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Old 31-12-2015, 14:20   #1
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Crimping LED pigtails

I replaced all my lighting with LED. The bulb replacement was easy.
But added some complete LED fixtures with the small diameter pigtails. I often broke the small wires when crimping or they just pulled out of the butt connectors as they were too large.
Whats the proper way to connect the Led pigtails to the larger wire from the old fixtures? Thanks
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Old 31-12-2015, 14:23   #2
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

The crimp connectors were to large for the small wire, not the wire was to large for the connection.

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Old 31-12-2015, 14:25   #3
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

I solder them parallel to the large wire and then heat shrink them.

Yes, there will be massive howling about this practice here.

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Old 31-12-2015, 14:42   #4
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

Yeah and that I didn't add a .5 amp inline fuse.

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Old 31-12-2015, 14:44   #5
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

I think anything electrical made in China is pretty much it's own fuse.
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Old 31-12-2015, 14:49   #6
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

I've been replacing all interior lighting using crimps. Perhaps the leads are larger on my new fixtures, but I've had success using the smallest crimps I can find - the red ones. A ratcheting crimper helps to get them tight. A trick is to strip more length than you really need, then double the bare wire back on itself and twisting it to double the meat.

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Old 31-12-2015, 14:54   #7
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I solder them parallel to the large wire and then heat shrink them.

Yes, there will be massive howling about this practice here.

Mark

Mmm, no, I wouldn't howl at that. The LEDs are low current and if there's a short on the thin LED wire, it's its own fuse . There must be a breaker or fuse at the panel sized correctly to protect the larger wire of course.

The biggest concern when joining a thin wire to a larger one is mechanical; you want to secure the area of the join so that motion won't break the wire. I like little terminal strips screwed or glued down for these connections.
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Old 31-12-2015, 16:08   #8
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

on those tiny wires, I often strip them twice as long as needed and double the wire over
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Old 31-12-2015, 16:09   #9
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

Radio Shack has very small butt connectors but the likely not work with your existing boat wire
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Old 31-12-2015, 20:05   #10
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
The biggest concern when joining a thin wire to a larger one is mechanical; you want to secure the area of the join so that motion won't break the wire.

That's why I solder them parallel and use glued heat shrink over them - the small wire is captured with the large.

Terminal strips just don't fit for many of these types of projects.

I used to over strip them, doubled them back and crimp with the wrong size connector like others describe, but I found those failed easily. Like all of them fail in a year or so.

The other thing I will sometimes do is strip the larger wire diameter down enough to fit a smaller crimp. I expect to hear lots of howling over that one also.

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Old 31-12-2015, 21:38   #11
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

I'm going for the biggest possible howl from the peanut gallery.

I stagger all the cuts in the wires, slip the smallest possible diameter heat shrink over each wire, solder the connections using enough heat so the connections are a smooth shape, no pointy bits. Then I slip the shrinks in place and heat them.
After all that, I then slide down a previously placed larger piece of shrink of sufficient size to cover all of the previous work, heat that, and I'm done.

If the work was in a possibly damp spot, I first heat up my glue gun and shoot some into the last piece of shrink, slide it over the other small preshrunk connections and IMMEDIATELY slip it over the whole job and hit it with the heat gun.
I've shortened radar cables, fluxgate compass leads, remote cables, you name it.
Granted, it takes practice to achieve this without making a mess but I have been soldering for 60 years.

No failures yet in the above splices.

Flame away.
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Old 31-12-2015, 22:09   #12
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

Had similar problem, same question. Here's five pages of opinions and suggestions on the issue. Pick your poison.

How to Crimp Little, Tiny Wires
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Old 01-01-2016, 07:04   #13
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
I'm going for the biggest possible howl from the peanut gallery.

I stagger all the cuts in the wires, slip the smallest possible diameter heat shrink over each wire, solder the connections using enough heat so the connections are a smooth shape, no pointy bits. Then I slip the shrinks in place and heat them.
After all that, I then slide down a previously placed larger piece of shrink of sufficient size to cover all of the previous work, heat that, and I'm done.

If the work was in a possibly damp spot, I first heat up my glue gun and shoot some into the last piece of shrink, slide it over the other small preshrunk connections and IMMEDIATELY slip it over the whole job and hit it with the heat gun.
I've shortened radar cables, fluxgate compass leads, remote cables, you name it.
Granted, it takes practice to achieve this without making a mess but I have been soldering for 60 years.

No failures yet in the above splices.

Flame away.

This is also one of my techniques, only I find it easier to use glued heat shrink tubing - it's the only type I use.

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Old 01-01-2016, 08:03   #14
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pirate Re: Crimping LED pigtails

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
This is also one of my techniques, only I find it easier to use glued heat shrink tubing - it's the only type I use. Mark
I hesitate to claim I actually have a "technique." It's more like a propensity to forget to put the tubing on before crimping.

Because of continuing ineptness, I've started buying the terminals with goo already installed.

It's hell getting old.
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:13   #15
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Re: Crimping LED pigtails

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I hesitate to claim I actually have a "technique." It's more like a propensity to forget to put the tubing on before crimping.

Because of continuing ineptness, I've started buying the terminals with goo already installed.

It's hell getting old.
Amen Brother!
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