An extension cord is a cable that helps in extending the connection from the main outlet. Like every other electrical item, one might want to extend LED light connection too. If you’re one of them and wondering if you can plug LED lights into an extension cord, this article is for you.
Yes, you can use LED lights into an extension cord if the length & quality is on point. If you’re using a too-long extension cord or your extension cord is damaged – you might be risking your & your house’s safety. Always use high-quality DC extension cord for your LED lights.
That was the short answer to your query, if you’re interested in getting a detailed answer – follow this article. I’ll be discussing how plugging LED lights into an extension cord is okay for anyone.
Can You Plug LED Lights Into An Extension Cord?
You can plug LED Lights into an extension cord without any problem. The main objective of an extension cord is to extend the existing power supply cord. If you face the need of extending your LED light’s connection – feel free to use an extension cord.
There are mainly two types of LED lights out there that you might be using:
- LED Lights (Replacement For Incandescent Light)
- LED Light Strips (For Decorating Purposes)
LED Lights: If you’re planning to use an extension cord for your LED lights, then you shouldn’t rely on the extension cord for a long period. Why? Because it’s not a healthy solution to the problem you’re facing.
LED Light Strips: On the other hand, if you’re using a DC extension cord for your LED light strips – it won’t be a big issue. Because LED light strips use a very low amount of current (Watt or amperage) compared to LED bulbs & there is nothing to worry about.
Is It Safe To Plug LED Lights Into An Extension Cord?
It’s safe to plug LED lights into an extension cord if you’re conscious about safety which includes – maintaining matched power supply along with a good quality short-length cord.
If you fail to ensure a quality extension cord or the rightly fitted one, then you’ll be putting yourself in potential danger. To make sure you don’t fall in any danger, check out the next segment.
Safety Measures You Should Consider While Plugging LED Lights Into Extension Cord
Whatever you do with electrical stuff, safety should be your first priority. Here are five safety measures you should consider while plugging LED lights into an extension cord;
1. Keep The Length As Minimum As Possible
The longer the extension cord, the more problematic it will get. Why? Because the length of a wire changes the resistance which affects the voltage (or, power supply amount). The longer the wire is, the more resistant it gets. Again, more resistance creates more heat causing potential fire threat.
That’s why you should keep the length of the extension cord as minimum as possible. There is no expert-certified limit on extension cord limit, but don’t extend the wire more than 15 to 20 feet when you’re planning to add LED lights into it.
2. Don’t Cheap Out On Extension Cord
You can get cheap extension cords for as low as $5. However, don’t risk your LED lights by using those cheap extension cords. Raise your budget a little bit & buy an extension cord priced at $10 to $15 for LED light strips Extensions cord & $25 to $30 for LED light extension cord.
If you’re planning to use extension cords for indoor use, don’t bother buying expensive outdoor-rated extension cords. That being said, don’t buy unnecessary feature-equipped cords or cheap out-on extension cords either.
3. Buy Extension Cord Matching Your LED Light’s Current Load
You have two options – either you can get an extension cord that supplies equal or less electricity than your LED light can handle. Don’t ever connect your LED lights with an extension cord that delivers more electricity/voltage than your LED light’s capacity.
4. Use GFCI If needed
Using GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) in your power system is always advised. Nobody can go wrong using GFCI. However, using GFCI isn’t mandatory for most house owners. You can use GFCI if you want an extra layer of protection from getting unexpected electric shocks.
How Many LED Lights Can You Add Into An Extension Cord?
You’ll have to do a little math on your own to determine how many LED lights you can add to an extension cord. Assuming your extension cord is connected to a 15amp circuit, then the wattage will be – 15*120 = 1800W (When the voltage is 120V).
As experts recommend using only 80% of the capacity, we can use only 1440W of power. Now use this formula mentioned below & you’ll know the total bulbs/LED light connection limit:
- (Total Wattage/Individual Light Wattage) = Total Light Capacity
Assuming your LED lights are 20 watts each. That means you can add 72 LED Lights (1440/20=72) into an extension cord. Talking about LED light strings, they are mostly 10 watts each. That means you can add 144 LED light strings (1440/10=144) into an extension cord.
Best Extension Cords For LED Light & LED Light Strip
As you already know – you can plug LED lights into an extension cord, it’s time for some shopping. You’ll be glad to know that I’ve selected two products to recommend in this article. These are:
- SIM & NAT DC Extension Power Cable
- DEWENWILS LED Lighting Plug
SIM & NAT DC Extension Power Cable
SIM & NAT (Amazon) is a great extension cord for LED light strips. This cable comes with positive & negative parts which you’ll need while working with LED light strips. It’s a 10 feet 3 amps cable that costs less than $10.
DEWENWILS LED Lighting Plug
If you’re planning to use LED light with the extension cord, DEWENWILS LED (Amazon) Lighting plug will be a great option for you. It’s a 15 feet 15 amps cable that costs around $25.
I hope this article was helpful enough to answer your question regarding plugging LED lights into an extension cord. Now you know you can plug LED lights into an extension cord maintaining a few safety measures.
I am Mark Braeden, a professional electrician based in California. With over a decade of experience in the electrical industry, I have launched this website with the aim of sharing my expertise and providing solutions to common lighting issues that can cause frustration for homeowners.
Whether you need help selecting the right bulb for your living room lamp or require guidance in installing LED strip lights, I am here to assist you.
But it’s not just about fixing problems. I’m also here to inspire you with all sorts of creative lighting ideas that can transform your home.