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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1056
Experience:  27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
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LED lighting..... 1-Do I need a fuse for led light strips

Resolved Question:

LED lighting.....

1-Do I need a fuse for led light strips if I use a power supply or an adapter? If so, where would the fuse go? I noticed led strip kits never come with fuses... just a power supply, controller and kit?
2-Do solderless connectors work ok? Are they rated and do they pose a hazard of melting?
3-The AWG chart for 12v seems a little extreme, hooking up a few ft of wire to connect some strips together, it'll be hard to get less than 16 gauge soldered on those ends.

I have cut.wire.cut.wire strips together for a total of 60 ft or so, about 12v 10.5 amp total. BTW, can I do this for people if I am not an electrician, legally?

Thanks!!
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

Hello.....my name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!

 

1) The LED Light Strips and 12VDC transformer should be UL listed (Underwriters Lab). It is up to the manufacturer as to whether or not to provide a supplemental fuse. If the product is UL listed, and no fuse came with the kit, then no need for a supplemental fuse since the product has been UL approved. I've installed many of these and I've never seen a fuse on those kits either.

 

2) I prefer to make the soldered connections. Yes it can be somewhat time consuming, but I like the reassurance that the soldered connection is a better connection that a solderless connector especially when using smaller gauge wires.

 

Yes, solderless connectors are rated and if installed properly, they do not pose a melting hazard. Such products as Twist-on wire nuts and crimp connectors are widely used and universal in the electrical industry for numerous applications including high voltage, low voltage, telecom and control panels and various other products.

 

3) 16 AWG Copper wire @ 90 degrees C is rated for a maximum of 18 amps

 

4) If looking to perform any type of electrical work as a business, it is always recommended to have the appropriate electrical license and liability insurance. Most insurance companies will not insure an individual wishing to perform electrical work as a business unless they hold a license. In fact, it is illegal in certain states to even advertise to perform electrical work yet the individual does not hold an electrical license.

 

 

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.

 

Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician
..........Thanks..............Kevin!



Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) Hello Omar........Don't forget, it is not the voltage quantity that limits the wire size, it is the amount of current that flows thru the wires. Just because the power source is only 12 volts, you still have 10.5 amps of current thru the wires. Thus the reason for a minimum wire size of 16 AWG.

 

Here is a good example: If you apply Watts Law to calculate the power or wattage in a circuit. Let's use yours as an example:

 

P = I x E, where P = Power or Wattage, I = Current and E = voltage

P = 10.5A x 12 VDC = 126 Watts

 

Let's apply a higher voltage and calculate the power generated where E (Voltage) = 240 VAC and I (Current) is only 1/2 amp.

 

P = I x E

P= .5 x 240 = 120 Watts.

 

Therefore, you can see that in my 2nd example, the voltage is much higher (240 VAC > 12 VDC), but yet the total wattage is a bit lower than your application. Thus, the AWG rating of conductors is rated by current and temperature as well as the type of insulation.

 

2) Another good example is to take a look at your automobile battery. It is also a 12VDC battery source, but yet the positive and negative cables are large conductors. This is due to the high amount of current (Cold Cranking Amps) that is required to start the engine. A typical V8 engine automobile battery cables use 1/0 AWG Copper cables.......... way larger than your 16 AWG LED wires, but yet the voltage source is still 12 VDC. Thus, the amount of current flowing thru any given conductor as determined by the electrical load is what mandates the wire size.

 

 

Hope this helps.........If you have any additional questions, let me know and I'll be glad to answer them for you.

 

Otherwise, don't forget to rate me before you log Off.

The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at:http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician
..........Thanks..............Kevin!

 

 

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thanks Kevin. Total bummer, didn't think wiring anything outside the wall was considered electrician material.


A few more questions, I apologize, I did change the $ amount for this...


 


1-Do I need to be licensed to hook up LED strips to anything battery operated or 12v computer adapterish? Could be just small projects about 1 amp or so. Can I sell this stuff if not certified in any state?


2-If using leds for small projects in batteries whats the worse case thing would happen if I used cheap non-ul led strips, can they catch fire? Even with 12v ul adapters working on non-ul led strips, what the worst that can happen?


3-I am also in IL. What kind of cert can I get to do this basic LED lighting as a business. I am not looking into wiring homes or anything. I noticed College of Dupage has an Electrician’s Preparation


Certificate, would this be enough to be insured, etc... Can I advertise in IL with this? Heres the the description..


 


________________________________________________

_______________________

__________

____________

Electrician’s Preparation CertificateCollege of DuPage (COD) will

establish theElectrician’s PreparationCertificate program to

train technicians in the field of electricityand electrical standards

related to the applications in the field of electrical technology such as residential and plant wiring and electrical maintenance.

Certificate provides knowledge, skills, and competencies to students for work in the area of residential, commercial, and industrial wiring. National Electric Code, residential,commercial and industrial wiring are studied.This certificate does not provide license or certification to perform electrical work. Program requirements includefive courses, totaling 13 credit hours, allowing students the ability to complete the training in one 16 week semester.

 


 


Thanks for taking your time on this. Maybe you'll be my instructor.

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

Hi Omar......very cool, COD....Glen Ellyn...Roosevelt & Lambert Rd......I know the area very well! I live about 20 minutes due west from there.

 

1) Illinois is one of those states where we do not have state or county electrical licensing. All electrical licensing is by certain individual municipalities, cities or suburbs. I'm sure you have seen many local handymen businesses advertising as electrical work. However, the majority of the handymen who advertise as electrical work do not hold an electrical license and they are taking a huge risk in terms of insurance liability. Simply put, handymen may be able to wire a receptacle but they DO NOT know all of the facets into the National Electrical Code. If they did, they'd have an electrical license to prove it.

 

If any electrical work an advertised or business handyman installs and becomes faulty due to a fire and/or safety hazard and the insurance company finds out they are not a licensed electrician, the insurance company will most likely not pay out for a claim. Thus another reason why any individual performing electrical work for the general public needs to be insured and licensed. The licensing & insurance not only protects the consumer, but also protects the contractor/electrician.

 

2) You can attempt to sell any product that you develop. However, the majority of consumers are well aware of UL ratings. If a product is not UL rated, then your sales opportunity will most likely decrease since the product will not be labeled on any packaging as UL listed. It is not a requirement or a law that a product be UL listed. However, it is highly recommended. Within the electrical & electronics manufacturing industry, this is called "bragging rights" since a product has been UL listed. If you are only selling a service, then UL listing is not required. It is only required/recommended for manufacturing. I also own a manufacturing business for electrical control panels and I'm going thru the UL process on some of my control panels that my company manufactures.

 

3) If you are looking to install LED lighting as a business in such applications as kitchen under-cabinet lighting or bar lighting, etc., this is still considered as electrical work and you would be held liable if any problems arise. The COD course is NOT an electrical license, it is only a certificate that will provide the basics. Doubt that an insurance company will insure an electrical preparation certificate grad to engage in a service business versus a licensed electrician. Most electrical contractors hold a minimum of a $1M or $2M insurance policy.

 

4) I'm not familiar with the course content of the electrical certification program @ COD, but in order to obtain a local electrical contractors license, you're looking at a 4 to 8 hour exam which deals heavily into the National Electrical Code as well as many calculations. I taught electrical code at NIU and U of I in Naperville for 5 years and the electrical licensing exams are meant to be failed and not meant to be passed. In other words, an exam candidate must be very intimate with numerous electrical applications as well as understanding & applying the National Electrical Code. Needless to say, the exam is not easy and can be very difficult/intimidating if a candidate does not have the proper education and/or experience.

 

I have a few electrician employees who have completed a 52 week full time electrical program where they graduated. Yes, they know how to bend conduit and wire receptacles and wall switches, but they haven't got a clue as to sizing a circuit breaker for an electric motor or calculating conduit/box fill ratio's. As a former electrical instructor and electrical inspector, I ask them basic electrical code questions and often, they don't know the answer. This is due to the fast paced electrical instruction they received at their trade school.

 

The biggest problem I see with schools offering electrical maintenance and/or construction courses is that they do not spend the sufficient amount of time becoming intimate with the National Electrical Code (NEC) that is required to pass the licensing exam. I can teach anybody on some basic Ohm's or Watt's Law theory in a few hours on simple series and parallel circuits. However, understanding and how to apply the NEC takes much more than a few hours of study.

 

5) The COD course sounds like a very good course. Just keep in mind, that it will be a very fast paced learning program and without any electrical background, a candidate taking a license exam will still have a difficult time. The best success rate for passing the electrical licensing exam is both work related experience and education.

 

6) Next week, Just Answer is launching a new program where us experts will be allowed to engage in telephone and/or video conferencing with our JA customers along with replying to questions here. The program is not available until sometime next week. If you would like to have a telephone conversation later next week, I can fill you in on the requirements and answer any questions that you may have. This will save us both a lot of time.

 

7) If using cheap materials and/or faulty installation methods and an accident occurs on your behalf due to fire or safety hazards and you're not licensed, insured and legally protected as a corporation or an LLC, you will be facing a lawsuit by the building owner...... that's the worst that could happen!

 

I hope this helps shed some light and answer your questions. I'm sure you still have additional questions. Let me know if you would like to have a telephone conversation next week and I'll be more than happy to answer any other questions that you may have............Thanks...............Kevin!

Kevin, Licensed Electrician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 1056
Experience: 27 years as a Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, 5 year college Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma in Digital Electronics, Former Illinois Licensed Home Inspector
Kevin and 2 other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

Hello Omar............Thank you for the excellent service rating............much appreciated!

 

If you have any other questions, just let me know and I'll be more than happy to answer them for you.

 

Take care and have a great weekend................Thanks.................Kevin!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thanks Kevin, I'll reach out to you next week sometime, I owe lunch. I live in Oak Brook so you're not too far away.

Expert:  Kevin replied 10 months ago.

1) Good evening Omar.........happy Saturday............hope all is well.

 

2) No need for lunch, am happy to assist my customers here on JA.

 

3) I live directly west of Oak Brook, down I-88, near the Aurora area.

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