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I am trying to calculate loads and select a transformer for a cove lighting job using your strip lights. I want to be sure that I am using the right size wire and fuses. Can you give me some pointers on what to do?

If you are not an electrician calculating wire size, amperage and fusing can be quite confusing. Let’s take a look at calculating wire size first. All Phantom strip lights are fabricated with 16 gauge wire and have a maximum feed through capacity of 13.33 amps in a free air environment. In other words, it is not in a conduit with other wires that can entrap heat and affect the ampacity of the wire.

What amperage a wire can handle is decided by the wire size. Here are some examples:

  • 16 gauge wire is rated for up to 10 amps

  • 14 gauge wire is rated for up to 15 amps

  • 12 gauge wire is rated for up to 20 amps

  • 10 gauge wire is rated for up to 30 amps

  • 8 gauge wire is rated for up to 40 amps

Amperage is calculated by dividing the wattage by the voltage. So if you have 300 watts operating at 24 volts that equals 12.50 amps. So, for every 300 watts of lights you should install a home run wire from the low voltage festoon lighting strips back to the transformer.

Another wiring method would be to combine two 300 watt loads using a 10 gauge wire back to the transformer. The maximum size fuse on any Phantom transformer is 25 amps. You might have several of these 25 amps circuit breakers depending on the size of the transformer. Refer to our transformer information page for more specific information and suggested wiring layouts.

To play it safe, ask the professionals at Phantom Lighting System to help design, specify and engineer your project. We are here to help and want your project to be safe and successful. It is always best when installing our lighting system to consult with a qualified electrician or handy man. Contact one of our lighting agents, call us toll free at 800-863-1184 or visit our lighting blog for more technical information or to just get some help with your order.

Phantom Lighting System is an original equipment manufacturer of fine art lighting fixtures and linear lighting strips.

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