spider splice or not

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Okay, I'm wondering which is the best way to go... Just starting out.

    I like the spider splice for even voltage distribution, and, mainly because I can put my splices in a protective, easy to find place.

    However; if I save cable runs by using the "T" pattern instead of spider splice, will silicone connectors be enough to protect my connections from direct placement in the ground?

    Another problem I realized is that many fixtures don't come with 25 feet, so I guess I would have to make splices in the ground anyways.

    What is the best way to go?

  2. steveparrott

    steveparrott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,276

    The Spider Splice is the way to go. Here are the advantages:

    -Equal voltage distribution to all fixtures on a single wire run

    -Provides an easily accessable, above-ground, voltage testing point

    -Reduces the number of splices in the field (this assumes that you use fixtures with 25' leads)

    -This reduction of splices is a huge advantage in that it reduces the number of possible failure points, reduces labor and makes for a faster, easier installation.

    -Finally, the Spider Splice cap also provides a place where you can stamp the wire run number in a visible place and attach Fixture Record Tags for off-grade fixtures such as tree lights or lights mounted on a structure.
  3. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988


    What other fixtures come with 25' leads, in addition to Cast?

    Can they be ordered like that, for example, by Kichler or Vista?

  4. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 367

    Kichler just introduced their new junction system. Fixtures like the 310, 384, 309, 488, and 361 are all available with 25 leads and a connection for their new LV junction, which is incredible...if I can attatch an image I will...

  5. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    That's awesome.

    I just got off the phone with Dennis at Florida Outdoor Lighting, they have them in stock.

    Thanks for the info on the fixtures with the 25 foot leads.

    I was also getting info on making my own leads if I need too. I guess I can crimp the leads at the fixture and use heat shrink tubing.

  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    One thing that must be considered when using the hub or spider splice is the resistance from the 16 guage wire. I noticed it the first time that I used this method of wiring. When you have 5 fixtures connected to a home run and each of those fixtures has 25' of 16 guage wire, not only do you have a .5 volt of drop but, you have 125' of wire to account for. This adds up quickly when you put the whole system together. That being said, I use this method as well as all of the others.
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    i preffer the hub for the advatages listed above. I do use a T and a loop when the situation dictates.

    Many fixtures from many manufactures are avalible with 25 ft leads. Kudos to cast for making thier socket to lead connection very solid. We recently used a bunch of focus bullets on a job and they had plain old blue butt crimps with no sealant or anything... highly unacceptable and had to be redone.

    The only issue I have with the cast spider splice is its just not big enough... I would like to see them avalible in a larger diameter. On many jobs we use a small round irrigation valve box to hide our hubs.

    The Kichler brass bullets with leads are about 35% more expensive than the cast bullets so make sure you price jobs accordingly if you use them.

    Dollar for dollar the cast is hard to beat. The hub method is probably the way to go if you dont understand voltage drop alot (you should if you plan to do lighting). Paul is right tho there is alot more wire involved and alot more resistance which equals lost wattage
  8. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    All very helpful info, thanks.

    When using the T method, should I put the splices into a junction device (irrigation box, etc.) or can I trust to burry the silicone-filled connectors in the ground (like they're rated)? The Vista rep said it was okay to just use the silicone twist-on connectors for direct burry.

    Thanks again,

  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    Mike, I would always use a valve box or something of that nature. Not only does help protect your junctions, but it makes it easier to find when you want to add a fixture to a run.
  10. seolatlanta

    seolatlanta LawnSite Member
    Messages: 176

    Well, I am going to beg to differ on having valve boxes for every connection. I only use valve boxes (irrigation with the round top) for my hubs. If you have a job with a lot of fixtures there will be boxes all over the yard.

    What you can do is get a few bags of the small orange grease tube with the crimps .Crimp the connection together and place the grease tube over it and bury that. You can get the tubes at Florida Outdoor Lighting Distributors website. Be sure to factor them into your bid as they can add up on larger jobs. Thats just my .02.


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