Phone controlling music mode of LED lights
August 4, 2023 12 min read

How to Connect LED Strip Lights to Music

LED strip lights are a versatile lighting option that can transform any space into a vibrant, dynamic environment. One appeal of LED strip lights is their ability to sync with music to create light displays that pulse in rhythm with the beat. There are two easy ways to achieve this: 1. Use a strip light controller that has a built-in microphone, or 2. Use a strip light with a compatible app that uses your phone’s microphone/internal audio system. Follow this step-by-step guide to connect your LED lights with music.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Equipment

You can use any LED strip light as long as it has either a compatible Bluetooth/Wi-Fi controller with a built-in microphone or a mobile app with music sync ability. Popular smart lighting systems that support music sync technology include Twinkly and MiBoxer. Smartphone apps with music control include the Smart Life, Tuya Smart, Happy Lighting, and Open Lit app. Your strip light controller or smart app will state whether or not it has a music sync option.

There are a variety of strip light options to choose from including single-color, RGB, RGBW, single-color white, tunable white, and individually addressable strips. Strip lights, controllers, and power supplies with an IP rating of IP65 or higher can be installed outdoors around your patio or outdoor bar. Additionally, smart lighting systems like Twinkly allow you to connect multiple light fixtures together and collectively sync to music for an immersive environment.

Materials needed:

LED strip light controller and app LED strip light controller and app

Step 2: Prepare Strip Lights for Installation

Before beginning the strip light installation process, you must decide where you want to place your strip lights and where they will connect to the power source. This will determine how long your strip lights should be and how much wiring you will need. 

If you have a long strip light run, you will want to make sure you are not exceeding the max run.  If you experience an excessive voltage drop, you may want to choose a different power supply, add an additional power supply, or change the wiring of your LED strip lighting system. Check your strip light manual for other information related to the performance of your LED strip. 

Measure out the length of strip lights you need and cut them at the closest designated cutting mark. If you need to connect multiple strip segments, use solderless connectors. For waterproof strip lights, be sure to use waterproof connectors and supplies. Use silicone end caps and sealant to cover any exposed ends. Test your strip lights to make sure everything is functioning correctly.

Step 3: Connect the LED Strip Lights to the Controller

Next, connect your LED strip lights to the LED controller. Match the color-coded wires from the LED strip lights to the corresponding ports on the controller. Make sure only the bare wires are touching the terminals, not the wire insulation. Watch our video on How to Wire an LED Strip to a Controller for more information.

There are many options when it comes to choosing a power supply for your strip light. You can use plug-in power adapters, switching power supplies, or power supplies with dimmable capabilities. The power supply you choose will not affect your light strip's ability to connect with music, so choose the best power supply for your specific needs and the requirements of your strip.

Disgram showing the connection between strip light, controller, and power source Disgram showing the connection between strip light, controller, and power source

Step 4: Install Your LED Strip Lights!

Once your lighting system is connected, you can install your strip lights in your desired location. Before you begin installing the LED strip lights, ensure the surface is clean and dry. Peel off the adhesive backing and carefully attach the LED strip lights to the surface. Secure any loose or hanging wires with electrical tape.

Step 5: Test and Adjust

With everything connected and the power applied, turn on the LED strip lights and play some music to test the synchronization. Some smart apps can use the internal audio system in your phone to pick up the music signal. Otherwise, the strip controller or phone’s microphone (if using a compatible app) will pick up the audio. If you are not using your device’s internal audio system to pick up the music, place your strip light controller or phone’s microphone near the music/sound source for the best results. If the microphone is too far from the music source, it might pick up background noise.

Make sure the audio sensor is adequately picking up the sound and translating it into visual effects on the LED strips. You may need to adjust the sensitivity of the audio sensor and the settings on the LED controller to achieve the desired effect.



We offer a variety of sound-activated LED lights and controllers with music sync abilities. Shop our full range of strip lighting options here. Or, if you want a music sync lighting option besides strip lights, check out our selection of Twinkly squares, curtains, clusters, string lights, festoons string lights, and flex tubes. The Twinkly music USB sensor makes connecting these lights to music to very simple and streamlined.

Popular Places To Install Sound-Activated LED Strip Light Systems

Because of their versatility, strip lights can easily be installed in a variety of locations. Popular places to install music sync strip lights include cars, kitchens, gaming stations, computers, and home theaters. 

Vehicle Interiors

For installation in vehicle interiors, connect to your car’s power supply with either a USB adapter or a cigarette lighter adapter. Make sure the voltage of your LED strip lights matches your car’s voltage (usually 12V). If you do not have Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, be sure to choose a controller that uses Bluetooth so you are able to control your strips on the road. Popular spaces to put strip lights in your vehicle include under the dash, seats, and around the center console.

Car interior with blue strip lights installed Car interior with blue strip lights installed

Kitchens and Bars

For kitchen installation, you can install your strip lights under cabinets, countertops, and islands. This is a great location to create exciting light displays for parties and get-togethers. Our How to Install Under Cabinet LED Strip Lights video guide can help you plan out your kitchen light strip installation. You can also add sound-reactive LED lights around bar counters and drink stands.

Kitchen island with rainbow strip lights around the counter Kitchen island with rainbow strip lights around the counter

Gaming Stations and Home Theaters

Customize your gaming space and install strip lights around your monitors, keyboards, or desk. Custom gaming lighting can help enhance the gameplay experience. You can also make movie watching more dynamic with personalized theater lighting that pulses in sync with movie audio. Install strip lights around your TV or entertainment center to achieve this. Most strip lights have a 3M™ adhesive backing which makes installation in these locations very easy.

Home theater with LED strip lights around the TV monitor Home theater with LED strip lights around the TV monitor

by Elizabeth Schlaker

Lead SEO Specialist

Elizabeth loves writing about all the creative ways you can use strip lights and landscape lights. In her free time, you can catch her trying out new DIY projects, reading books, and traveling.

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