I don't think you fully understand. If the Cat 6 cable is rated as 24 AWG, then the individual wires in the bundle are 24 AWG. Wire bundles(collections of other wires) are not typically rated by the pair or by the bundle. They are rated by the constituent wires.
When I was talking about 24 AWG in Cat 6, I was talking about using a single wire from a Cat 6 bundle. I wasn't talking about using the entire cat 6 cable. Also, there is no such thing as a "power feeds" in cat 6. All of the pairs are the exact same size. In fact, depending on the connecting standard, you change the wires around.
guess I didn't ask well.. Cat 5/6 in LED lighting cases is used for the power feed to the LED strings... Sooo IF you solder a pair together and use it as one leg of the power does this, in effect change its power handling capability? Is such a thing handled in standards and ratings??
In another way to say it 2x 24Ga = x carrying capacity.
The larger the circular mil area, the greater the current capacity.
You are doubling the copper
so 2x wires ganged together increase the circular mill area by 2?
I know it is complicated..
It appears "free air" capacity of 24Ga far exceeds (even derating by .7 (6-15 bundled conductors) leaving 4.2A before reaching "critical" temp) what we are usually dealing with..
BTW I have NO idea of the composition of the insulation of Cat 5-6 cable so I went w/ lowest common denominator nor power losses due to heating and resistance increases..
But the bottom line SEEMS to be 24Ga Cat5 for free air wiring of individual
LEDS is fine
Running Cat 5 as 4 pair of DC feeds is fine w/ caution..If you join a twisted pair to make a single "wire" is more than fine..BUT you only can do 2 strings..
bottom line for me (since I will usually do 3 or more individual strings) is to stick w/ "thermostat" wire for power (can get 3-4 strings w/ a thick copper wire 18-20ga per solid strand) and as to separate LEDs.. almost any wire works.. though practically starting at 24 ga makes sense..
Even looking at this simple composite chart.. (and assuming a "short" run 4ft ) 18G can handle 10A at 12V 22Ga 5A @ 12V
First number is wire gage, second is amp capacity when single wire near no other wires & third is amp capacity when in a wire bundle or conduit.
Wire Size Single Bundled
24 gage 3 2
22 gage 7 4
20 gage 11 6
18 gage 15 10
16 gage 22 12
So, again it "appears" Cat5 can safely handle sub 2A through a single strand in the bundle.. leaving me w/ the OK w/ caution again for using a single "pair" for a LED power wire.. not too many LED strings are built for over 2A output though it CAN be done..