While many of the products we review here are readily available to purchase and operate without a license, we always recommend hiring a qualified electrician to install and demonstrate their use.
In some cases, improper use and installation may result in a breach of insurance. Even worse, you could be putting yourself or your family at risk as an incorrectly installed electrical device could start a fire. So, don’t risk it - seek the services of a fully licensed electrician instead.
There’s No Need to Lose Your Head When You Lose Your Remote.
Before we start, allow me to get something off my chest. Ahem... I L-O-V-E LEDs!
These cost-effective, energy-efficient, customizable lights are absolutely one of the most underrated ways of decorating everything from individual bits of furniture to your entire living space.
With a few of these magical strips laced around, come evening, you can instantly transform your room into an aurora. Some even respond and sync up to music using intelligent microphones — amazing, right?
Vivid, yet subtle, LED light strips are the ultimate mood-makers. They can change the entire atmosphere of your living quarters with the simple push of a button, but what do we do when the buttons go AWOL?
LED Light Strips and Renegade Remotes
As LED lights are self-contained units that don’t get hardwired into your electrical panel, there are no wall-mounted switches to use; their operation relies solely on remote controls.
These little control modules usually arrive as part of the LED strip bundle, and they’re incredibly easy to lose.
Seriously, these things just disappear. I know scientists haven’t cracked what’s in the center of a black hole yet, but I’m pretty sure it’s all our LED light strip remotes. I myself have lost the remote to my LED light strip array at least four times this month.
Once the remote’s gone, you don’t only lose all access to the customizable parameters of your LED array, you may not even be able to turn them on.
It’s irritating, but I don’t let it bother me, and neither should you because there are things you can do to remedy your remoteless situation.
1. Buy a New Remote
I thought I’d cover the obvious answers first. Sure, it’s disappointing that you have to shell out even more money to regain control of your LED light strips, but replacement remotes don’t cost much, and in my opinion, it’s the best course of action.
Ideally, you’ll be able to source an exact replica of the remote you lost from the manufacturer who made your lights. If you purchased them in a brick and mortar store, pay a visit and ask if they sell replacement remotes.
Alternatively, there are literally hundreds of LED light strip sets on Amazon, so the one you bought is bound to be on there somewhere. Once you find them, simply send the seller a message inquiring about replacement remote controls.
If the worst has happened and you either don’t know who made your light strips or you just can’t find them, I’d recommend looking for a universal replacement remote such as this 44 Key RGB LED strip light controller. Remotes like this are designed to pair up with multiple types of LED light strips.
Do bear in mind, though, that “universal” is used pretty loosely in this context. These remotes still need to match voltage specifications and IR frequency in order to sync up with your LED strips.
2. Turn Your Smartphone into the Remote
Making your smartphone the remote isn’t just an amazing way to get yourself out of this LED pickle, it also makes you look like a total genius!
There’s just something about whipping your phone out and controlling your lights between sending a text or two that seems to really impress guests. It’s somehow...fancier in the eyes of onlookers. It makes your array feel like an expensive installation rather than cheap LEDs sticky-taped to your walls.
So, how does this high-tech resolution work? Well, sometimes all it requires is the downloading of an app. To find out whether your LED strip model is compatible with any of the existing control apps, simply Google the model and see if anything app-related appears.
Don’t worry if there doesn’t seem to be an app for your particular strip model, because there’s another way you can approach the issue.
First, you’ll need one of these Smart WiFi LED RGB adapters. This little gizmo plugs directly into your light strip, imbuing it with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Next, download the free app known as Magic Home, make an account, and voilà, you’ve got control of your lights again. Just, whatever you do, try not to lose your phone, otherwise, it’s back to square one.
3. Hook Your LED Light Strip up to Your Electrical Outlet
Admittedly, this isn’t the most elegant solution on the list, but at number three, we’re starting to scrape the LED barrel here. If you’ve lost the remote for an LED strip, you can try plugging it into one of your wall outlets.
To do so, you’ll need something like this 12V DC 2A wall power supply adapter. Just remove the strip’s receiver, hook it up to one of these adapters, plug it in, flip the switch, and that’s that.
Unfortunately, if your LED strip features integrated remote power, you won’t be able to connect it up to an adapter, which is annoying, but it’s a flawed fix anyway, so don’t sweat it.
Plugging your LED strip into an outlet may well spark them to life, but you’ll have no control over any of the customizable parameters such as hue, intensity, or sequence — boo!
You’ll be stuck with the default setting or perhaps the last custom setting you dialed in, and that’s going to get old really fast!
Furthermore, you’ll have to manually switch them on and off at the wall every time you wish to use them, which is incredibly inconvenient considering you used to be able to control them from your bed.
4. Replace Your Entire LED Light Strip
I hope it never comes to this, but sometimes, buying a whole new array is the only way to regain control of your LED ambiance.
I know, I know...it’s going to cost us, but one of the reasons we love LED strips so much is their affordability, so it shouldn’t leave us too light of pocket in the end.
Besides, buying some new LED strips provides us the opportunity to treat ourselves to more advanced models and even to redesign our lighting layout. You never know, losing that remote may be the best thing that ever happened to your interior design.
Tips on Keeping Your LED Remote Safe
As is always the case, prevention is better than the cure, so before we part ways, let’s discuss some key pointers for keeping that remote safe and sound, so you never have to go through this debacle ever again.
1. Allocating a Station
We all have those special zones around the house for certain objects. Keys go on the key hook as we walk through the door, the TV remote lives on the coffee table, spices on the spice rack, and so on.
If we can allocate our LED strip remotes their own little station, as we do for everything else, there’s very little chance they’ll go missing.
2. Invest in a Tracker
This sounds very James Bond, but believe it or not, trackers aren’t only used for espionage and keeping tabs on our pets. They can also be used to find the things you have a habit of misplacing.
This is actually what I did before I decided to upgrade my whole array with wifi-enabled light strips, and it never failed me.
I invested in this 400ft range Bluetooth tracker, attached it to my LED strip remote, and whenever it went missing, I just checked my phone and found it. Once I learned the common hiding places, I rarely even needed the tracker.
It can be a bit of a pain to attach, but a few bits of Scotch tape holding it in place on the underside of your remote normally does the trick. The only downside is the cost.
Inquire About Multiple Remotes at Point of Purchase
If, like me, you’re prone to losing things, it’s a good idea to stock up on remotes when you first buy your LED light strip.
Let There Be Light!
That’s all from me, fellow LED lovers. I hope you found the solution to your LED light strip remote woes here today. The best way to ensure you retain full control over all of your strip’s parameters is by sourcing an identical remote.
Hooking your LED array to your phone via an app is another excellent solution, but failing that, you’ll either have to plug them into your wall outlets or replace them altogether. Best of luck!