Whether you are planning to install a new landscape or add to your existing installation, you may be wondering which landscape wire is the best for your project. Choosing the right cable will allow you to have the right voltage, thickness, and strength for your landscape lighting project.
The best wire for your project depends on the number of lights that you plan to install and the total wattage of the lights. If you are planning to install a lot of path lights, you may need a larger transformer. Also, you will need heavy-duty outdoor extension cords for your landscape lights. This is because your landscape lights will run on 12 volts. In order to get the right voltage, you will need a digital voltage meter. You can find these at Radio Shack for around $25.
The most popular landscape wire is the 12/2. This wire is effective for systems that are up to 240 Watts. It is thinner than the 14/2, but it is still capable of supporting up to 100 feet of cable. It also has a smaller voltage drop than the other wires. This is important to consider. The voltage drop can make a difference in the amount of light your lights can produce. The lower the voltage, the more dim your lights will be.
When you are selecting which landscape wire to use, make sure it is rated for direct burial. This will allow you to bury the wires in a deep trench without causing damage to the lawn. This will also help prevent corrosion and other weather-related problems.
The thickness of the wire also plays a big part in the brightness of your landscape lights. Thicker wire has lower resistance and less voltage drop over longer distances. A thicker wire also means that you will be able to add more lights to your project.
Landscape lighting cables are available in many different gauges, including 12 AWG, 14 AWG, and 16 AWG. Typically, these cables have a multi-strand copper conductor. In addition, they are insulated. This is important because moisture can break down the electrical current in the wiring.
You may also need to install wire connectors in your lights. These are a better option because they are more secure connections. You can also attach these wire connectors to trees with galvanized screws. You can also bury the wires between lights in order to hide them.
The most important thing to remember about wires is to make sure you use the right gauge. This is because the wrong gauge may cause your lights to flicker, be too dim, or even not work at all. It is also important to make sure the wire is thick enough to withstand weather. Moisture can also erode the connections, causing your lights to stop working. You can also use a digital voltage meter to determine the voltage of each light in your landscape. It is also important to consider where you want your lights to be placed. The lights should be in places that will not be visible from neighbors or lawn maintenance crews. They should also be at least 24 inches away from the branches and branches of trees in order to avoid hot spots. You may also want to consider mounting your lights on poles to elevate them.