Wire For Lights

Wire for Lights: Everything You Need to Know

Wire for lights is an essential component of any electrical system. It is a type of electrical wire used to conduct electricity in lighting fixtures. While selecting wire for lights, a wide range of factors should be considered, including the type of light being installed, the size of the room, and the voltage of the power supply. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about wire for lights, including its types and applications.

Types of Wire for Lights

There are different types of wire for lights, each designed for specific purposes. Here are the most common types of wire for lights:

1. Non-metallic wire (NM): non-metallic wire for lights is also known as Romex wire. It is the most common wire used for residential and commercial lighting applications. This wire is manufactured using a combination of copper conductors with a PVC or nylon insulation. It comes in various sizes, with 14 and 12 gauges being the most common.

2. Armored cable (AC): Armored cable is made up of a metal sheath that protects the inner conductor. It is ideal for outdoor light installations, as it is corrosion and damage-resistant.

3. Metal Clad (MC) cable: Metal Clad cable for lights uses a metallic shield around the conductor, making it suitable for installation in harsh environments with high levels of moisture, chemical, vibrations, or physical stresses.

4. Flexible Conduit: Flexible conduit wiring for lights is made up of a series of wires wrapped in a flexible metal sheath. Flexible conduits are ideal for devious installations, where the wiring needs to bend or twist without breaking.

Applications of Wire for Lights

Wire for lights finds its applications in indoor and outdoor lighting installations. Here are a few examples of how wire for lights is used for various lighting applications:

1. Ceiling Fixtures: Ceiling fixtures such as chandeliers, flush mounts, and pendant lights require wire for lights. This wire is typically concealed behind the ceiling drywall and then routed to the light fixture.

2. Recessed Lighting: Recessed lighting is used to highlight a specific area of the room or to provide task lighting. Wire for lights is installed inside the ceiling before placing the light fixture.

3. Outdoor Lighting: Outdoor lighting includes wall-mounted lights, post-mounted lights, and floodlights. It requires wire for lights that is capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions and outdoor environments.

4. Landscape Lighting: Landscape lighting is used to highlight outdoor features like trees, shrubs, or architectural elements. It requires specialized wire for lights that can withstand moisture and corrosion.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Wire for Lights

Choosing the right wire for lights is essential to ensure that the electrical system operates correctly and safely. Here are some factors that should be considered when selecting wire for lights:

1. Wire Gauge: The wire gauge is a measure of the wire’s diameter. The most common wire gauges for lights are 14 and 12. Larger wire gauges are generally used for applications with higher power demands.

2. Wire Insulation: Different wire insulation materials can withstand different temperatures and environmental factors. PVC, Nylon and Teflon are common wire insulation materials used for wire for lights.

3. Voltage Rating: The voltage rating of the wire should match or exceed the voltage of the electrical circuit to avoid electrical failures or fires.

4. Environment: The wire for lights should be selected based on the environment in which it will be installed. For example, outdoor installations need wire for lights that can withstand outdoor conditions such as moisture and temperature changes.

Installation Tips for Wire for Lights

Correct installation of wire for lights is essential to ensure that the electrical system remains safe and efficient. Here are some tips for installing wire for lights:

1. Use a wire stripper when stripping the wire coating, as using a pair of scissors can damage the wire strands.

2. Allow at least six inches of wire at each end for easy connection and future servicing.

3. Do not drill or nail through wire for lights, as it can damage the wire insulation and cause electrical short circuits.

4. Use wire connectors to connect wires. Matching connectors gauge to the wire gauge.


Wire for lights is an essential component in any electrical system that requires adequate lighting. Choosing the right wire for lights is important to ensure efficient and safe operation of the system. The type of wire selected will vary depending on the application and environmental conditions. By considering the factors outlined in this article, you can make a well-informed decision when selecting wire for lights.