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Connecting LED spotlight to existing low voltage landscape lighting

Connecting LED spotlight to existing low voltage landscape lighting

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  #1  
Old 09-28-14, 06:35 PM
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Connecting LED spotlight to existing low voltage landscape lighting

Hello,
I bought some LED spotlights at Lowe's to change out my existing inefficient ones. I have two runs. One used 12 awg and the other used 8 awg. I was able to connect the LED's to the 12 awg using the quick connect that came with the spotlight which is the copper spikes that pierce the landscape wire to make the connection.
However, the 8 awg is to big to work with the quick connect. I bought some 16 awg that the instructions recommended and tried to use this to pigtail in to the 8 awg, but the light didn't work. If I touch the 8 awg to the copper quick connect spike, it lights up for me. How should I go about installing these LED's to the 8 awg line?
Thanks,
Jeff
 
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  #2  
Old 09-28-14, 08:24 PM
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Welcome to the forums.


WOW.... #8 wiring is certainly large for low voltage lighting. I'd expect you to have hundreds and hundreds of feet of wiring if you're using #8.

I normally splice to the main line using gel filled wire nuts. Splicing to #12 is no issue.
#8 is an entirely different job. Personally, I'd carefully remove about an inch of insulation from the #8, wrap the #16 around it and solder it. Not an easy task.

Is this two single #8 wires or some kind of siamese wire ?
 
  #3  
Old 09-29-14, 04:29 AM
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Thanks!
Yea it definitely seems like overkill using #8 wiring. It is two single #8 wires (the outside of the wire says 8/2). I bought the wire nuts that can handle two #8 wires and was going to fill them with silicone to help prevent corrosion. Do you think I should just cut the quick connector off the LED spotlight and splice it directly to the #8 wire?
My original plan was to keep the quick connector intact by attaching a #16 wiring to the quick connector and then splicing the #16 to the #8 with the giant wire connectors. When I tried this, the #16 got super hot and it blew the breaker on the landscape transformer. The LED spotlight instructions does mention that the wire needs to be at least 10 ft long, but I figured the #8 wire is way longer than 10 ft. But maybe the #16 needs to be longer than 10 ft. So maybe I should just go with option 1 that I describe in the first paragraph.
Thanks,
Jeff
 
  #4  
Old 09-29-14, 08:24 AM
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Most, if not all, lighting transformers are 12vac output. Does your new spotlight run on 12vac ?

I'm concerned about the wiring getting hot. That shouldn't be happening.
 
  #5  
Old 09-29-14, 11:32 AM
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Hi PJ,
Yes it is 12VAC I also checked the transformer for correct voltage with a multimeter. The wire that got hot was the 16awg wire pigtail that I tried to use as the intermediate between the quick connect on the led spotlight and the 8awg wire. The pigtail was only about a foot long, the manual says something about that the run of wire needs to be at least 10 ft long. The wire going into the spotlight was not hot at all.
Thanks,
Jeff
 
  #6  
Old 09-29-14, 08:40 PM
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The LED spotlight should draw very little power. It shouldn't make any difference what size jumper you use. Possibly the quick connects shorted together ?
 
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