In my recessed lighting project, I finished roughing-in the Romex copper wires and I was about to connect the recessed lighting wires when I noticed the wires from the lights are of a silver-colored metal. I read somewhere that connecting two different kinds of metal wires, particularly if it's aluminum to copper, will require special connectors.

I’m trying to determine what kind of metal is in my recessed lighting wires.

Can anyone help me to understand the markings printed on the recessed lighting wires? I think it says:


enter image description here

To connect my Romex wire to my recessed light, can I use the connectors shown below?

enter image description here

  • 4
    You've asked two separate questions (How to read the markings, and if you can use those connectors) in a single question. Typically, these unconnected questions should be asked individually.
    – cde
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 10:16
  • 3
    Is actually three questions
    – Kris
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 13:28

3 Answers 3



First, TAIFULONG is the cable brand.

E204798 I do not know. (comment from Harper: this is likely the UL "File Number" connected to the ЯU mark).

The FU is actually “ЯU”, the symbol for the Underwriters Laboratories Recognized Component Mark:

These are Marks consumers rarely see because they are specifically used on component parts that are part of a larger product or system. These components may have restrictions on their performance or may be incomplete in construction. The component recognition marking is found on a wide range of products, including some switches, power supplies, printed wiring boards, some kinds of industrial control equipment and thousands of other products.

AWM indicated Underwriters Lab Appliance Wiring Material:

UL offers a broad and comprehensive certification program for appliance wiring material (AWM). This program enables manufacturers to demonstrate compliance in an objective and credible fashion, while enabling thousands of OEMs to source safer, compliant products.

3321 indicates a specific AWM rating.

Appliance Wiring Material Style Number Designations: 3000–3999: Single conductor, thermosetting-insulated wire.

Thermoset wire insulation BURNS, compared to thermoplastic insulation, which melts and reforms. The specifics of the rating I do not have.

VW-1 indicates extra flame testing rating:

Where a greater degree of flame retardancy is desired, over that required for all wire & cable, this Vertical Wire flame test can be imposed. This is an optional flame rating, and products meeting the test may carry the additional marking "VW-1."

The IBAWG is actually 18 AWG. This means 18 Gauge Wire, according to the American Wire Gauge standard (aka the Brown & Sharpe wire gauge). This is the wire Size. Typical house mains internal wiring is 12~14 AWG, depending on current needs. 16 and 18 AWG is often for appliance cord wire and low voltage wire systems.

150°C is the Insulation breakdown temperature. It will melt/burn at 150 degrees Celsius. Normal temperatures will not exceed this for household in-wall wiring.

600V is the Insulation breakdown voltage. Any voltage meeting or exceeding this will result in no insulation. That's bad.

Feng Tai Electronic is the Manufacturer.

  • 1
    cde, where are you located? Typical house wiring in North America is #12 & #14. With larger gauges for appliances and heavier loads. ....... Since the OP mentions "Romex" it is safe to assume he is in NA. Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 13:07
  • 1
    #18 and even #16 are common in fixtures, but #14 and #12 are common for branch circuit wiring (in the US).
    – Tester101
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 13:43
  • Updated to reflect that.
    – cde
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 13:44
  • Best would be to mention common wire sizes for the voltage systems so everyone in the world can judge better
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Nov 28, 2015 at 16:57

What you have is stranded #18ga tinned copper wire at the lights. This is completely typical of this type of light. Connecting that to #12 or #14 household wiring with the proper sized wire connector (wire nut or otherwise) is absolutely fine and SOP in the industry. I'm not sure where you go the incorrect information say this is not a good idea.

The connectors you show are a wire-nut and a push-in connector. The yellow wire nut would be the perfect size for connecting these two wires. Some times you will have two cables in a light box so you will have two larger wires and one fixture wire for each color. In this case you may want to go with a tan or red wire nut. On the package for each one there will be a chart for the wire range the connector will fit.

If I am not mistaken push-in connectors will not work with stranded wire that small. You would need to twist and then tin the bundle, which is not at all worth the effort considering the ease of use of a simple wire nut.


Your second question, To connect my Romex wire to my recessed light, can I use the connectors shown below? is unrelated to the first, hence the second answer.

Typical house hold wiring standards have designated the color Yellow for a range of AWG sizes. Specifically for Twist On Wire Nuts:

Yellow, Minimum: 2 conductors AWG 18 + 1 conductor AWG 14; Maximum: 2 conductors AWG 14 + 1 conductor AWG 10

Typically, a Yellow Twist connector can accept a single or pair of wire between 10 AWG and 18 AWG.

The Push-In connector varies.

In both cases, you simply want to match your wire size, in AWG, to the connector you need. Any connector you buy will list the wire size it is suited for. DO NOT OVER STUFF. If you need to tie too many small size wires, you may want to go the next size up (American Wire Gauge is reversed, small numbers are bigger wires). If the cap is Loose, it is too big and/or small. The cap should be tight on the wires.

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