Determining Maximum Run Length for Linear Lighting


The maximum run length for linear lighting products (such as rope lights, strip lights, and flexible neon) varies depending on the wattage and voltage of the light as well as the amperage of the power source.

Wattage and voltage specifications can be found on our website product pages, as well as on the product packaging. Amperage can be found printed on either the rectifier (power cord) or the DC power source.

Formula (Ohm’s Law)

The basic formula to follow to calculate the allowable maximum run is based on the principle of Ohm’s Law. This formula provides the maximum theoretical limit.*

Source Amps x Voltage = Maximum Run Length
Watts Per Foot

Example: 120 Volt LED Rope Light

120 volt LED rope lights allow you to plug the rope light directly to a standard 120V AC outlet. To do this, the power cord is fitted with a rectifier to change the AC power from the outlet to DC power that the LEDs can use. The amperage rating of this rectifier is important in determining the max length. Common ratings are 1.2A or 1.6A. Inputting the values from our 120v Directional Cool White Rope Light as an example yields the following calculation:

1.2A x 120V = 180 ft. Max Run

Example: 120 Volt LED Rope Light with High-Output Rectifier

Upgrading the rectifier to our 8.0 amp High-Output Rectifier will significantly increase the maximum run length:

8A x 120V = 1200 ft. Max Run (theoretical*)

Example: Low Voltage Lighting

Low voltage linear lighting typically does not come with a rectifier, but instead requires a separate transformer to power the lights. Use the amperage rating of the transformer to plug into the calculation. Using our LED 12v 3A Power Supply with our 5050 LED Strip Lights, we get the following:

3A x 12V = 16.4 ft. Max Run

*Some manufacturers will specify a max length less than the theoretical limit to ensure safe operation of their product. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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