lamp wire or low voltage wire for led ucl

Sara_in_phillyDecember 1, 2011

I am finally getting ready to wire the LED UCL for my kitchen. Based on the LED load, distance from the ac-dc transformer (12V DC) I have calculated I need 18 gauge wire to wire the transformer to LED strip.

Ideally I would like to have white casing, and multi-strand copper wire(the solid core wire is to hard to work with).

What I found out from big box stores is all their low voltage wire is brown, solid core copper wire.

However,they have white, multi-strand copper 18 gauge lamp wire (high voltage).

Can I use this lamp cord instead? If I do, do I risk bigger voltage drop? By how much? Can I calculate the drop? Can I use a lower gauge lamp cord to compensate the extra voltage drop?

Thank you very much!

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David

environmentallights.com has a nice calculator for dc voltage drops (even if you don't buy from them)

Here is a link that might be useful: wire gauge calc

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 12:38PM
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Sara_in_philly

Hi, David! I used similar calculator to calculate the wire gauge needed. But, I assume these calculators caculate gauge and dc voltage drop for low voltage dc wire.

I guess my question really is whether a 18 gauge lamp wire( which is for 110v ac) is the same as a 18 gauge low voltage dc wire? If they are not the same, then the dc voltage drop calculator would not apply to lamp wire.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 1:55PM
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David

Sara,

There is really no difference in the wire.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 2:08PM
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David

18 gauge solid wire would work fine and should be cheaper than lamp wiring.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 2:35PM
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brickeyee

"I guess my question really is whether a 18 gauge lamp wire( which is for 110v ac) is the same as a 18 gauge low voltage dc wire?"

The voltage drop is based on the physical size of the wire, every 18 gauge wire behaves the same.

Occasionally stranded can be larger than minimum gauge size do to rounding in dimensions, but the effect is very small.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Sara_in_philly

Thank you, David and brickeyee! I know I can always count on your expertise.

I have another question: Leviton magnetic dimmers vs. lutron magnetic dimmers.

There are quite a few brands of magnetic low voltage transformers listing Lutron magnetic dimmers as their approved dimmer, but not leviton magnetic dimmers. I specifically asked Juno whether their magnetic transformer works with other brands of magnetic dimmer, for example, leviton. Their answer is "Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have any Leviton dimmers approved for use with the magnetic TL575 driver. " So basically no information there. I can see leviton is not listed myself!

One of things I learn from this forum is that a magnetic dimmer should work with a magnetic transformer. Any reason why I shouldn't use a Leviton magnetic dimmer with a Juno magnetic transformer? Lutron is much more expensive than Leviton, what I am trading off by using a less expensive leviton?

I am going to post this as a sperate posting just in case you don't see this.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 11:28AM
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David

I would use Lutron for residential grade dimmer switches.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 12:35PM
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