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Bare copper wire Question

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by diensth, Jan 18, 2018.

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  1. diensth


    Apr 27, 2012
    I am building a LED panel for photo/video shoots. Using LED strip light. There are 90 runs of strip in total. each end of strip has pos and neg. I am joining all of them together with what I call goal post's - meaning on one side of the ends all pos will connect and on the other end of the strip all neg will connect, each end will have bare/un-isolated copper wire soldered to and a long run of bare copper wire connecting all of the ends together. I hope i explained this well enough.
    Bare copper wire is so easy to work with (20 gage) - i don't have to worry about messing with insolation.

    Anyways, my question - I am super happy with this system - but I worry about the copper over time without protection on it. Turning green.. weakening.. perhaps losing its ability to pass required energy through it. I will be using this light outdoors for short periods at times but mainly indoors. I will have a plastic shield over my lights so no direct rain will hit. I'm more worried about how time will effect the copper over time. I have thought of lathering the wire with silicone for protection.

    Thoughts please? Thanks
  2. ChosunOne


    Jun 20, 2010
    I've seen a lot of (indoor) exposed bare copper wire in my time, like thick ground wires. Unless it's sitting in a stagnant wet environment (like inside a leaky wall or door jamb), it can take years to develop that green copper(II) carbonate hydroxide patina that seals the copper against further corrosion. Which is why copper is still used for roofing and rain gutters for the wealthy. I wouldn't worry about corrosion, as long as you don't store it in a wet environment, and/or touching other metals.

    If you do decide you need to seal it, electrical tape will probably do a better job and wear better.
    hevans1944 likes this.
  3. Merlin3189


    Aug 4, 2011
  4. randy0331


    Jan 22, 2018
    How much current does each of the 90 runs pull? If they're being hooked up to a single set of 20 ga wire, you may have some significant voltage drop issues.
  5. diensth


    Apr 27, 2012
    Thanks so much yall! I came to find basic silicone that seals and non conductive. I think it should work. lathered up the bare wire well.
    My 90ft is separated into two groups.. each with own power supply pulling in 8 amps each.
  6. Bluejets


    Oct 5, 2014
    Just be aware there is acid and non-acid silicone ....latter preferred for electrical.
    Obvious from the odor which is which.
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