Choosing wire for under cabinet lighting


Old 08-23-19, 04:03 PM
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Choosing wire for under cabinet lighting

Can anyone recommend a good wire to use for under cabinet lighting? I have decided to go with a low voltage option, which will likely be tape lighting. I'm assuming that I would need at minimum 18 AWG, but I'm guessing that 16 AWG would be better (possibly less voltage drop?). I would be looking for one that is in-wall rated. I'm not quite sure what type of wire I should buy. I can provide the exact specifications of the LEDs and the distances if that would help.
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Old 08-23-19, 04:58 PM
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I usually use 18-2 thermostat wire, but you can use pretty much any wire. Need riser rated cable for in-wall use. 16 AWG is unnecessary in most case. You need 16 AWG only if your wire runs a great distance or you have a lot of load. For most kitchen, this is not the case.

I have seen some electricians use CAT5 or even CAT6 and just bundle multiple wires to carry more current. I think this is a bad practice, but it works.

Making splices in the gap between cabinets makes wiring more neat and still accessible. There will be 1/2" gap (1/4" over hang on each wall cabinets) with most kitchen cabinets.
Old 08-24-19, 05:03 AM
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Hi, itís hard to believe a licensed electrician would use CAT cable for installation, I donít believe itís even legal to parallel conductors that small, as far as I know 1/0 is the smallest conductor that can be paralled.
Old 08-24-19, 05:20 AM
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It is low voltage and low current. Paralleling CAT5 is not that uncommon when it is repurposed for something other than data communication.
Old 08-24-19, 05:46 AM
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I have never had an issue using 18/2 thermostat cable. It is small, rated for use inside walls, and can be found in brown and white for easier concealability under cabinets.
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