What low-voltage cable is right for the job?

There are a number of different low-voltage cable solutions available to help you meet the needs of your network. Each solution offers its own set of features and benefits, so it’s important to select the correct cable for a given project. Here is an overview of some common options:

1. Category 5e Cables

Cat 5E cables and can be used to connect computers and networking devices. They come in different colors, but the most common are either gray or yellow. The main benefit of these cables is that they’re affordable, but with some limitations compared to their more expensive counterparts.

Category 5E cables were developed as an alternative to Category 6 (Cat 6) cables because they offer similar performance benefits at a lower price point. However, there are some drawbacks associated with using a Cat 5E cable like operating speeds and fewer types of cabling they can pair with.

2. Category 6 and 6A Cables

CAT6 cable is used in Ethernet networks and is capable of speeds up to 250 MHz. It is also backward compatible with CAT5e cabling, which means that you can use it without having to re-wire your network. CAT6A cable is the newest standard and can be used for both data and voice applications with speeds up to 500 MHz (and beyond). The performance levels of these two categories differ depending on whether they’re used for networking or telephone systems, but they are both backward compatible with previous categories of wire.

3. Outdoor-Rated Shielded and Unshielded Cables

Shielded cables are used to protect against interference from outside sources and reduce the risk of signal degradation. Shielded cable is ideal for environments where there is a large amount of electromagnetic interference (EMI) present, such as near power lines or other sources of high-frequency radiation. Unshielded cable is more flexible than shielded cable, which makes it cheaper to manufacture and install. Unshielded cable can also support a greater bandwidth, making it suitable for use in Ethernet applications that require higher speeds than what shielded cables can offer.

Unshielded cables are best suited for situations where EMI isn’t present or will be shielded by another component in your network anyway — such as when you use unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling with an RJ45 connector on one end and an RJ45 connector on the other end; this setup shields both ends automatically because each end has its own shield.

4. Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are used for high-speed data transmission. They’re more durable than copper cables, and they provide a more secure connection because fiber optic signals can be encrypted. Fiber optic cables are significantly better than copper in long distance applications, but you’ll need to determine whether the greater cost is worth the investment.

5. Plenum, Riser and General Purpose Cables

Plenum cables are used in the space between the drop ceiling and the floor. They are meant for use in air handling spaces (places where air is circulated) and are fire retardant, which means they won’t burn as easily as other types of cable.

Riser cables usually run vertically up the side of a building and carry electricity to sockets on different floors. General-purpose cable is exactly what it sounds like: general purpose! You can use it for any job that doesn’t require riser or plenum cabling like connecting your TV to your entertainment center, or connecting household appliances together such as lamps or microwaves.

6. Coaxial Copper Cable

Coaxial Cable. This type of cable is the most common and most popular type used to transmit information over long distances. It consists of a center conductor surrounded by an insulator, which is surrounded by a braided shield, which is surrounded by an insulator and then covered with a jacket.

Coaxial cabling is frequently used in two-way radio communication systems because it has better signal-to-noise ratio than other types of cables. The increased attenuation can result in improved performance at higher frequencies for this type of cable when compared to other types such as twisted pair or fiber optic cabling

7. Intelligent Building Cable Solutions

Intelligent building cables are designed to transmit a variety of data over the same wire as power. This allows for a more efficient use of power and cabling, which can save you money on both your energy bill and your installation expenses.

One common application for intelligent building cable is in the home, in applications such as lighting control, security systems, fire alarms and CCTV cameras. These applications require constant monitoring that can be done remotely from an office or mobile device; having them all connected through one cable makes this much simpler than several separate cables with different purposes.

Each low-voltage cable solution offers its own set of features and benefits, so it’s important to select the correct cable for a given project to ensure optimal performance and best ROI.

Before selecting a low-voltage cable, it’s important to consider its suitability for the specific project. For example, you might need a cable that can withstand repeated bending and flexing without damage. Alternatively, you might need a cable that is able to withstand high temperatures in an industrial setting.

In order to get the most out of your low-voltage cables, make sure that your selection provides the necessary features and benefits for each particular application.


At the end of the day, choosing the right low-voltage cable for your project can be a difficult task. There are many factors to consider and no one solution fits all applications. However, by taking into account what it is you need from your cable—i.e., whether it’s indoor or outdoor use, how much bandwidth you need etc.—you can make an informed decision on which type will best suit your needs. Whichever option you choose, SAS has all of your supply needs. We partner with many top of the line manufacturers such as Southwire, Platinum Tools, and Simply45.

Various types of power cables with electrical wire conductors

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