How to Cut Rope Light

By Eric Allen | Updated Jun 25, 2020
How to Custom Cut Rope Lights for Landscape Lighting
Rope Light Video Guides

Cut & Connect Rope Light

Install End Caps

How to Cut Rope Light

Rope light spools can be cut using either sharp scissors or a knife. To cut rope light, measure the area where you plan to install the rope light and then cut the tube at the nearest cutting mark. The mark that indicates a safe spot for cutting rope light will typically look like a small pair of scissors or a dashed line. This is the only place that LED or incandescent rope light should be cut. The distance between the cut marks will vary depending on the rope light so it's important to measure your space and choose the cut mark closest to that measurement.

How to Connect Sections of Rope Light

When installing rope light for custom projects, you may need to use connectors to join two pieces of rope light together. Remember that the two pieces of rope light being connected must be the same in voltage and wire count. As a general guide when using any connector, you will want to line up the holes in the rope light with the prongs of a connector. Then, firmly press the pieces together.

There are several different types of rope light connectors which we will touch on a little further down this guide. Each connector is uniquely designed for joining rope light in different ways to create a variety of shapes, and to allow outdoor rope light to contour around landscapes, edges and angles. All rope light accessories must correspond with the shape and diameter of the rope light being used. For example, a 2 wire rope light with 1/2" diameter will need to be paired with corresponding accessories. Knowing how to connect rope light can also be useful if a section of the rope light malfunctions. Simply remove the unlit section and place the working sections back together using a connector.

Powering Rope Light

After you have cut and connected your rope light to fit your space or project, you will need to add a power connector to one cut end. Then, an end cap can be used to safely cover the opposite cut end of the rope light.

Conveniently, each rope light spool from Christmas Lights, Etc comes with four of the most useful accessories: power connectors, splice connectors,end caps, and mounting clips. These will allow for the rope light spool to be spliced or cut up to three times. Additional extra accessories are available if needed.

Two runs being connected

Connector is less noticeable.

Creates an unlit section

Creates three connections

One run forking off into two runs

Four runs meet in one intersection

How to Hang or Mount Rope Light

Rope lighting projects can vary widely but there are several installation accessories to help for both indoor and outdoor projects. When securing rope light to any type of surface, it is recommended that the rope light is supported foot by foot, with additional mounting hardware at every corner and curve. The video below provides a few examples of how rope light can be mounted using either channel track or rope light clips.

Crocodile Clips can be screwed into many surfaces and have small rigid teeth for an extra firm grip. Crocodile clips can also be connected side by side to create parallel rope light runs.

Mounting Clips can be screwed into a variety of surfaces and are designed to direct the rope light in tight spaces, curvy areas, and corners.

Rope Light Tracks or Channels are like a framework, guiding the direction of the rope light inch by inch. Channel is commonly used for straight paths and results in a highly professional look. It can be screwed into the hanging surface or applied with an adhesive.

Zip or Cable Ties can be used to secure rope lighting onto metal railings or any surface a zip tie will wrap around. Once the zip tie is pulled tight enough to hold the wire but not too tight that it will damage it, cut the excess end of the tie for a clean finish

Use zip ties to hold rope light in place
Zip Ties

U Stakes can be used to stake rope light into the ground or along pathways. Use a rubber mallet to hammer the stakes over the rope light, while being careful not to hit the rope light.

Use landscape U stakes to hold rope lights in place.
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