DC Power Cables

tuppetsdad

Funding & Tech Support
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Oct 5, 2010
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Melbourne
Many threads have questions on recommended cables sizes for connection of DC power supplies to dimmers and LED lights and strips etc.

There are a few items to consider such as the cable length, voltage used and current you need (may need to be measured). The table shows recommended cable sizes (copper wire cross section area) for the commonly used voltages for Blinky DIY lighting.

In most cases you can safely double the cable length (you just increase the voltage drop > 4%) but for low voltage pixels and cases where the voltage is critical try to avoid this. You can also put smaller sized cables in parallel (just total their cross sectional areas).
 

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fasteddy

I have C.L.A.P
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Thanks for sharing this Bruce, im sure it will help many understand the potential voltage drop that they may have to contend with when creating a display.
 

AAH

I love blinky lights :)
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Eaglehawk
There's 2 things that people also need to be aware of. Firstly each wire (the positive and negative) will have a voltage drop. And more importantly if you're using rgb and using a single common for the positive it has 3 times the current flowing through it that any of the other wires have (it has the total of the r, g and b) so to provide you don't suffer from dodgy colours when running all 3 colours near 100% you either have to have heavier cable for the common wire (can be done by using multiple conductors out of 6 core security cable for instance) or the whole wiring needs to be highly enough rated to allow for the higher current through the common wire.
 
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