Remoting an LED driver

Hi @dbrn32, I’ve recieved 2 HLG 288 kits recently. Put 1 together and it works great, but was wondering if I can place the driver outside of my closet( 2ft X 6 X 8ft tall) by extending the cable from the driver to the light? My plan was to use 14 gauge, 3 wire cable at about 10-15 ft from driver to the light setup. Thanks in advance.l

Ya you can remote them. You’ll have a hard time getting 14awg into molex connectors though, and use 3rd wire to ground frame of your light to either driver or input wiring.

@dbrn32, Thanks for the quick reply! I’ve got some wire nuts available, but not so sure that’s a good choice for the connectors. Also, for the ground wire, you suggest attaching it to the frame of my setup and to the driver input( or output)? The input has a ground wire, output does not…so, I’m thinking attach it to the incoming ground. I’m not at home to actually look at it, so my apologies.z

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I would advise not to use wirenuts, but if you have absolutely no choice… at least wrap them and the wire together with electrical tape. I soldered the 22 ga solid wire to my 14 gauge stranded wire then heatshrink. The 22 ga wire plugs into the boards.
Screenshot_20190507-182532

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Yup, input or driver case. There’s definitely not an earth ground on driver output. I’m not a fan of wire nuts either. Especially when connecting a larger stranded wire to what is probably a solid and much smaller wire. Soldering works. Even something like a wago or terminal strip.

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Thank you, @dbrn32, the nuts are out! I’ll try something similar to the wagos.

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Cool. The wire nuts just seem to grip one wire or the other when there’s that much difference.

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So you would run a ground wire to a screw on light frame to screw on driver?

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Hi @RAP, that method is working for me. It is easier to hook the ground to the driver case, then I used a bolt/ nut to fasten to the light fixture.

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Thanks @Carpy my tent was 92° today. I am thinking of moving the drivers out of tent also.

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@Carpy If you run 14g wire how are you hooking up to the connector on the boards?

If I recall there’s not really anything to remove on driver. Just put small screw with nut through one of the mounting holes if you do it that way.

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Can you use the small wire with the kits as a pigtail with the wagos?

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@RAP, I’m using the original wiring for the boards. I bought a DIY kit from HLG lighting.Just added a 3 wire cable between the driver and light.

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Also, the original “wagos” worked with the 14 gauge wire.:grinning:

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Yes, the pigtail would work…exactly what I did.@RAP

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Guess what I am doing this weekend?:grin:

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@RAP, it was easy, good luck with the project.

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@dbrn32 hey I just ran the 2 DC output wires to the boards and haven’t had an issue yet…is the ground wire necessary?

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Just to confirm… You are only wanting to extend the DC wire between the light boards and the driver DC output right?

IF so, and we are looking at only the DC power leads to the light boards, there is no real need for a ground wire between the fixture and the driver case (assuming the driver case is fully enclosed and grounded to the service/mains).

Now… IF there is a possibility of RFI on the DC outputs of the driver, you might want to address that.

To extend the DC power supply leads from the driver outputs to the light inputs, and depending on the total length of the extension, I make the following recommendations:

  1. Use the largest conductor size you can reasonably use on both + and - runs. This is to minimize resistance and thus minimize potential voltage drop. Any voltage drop will reduce the max current you can drive into the load.

  2. Use stranded conductors… mostly for flexibility and durability. Ideally, you would want to use a “cable” stock with 2 identical insulated conductors inside. BUT… if RFI is a potential problem… especially the longer the extension is… then you probably should use TWISTED PAIR conductors… You WILL find it hard to find decent gauged/sized cable with twisted pairs. So you can make your own.

Take red and black stranded wire of sufficient size… 10 AWG should be good enough… maybe overkill… depends on extension length, max current draw, and drive voltage in the circuit.

Here’s my favorite Wire reference page… the table shows some good info, and the calculator at the bottom with correct inputs will give you a great idea what your voltage drop and efficiency will be.

https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

Once you have your wire stock, fix one end of the two wires together at a point… I use my bench vice. Then twist the wires around each other. Once you get to the end, clamp the wires to maintain the twists. Go back to the other end and use a pencil or your finger between the wires and rotate it around to further increase the twist rate… as you do this the rate on the downstream will decrease until it unwinds completely. put the clamp at this point… retwist wires on remaining section… repeat until the entire length has as many twists per foot as you can do without visibly bending the wires. Clamp at both ends with twist ties or similar.

Besides helping to reduce RFI on the DC supply line, this is an excellent way to keep the conductors together. You can cover them with shrink tube if you want, but not required if they are proper THHM/THWM insulated wire.

Now, you want to SOLDER your extension cable into the existing circuit… red to red, black to black… Personally, I would shortent the existing lower gauge (non-twisted) wires to a few inches max. to further reduce resistance in the circuit, and add a few twists if possible.

Google soldering two wires together for how to mechanically connect the wires together before soldering… put shrink tube on EACH conductor that will shrink tight on that conductor… Put one or two pieces of shrink tube over BOTH conductors that will shrink tight over both conductors… I stagger the solder joints so it doesn’t get too fat in one spot.

TIN the copper ends first if its not pre-tinned. Solder, shrink, shirink overall.

Also… stranded wire… the higher the strand count, the more flexible the wire will be. I love using the welding lead type wire as it has tons of tiny strands for max flex.

There you go… the OCD (brief) guide to extending a DC power supply line to minimize voltage drop and reduce/eliminate/prevent RFI on the line. (parallel DC conductors act like a radiating antenna if you don’t twist and/or shoeld them.

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