How to get power to LEDs (Wiring)

For any LED powering setup, it’s important to know how much current the LEDs are going to actually draw. If you do full brightness rainbow, only 1/3 of the max energy is used compared to full white color (in RGB strips, RGBW is another story).

A lot of patterns will typically not have 100% brightness for every LED, so power may be even less than that. OTOH, if you do go full white with all RGB lit up, it will draw quite a bit.

For wiring size recommendations I like this one:

For example, 22 AWG wire can handle 7 amps for “chassis wiring” which is a conservative recommendation for non-bundled wires open to the air. 18AWG wiring would seem sufficient for 15A.

Another way to look at it is to calculate how much heat it is going to generate by power losses. 22 AWG is 16.14 ohms per 1000 ft, or 16.14mOhms for 1 foot. P = R * I^2. At 7A, its going to generate about 0.8W of heat (for each) across 1ft of area.