Which Wire is Best?

Hi all,

I am starting to assemble my Trustfire X9 which I have been waiting for parts for. I am using a de-domed XM-L2 U2 1A and am waiting for a BLF17DD driver to arrive for it from MTN elec.

Anyway I have two lengths of wire, some standard 18AWG silicone wire from IOS and some 20AWG Silver plated OFC copper, teflon sleeved Mil-Spec wire which I bought from the US.

Will it make any difference as to which one I use? Obviously the Mil-Spec wire would be higher quality but it is also a thinner gauge, the other thing is it is the sleeve is much thinner which is handy because it gives me more clearance between the star and the reflector.

Is this even something to worth thinking about or would the difference be negligible?


Based on this chart I think the 18 would be better IMHO but use whatever fits best for your project, how many amps are you going to be pushing thru the wires?

As much as the XM-L2 will take from a VTC5 through the BLF17DD.

I wasn’t sure if the higher spec silver plated wire would have less resistance as I think they are both capable of carrying the amps that an XM-L2 could take.

The 20 gauge wire will work dandy. I use the 22 gauge wire from MTNElectronics in my lights that are all driven to dangerous levels and I couldn’t be happier with how well they function. Working with the 22 gauge is also much easier as you don’t need to enlarge the holes for the 18 gauge wires. Also the thickness of the wire needs to be taken into account when accommodating the reflector. On an MTG2 build in an S3, I created a lot of work for myself having to make space for the very thick wires, grinding away space from the reflector and star. Also OL posted a nifty video to help save space when soldering to a star Good luck.

False. Black bear.

I would use the 20AWG teflon wire. I pretty much only use teflon these days. 19 strand oxygen free silver plated copper. I think you can use smaller gauge with the same results as heavier silicone wire. The teflon sheathing is thinner, so it is lower profile.
You have to get the hack of stripping it though. For 20AWG you need to use the 22AWG stripper. Squeeze tight, the relax slightly, and pull.

Such teflon wire? http://www.ebay.de/itm/25-feet-22-AWG-Silver-Teflon-Wire-Black-19-Strands-/380978008473?pt=US_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item58b40f1199

I have thin teflon wire from IS but never use it because I had problem getting the isolation off, but I will try it again because the silicone wire is so thick that I have sometimes problems with the reflector centering….

That is the same stuff I use. It is good and bad. It is an absolute dream to solder, it literally soaks up solder like a sponge, it is also very thin even with the teflon sleeve. However it is very rigid compared to the silicone stuff and is not as friendly to use in tight driver cavities because of it.

OFC no effect.
Silver plate, a bit easier to solder.
Silicone vs teflon jacket, not much, both high temp which shouldn’t be a factor if you use a proper gauge wire.
18 vs 20 gauge, twice the current capacity.

I get the 22ga stuff from FT



I’ve tried 18AWG silicone wire VS 24AWG teflon wire with DD, and got the same current reading.
I get all my Teflon wire from John’s Silver Teflon Wire Shop

Good to know, that is the same guy I got mine from. 12ft of red and 12ft of black, 19 strand 20awg. I went with the 20awg for this build.