Speaker wiring is never cheap. This is one of the main reasons that people don’t set up extensive entertainment systems. Beyond the cost of getting the right speakers, amp, and components for your system, there are often significant costs related to wiring it all together.
This is one of the reasons that people often ask if something like a lamp wire can be used for speakers in place of more expensive options. There are still perks to using the right wiring for your system, like improved sound quality, but you can actually use a lamp wire for your speakers if you want to save some money.
It is possible to use lamp wire for speakers, but it is not recommended. Lamp wire is designed to carry low voltage and current, which is not suitable for the higher power requirements of speakers.
Speaker wire is designed with a thicker gauge and insulation to handle the high current and voltage levels that speakers require. Using lamp wire could result in poor sound quality, or even damage to the speakers or amplifier.
It is always best to use the appropriate wire for your speakers to ensure the best possible sound quality and to protect your equipment from damage.
Differences Between Lamp Cord and Speaker Wire
The main difference between a lamp cord and a speaker wire is that a lamp cord is made only of copper wire. Speaker cord is made with silver, copper, copper clad, and aluminum-free copper wire. This is part of why the sound might be slightly better when you use an actual speaker cord for your wiring process.
Speaker wires also come with both ends open, or they might come with banana plug tips. Lamp cords are made with an open side and a bare side since they are typically connected to an electrical switch. Speaker wires are also able to be purchased in lengths of a few feet up to hundreds of feet in length, but lamp cords are typically only sold in lengths of 6 to 12 feet.
What Gauge is Lamp Cord?
Lamp cord comes in a few different gauges. You might not be sure what the gauge of the lamp cord is that you are thinking of using, but you can strip it and measure it. Many lamp cords are 18 gauge, but some can come in 12, 14, and 16 gauge as well. Speaker wires are 12 to 18 gauge in most cases. This means that you should make sure that your lamp cord is 18 gauge for best results.
Being sure that the gauge matches can be the only common stumbling block for this kind of process. You will just need to be certain that you are using the right gauge so that you do not damage any of the components of your speaker and sound system setup.
Speaker Wires Can be Replaced With Lamp Cord
If you do not have the money to spend on the wiring for your sound system, you can substitute a lamp cord in most cases. This can be an affordable way to create a sound system that will work well for you without having to break the bank. Make sure that you connect the lamp wires properly and that you measure the gauge before you assume that the lamp cord that you have will work for your needs. Other than being sure that your connections are solid, you should not notice any material difference between lamp cord and actual speaker wiring for your sound system’s needs.
This article was last updated on March 1, 2023 .