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Wire Gauge Specification

American Wire Gauge (AWG) is the standard measurement of wire sizes in the United States. The higher the gauge number, the thinner the conductor.



GaugeDiameter(inch)Diameter(mm)Cross Section(mm2)
00000.460011.68107.16
0000.409610.4084.97
000.36489.2767.40
00.32498.2553.46
10.28937.3542.39
20.25766.5433.61
30.22945.8326.65
40.20435.1921.14
50.18194.6216.76
60.16204.1113.29
70.14433.6710.55
80.12853.268.36
90.11442.916.63
100.10192.595.26
110.09072.304.17
120.08082.053.31
130.07201.832.63
140.06411.632.08
150.05711.451.65
160.05081.291.31
170.04531.151.04
180.04031.020.82
200.03200.810.52
220.02540.650.33
240.02010.510.20


Recommended Wire Gauges



Heavier gauge wire is required when either amperage or wire length increases. Overloaded wire can negatively affect reliability and safety due to excessive voltage drop and heat. Wires thinner than 18AWG are not recommended for vehicular use.

The tables Below provide general guidelines for choosing wire. Remember that common ground wires must be adequate to carry the TOTAL amperage of the circuit, even when separate hot wires are used.

The data included here only illustrates general wiring principles. Variables such as the exact type of wiring used and the type of devices connected will effect the actual performance of any circuit.Always verify proper operation after installation.

Wire Gauge Required for 3% Voltage Drop @ 12 Volts

11.64V1 AMP5 Amp10 AMP20 AMP30 Amp40 Amp50Amp
10 feet181614121088
20 feet1614128664
30 feet1612106442
40 feet161286422
50 feet161084221
60 feet161064210
80 feet148621000
100 feet14642000000
120 feet14641000000000


Wire Gauge Required for 10% Voltage Drop @ 12 Volts

10.8V1 AMP5 Amp10 AMP20 AMP30 Amp40 Amp50Amp
10 feet24181816141412
20 feet22181614121010
30 feet201816121088
40 feet20161410886
50 feet18161210662
60 feet1816128442
80 feet161084221
100 feet16864210
120 feet148621000


Finding the Amperage of a Light

Finding how much current your lights will draw is not as dificult as one might think.
To start with we only need to know two things
  • 1. At what voltage does the system operate?
  • 2. What is the wattage of the lamp being used.(This Might be the tricky part.)

  • Once we have these two numbers amperage is a simple calculation away.

    Watts/Volts=Amps (EX: 5W/12V=.42Amps)

    Most newer Peterson lights have the wattage and voltage etched into the back of the lights. And for the older lights the information can be found by finding the replacement bulb information. however you can always call us @ 1-877-476-5444 if you need help.(Sometimes we have to do some digging to get the answer.)