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Old 11-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #1
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


I am hooking up some motion activated lights. There is some low voltage 16 gauge wiring that I need to wire together so that if one senses motion, they all go on. I have the wire on the inside of my garage going up through the drywall toward the ceiling. Up close to the ceiling, I am going to bring the wire out of the drywall and run it outside, perpendicular to the studs.

What type of setup should I use where the wire is going to come out of the drywall? Put a old-work junction box in? Or just secure a junction box on the outside of the wall over the hole? The 16 gauge wire is so small, I am used to using junction boxes with romex.

Any tips on best way to do this? Thanks

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Old 11-09-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


What voltage will be on these conductors?

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Old 11-09-2013, 03:16 PM   #3
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


I don't know... 120v? I don't know what the light sends out. Can't imagine it needs much. Even if its a 120v the 3 lights are rated to 260watt which is like 3 amps so 16 gauge should be fine
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:41 PM   #4
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


It is not legal to hard wire #16 as permanent house wiring. Except those that come within a UL listed device. Anything smaller than #14 is only allowed to be plugged into a receptacle outlet.

Cords of any kind, (zip cord, extension cord, etc.) are not legal (listed) for concealed work (inside walls, attics, soffets, etc.).

Permanent house wiring must be rated no smaller than the breaker that feeds it. #14=15A, #12=20A.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:54 PM   #5
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


This is a cord that comes out of a UL listed device. You hook up the black, white, and ground to the light. Then there is a red wire that you are meant to wire to other lights so they all come on if one detected motion.

So the wire does come with the UL listed device, but they aren't going to give you the 20 feet I need to connect the other light. So I bought 16 gauge wire to attach them. I figured it's only going to be 3 amps, 16 gauge should be fine. Your saying my 16 gauge is illegal and 14 gauge would have been legal, even though the amps are way below either. Somewhere I read low voltage lighting could even use 18 gauge?
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mihomeowner View Post
...Your saying my 16 gauge is illegal and 14 gauge would have been legal, even though the amps are way below either. ...
Yes, if it's 120V.

Low voltage is defined as anything under 50V. So, if the unit has a transformer that brings it under 50V then those rules do not apply for anything fed by the red wire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mihomeowner View Post
...Somewhere I read low voltage lighting could even use 18 gauge?
It could. However, if the transformer brings the red wire to 12V then 260W is 21.7A. You'd need #12 wire. (low voltage rules. 21.7A is #10 wire for over 50V.)

Last edited by Glennsparky; 11-09-2013 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 11-09-2013, 05:00 PM   #7
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What type of junction box for 16 gauge wire?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mihomeowner View Post
This is a cord that comes out of a UL listed device. You hook up the black, white, and ground to the light. Then there is a red wire that you are meant to wire to other lights so they all come on if one detected motion.

So the wire does come with the UL listed device, but they aren't going to give you the 20 feet I need to connect the other light. So I bought 16 gauge wire to attach them. I figured it's only going to be 3 amps, 16 gauge should be fine. Your saying my 16 gauge is illegal and 14 gauge would have been legal, even though the amps are way below either. Somewhere I read low voltage lighting could even use 18 gauge?
Wow! This is all so wrong! PLEASE stop and rethink this whole thing.

This is all 120V. What you are working on needs the same gauge as the rest of the circuit and YES, it all needs to be in boxes.

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