What are the most common power cables?

Every time you flick on a switch, boot up a computer, or charge your phone, power cables are working behind the scenes. The silent heroes, ensuring your devices receive the energy they need. Yet, how often do we stop to consider the kinds of cables that power our daily lives?

The truth is, there are several types of power cables, each designed for specific applications and environments. While at James Lighting, our focus is primarily on lamp holders and lighting fixtures, we do come across a variety of these cables. Let’s unravel this electric maze and look into the most common power cables out there.

the most common power cables

Which power cables are primarily used in households?

In most homes, you’ll predominantly find two types of power cables: non-polarized and polarized cables. Non-polarized cables have two pins of the same size, while polarized ones have one larger pin. The larger pin ensures the cable is plugged in the right way, aligning the neutral and live wires correctly. This distinction is vital for devices where the current’s direction matters, like many light sources in our product lineup at James Lighting.

How do grounded cables enhance safety?

The three-pronged cables you often encounter are grounded power cables. But why are they essential? Grounded cables carry an extra safety feature: the third prong connects devices to the ground, preventing electric shocks. This connection directs any unwanted electricity away from the device, ensuring user safety. At James Lighting, we always prioritize safety, which is why we often recommend and use grounded cables for our products.

Why are extension cords indispensable?

Extension cords are the unsung heroes in homes and offices, providing flexibility and reach when sockets are scarce or inconveniently located. However, one must ensure they’re used temporarily and not as permanent wiring solutions.

They come in various lengths and capacities, but it’s crucial to choose the right one. For example, lighting fixtures from James Lighting would require extension cords capable of handling the fixture’s power without overheating.

What about the power cables in computers?

If you’ve ever peeked behind a computer, you’d notice a plethora of cables. The most common being the IEC power cables. These IEC cables, especially the C13/C14 and C15/C16, are standard for PCs and monitors. They ensure that these devices receive consistent power.

While computers are not our specialty at James Lighting, understanding these cables is essential for anyone in the electrical and electronics industry.

different types of power cords

Are there cables designed for rough environments?

Certainly! There are power cables like the SOOW, which are designed for service in harsh conditions. SOOW cables are resistant to oil, water, and weather, making them perfect for outdoor or industrial applications. Even though our primary focus at James Lighting is on indoor lamp holders, we appreciate the rugged design of these cables. It’s a testament to the diversity and adaptability of power cables.

How do power cables cater to appliances?

Major appliances like refrigerators, washers, and ovens require dedicated power cables due to their high consumption. These appliances often come with SRDT or HPN type cables, designed to handle higher voltages and temperatures. It’s a clear indication of how power cables can be specialized, much like how we at James Lighting specialize our products for specific light sources.

UL SAA VDE AC power Extension cable with plug 1M 2M 3M 5M

Can power cables be aesthetic?

While the primary function of power cables is utility, they can also be designed with aesthetics in mind. Think about the elegant cables often accompanying high-end lamps or sound systems. These cables blend functionality with design, ensuring they complement the device they power.

In our line of work at James Lighting, we recognize and appreciate the blend of form and function, often striving for it in our products.


Power cables are everywhere, silently playing a pivotal role in our daily lives. From simple household cables to rugged outdoor designs, these cables ensure our devices receive the power they need, safely and efficiently.

At James Lighting, while our expertise is in lamp holders, understanding the world of power cables helps us offer the best to our customers. Because when you light up someone’s world, every component counts.

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