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Old 12-14-2005, 12:20 AM
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The best electrical connectors for landscape lighting

I am new to low voltage lighting and wondered what you all use to connect the wiring. Do you use low voltage gel filled wire nuts or special connectors specifically made for landscape lighting? Any particular brands? Thanks
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Old 12-14-2005, 08:01 AM
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The best way is to solder the joints and use a gel filled connector like these.
http://www.kinginnovation.com/pro-dryconn.html
You can use just the connectors, but soldering makes a permanent mechanical connection that will very rarely create a problem. Cast lighting has excellent introduction to low voltage lighting and is worth the time to read the how-to on their site. Try this article about soldering.
http://www.cast-lighting.com/art-solder.html

Kirk
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:20 AM
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If I am using wire nuts, I insert them into a resin filled packet manufactured by 3M. This resin pack makes a solid seal and I have never had ANY problems with these connections.
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Old 12-14-2005, 09:43 AM
DMAN DMAN is offline
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Paul,

Do you first make your splice, put it in the resin pack then put a standard wire nut on? Or do you use something else?

DMAN
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Old 12-14-2005, 10:08 AM
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Paul, are you using the 3M, DBY kits. 3Mô DBR Direct Bury Splice Kit. These will also work well, but can be a bit expensive.
http://products3.3m.com/catalog/us/e...er/output_html
Do you get any freezing weather or snow in your region? The frost heave plays havoc with the cables and wire splices here where the weather can change drastically from day to day.

Kirk
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:38 AM
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I use the 3M Scotchcast 3570G resin packs. First I make the splice and insert the wire nut into the packet. Then I use a small zip tie to seal it off. Within a short time it is hard as a rock. I have never had a failure. Make sure that you have a secure connection to begin with!! Kirk, we are pretty stable here as far as weather. We have some freezing. but it usually doesn't last very long. These resin packs are expensive but if you never have a failure, it's pretty cheap insurance.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for the information. I will check out those products and rescources.
So even where you branch off the main cable to a fixture, you do not use any kind of clamp type connector to just pierce the cable, you actually cut the main wire and splice in that way? Also, I saw a tube of splicing sealant sold by FX luminaire today. Anyone used that?

One more question.... Is all the direct burial low voltage wiring about the same, or are there specific brands you have found to be better? (I realize you chose the correct gauge for the application)
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:02 PM
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I see you are a student of the green industry. Do you want to know how to get a lighting job done or to learn how to design & install landscaping lighting professionally? Either way, ask any questions and I'm sure you will get some good information.

A tube of splicing sealant will eventually make a mess of your hands and your work, better to buy filled wire nuts, or immerse in the one of 3M products above. I always use a hub system now, and find it to be much more reliable, cleaner and easier to setup and maintain, so I don't suggest branching from the main wire or piercing the wire to install the fixtures.

Direct burial wire is available in different grades. I prefer the marine grade, which is called No-Ox, it is tin coated copper wire that will actually prevent corrosion. If the wire is nicked during installation or after, better wire will resist corrosion better. Don't know your climate there in Oklahoma, but around here with the ocean on one side and the Delaware river on the other and sweltering hot summers, corrosion becomes the unnecessary call back.


Paul, I have never seen that splice. I checked 3M, no pics but did read the data sheet with a drawing. That looks very clean, tight and permanent. What do they cost and do you need more than 1 size?

Kirk
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:32 PM
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I usually use pierce point connectors on my runs. Where I splice, at a T or a loop, I use the resin packs. I'm sorry I didn't specify that to begin with. I like using the Kichler Quick Disks for my usual connections.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:36 PM
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Kirk,
My cost on those connectors is about $1.75 each. They only come in one size, but it will handle a red wire nut just fine. It is very clean and like I said, I have had zero problems with them. You can usually get them from electrical supply houses.
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