Which wire should I use for lights?

Discussion in 'First Time Marijuana Growers' started by OneDayJD, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. I'm working on my CFL fixture this weekend. I'm having trouble deciding what type of wire to use. Basically I will be running 6 or 8 of the 23w (100w equivalent) CFLs. I want to wire up the sockets in parallel (more on that later, having some trouble understanding it). Some people say to use 16/3, some say 14/2. Here are some options. I need wire to wire all the sockets to each other, then wire them all to a plug to give them some juice. Here are some options from HD I was looking at. Are any of these good, SAFE, or should I look for something else? I'd like to stay away from romex because I hear it's stiff as hell and I need something a little more forgiving since I will be running all the cords inside of PVC to keep it nice and clean.

    14/2 UF w/ ground:

    Romex SIMpull 15 ft. 14/2-Gauge NM-B Cable-28827426 at The Home Depot

    16/2 primary wire:
    24 ft. Black 16/2 Primary Wire-207-1201R24 at The Home Depot

    14 gauge stranded primary wire:
    17 ft. White 14-Gauge Stranded Primary Wire-207-3402R17 at The Home Depot

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. You don't need all that, 26w bulbs pull .3 amps. I ran 8 sockets in parallel with 16 bulbs 24/0 for 2 years straight on a $1 extension cord and the cord never even got warm.

    Here's how I wired mine... http://forum.grasscity.com/blogs/not-sure/20207-my-setup.html

    ...just strip an extension cord, use an expensive one if it makes you feel better :) Epoxy your connections for further peace of mind if this is a permanent build



  3. ^This. Low amperage = no use for thicker guage wire. But, if you wanna err on the side of caution, you could use the same size wire that I run from my battery in my car to the amp in the trunk, and a couple connective spots under the hood (bonet) of the car.

  4. Thanks for the advice, y'all. That will save me some money. Just so I'm clear, did you wire each light to the ext cord? Or did you wire each light to the light beside it, all the way down the line until the end and wired the last light to the cord? Thanks. I don't know why I'm having so much trouble with the wiring. I think I'm over-thinking it.
  5. I cut off the female plug and pulled the wire apart. The hot wire comes from the skinny plug and has writing on it. Gold screw on my sockets is hot. The stripped end of the cord just connects to the last socket, and I used a razor to expose wire along the cord where I wanted more sockets. Hot wire goes from the hot screw on one socket to the hot screw on the next.

    You can splice extension cords together if they're too short or to clean it up a bit. I see that you want a clean light, and mine is ... a little jumbled ;)

    good luck!
  6. Awesome, thanks. I'm going to do it this weekend since I've got to get my seedlings under lights this weekend. Thanks.
  7. #8 aceguitar, Mar 21, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2012
    If you use extension cords they have smooth and ribbed side. Smooth side is hot!! Caution is better just like wire size. I would use 14 or 12. Your better off carrying the amperage of the whole circut protected by a breaker from the house. If its a 15a breaker use 14 wire. If you use smaller wire than your fuse or breaker is rated then you run the risk of fire cuz the breaker won't trip before the "too small" starts to burn.
  8. Good advice. Thanks. I will be able to tell what the breaker is on the breaker box in the house, no? And with wire, the smaller the number, the bigger it is, correct? Meaning, a 14 wire is "bigger" (and can handle more juice) than a 16 wire, right? Sort of like needles I guess.
  9. You got it. Safe is better!!!

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