to carefully pull the LED strip off.
  • Use your free hand to carefully peel the LED strip away from the surface.
  • Keep going until the LED strip has completely pulled off.
  • Gently massage your fingers in circles over any remaining glue residue.
  • If this method does not remove the residue, then dab WD-40 or a citrus-based hand cleanser on a cloth and rub it over until it has been dissolved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I stop an LED strip from falling off?

Keep it away from heat sources and avoid applying it on uneven surfaces. Ensure that the LED’s sides are facing upwards as well.

Can I remove and re-stick my LED strips?

Yes, the adhesive can be used multiple times if the strip is removed properly.

Can I connect the LED strip to any surface with super glue?

As super glue might harm the surface, it is not advised.

Final Words

One of the most practical lighting elements someone may put in their homes is LED light strips. 

Not only are these easy peasy lemon squeezy to install, but they can also be relocated and used repeatedly without any permanent fixtures, without peeling the paint from the walls or harming the wallpaper.

It is preferable to heat the glue using a blow dryer before attempting to remove the LED light strips since the strip easily peels off once the heat has softened the adhesive. 

However, you can always do a patch test in case you are still hesitant.

For this, apply a small amount of 3M adhesive in a hidden location of your house, like a corner or behind a cabinet. 

Remove it after a couple of days to check for damage done to the wall, such as peeled paint or torn wallpaper.

Leave a Comment