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Heat Shrink Connectors

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by RLI Electric, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. RLI Electric

    RLI Electric LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 381

    I just wanted to mention that I have used a new connector that I got from Lighting Shrink.com. It is a nice design and I can use this to my benefit to show a differentiation between this and speed connectors (not that any of us use these) to my clients. Simple design and I wish I had thought of it. Oh well, maybe next time I will come up with something like this.
  2. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,584

    I too have been using these. great product, and they seem be real nice folks. I think James has used them in the past as well. I don't really use the big ones but have come to love the small size.
  3. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    I know the owner of the business pretty well and yes he is 'nice folks' for sure, not to mention a pro-lighter with lots of experience. I like the Lighting Shrink.com product and have been helping J. out (at least I hope so) with suggestions on distribution, pricing, etc.

    Light on!

  4. RLDesign

    RLDesign LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I have switched to a balance of ACE and lightingshrink.com. The speed of lightingshrink is what pays for itself. I almost using their connections exclusively. Oh yeah, and he is a professional designer in the utmost sense.

  5. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    we've discussed this before, and I just don't see how they pay for themselves. why do I have to make this argument again and try to be clear?

    I see the value in these for moonlighting connections only when the connector itself is visable. timewise it takes longer to use these than grease wire nuts. you have aditional money in the propane or heat gun or whatever you use to shrink them. heat shrink tubing may look nice, but medium king grease wire nuts cost 35-40 cents in bulk from Lowes each all day long. I have never had one fail and I have used thousands at this point. I have some irrigation grease nuts that have been in valve boxes for over 20 years now. the copper wire is not corroded. they work. 6 bucks per 2 10 guage connections verses 70 cents? really? I install a 25 light job using 10 guage main and 16 guage wire leads and I spend 100-150 bucks on lighting shrink connectors or I spend 16-20 bucks on king connectors.

    you can make the "pull out" argumant if you want, I either keep my wire loose or I use enough wire, I just don't have that problem.

    sorry guys, I cannot afford to spend that much extra on every job for an item that takes longer to use and offer little extra benefit other than they look nice. I bury 95 % of my connections.
  6. emby

    emby LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 380

    Before I decided to make the lighting my primary business I read and read about connections. I asked a ton of questions and as I found out everybody does something a little different. After researching and pricing I have to 100% agree with Davids comments. The only thing that I do and I am not too sure if David does this is I solder all my connections as well. It just makes sense to me to have that connection as one and now all you have to do is keep the moisture out. I am really not concerned about the time it takes to complete each connection but rather ensure that the connection will not fail for a very long time. This is just one way I can try to ensure that my customers will always have good things to say when they are networking for me. Zero problems.
    Just my 2 cents from the Great White North.

  7. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    As most of you 'regulars' here know already, I too use the King Innovation Dryconn connector for the vast majority of my connections. Like David I have thousands upon thousands of these things installed and have had no issues with them at all. HOWEVER, the vast majority of these connections have been made by yours truly. As I have branched out and hired installers, I have been doing random spot checks on the integrity of these connections. Guess what? You cannot always rely upon others to to each task 100% perfect every time.

    Sealed wire nuts work just fine when they are installed properly, something that is easy to do when you do them all yourself. However, the more people you have involved in making connections the greater the instance of improperly made connections. (this holds true of any application I'm sure)

    I can see a benefit to using the LightingShrink.Com product (Jeremy... this product needs it's own, shorter name!!! The company name is fine, but you need to come up with a product name!) or an ACE connector but I too cannot get over the incremental costs, or the necessary tools and infrastructure, or the time required to make the connections, especially when employees are doing the work, losing the tools, taking longer than expected, etc.

    All this aside, the LightingShrink.Com product does offer a more efficient alternative to the use of ACE connectors.

  8. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,173

    Ok, here we go again. I can count 8 re wire jobs for sure we did this season that I know of right now that were a result of wire corrosion from the king wire nuts not being put on correctly. I am sure you are all going to say, well they just didn't install them correctly. This may be true, but these jobs came from a cross section of different installers and I have to believe they thought they were installing them correctly too. I just won't take the chance with them. I have recently however been experimenting with the Northstar DBYs on a few jobs. They are very fast and I can still crimp all the connections nice and tight. I like that they have a nice deep cavity full of the gel to really encapsulate the connection and they seem to have decent strain relief as well. I will say though, I do get a lot of the tops that break when you try to open them in colder weather. The heat shrink connection is by far still the best connection though and the least expensive. I still buy bulk shrink tube and cut it down to size while using copper buchanans for the crimps.
  9. LightYourNight

    LightYourNight LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I use the 3m dbrs on every job. I couldnt see myself using the grease wirenuts on job since in service and repair job i constantly find them as fail points. If they were installed with extra wire at the connection i could see them working better.
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    my answer has always been this- If employees cannot figure out how to strip wire and screw on a nut, how can I expect them to strip wire and then thread on a crimp bushing, and the heat shrink tubing, then crimp the bushing properly, then use the proper amount of heat from heat gun or propane torch to seal the connection properly? are you kidding me? There are more steps to screw up on the more expensive system ! there are 200 unemployed guys calling me who want jobs NOW. hire someone else ! :hammerhead:

    I will not tolerate employess that cannot do the simplest tasks, and if my 12 year old daughter can wire 16 lights and get 100% of them right on the first try, then I expect and you should too a grown man or woman to get it, or fire them and hire someone else. period.

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