What 18 Gauge Wire Used For? (Examples and Charts)

For any electrical installation in our home, it is a must to use a cable that fulfills the parameters of the electrical inspection. The quality of the cable helps the electrical connection so easily carry power. The use of quality in choosing wire ensures a competent circuit system in the home. If you have to use 18-gauge wire in your circuit here. We will cover its details. 18-gauge wire is used for internal voltage lighting circuits that use not more than 10 to 15 amps. We can see a small wire in the home lamp. It is a very common part of vehicles that uses 12 or 24 volt circuits. Let’s discuss what gauge 18 wire is used for.

What is the American Wire Gauge for Stranded Wire?

AWG, or American Wire Gauge, defines single-stranded solid wire. If many conductors or standard wires use AWG, it will provide an equivalent single-strand cross-section in AWG. Stranded wire normally comes with three numbers for its explanation. These numbers come with the AWG equivalent size strand number and the AWG size of every strand.

What is the 18 AWG Current Rating?

The current rating of 18-gauge copper wire is based on its thickness. Normally, a large cross-sectional area of wire will allow more current to flow. But more current that passes through wires heated the wire and affected the amp rating of the 18-gauge wire. As the 18-gauge cable is about 0.0403 inches in diameter, the US National Electric Code, or NEC, rates about 14 amps in raceway or 18 amps in free air at 90 degrees. These power levels must prevent the cable from heating. High-temperature wires can damage insulation and also set fire.

What 18 Gauge Wire Used For


The accurate ampacity of 18 AWG copper wire makes it safe, effective, and durable. 18 AWG wire ampacity means how much maximum current the wire can handle without getting overheated. Such as the 18 AWG copper wire ampacity value based on temperature. For sixty centigrade, its ampacity is 14 amperes, and for 75 centigrade, it is 18 amps.

What is 18 AWG wire used for?

  • 18 AWs were used for different electronic devices and appliances, such as fans, lamps, etc. With its size, it can handle a moderate amount of current. It is also best for wiring that is used in closed spaces.
  • It is also used in lighting systems, at homes, or in buildings. It makes the connection between light fixtures and power sources and offers safe and effective current flow.
  • It is part of different vehicles, and different components are connected to vehicles. It is used in radios, speakers, and cars.
  • It is also used in HVAC controls or automation systems that are low-voltage control circuits.
  • It is part of security systems like sensors, alarms, and cameras. Its best size and connection make it best for signal transmission in security circuits.
  • The wiring of thermostats and doorbells used this wire.

Why are 18-gauge aluminum cables not common?

18 AWG Aluminum cables are not considered the best option for small gauges. This is because aluminum is soft and can be more easily malleable than copper. It can be damaged, especially in small gauges. Small gauges needed a flexible structure that was provided by copper cables, then aluminum. Copper is the best conductor, has less resistance, and has a durable nature.

18-Gauge Wire Used at Home

This wire is not commonly used in the main wiring of the home, but it is used for low-voltage devices like lamps used at home. If it is connected to heavy loads, there is a chance that it will become damaged.

Most home devices use at least a 15- or 20-amp circuit, so an 18-gauge wire that has the highest ampacity of 14 amps is best to use. The wiring used at home required about 14 gauge, which has a high thickness of 18 gauge.

Types of 18 AWG Copper Wires

AWG wire size


These wires are used for normal purposes. The full form of THHN is thermoplastic high heat-resistant nylon coated, and THWN is thermoplastic heat- and water-resistant nylon coated. These are used for both wet and dry areas. It is part of homes and building wiring for outlets, lighting, and switches. In size 18, THHN wire is part of lighting circuits.


These are used in industries to make control circuits, instrument them, and distribute power to different circuits. They have resistance to oils and different chemicals used in industry, so they are used in machines. 18 AWG is the best option for trays.


These wires are made for machine wiring and internal electrical connections. Their flexibility and flame-resistance nature make them useful in manufacturing processes.


It is used in switchboards and panelboards due to its moisture- and heat-resistant nature.


This wire comes in 18 AWG, is mainly used in lighting fixtures, is easily connected to confined spaces, and is best for compact devices.


These parallel cords are used in small devices, lamps, and light-duty applications. SPT-2 cables are thick and have high current, so they are used for high loads.

Speaker Wire

This wire offers high-quality sounds since it is made to use speakers for the audio system. Its design makes sure less signal losses and helps optimize audio operation in home theaters.

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What is 18-gauge wire used for?

18 AWG wires are used for lamps, fans, and kitchen devices. With its size, this wire can handle a moderate value of current effectively.
How do you use a wire gauge chart?

The larger the AWG number or wire gauge, the larger the size. The smallest AWG size is forty, and the largest is 4/0. The AWG rule is that for each 6 gauge reduction, dia or wire doubles, and for each 3 gauge reduction, cross-sectional area becomes double.
What is a wire gauge used for?

The wire gauge measures the cross-sectional area of the wire. Knowing the gauge is important since it defines how much current a wire can carry without affecting it, also called ampacity.
What size cable is 18 gauge?

American Wire Gauge (AWG) Diameter (in) Cross-sectional area (mm2)
18 0.0403 0.82

What is 18-gauge electrical wire?

18 AWG wire is used for all single-color LED strip lights and different DC electrical hookups like CB radios, transformers, and motor lead wire connections.
Is 18-gauge wire good?

The accurate ampacity of 18 AWG copper wire makes sure it is safe, effective, and durable. Its ampacity is defined as the highest current that the wire can handle without overheating. Its capacity is based on the temperature.
What color is 18-gauge wire?

18 AWG comes in black, blue, brown, gray, white, violet, green, orange, red, and yellow.
Is 18-gauge wire flexible?

18-gauge 2-conductor high-strand count silicone-coated wire has an ultra-flexible structure and is accurate for wiring DC power supplies in closed spaces.
Can you use 18-gauge wire for speakers?

18 AWG speaker wires used in digital audio, theaters, and stereo speakers
How thick is 18-gauge wire?

Its diameter is 0.0480 in
Is 18-gauge good for car speakers?

Yes, it can be used for 18-gauge speakers.
Which wire is good for speakers?

Copper is commonly used for speaker cables due to its low cost and lower resistance.

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