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Understanding Voltage Drop

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We can walk you through voltage drop issues during specification or installation. Start with his chart and contact us if you need more assistance – we are happy to help!

What is voltage drop?

Voltage drop is the amount of voltage loss that occurs through all or part of a circuit due resistance. Consider voltage drop when specifying linear LED fixtures, including tape light. Use the chart below by calculating the total wattage load, then selecting the length of wire needed.

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24V voltage drop & wire length distance chart (3% drop, or 23.28V)
Wire Gauge10W
.42 A
.83 A
1.3 A
1.7 A
2.1 A
2.5 A
2.9 A
3.3 A
3.75 A
4.2 A
20 AWG85 ft.43 ft.27 ft.21 ft.17 ft.14 ft.12 ft.11 ft.9 ft.8 ft.
18 AWG134 ft.68 ft.45 ft.33 ft.27 ft.22 ft.19 ft.17 ft.15 ft.14 ft.
16 AWG215 ft.109 ft.72 ft.54 ft.43 ft.36 ft.31 ft.27 ft.24 ft.22 ft.
14 AWG345 ft.174 ft.115 ft.86 ft.69 ft.57 ft.49 ft.43 ft.39 ft.36 ft.
12 AWG539 ft.272 ft.181 ft.135 ft.108 ft.90 ft.77 ft.68 ft.61 ft.56 ft.
10 AWG784 ft.397 ft.263 ft.197 ft.158 ft.131 ft.112 ft.98 ft.97 ft.82 ft.
3% Voltage Drop Rule

This condition causes the load to work harder with less voltage pushing the current. The National Electrical Code recommends limiting the voltage drop from the breaker box to the farthest outlet for power, heating, or lighting to 3 percent of the circuit voltage.