Opinions on quick stab connections in can lights

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by pmayer, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. pmayer

    pmayer New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Minnesota
    All,

    I am finishing my basement and will be wiring 17 can lights. I noticed that the can lights have quick stab connections in the box and I am wondering what the opinions are on them (cans that I have used in the past did not have them)? I had a problem one time with an outlet that was wired with quick stab connection so I have never wired an outlet using these. But the can lights use a different style quick stab connection and I am wondering if these are less problematic than those on the outlets. If you were doing this project would you use the quick stab or cut them off and "do the twist"?

    Thanks for your input.

    Paul
  2. BobL43

    BobL43 DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,799
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I think those connectors are pretty good, but if you make a mistake somehow, they are not so easy to release the wiring from them without damaging the connector; for me, anyway. Every new can light I've seen at the big box stores has them.
  3. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    I used 14 of them in my remodel. They worked good. I would check all premade connections, push the wires into the connector. I had a few that were not pushed in far enough for my liking.
  4. Speedy Petey

    Speedy Petey Licensed Electrical Contractor

    Messages:
    999
    Location:
    NY State, USA
    I use 'em ALL the time.
    I am doing a $2m home in the woods with a lot of Halo recessed, all using the supplied connectors.
  5. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,562
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Yes they look different but the method is the same as the receptacle.

    I back stab everything possible and have never had a problem

    Just in case one is wondering I started in the trade in 1966
  6. pmayer

    pmayer New Member

    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Great input. Thanks, guys. Its not really the response that I was expecting, so I am glad that I asked before just cutting them off. I will definitely give them a try. Good suggestion to check the prewiring, Chad.
  7. mtcummins

    mtcummins In the Trades

    Messages:
    380
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    Yeah, I like them too, though I haven't used a ton of the cans with them yet.

    Last I bought them, Commercial Electric still didn't have them in their cans, but pretty sure all Halos do.
  8. Homeownerinburb

    Homeownerinburb New Member

    Messages:
    525
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA USA
    JW and I have agreed to disagree about the durability of backstabbing receptacles. Receptacles get plugs shoved into them and yanked out of them repeatedly, this to my mind stresses the back stab.

    However, in a can light, really, things are pretty stable. Once it is assembled, it should hang together.

    The one hazard I would consider is the potential to put too many lights in a daisy chain and expect the quick stabs nearest the line to carry the load. They are rated to 20 amps, I am sure, and they have a fine design concept where they clamp onto the wire like a pair of pliers. As the wire gets hot (only going to happen if you are approaching its limits) the quick stab expands with it, and as it cools, it clamps back down. But the metal is only good for a few tens of thousands of heat/cool cycles, I have no actual Idea how many. I always prefer wire nuts and the wires well twisted together with a linesman's pliers before the nut gets screwed on, and tightened again with the pliers.

    That is the ABSOLUTE surest way to know that your wire joint is never going to come apart.

    All that said, use the quick stabs and shove the wires, including those in the can, all the way in. And don't electrically stress the system. Do not wire 18 amps worth of lights to one 20 amp circuit.

    You will be fine.
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