About Wire Connections

Install and Repair Low Voltage Light Fixture Connections

Understanding Outdoor Low Voltage Lighting.
This article explains how to trouble shoot and repair an outdoor lighting system. Outdoor lighting provides illumination to draw attention and attraction, to homes, buildings and premises, for cosmetic and security benefits.


About Wire Connections
The quick connectors which accompany most outdoor low voltage fixtures are designed such that moisture gets in the wire. First thing we do on a repair is remove the connectors, strip the wire back 1 1/2 inches. Twist a solid connection and use outdoor wire nuts. If the wire is in an area where connections are challenged, then take time to tape it well. You will be surprised how a really good connections can affect bulb life. Even LEDs.

Wire Connections Make the Difference
Landscape light wire sits in moisture. Quick connects do not last. The connection area receives moisture, connection becomes poor. The new mechanical wire strippers allow the following connection be easy and fast. If it seems like over kill; at least you know your connections are strong and will last.

Remove quick connector

Cutting off the crimp connector.

This connector came on the fixture. It uses piercing the landscape wire to hit the coper braid in the wire. it relies on a thin tooth to enter the wire where the copper connector is. Overall a connection is made.

The hand strip and hand twist is many times more robust and reliable.

Strip twist, and tape or water proof wire nut connectors. Best to strip at least 1 1/2 inch. Twist the wires neat and tight as possible. Tape real well. With wire nuts, snip the twisted copper to length.

New style wire stripper makes the work of stripping heavy wire easier.
The unit works well on larger wire, but presents issues when attempting to strip stranded wire 22 gauge and smaller.
Most fixtures connection wire is a little thin for this size stripper.

IRWIN VISE-GRIP 2078300 Self-Adjusting Wire Stripper, 8"

Strippe wire ready for twis togeather connection

Landscape wire is stranded

Twist wire clockwise.

Twist individually before connecting with another wire.

Twisted together, this make for a tough connection. Wire laid out in garden areas gets some abuse from general landscape maintenance.

Using wire nuts, snip twisted connection to length for wire nut. Use the hand stripped, hand twisted connections for a robust install. Wire nuts don't twist the wire properly by them self. The procedure shown here will save lots of maintenance time in future.

twisted wire connection

Snip the twisted pair to length for wire nuts.

Best light output from your installation of outdoor lighting, depends on strong and reliable connections.

taped wire connection
Your low voltage landscape wire lays in the ground, where moisture collects.
Far better than the quick connects; better connection that will hold up over time.

King Innovation 62225 DryConn Outdoor Electrical Wire Connector 20/Bag, Aqua/Red