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Replacing Landscape Lighting: Quick Connectors

Replacing an old landscape lighting fixture and don’t know how to install the new quick connectors on old wiring? 

You’ve bought a brand new LED landscape lighting fixture with a screw or quick connector, but have old wiring with the typical electrical cap connections and are baffled on how to install.

That was me, until I figured out how to make it all work.

I’m here to help you understand how you convert from a electric cap connector landscape fixture to a screw and quick connector in minutes!

Cap/Nut Electrical Connector vs Screw/Quick Connector

If you installed any light fixtures indoors or a dimmer switch, you are very familiar with electrical cap connections.

It’s the kind that you screw over two or three wires to lock them together for conductivity.

Here are a couple of projects using cap connectors for you to explore if needed:

remove-wire-nuts-all-wires
Example of a electrical cap or nut connector

When I purchased a new landscape light to replace one that I broke, I encountered a completely different type of connector!

Of course the first thing I did, was to dig up the old fixture wiring to see what I was dealing with and saw my old familiar electrical caps securing the fixture to the wiring.

I thought…easy, this will take a few minutes!

Then I opened my new fixture and was like what? 

screw-connector-securely-attached-to-low-voltage-landscape-lighting

Contains hand selected products, with affiliate marketing links where I may make a small commission if a purchase is made. {full disclosure here}

It was a big round piece at the end of the landscape fixture wiring.

No electrical nuts or caps were included in the box, so I got searching and learned it’s called a “screw connector”.

The brand of of landscape lighting I purchased was Portfolio which is carried at Lowe’s Home Improvement stores and online.

Many other manufacturers and Hampton Bay Landscape lighting from Home Depot have a “quick connect” or clamp type of system to attach the fixture. 

Shop Landscape Path Lights

If you are installing a brand new landscape lighting plan this type of connector is SO EASY to install along a low voltage wire.

When you are installing on existing old wiring that used electrical caps, it gets a little more confusing. 

Pin It for Later!

how-to-install-replace-landscape-lights-quick-connector-screw-connector

How-to Convert Landscape Lighting to a Screw Connector

First and foremost, I am NOT an expert in electrical work so take this instruction as informational.

Luckily, landscape lighting is on low voltage wiring and fairly harmless. I just made sure the electrical current was off before starting. 

One thing I learned in my research is that there are outdoor water resistant electrical caps filled with silicone.

I have since updated mine to brand new ones to make sure there is still a water barrier around the wire.

My suggestion is to buy these, before you start your project, so you don’t have to dig up everything again like I did!

Watching the video is the best way to learn how these quick connectors work!

how-to-install-landscape-lighting-screw-connector

Replacing Landscape Lighting: Screw Quick Connector

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $35

 How-to install a screw connector in minutes on an existing low voltage lines with electric screw caps.

This process can be used with other "quick connect" type of attachments that have pins.

Materials

  • New Landscape Light Fixture
  • Water Resistant Electrical Cap

Tools

  • Adjustable Wrench

Instructions

  1. Disconnect-existing-landscape-light-and-reattach-cap-connectorsDig up dirt around the existing landscape light to expose wiring. Unscrew both of the electrical caps and disconnect only the fixture wiring keeping the other two wires together. Screw them back together with the electrical caps.
  2. screw-connector-needs-to-pierce-low-voltage-wiring-to-ensure-power Take the screw connector apart (refer to video) and attach the bottom half to the open length of low voltage wire. Secure wire through clips on either side.
  3. landscape-light-screw-connector-securely-attached-to-low-voltage-landscape-lightingScrew down the top portion of the screw connector making sure to pierce the wiring. See the two holes in the wiring in the picture above as a reference.
  4. use-adjustable-wrench-to-tighten-screw-connector-to-wiresUsing an adjustable further tighten the screw connector to make sure it is fully engaged.
  5. new-mushroom-style-pathway-landscape-light-installed-with-screw-connectionBEFORE BURYING WIRES: Test the light to make sure it turns on and all fixtures on the same line do as well. If not, go through the process again to make sure the pins are piercing the wire coating to reach the wires underneath.

Notes

  • The screw connector is part of the Portfolio line of landscape lights found online and at Lowe's Home Improvement stores.
  • You may encounter a similar clamp type attachment and the same method applies with the main goal of keep the original line closed with the new pins piercing the low voltage wires.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

See how easy that was! Luckily, the power to my line wasn’t the issue just that I broke the top of a fixture off with a ladder.

My next project is having the fence and landscaping updated to make it a whole lot prettier!

Now you can easily update or fix your landscape lighting fixtures.

Looking for more outdoor projects this spring and summer?

Since I am a true “porch daydreamer”, I spend a lot of time enjoying my outdoor spaces!

If you are looking for some help on outdoor projects or new ideas, here is a list to get you started:

Please consider signing up for my weekly email newsletter and following me on Pinterest and Instagram for daily inspiration.

Until next time…

Porch Daydreamer

Tracey

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6 Comments

  1. You just added a fail point at each of your landscape lights. It would’ve been easier to cut the connector off you new lights and join them into silicone filled wire nuts, using new wire nuts of course. You would’ve just twisted the ribbed wire from the fixture, in with the ribbed wires already on the ground and the smooth wire from the fixture, with the smooth wires already there. Those pierce connectors are notorious for failing due to dirt/water intrusion.

  2. Thanks for the great tips/ideas. I love these outdoor light fixtures. My husband and I plan to place a few of these out in our landscape. Thinks for DIY.
    Stay safe and healthy.

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