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Are these clips just for protection? or are they connectors for something?

enter image description here

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what is that junction box for? Connectors aren't weird. The variety of wiring is. – DMoore May 8 '13 at 5:28
up vote 7 down vote accepted

They look like a type of push-in connector. If so they are in place of twist-on wire connectors and are not "just for protection", they are connecting the wires in a safe way.

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