LED strips are amazing when it comes to adding substantial, controllable light to any situation. Applications increase two-fold when a silicone "waterproofing" is added, allowing these little strips to withstand abrasion, splashes, and handing that would otherwise damage the copper and kapton-based strip.
The one downfall to this wonderful coating becomes apparent when high power LED strips are used for extended periods of time. Under heat, this silicone yellows and hardens until the once bright and white strips are yellow and brittle. LEDs soon die under the heat trapped in this crusty coating.
So what to do when this coating is no longer needed? Remove it!
*Warning: Do not perform this method in an oven you plan to make food with. Do not leave the LED strips in the oven unattended.
Step 1: Gather the strips!
Cut the strips you wish to use to their final size. The larger the strip, the harder the coating is to remove.
Step 2: Coil it!
Coil the led strip until it fits into your toaster oven or other heating device and place on a small tray.
Step 3: Heat it!
Set the oven to a temp below 200F. At 200F, the silicone will essentially crumble when you try to remove it if it has not already de-laminated itself.
Step 4: Let it bake!
Let the oven (and the strip) heat up for 3 or 4 minutes depending on the power of the oven. If your oven actually reaches above 180F, you have already waited too long and should take the strip out.
Step 5: Peel it!
Remove the strip from the oven. With your finger nail, carefully pull the end of the silicone up from the end of the strip. Slowly pull the two halves apart, restarting as the silicone breaks.
Step 6: Success!
Now marvel at your clean, silicone-less LED strip. Perfect for your next lighting project.
Now go make something!