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SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES
05-30-2009, 01:21 PM
Hey guys. What type of wire nuts/lugs do you use when installing your LV? I have used some wire lugs with greese caps from a vendor on this website and though they work great, they are way to pricy for my taste. does anyone have any ideas of where to purchase a good strong connection like a wire lug (barrel conncetion with a screw to hold wire together)? what do you guys use most often?

NightLightingFX
05-30-2009, 02:48 PM
I use the "Gardner" 4 way crimper with the Northstar Industries www.suresplice.com . I don't think you can get a better connection with the 4 way crimp. It is all so less labor than the brass barrel connectors with screw on cap and less expensive. I also use ace connectors.
~Ned

David Gretzmier
05-30-2009, 03:48 PM
On the ground, I'm a grease nut guy. At Lowes, you can order 100 count cannisters of the large size for about 35 bucks, or 70 cents per light/dual connection. I usually order 4 of these cannisters at a time, and they get there in a week or so. These are the King connectors blue and red variety that are rated up to 300 volts and for direct burial and water proof, and can handle 2-3 10g' or 4 12g's. The Black and grey version of the Kings is rated up to 30 volts ( I think ) and has clearish vaseline type grease as opposed to white silicone, but works fine except not to be used for remote photo-cell ( 120v )wire. They cost a bit higher at Ewing and Keeling irrigation supply places, around 50-70 cent each. also rated for direct burial. There are larger versions of each that are higher priced, over a buck each, for 6-8 guage wire.

In the air and in special circumstances I use ACE connectors and heat shrink tubing, They range from 50 cents to a buck each. More time consuming, but a much better looking connection, but you cannot undo and redo it. There is an argument whether water can get in there or not, and whether grease nut or ACE's make better connections. ACE's are way stonger against pull out. Grease wire nuts have been used in Irrigation for almost 30 years now and very time tested. Folks have also argued on here about how to heat shrink, corded heat gun or torches-butane/propane/mapp gas being dangerous, etc. be careful.

Pierce points are for losers, they corrode the wire within a year. It is the defining item that screams you do not know what you are doing.

SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES
05-31-2009, 01:58 PM
I typically have used the brass barrel connections. I would put the connection on the wire, dip it into a can of Scotch Coat (liquid Tape), let that dry then put the grease filled screw on cap and a round of electrical tape. I have not had any problems with this connection even underground, but was just trying to find cheaper connectors.

Lite4
05-31-2009, 05:59 PM
I typically have used the brass barrel connections. I would put the connection on the wire, dip it into a can of Scotch Coat (liquid Tape), let that dry then put the grease filled screw on cap and a round of electrical tape. I have not had any problems with this connection even underground, but was just trying to find cheaper connectors.

Wow, that sounds time consuming. I use Ace for all my hubs. I use buchanan crimp sleeves and 3/8" medium wall, adhesive lines heat shrink tube for my fixture connects. Just the way I roll.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-31-2009, 06:14 PM
What a timely thread. A good friend, colleague and all around good guy I know has been working on a 'new' connection for LV lighting systems for some time.

He has just recently got everything ready and has launched the product.

http://lightingshrink.com/SiteResources/Modules/webstore/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=15

My first order should arrive here tomorrow. Apparently they make as good a connection as the ACE, using up less of your valuable time.

David Gretzmier
05-31-2009, 06:59 PM
Good for you James- I like the belt and suspenders approach. Taking a serious approach at your connections is what makes the system last period.

Took a click /looksie at the new product. I wish him all the best.

maybe I am missing something, but, I've got to guess the prices get way better in bulk. UL/SA listed butt splices and UL/Military spec listed 3M heat shrink tubing can be bought on the internet for quite a bit less. I pay around a nickle a piece for a thousand pack that'll do 16-12 guage, a dime or so that does 8-10, and heat shrink is around 2-4 cents an inch. I don't use it that much, and when not using grease nuts I prefer Ace's with the screw in it in the air, as it will support the weight of the wire better than a crimp. crimps should be fine in the ground with really good heat shrink, but the argument is still whether water eventually can get in there.

SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES
06-01-2009, 12:30 AM
so how do you use these processes when you are bringing 5-6 fixtures together in one connection at a hub?

Lite4
06-01-2009, 12:39 AM
so how do you use these processes when you are bringing 5-6 fixtures together in one connection at a hub?

Use the Ace, it will handle that many connections in one.

As far as the link James posted, that is the same connection I use only with a copper crimp tube. You will need the ratcheting tool for those aluminum barrels, they are stiff to crimp. I used to use those before I went to the copper crimp.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-01-2009, 01:41 AM
so how do you use these processes when you are bringing 5-6 fixtures together in one connection at a hub?

There are different sizes available for different applications.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-01-2009, 01:45 AM
Use the Ace, it will handle that many connections in one.

As far as the link James posted, that is the same connection I use only with a copper crimp tube. You will need the ratcheting tool for those aluminum barrels, they are stiff to crimp. I used to use those before I went to the copper crimp.


I am pretty sure that the barrels used here are copper and not aluminum.

I have not yet used the product, but will let you know what I think when it arrives here.

JoeyD
06-01-2009, 10:41 AM
Buchanon Crimps, NovaGard G661 grease and Heat Shrink Tubing would be my preffered method!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-01-2009, 07:17 PM
Just received my order from www.lightingshrink.com and the barrels are in fact aluminum and not copper.

Spoke to the owner today and they will be posting contractor/bulk pricing on the website in the next day or so.

I will give these a try on the job we are working on now and report back my opinions and findings.

Chris J
06-01-2009, 11:00 PM
No need to report back. We all know what happens to aluminum in the ground, and this just looks like a chicken spit replica of something that has already been produced and introduced to the market with excellent results. If it aint broke, don't try to fix it and certainly don't try to charge more for it!

S&MLL
06-01-2009, 11:01 PM
Very good point

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-02-2009, 09:12 AM
This system of connections is new to me. Chris says it is an exact replica of "something that has already been produced and introduced to the market with excellent results". Mind filling me in as to what that product is?

I admit the pricing on the site is a bit high, but it will be interesting to see if the proprietor will get the prices down to competitive levels for contractor/bulk orders. I certainly hope so.

Will try them out today. Looks to me that installation time will be cut in half compared to using ACE Connectors.

trailboss
06-02-2009, 11:55 AM
This system of connections is new to me. Chris says it is an exact replica of "something that has already been produced and introduced to the market with excellent results". Mind filling me in as to what that product is?

I admit the pricing on the site is a bit high, but it will be interesting to see if the proprietor will get the prices down to competitive levels for contractor/bulk orders. I certainly hope so.

Will try them out today. Looks to me that installation time will be cut in half compared to using ACE Connectors.

Yeah, your installation time will be cut in half. It stinks to be up in a tree trying to dig for an allen wrench to tighten up an ace.
I have been buying the crimps and heat shrink in bulk and making this same setup.

Steve

S&MLL
06-03-2009, 12:10 AM
I have been buying the crimps and heat shrink in bulk and making this same setup. Exactly.

Just remember its all about 3m heat shrink. That cheep stuff does not shrink as much or as tight as the 3m tubes.

Mark B
06-03-2009, 12:15 AM
Plumbers have been use that type of connection for well pumps for yrs. Instead of a special Pat pending tool they use sta-con to crimp them. Then use the heat shrink over that, then in the well it goes.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-03-2009, 01:30 AM
It stinks to be up in a tree trying to dig for an allen wrench to tighten up an ace.
Steve

Steve. Rather that have to go to all the hassle of making connections up a tree, why not use an application specific fixture like the CAST CCTL1C Treelight, or the Nightscaping JEMLiter? These both come with 35' of factory installed cable and integral treemount hardware, making installation quick and easy.

Regards.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-03-2009, 01:35 AM
I used the lightingshrink.com product today and I must say it is certainly faster than using the ACE connector. The ratcheting crimp tool does a really nice job of making a tight, clean compression of the barrels. As hard as I tried I could not pull the connections apart. The extra length in the sealant tubes was greatly appreciated too.

I spoke with the Manu. today and found out that the tubes are not Aluminum. They are tin coated copper. The prices have been updated on the website too. For contractor accounts they are willing to establish special NET pricing based on volume.

Here is another point he makes: "The couple of guys that feel they have found similar products at cheaper pricing, I will be suggesting they buy a sample pack and compare. The products we have tested since the mid to late nineties are clean metal (not dirty slag connectors) and the tubes have the right amount of adhesive that runs true."

I expect you will be hearing directly from him here on lawnsite by the end of the week.

Have a great day.

Lite4
06-03-2009, 12:12 PM
Buchanon Crimps, NovaGard G661 grease and Heat Shrink Tubing would be my preffered method!

Bingo! I use a little NO-OX compound on the connection prior to heat shrinking.

Alan B
06-03-2009, 09:13 PM
I really like the Blazing LV 9500 DBR's. http://blazingproducts.com/products/connectors/index.html.

Disclaimer--it is the only connector we carry on our site so I am biased. But keep in mind the reason its the only one we carry is because after testing all of them personally in the field, I chose it because I found it to be the best for the following reasons:
1. Strain relief (wires can't pull out like grease filled wire caps.
2. Strong, tight solid conection, fully sealed in grease and cap locks down (clicks into place and has oring seals).
3. Very permenant, secure, waterproof splice.
4. Tool-less design, requires no tools what so ever (pliars can be used to tightly pretwist the wires but are not necessary). No need for crimnping tool or heat to shrink tubes.
5. FAST, very quick to install.
6. Smaller/takes up less space than a nut inserted into a grease tube (like 3M DBR's).
6. At $.79 wholesale http://www.landscapelightingworld.com/Blazing-Connector-Direct-Burial-DBR-Splice-p/9-dbr-9500.htm they are less expensive than most strain relief DBR connections.

Anyone else try them? Note: we net next to nothing (probably lose money when you take processing cost into acct) in selling these so its not a self plug-- I truly have found them to be the fastest, strongest, least expensive, permenant strain relief, completely sealed DBR connection for LV lighting.

Alan

Pro-Scapes
06-05-2009, 06:46 PM
These look like the same crimpe barrels I get at mcmaster carr or my local eletronice store. I have used them in the past for adding lead in wires to fixtures or for replacing sockets. What makes these so special ?

Im not worried about a connection being a bit faster than another meathod. Im pretty certain any adhesive lines shrink boot will repel water good. Never had a problem with a properly booted crimp (and yes mine are tin coated copper too) or an ace connector. Come to think of it I never had a problem with a soldered and grease tubed connection either which I still use in some applications.

trailboss
06-06-2009, 11:42 PM
Yeah, I would also like to extend a welcome to the Lighting Forum. Its always nice to have more input and knowlege join the discussion.
I have been using this same connection method for a while, after just getting tired of using Ace connectors for everything. I still use the large aces on occasion just because I havent had a large supply of the big crimp barrels.
I had a pretty savy homeowner come out last week while doing their instal and make a comment on how professional our connections looked. Most people wouldnt know the difference between a good connection and a poor one - but at least I can rest knowing its the best one that I have found so far. I'm always looking for a better way of doing the entire process - from Marketing, Sales, Design, Fixture selection and Installation.
I hope the sales of this connection method do well for you.

Steve