Electronics Wire Harness: Understanding What It’s All About

When designing a project, one of the main considerations is how the electronic wire harness will affect the entire project.

Focusing more on your project’s function, features, and form might cause you to overlook the importance of a wire harness, a mistake you cannot afford to make.

Consumer Electronics Wire harness Understanding

Consumer Electronics Wiring harnesses are essential in the power supply and exchanging signals or data for various home appliances and other electronic products.

They include flat-screen TVs, PCs, mobile phones, digital cameras, and game instruments.

It’s also important for doorbells and lights and can transmit high-speed internet signals.

Low voltage wire refers to wiring that comes with non-metallic sheathing. It can carry about 50 V of electricity or less in some cases.

By simple comparison, you will often find that most outlets in different hallways and rooms in a home are 120V. 

So, whether you are wiring a brand new device or have recently stumbled across an unusual wire stapled to the dashboard, you will often be dealing with one of a broad range of low-voltage wires.



How to Identify Low-Voltage/Electronics Wire Harnesses

This type of wiring has several characteristics that help to set it apart from wiring used with higher voltage electronics. 

  • Usually, the low-voltage wire will consist of smaller gauge options. 
  • It is sometimes placed beneath the ground or directly stapled to exposed areas. 
  • It also tends to have a thinner jacket or sheathing. 
  • A good indicator, but not a definitive one, of low-voltage wired is the stamps on the side of these components.

Low-Voltage/Electronics Wire harness Gauges

AWG (American Gauge Wiring) is a standardized form of determining the gauge or thickness of electrically conductive wires.

The lower digits indicate thicker wires, whereas the higher digits indicate thinner wires.

It often refers to one strand of solid wire, common in low-voltage applications.

However, the size of the numerous strands in a cross-section is the same as that of the solid, single-strand wire.

Generally, -14 to -12 gauges are applied around the house for components such as outlets and lighting fixtures with higher voltage.

Regarding low-voltage electronics, the range is between -12 to 24- gauge wire.

Network Cable

Network Cable

Basic Types of Low-Voltage/Electronics Wiring Harnesses

Below are the common types of low-voltage wires around your house.

Thermostat Wire

It is a thin wire of about 18 gauge comprising 2, 3, 4, or 5 wire bundles and is used to link thermostats to any remotely situated HVAC unit, i.e., ACs, and furnaces.

Doorbell Wire

Referred to as the bell wire, it is 18- to 20-gauge and comes in bundles of 2.

It links to wired doorbells that connect to the base unit itself, often in a centralized location far away somewhere in the home.

It can also be applied when linking the system to a  transformer.

Landscape Light Wiring

It is a 12-, 14,- or 16-gauge, double-strand wire used for landscape wiring that requires a low voltage. It is usually buried directly into the ground.

Light fixtures located on the run jab into a continuous wire with specialized low-voltage and push-fit connectors, which do away with the need to trim/cut the wire or splicing of the lighting features.

Network Wiring

There are various network cables made for transmitting broadband internet. They include the following:

  • CAT5

The earliest form of network cabling dates back to 1999 but was rapidly supplanted by its much better-performing variation, the CAT5e.

Nonetheless, besides its other capabilities, it can still carry video and voice data.

  • CAT5E

In the name letter ‘e’ in this ethernet cable means enhanced. It can carry 10x faster speeds over longer distances than the CAT5 cable.

  • CAT6

This network ethernet cable can carry more bandwidth than the CAT5e and can process frequencies of approximately 250 MHz.

Under ideal conditions, it can support speeds of 10 Gbps over lengths averaging 165 feet.

  • CAT6A

The ‘A’ in this ethernet cable refers to ‘augmented.’ It is an improved version of the CAT6, with a capacity of 500 MHz and 10 Gbps or higher, over lengths averaging 328 ft.

TV Cable

The RG-6 comprises a single wire of about 18- gauge running down the middle used for things like cable TV.

There is also the RG-59, an older version with a general-purpose coaxial wire of about 22- gauge.

Because the RG-59 is typically for the outdoors, it is used in CCTV surveillance, analog TV antennae, and beneath-the-ground applications. 

Phone Wire

The phone wire is a low-voltage CAT3 of about 24- gauge. It comes in 4 to 6 bundles and can carry voice and data at a bandwidth range of about 16 MHz.

Low-Voltage Wire Safety Risks

This wiring usually doesn’t present any safety issues, but this is not always the case since the wiring more often cross-connects with other components that transmit higher voltages.

As a result, it can carry sufficient power to form an electric arc, meaning that upon contact with even a small spark with combustible or flammable liquids or vapors can cause an explosion. 

DIY professionals or anyone dealing with this type of wiring must always uphold caution and handle the wiring as though it were high-powered. 

How To Create Consumer Appliance Wire Harness

Below are the factors to consider when creating consumer appliance wire harnesses.

Assembly Considerations

  • Short wires don’t always mean reduced prices. Assembly times may affect the price more if any mistakes are made.
  • Among the major issues with harnesses is the bunching and routing of wires. As a result, it requires laying out to help the operator avoid mistakes.
  • There may be 30 to 50 terminations, meaning the design must ensure the operator cannot add a terminal at the incorrect area.

Installation Considerations

  • The price of heat-resistant connectors and wires is lower than the installation time. As a result, one always has to weigh both aspects. 
  • The spinal cord set-up tends to have more wire than the spider web set-up but is easier to service and install.


  • The speed and nature of the signal carried will impact the choice of connector.
  • You should select a crimp-style connector if the power is transmitted through the assembly.
  • Pick a welded or soldered connector whenever you’re transmitting a fast signal.
  • Always determine if the end assembly is initially set up with a specific kind of connector since it may limit your terminal choices.

Circuits or conductors

  • The type and amount of conductors or circuits included will be based on their use.
  • The most adaptable and commonly used conductive material is copper, which is compatible with various coatings that help slow the corrosion rate.
  • You can use copper-clad steel copper alloys if you require more breakage strength. 


Coverings offer that additional layer of insulation and protection from fluids, heat, chemicals, moving parts, moisture, vibration, rattles, and squeaks. They also serve as electromagnetic protectors that help deter interference.

Environmental Considerations

  • Determine if each part can withstand a specific operating temperature or voltage.
  • Look at whether the harness and connector mounting design exerts pressure leading to extreme vibrations, like with a washing machine.
  • Establish whether or not your harness will have to contend with grease, water, or detergents. Do you also have to factor in flammability?


Cloom provides customized services for electronic harnesses for different application requirements in consumer electronics, digital telecommunications, PCs, and network appliances, some of which include RCA, Ian, VGA, and IDC cables.

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