How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights (3 Easy Ways)

LED light strips are a popular lighting option for a variety of applications due to their energy efficiency and versatility. However, the brightness and intensity of the light emitted from these strips can be too harsh for some uses. This is where diffusing the light comes into play.

By softening the light and distributing it more evenly, the LED light strip can provide a more pleasant and subtle lighting effect.

In this article, we will explore different methods for diffusing LED light strips, from using barriers and buffers to fun DIY ideas. So if you’re looking to achieve a more diffused and pleasing lighting effect with your LED light strips, read on to learn how to diffuse LED strip lights.

how to diffuse led strip lights

Why Do People Want To Diffuse Their LED Strip Lights?

People choose to diffuse LED lights for various reasons, including aesthetic and functional purposes. One of the main reasons is to soften the light emitted from the LED light strip. The harsh, direct light from an LED strip light can sometimes be too bright and uncomfortable, making it difficult to create a relaxing ambiance in a room. By diffusing the light, it becomes softer and more even, creating a more comfortable and pleasing atmosphere.

Diffusing LED lights can also help to distribute the light more evenly throughout a room, making it less harsh and more diffused. This is especially important for larger rooms or areas where the light needs to cover a larger space. Diffusing the LED light can help to provide more even and uniform lighting, reducing the occurrence of shadows or uneven lighting.

Another reason people choose to diffuse LED lights is for aesthetic purposes. Diffused LED lights can create a more beautiful and unique lighting effect, enhancing the overall decor and ambiance of a room. This is especially true for colored LED light strips, where diffusing the light can create a beautiful and subtle glow, adding an extra layer of depth to the space.

Diffusing LED lights can provide many benefits, including a more comfortable and even lighting experience, as well as adding an extra layer of beauty and depth to a space.

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How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights Using Barriers

How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights Using Barriers

Diffusing by using barriers is a common method of softening and spreading LED light. It involves placing a cover, such as a barrier, around the LED light source to scatter the light and create a more subtle, pleasing glow.

There are various types of barriers that can be used for diffusing LED lights. Here are some examples:

  • Fabric: Fabric is the first type of diffuser material on our list. If you have any old thin cotton or knitted clothes, you can use them to create a more pleasant atmosphere for your LED lights. These materials are simple to use and can be long-lasting.
  • Aluminum extrusions for LED strips: If you’re looking for a ready-made solution to diffuse your LED strips, consider using aluminum LED extrusions. There are various types available, but it’s essential to select one that fits your LED strips perfectly. It’s recommended to choose a curved extrusion since it diffuses light more effectively than flat ones.
  • Adhesives: Although it may be surprising to some, adhesives such as thermoplastic or any type of glue are effective light diffusers. In recent times, glue has been produced in various colors, which could be worth considering for a better illumination.
  • Glass: Glass is also an excellent material to diffuse LED strip lights, as it is available in various sizes, shapes, and colors, allowing you to customize the appearance of your LED lights as you desire.
  • Paper: Looking for a budget-friendly option? Consider using plain paper. Any type of paper, such as bond paper or parchment paper, will work just fine. It’s an affordable option and easy to work with. With a little creativity, you can create a great diffuser using paper.
  • Opaque Materials: It’s worth noting that opaque materials like acrylic or plastic are highly effective in diffusing LED strip lights and are widely used due to their accessibility

How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights Using Barriers

How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights Using Buffers

How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights Using Buffers

Another technique for diffusing LED strip lights is by using buffers, also known as “double diffusion.” This method involves adding another layer of diffuser between the previous one and the LED strip lights.

Some people use this technique when they feel that the LED lights on their strip are not diffused enough or still too bright. If adding distance between the LEDs and the cover is not enough to achieve the desired diffused effect, using buffers can be a viable option.

You can use any of the materials mentioned in the previous section as a buffer for this process. Adding an inner layer between the lights and the cover will create an even more diffused effect and produce a softer glow.

Using buffers can be particularly useful in situations where you need to soften the brightness of the LED lights without sacrificing their brightness entirely. It’s also an easy and cost-effective way to achieve a diffused lighting effect without having to purchase additional equipment.

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Fun DIY Ideas for Diffusing LED Light Strips

Now that we’ve covered various methods for diffusing LED light strips, let’s explore some creative ways to use them in your home. Take a look at the following list for some of the best decorative ideas that you can achieve with diffused LED light strips.

Glass Mason Jars

Mason jars are a versatile material that can be used to create unique and interesting lighting effects. These glass containers are particularly popular during Halloween, where creative individuals use them to add a touch of mystery and intrigue to their décor.

To create a mason jar LED light, all you need to do is insert the LED light strip into the jar and add some decorative cut-outs to enhance the effect. Once finished, you can arrange the jars side-by-side to create a stunning decorative display for any occasion.

The great thing about mason jars is that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can mix and match to create a truly unique and personalized lighting setup. Plus, they are easy to find and relatively inexpensive, making them an ideal DIY material for any budget.

Ping Pong Balls

How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights – Ping Pong Balls

Ping pong balls are a great material to use when creating design items for your home or for creative costume purposes. Don’t worry about the heat generated by the LED strip lights, as they do not produce enough heat to cause a fire.

Shadow Boxes

One of the simplest DIY ideas on the list is the shadow box. To create this project, you will need your LED strips, a clean box, plain paper, and tape.

To start, cover all sides of the box, except for one, with plain paper. You can choose any color you want to make it more appealing, and then insert the LED lights however you prefer.

After finishing that, cut out your desired design and cover the final area with bond paper. This idea works great for making DIY calendars.

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3D Print LED Diffusers

How To Diffuse LED Strip Lights – 3D Print LED Diffusers

Another creative way to diffuse LED light strips is by using 3D printed diffusers. This method involves creating 3D printed shapes and materials that can be placed over the LED strip lights to disperse the light and create a softer glow.

There are many designs available online that you can download and print yourself, or you can even create your own custom designs using a 3D modeling software. Once you have your design, you can print it out using a 3D printer.

The great thing about 3D printed diffusers is that you can create them in any shape or size you desire, allowing you to get really creative with your lighting. You can create abstract shapes, geometric patterns, or even designs that relate to your interests or hobbies.

3D Print LED Diffusers

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have learned about the different methods for diffusing an LED strip light, let’s address some frequently asked questions about LED strip light diffusion in this section.

What Is A Diffuse Light Source?

Soft light is another term used to refer to diffused light. It pertains to any light source that has been diffused by a material, like a thin curtain that softens the sun’s rays.

Can I Cover An LED Light Strip?

If you have a high-quality LED strip light, there’s no need to worry about the cover because the LED won’t produce heat. Nevertheless, it’s still essential to consider the materials you use and take necessary precautions to guarantee the success of your project.

What’s The Distinction Between Clear And Diffused LED Strips?

The primary distinction between clear and diffused LED strips lies in the distance their light beams can travel, in addition to the difference in brightness. Clear LED strips have a limited range of light transmission, whereas diffused LED strips can project light over a greater distance.

What Is A Light Diffuser?

A diffuser is a material that can scatter light, typically in the form of a cover or solid panel around a light source. Its purpose is to soften and make bright lights easier on the eyes.


Diffusing LED strip lights can greatly enhance the lighting quality of any space, and there are many ways to achieve this effect. Some effective methods include using frosted acrylic panels, diffuser covers, or fabric to soften the harshness of the LED lights and create a more pleasant ambiance. Keep in mind the type of LED strip lights being used and their specifications to ensure that the chosen diffusion method will not affect their performance negatively.

Mastering how to diffuse LED strip lights can make a significant difference in the overall aesthetic and functionality of a space. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, anyone can achieve the perfect level of diffusion for their LED strip lights and create a comfortable and inviting environment.