Which Primary Wire Should I Use?
Primary wire is mainly used for things that will be constantly being powered or moderate amperage draw. With today's LED technology many products have low amperage needs.
Because wire has a certain amount of resistance, there will be a voltage drop as a result. For small gauges, long runs or relative high current loads, this voltage drop can become significant. The amount of light emitted from a LED is a function of the current going through it. As the voltage supplied drops, the amount of current going through the LED will drop as well. Since the LEDs are so efficient, it takes a significant drop of voltage to visibly effect the light output
Here is the best way to really figure out what you need for your install project:
Work out how many LED lights you intend to wire. Look on one of the LED lights to ascertain the amperes. The amperes are likely to be measured in milliamp hours (mAh) because LEDs use very little power.
Multiply the mAh that one LED uses by the number of LEDs or modules you're wiring. For example, if one LED or module uses 250 mAh and you are using 20 then multiply 250 by 20 to get 5,000 mAh.
To get the amperes, divide the figure by 1,000, which will give you 5 amperes. You need to do this with whatever wiring method you have chosen. Just make sure you write down the result.
Wire Gauge Design Procedure:
- Calculate the total length of the wire from the source to the device and back again
- Determine the amount of current in the wire
- Correct wire gauge is in the intersection of amps and feet
Note! The wire size is required for a 3% voltage drop in 12 Volt circuits. Oversize the wire if the voltage drop is critical.
ALL WIRE SPOOLS ARE 500' (foot) UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED