How to Splice Landscape Lighting Cable?

If you want to change the circuit from series to parallel, or if you want to add new lights to your existing landscape system, you're probably going to need to splice your outdoor wiring. When dealing with landscape lighting, there are a few things you need to think about.

When splicing landscape lighting wire, make sure the power is off. You could use wire connectors designed for outdoor use, but for splicing, the most reliable and cheapest method is to solder the wires and use a heat shrink protector. If burying the wire, you’ll need a sleeve or conduit.

How To Safely Splice Low Voltage Landscape Lighting Wire?

Make sure the power is turned off before messing with wiring. Identify the right circuit breaker from your household’s main junction box/distribution box. Switch it off, and check if the entire required circuit has been isolated off the mains supply. Next is the method you use to slice. There are two main options, either soldering the wires together or using a dedicated wire connection. The better option for adding a light fixture to an outdoor circuit is a wire connection. It is easier to connect the wires that are loose than it is to connect the ones that are waterproof. If you have to remove the fixture in the future, you should be able to break it apart without much difficulty. But it’s that last reason which means that wire connectors aren’t as reliable when splicing cable together. Adding fixture that won't add physical pressure to the wiring is a use for wire connections. You will be pulling on the wire and manipulating it to fit in your garden. A weakened wire connection may result in you pulling the connection apart. When it comes to carrying the current, wire connections don't tend to be as reliable as they should be.

They are usually sufficient at providing power for a fixture, but the twisted wires encased in sealant might not allow the current to flow as freely. This is a reason why soldering is the best option.

Tools Required

The tools you’ll probably require are:

  • Soldering iron
  • electrical solder
  • cutters
  • stripers
  • additional wires
  • Heat shrinking tube
  • Hair dryer
  • You may also need water proof low voltage cable connector

Should I Splice Wire In Parallel Or In Series?

When splicing your new wire, you’ve got a decision to make on whether to do it in series or parallel. Circuits in series are basically one continuous loop, while parallel circuits are a series of circuit loops 'wired in parallel'. There are two reasons for that. you should always aim to wire a circuit in parallel. 

First one is, If any part of a circuit is damaged, the entire circuit will be wiped out. Every single light on the circuit won't work since the entire loop has a broken connection If a light blows on a parallel circuit, it will only affect some of the lights on the same loop as the blow light. Those on a parallel loop will be unaffected.

The second reason to wire in parallel is to avoid a drop in the voltage. In an electrical circuit, every component has a resistance that causes the circuit's overall voltage to drop. Most interior electrical circuits use standard voltages because it is a small percentage of the total current. But with landscape lighting, you’ll likely be using 12V low voltage lights and wiring. A drop of more than 1.5 V suddenly has a significant impact, whereas it would barely register on a 120 V circuit.

Series circuits place all the demand on one loop. All of your lights and the entire length of the wire will all contribute to a voltage drop, which could cause the lights near the beginning of the circuit to flicker or not work correctly. You split the demand by wire in parallel, which reduces the overall voltage drop.

Landscape lighting wire information

10-, 14-gauge wires are the most commonly used wires for landscape lighting. It is a good idea to use 10- or 12-gauge wires if you want to avoid voltage dropping issues.

Conclusion

You will need to solder a wire to a light fixture. You have soldering experience, but it's not a skill you have mastered. You need to waterproof the spliced section of the cable so you can bury it. Otherwise, moisture will cause the whole thing to fail.


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