What low voltage landscape lighting connectors will you need to get your lights to work. There are several different kinds of connectors to use. We will discover the way each type of connector can be used.
Why use Direct Burial Connectors
If you are just going to twist the wires together and wrap with electrical or duct tape, this is only going to be a temporary fix. The tape will not hold out the moisture and over time the ends of the wires will corrode and loose the ability to transfer the current needed to make your lights work.
The direct burial connectors are made to stay underground in the most severe weather conditions. They will withstand heat, cold, wet and invasion by insects or underground animals. These types of connectors will last for several years underground without any attention from the homeowner.
Types of Direct Burial connectors
The following will be a list of the types of connectors and when to use them. You can use a combination of these, you do not have to use just one kind of connector. Look at the uses of each kind and on your map that you laid out your wire runs, you will select the proper connector for your use. Use this link to see more about what wire size to use for your lighting.
Waterproof caps are just like the wire nuts used inside your home when connecting two or more wires together. The major difference for the waterproof caps are the self sealing of the flaps and the grease used to keep out the moisture. These caps are made to connect several wires together, so that you can use them to split a run with three wires. Each cap will have the number of wires with each gauge that it can handle, as they will come in different sizes to fit your needs.
Lug connectors with heat shrink
Lug connectors are for straight line connections. It is a metal tube that the wires goes in with a screw on each end to secure the wire to. After the wire is secured the plastic tube goes over the tube and is heated to seal the connection.
The junction box will let you use a common box to run your wires from. This is good if you have an area to light that is some distance from the transformer and spreads out in several directions to have similar length runs out to your lights. This will look like a spider web if it is done correctly. One main wire runs from the transformer to the junction box and smaller gauge wires complete the runs to your lights.
These type of connectors are what you find in the kits. These are made only to connect the fixture to the line run. Do not use these to connect the run wires together as they are not made to carry the load that runs in a line run.
Standard connectors will come in the old fashion push type or the newer screw type. The screw type is just heavier duty and easier if you have to change the fixture that is connected for some reason.
When looking to set up your Low Voltage Lights you will have to make sure that you take the connectors into consideration in your planning. The proper connector from the beginning will make sure that your lights will last a long time with very little or no maintenance.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.
Coming from a Horticulture background, I wonder if you have marketed your lights etc to people who have water gardens and/or rock gardens. Knowing that the small waterfall display can be in the neighborhood of $5k, you could put yourself in there as a great lighting supplier.
I like the post. Very well written with a good spacing of H3’s and images.
I will look into expanding my network to include these topics. There are many Lighting opportunities for water gardens.
Hey John – great info! I would have just used the “twist wires and wrap with electrical tape” method before lol – but this looks like a much better way!
You can use that method, but will have to redo in a couple of years. Like everything else using the proper tools will get the job done right the first time.
Thanks for this informative article, Chris. The direct burial connectors have a very important function since they protect the wires from corrosion. I did not know the exist before reading this post! I always thought scotch tape was the solution! Using those connectors can help us save money because the low voltage lights will last longer and better. Blessings!
This will help you not get frustrated with your lights in the future. Maintenance will be reduced also. Thanks for the comments.