I've done some searching in the forums
, but apparently I have not hit on the magic combination of search terms to get a good answer to this.
I am replacing a lot of the lights on my boat
with LED-type fixtures. I have some from Bebi, some from West Marine
and some from other manufacturers. Every one of them comes with these tiny 22 gage pigtails.
The house wiring
is 14 gage or 12 gage, depending on the length of the run from the DC panel to the fixture.
So, here's my question. How do you connect the 22 gage wire to the 12 gage wire?!!?
I have used different size male and female spade connectors, which works and makes it nice if I have to replace the fixture, since I don't have to cut and resplice. However, this makes a huge connection and I can't get heat shrink over it to seal - anything big enough to go over the connectors won't shrink down small enough to seal over the pigtail.
I have tried doubling and tripling the pigtail end that I am inserting into a standard size blue connector, but that's pretty much guarenteed to fail the tug test.
Where I am going to tap into a line which will continue to another fixture, I have stuck the 22 gage wire into one end of the butt connector, along with the 12 gage wire, which works, but makes the heat shrink tubing a little bulky.
If I am connecting to the end of a wire, I have inserted the 14/12 gage wire into one end of the butt connector, along with the 22 gage wire and just left the other end open. Then I put heat shrink tubing over the hole thing and hope that it closes down enough on the other end.
I thought about using terminal strips, but usually can't get a terminal strip into the base of the fixture.
Any other thoughts - other than the obvious of having manufacturers use a thicker wire (are they really saving THAT much by using 22 gage wire?)?