Landscape Lighting Wire Size
To determine which landscape lighting wire size to use follow these steps. Once your landscape lighting design is complete you can figure out what size of low voltage transformer you need.
Now you can take a look at landscape lighting wire sizes.
Landscape lighting wire size. With lighting fixture circuits you have to take into consideration the voltage capacity of the circuit and the wattage of all the lighting fixtures that run through the circuits to get the recommended wire size. These multi taps have alternate voltage sources to counteract a long cable run with too high. Most low voltage landscape lighting wire comes in two different sizes.
Multiply total wattage by total length. A lower number means thicker wire and greater capacity to carry the power current for longer distances. Common wires for landscape lighting are 10 12 14 or 16 gauge wires.
You will often see landscape lighting wire called 122 or 102 the 2 stands for conductors which is the number of wires inside the outer insulation. This is to prevent voltage drop. Always start your calculations with 12 gauge wire.
A standard 12 gauge copper wire has a diameter of 205 mm while the diameter of 14 gauge copper wire is only 163 mm. The wire comes in different sizes such as 8 10 12 14 16 and 18. Low voltage landscape wiring or electrical cable comes in several numerical gauges or sizes.
If youre wiring a circuit on which there are both lights and outlets or you just arent sure which wire gauge to use you cant go wrong by choosing a 12 gauge wire. Our low voltage landscape lighting calculator will allow you to enter this information to determine the maximum distance from the transformer to the lights. The voltage at a fixture is the actual voltage supplied 12 volts minus the voltage drop.
The maximum wire run distance from the transformer to the lights will depend on several factors. For example a microwave that only uses one dedicated wire typically has a rated capacity of 20 amps. Add all individual bulb wattage to find the total wattage per wire run.
Over 200 watts you should use a 12 gauge sized wire. 14 2 gauge low voltage low energy underground landscape lighting cable is 14 2 gauge low voltage low energy underground landscape lighting cable is designed for landscape security and outdoor accent lighting applications not to exceed 150 volt. Following the american gauge wire system as a guide you would find that 20 amps require a size 12 wire.
Wire size wattage of lights and length of run. The voltage supplied may be increased by use of a multi tap transformer. We recommend 12 gauge or 10 gauge wire for long distances.
Measure the total lengths per wire run. Any system under 200 watts will be fine using 16 gauge wire. Landscape lighting cable is sunlight resistant suitable for direct burial and for use at temperatures between 200c and 600c.
A good rule of thumb for selecting proper wire size is determining your wattage. Transformers generally range from 150 to 900 watt capacity. 12 and 16 gauge.
The calculator will alert you if the wire size is too small to handle the wattage load of the lights. The wire number or wire gauge refers to the diameter of the bundle of strands with the smaller number being a larger wire.