Wire Connections

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES, May 30, 2009.

  1. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    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?
     
  2. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    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
     
  3. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    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.
     
  4. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    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.
     
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,109

    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.
     
  6. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    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.
     
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    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.
     
  8. SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 763

    so how do you use these processes when you are bringing 5-6 fixtures together in one connection at a hub?
     
  9. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,109

    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.
     
  10. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,102

    There are different sizes available for different applications.
     

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