Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Dependable low voltage connector
on April 28, 2013
I have had Malibu lights for years. The connectors they provide are good in that they are already connected to the light. But installing them so they made contact with the electric line was always a problem. Even when they did make connection and light, they might lose connection a day or a week later and the lights wouldn't work. The connectors use a clever mechanism to click together that makes it very difficult to get them apart again. Over time I purchased the Malibu replacement connectors, which means cutting the original connectors off the wire from the light and splicing the new connectors on using wire nuts. These were no better. By the end of this winter I only had one or two lights lighting out of eleven.
After searching the Internet I found these connectors. The feedback was variable, but I purchased five to give it a try. While getting everything to connect initially was a challenge, once I had a connection, the lights have stayed lit. After a week I ordered six more of these connectors to replace the rest of the Malibu connectors. Now all my lights are lit.
Here are some tips based on my experience. First, since my lights have been installed for some years, the insulation on the light wires is not as flexible as new wire would be. Second, since the Malibu fixtures connect the wires into separate pieces, the two wires in their insulation were no longer bound together like light wire usually is. This allowed the individual wires to roll in this connector rather sitting for the metal to pierce the insulation. All my problems were on the light wire side. I used 12 gauge wire for the line and had no problems making connection on that side.
Lay the light wires in the fixture. In the most difficult case I trimmed a piece of electrical tape and taped the wires together making sure the electrical tape was not where the connector needed to make contact with the wire. Make sure the wires are even with the outside of the connector. Don't put the large wire in the connector yet. Screw the connector together and take it apart again. You should see two puncture marks where the connector tried to make contact. Using a utility knife, carefully scrape off the insulation at the puncture marks. Now replace the light wire in the fixture and put the line wire in its place. Put the connector back together. Be careful to align the end of the light wire with the outside of the connector. Tighten the screw. In most case you'll see the light come on.
If I had to try a couple times, I also made sure to bend the connector prongs so they were vertical. If they aren't straight, they push the wire instead of piercing it.
It wasn't a fast process to install these connectors, but once they connected, they stayed connected. There had been only a few times that all eleven of our lights were working at the same time when we were using the Malibu connectors. Now they all light every night. I don't mind spending extra time to install as long as I won't be back again and again redoing the installation. I'm very happy with the results.