What Size Wires For Can Lights (12 and 14-Gauge Cable)

The sophisticated and nice-looking light is known as recessed or can or downlight. These lights distribute brightness evenly through the room although they stay hidden. Also, these light bulbs are never out of trend like other fixtures. But the installation system of a can light can seem complicated to you.

What Size Wires For Can Lights

Because there is much confusion about which wire, rim, or reflector you should use. However, you can get this light installed on your room’s ceiling with the help of any professional. The expert electricians would know every detail about installing a can light. Yet if you want to do it by yourself no worries. In this article, you’ll get your confusion clear.

What Size Wires For Recessed or Can Lights

To run any electronic you need to connect them to the power source. As humans need food to function electric items need electricity to function. But if you get in touch with electricity it can harm you severely. That’s why you need to connect them with the main point safely. For this purpose wires are used.

12-gauge Cable

However, there are many types of wire available in the market. They differ in size and coverage. According to the need of the fixture 12, 14, 16, and 18 gauge wires are used in them. But recessed lights aren’t like other fixtures. Where other fixtures are designed beautifully to be seen, these lights are hidden.

Because of this, only a particular type of wire can be used in can lights. The wires should be 12 gauge. You have to use a compatible breaker of 20A with a 12-gauge cable. If you want you can use a 12-2 cable instead.

14-gauge Cable

There is a disadvantage of using recessed light that it can’t illuminate a lot of light. Only a small space can be brightened by these lights. So you might require mounting a lot of can lights on your ceiling to light up a large room. In this case, you should use a 14-gauge cable. A 14-2 gauge will work fine too but you have to check the circuit. You must use a 15 amps circuit on 14-gauge cables.

Anyhow, the disadvantage of less light in a can light can be used for a beneficial purpose. In dorms or hall rooms someone might need light in one corner but others want to rest. In such situations, recessed light can be proved helpful. You can light up in one corner of the room but the other places won’t be disturbed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use 14 Gauge Wires For the Recessed Light?

If you are adding more than 2 recessed lights on one cable then you must use 14-gauge wires. 14 2 cables are great for this purpose and you’ll need a 15A circuit breaker with it.

Can I Use 12 2 Wire For Recessed Lighting?

Yes, you can use 12 2 wires for recessed lighting without worrying.

Should I Use 12 Or 14 Gauge Wire?

What wire you should use depends on the device or fixture. If the fixture is low power consuming then it’s okay to use 12 or 14-gauge cables. If the circuit of the device is 20 amps then use 12 gauge wires. And in the case of 15 amps circuit use 14 gauge cables.

Is 14 Gauge Wire Good For LED Lights?

No, for LED lights the cable should be the widest one. An 18-gauge cable is the biggest wire and can fit any wire. For LEDs, you should use 18-gauge wires only.


Recessed lights may not be stylish and aesthetic enough for a party room but they are sophisticated enough for a study room. They are perfect for libraries, classrooms, and dorms. You can get individual lights for students without separating them by using can lights.

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