My daughter loves to decorate for Halloween every year. Her boyfriend brought over a lot of decorations that were pretty good. One category of items was plastic pumpkins. The pumpkins came with a large hole on the bottom, perfect for placing over a Malibu light.
We have a planter along the street of our house that I wired for Malibu power years ago. The main power line was sunk under the lawn and then threaded under the sidewalk from the house to the planter. I then created an electrical T network where a new Malibu electrical cable ran along the length of the planter. I purchased a connector to marry the two main power lines in the middle. Now take note that I had two ends of the top of the T wire that became important years later. Each end of that wire ended at each end of the planter and this is where I placed my Malibu lights using their squeeze and penetrate a pin method. The lights in this planter over time failed and I did not make the effort to repair them because we keep our Malibu lights on all night and I wanted to cut electricity costs. I decided to switch over to LED bulbs to save money but they were hard to find at that time and expensive. My bulb source, when I started this switch over, was charging over $20 per bulb so I only did the switch over for the most important instrument locations. This planter was not that important. The Halloween 2015 season I noticed that Philips offers a 20 watt LED replacement bulb that only uses 2 watts for less than $7.
- Manufacturer: Philips
- Model 9090011318
- Voltage 12
- G4 capsule
- Brightness 195 lumens
- White light
- Estimated length of service: 13 + years.
- Estimated yearly cost $0.24.
- The problem with this bulb is that it sticks out from the socket too far for some of the Malibu instruments.
Home Depot also sold a nifty Malibu filter kit consisting of three colored glass filters and a metal clip for MR16 bulbs. I used these glass filters in other light fixtures. They really to the ambiance, the Halloween theme my daughter was trying to convey.
The main point of this post is to share with you a trick I used to save money and make a much better electrical connection to two of my Malibu lights and ensure ease of troubleshooting if a problem occurs in the future. This all started when I found out that a few of my Malibu light fixtures had bad electrical connectors where the cable connects to the main power line. I decided to hard wire this planter and not by the normal push pin method. This really works for the planter because lights were only placed at the ends of the top bar of the T. This trick only works at the END of the main power line.
In the image below I show one end of the T line that rests at one end of the planter. I separated the main power line so I could deal with each power line separately. I intentionally cut one line much shorter than the other. The reason is I do not want the two wires to ever short out. Look at the image below and in your mind see if there is any way one wire can ever touch the other. They can not. I stripped the insulation from both the main power line and the instrument. I then twisted the instrument wires to the main line wires as shown below.
After I twisted the instrument wires on to the main power lines, I used plastic twist wire nuts (I used “Greenie” because they might blend in with the surrounding plants). As you can see in the image below, the instrument is very old, still working though which explains why this is saving me money. I do not have to buy a new instrument.
Below is an image of the repaired light fixture ready for the plastic pumpkin to be slid over the light.