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Hey guys would love your expertise on a project, I'm just a beginner on this stuff.

I'm building an LED panel with a total wattage output of about 480W. My question is, what's the smallest gauge wire I can get away with within the wiring between the LEDs? Does it have to be 20A or can it be smaller since each side is only handling about 10 amps? And how do I calculate the total amps the LED is drawing from the AC power? I am planning to place an aluminum backing to the LEDs as well for a heat sink, will that be enough to dissipate the heat?

Does my wiring look correct?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Your wiring doesn't seems correct to me. How you safely can control the 24V power into the 12 volt LED strips? If I were you, I will connect 2 strips in series to match them to 24Volt and then group them in parallel. This way current required can be halved. \$\endgroup\$ – soosai steven Jun 20 '16 at 19:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ You should use at least #12 wire for the 20 Amp circuits - perhaps larger (or additional parallel wires) if the cable lengths are more than 10 ft., to minimize voltage drops in the cables. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Bennett Jun 20 '16 at 19:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ A good rule of thumb is 1mm^2 of copper cross section per 10A, this holds reasonably well right up to 100A or so, 12AWG is good to 20-25A fyi. If you've got less current, feel free to use thinner wire. \$\endgroup\$ – Sam Jun 21 '16 at 1:12

You have two groups of LED strips, all strips in each group are connected in parallel and both groups are also connected in parallel. If you use 12 V LED strips you must use a 12 V power supply then.

If you want to use 12 V LED strips and a 24 V supply, you have to connect two strips in series to the the power supply. You may connect in parallel several of those groups, but only if each group consists of two strip connected in series. Of course you may connect only strips of the same type in series with the same voltage and current.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Uwe, thanks for your comment. It's greatly appreciated. Yes, the main reason I want to use a 24V power supply is so that I can halve the voltage and run more LED strips on one panel. When you say connect two strips in series, do you just mean two separate full lengths in series? The way the panel will be built is a large square with multiple strips one after the other. The wiring you describe, would you be able to draw it? I'm super confused and just want the most efficient way of making this work. \$\endgroup\$ – Zane Blanchard Jul 16 '16 at 22:49

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