selcting AWG stranded gauge

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by bill king, May 9, 2013.

  1. bill king

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 3, 2013
    New to community and while I did a search I hope am not duplicating a prior post.

    Currently building first LED array and need clarification of sweet spot for selected AWG gauge (stranded) to wire LEDs. I understand the fundamentals of the AWG gauge rating system.

    For simplicity (?) assume I will power each high wattage LED with a dedicated driver. Assuming the driver is putting out 3.85A, 24-27.6V or, 3.5A, 30-34V with a different driver. Is there any issue or pros/cons with selecting 10AWG, 12AWG or 14AWG stranded wire. The wire length would not exceed 18" I would like to use 10 or 12 AWG to minimize resistance and voltage loss. OR, for selecting AWG gauge is there some fixed correlation between driver output and wattage of LED?

    Hope that made sense. thanks
  2. crutschow


    Mar 14, 2008
    You can look in a wire table for the resistance of the wire per unit length, which is usually the parameter used to select wire size. The maximum fusing current a wire can carry is normally well above the value you would pick based upon the wire resistance.

    10 or 12 AWG is way overkill for a 18" wire carrying <4A.
  3. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
  4. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    For only 3.5 Amps .. 18 AWG is fine.. 16 AWG is plenty.. anything else is way overkill.

    I run 10-12 Amps through 16 AWG all day long.
  5. bill king

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 3, 2013
    Thanks for the help and the practical advice. Will definitely go with either 16 or 18
  6. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    AWG 22 is routinely used in aircraft for wires carrying 5A current. An 18 inch piece of AWG 22 would have 0.02421 Ohms of resistance, which would dissipate about 92 milliwatts of power when 3.8A is flowing through it.