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LED Lighting Wire Size


rainylakefisher

Question

I've ordered waterproof LED light bars for my Otter lodge. The website says the current draw at operating voltage is 255 mA (miiliamps). My plan is to use old cell phone charger cables to be the expandable part of the wiring system so that the telescoping poles on the Otter didn't have loose wires hanging everhwere. Can any of you tell me how wire size is calculated for this type of application? The wire in the cell phones aren't very big, but LED doesn't use much power.

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You will be fine with the small wire. The biggest problem with small wire isn't that the light draw to much power, it's keeping the little wires from breaking when they flex and in the connections.

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John nailed that one. The wire in a cell phone charger cord is tiny at best, and difficult to work with because of that. Electrically, a draw of 255 mA is insignificant when calculating wire size over a few feet of run. If it were my project I would use 20 AWG wire or something in that size range as it is compact but big enough to survive the application. Also, be sure to use stranded wire to be able to survive the bending stress of collapsing the house support bars. If you live near an Ax Man store they have lots of choices for this type of wire, or plain old lamp cord from a box store is easy obtain.

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Cut the cord off that ugly lamp that your wife has in the basement and that you've been too cheap to toss. Use it and you will find that it will hold up forever plus you will be able to make the connections a lot easier. Those charger cords just have too small of wire to be able to work with them and make a solid connection.

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Or, they do make coil cord in various larger sizes if thats what you really want!

But be aware, none of it performs well in the cold .

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