For longer cable runs you will need a thicker cable to avoid voltage drop – while for shorter runs you can use thinner cables and yet still have no voltage drop. Cable thickness is the single most significant factor affecting voltage drop: if you use a cable that is too narrow, this will certainly cause a decrease in voltage towards the end of your long cable run. (Exactly how much voltage you’ll lose will depend on how much thinner your cable is than the correct thickness for the length of the run).
As with any circuit, the material a cable is made from will affect how well it conducts a current. Like TV aerials and speakers, a variety of conductors can be used in the manufacture of your cable – substances including aluminium, copper, gold and others. The better the conductor, the further and more effectively it will carry a current from source.
LED tape length is too long:
Voltage drops cabn happen not only across cables used to power LED tapes, but also across LED tapes themselves. As a general rule, any continuous run of LED tape longer than 6 metres will start to suffer a voltage drop. But it’s no problem to design a LED tape installation longer than 6m that will avoid voltage drop. To learn how to do this, see our how to install large LED tape projects support page.