The thicker the cable, the lesser the impact on voltage drop, data degradation and higher the electrical current it can carry.
To determine the cable core diameter your installation requires, determine the power draw of the section of LED strip you will be powering.
This can be achieved by using the per-meter power draw of your pixels as defined in its datasheet and multiplying it by the quantity your project uses.
Add 20% overhead on top of this to factor in power spikes and increased current caused by voltage drop.
Finally, divide this total power draw by the Voltage of your installation to determine its current draw in Amps.
Ensure the cable you specify is capable of carrying the electrical current (Amps) of your installation.
For optimum performance, ENTTEC recommends using cable with stranded copper cores.
2.5mm stranded copper cabling has been found to be the maximum cable diameter that can be soldered to the pads of ENTTEC pixel strip.
It's recommended that a cable voltage drop calculator is used factoring in the cable you have selected when planning your installation to ensure the voltage remains in range.
If you are using a power supply with a higher current capacity (A) than your cable is rated for, fit a fuse to protect your cables from becoming damaged if a short circuit or other fault situation occurs.
Environmental factors should also be taken into account:
- Ensure the cable selected is rated to handle the power draw of your installation.
- Ensure your cable is sufficiently rated for the Installation environment. i.e. If outdoors ensure the cable is UV resistant, or if being buried ensure it is armoured.