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Wiring up the lights


Brian Fields
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Brian Fields

Okay, wifey and I are newbies to LOR and we are really looking forward to setting it up on the yard this year. My question is this: Rather than running a bunch of extension cords out to the lights, we are playing with the idea of making up our own custom cords to make a nerater setup. I have looked at various gauges of wiring...16/2 looks fairly light weight and I don't know if it will carry the load. If you have done this, what guage did you use? We are using mini lights...

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Brian - I have been using SPT-2 (18/2) wire to build my own custom extensions for the last couple of years. Works fine. Of course, it depends on what you're going to power with the cord, and the length of cord you plan to use. Can you give us more specifics on what your applilcation will be?

D.T.

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Brian Fields

D.T.....the run will not be any longer than say 30 feet from the controller. We will be using standard mini lights, 100 per string, 4 string max per channel. Hope this is what you need....

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I use SPT-1, which carries a max of 7amps, as opposed to SPT-2, which carries up to 10.

If you're only running max of 4 strands, 16/2 is overkill. You could use SPT or 2.

I don't know how familiar you are with light loads, but 100 ct. strand pulls .33 amps. That x 4 = 1.32 amps. SPT 1 would be fine for your situation.

I, too, put my boxes closer to my lights. I've seen some people that put all their controllers in their garage...and run cords out. That to me is "waste" of cords, but then again these controllers aren't cheap, so I understand what they're doing.

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Brian Fields wrote:

D.T.....the run will not be any longer than say 30 feet from the controller. We will be using standard mini lights, 100 per string, 4 string max per channel. Hope this is what you need....


Brian,

Here is a very useful link to help you determine the gauge of wire you need. http://planetchristmas.com/WireSize.htm

100 count mini lights typically use about 1/3 of an amp, which would equal 1 1/3 amps total per channel if you stick to your plan. For a 30 foot run, 16 gauge is more than sufficient to carry the load. 18 gauge would also carry the load quite well.
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lkcubsrule wrote:

I use SPT-1, which carries a max of 7amps, as opposed to SPT-2, which carries up to 10.

If you're only running max of 4 strands, 16/2 is overkill. You could use SPT or 2.

I don't know how familiar you are with light loads, but 100 ct. strand pulls .33 amps. That x 4 = 1.32 amps. SPT 1 would be fine for your situation.

I, too, put my boxes closer to my lights. I've seen some people that put all their controllers in their garage...and run cords out. That to me is "waste" of cords, but then again these controllers aren't cheap, so I understand what they're doing.




This is incorrect -

SPT 1/2/3 only refers to the thickness of the insulation. It does NOT, in any way shape or form represent the amount of power that can be run on the line.

All spt wire rated for line voltage is designed for indoor use (although Paul sells spt3 with a uv inhibitor). Many of us use it, because it is cheaper, easier to store, and we only have it exposed for a month

18 gauge wire handles 7A and 16ga wire does 10A

The 16/2 is more than likely spt-2

I personally use 18ga spt-1 on my small loads and 16ga spt-2 on the larger ones/ or extremely long runs - to account for resistance of the wire
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