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I have an 18-bulb chandelier from Globe Electric. I need to connect 19 wires together twice inside this lamp.

I've bundled the wires into 4 sets of 9 using washers and electrical tape. The instructions are lacking. See photos. Besides "carefully", how do I get this all together?

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    How many wire nuts and small jumper wires (the ones you show in that last pic) are there? You might want to obtain some more to make it practical. Also, for a formal recommendation, what gauge is the wiring in the fixture? Its probably printed or stamped on the insulation of the wire.
    – Jeff Meden
    Mar 1, 2016 at 14:21
  • @JeffMeden 19 white and 19 black (18 each from the fixture and then the hot and neutral from the source) --- Based on the example in the instructions, it appears that they want you to just use a wire nut to connect them all together with the main. What exactly are you having problems with, I assume they will not all fit? You could use pigtails to connect between sets of the same color with multiple wire nuts, but it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
    – TFK
    Mar 1, 2016 at 14:25
  • I have never seen a wire nut that could take that many wires. I just looked up 3M the T/R+ (tan and red) & R/Y+ (red and yellow) can take 6 ea 14 awg that is most of any size. Just because they fit does not make it safe. the smaller wire sizes below 14awg take many less.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 1, 2016 at 14:35
  • Are these instructions on line somewhere? I have a similar lamp with 16 bulbs -- now dimmable LEDs, max brightness appx equalling 300W incandescent, normally run much lower), so I can attest that it's possible... but may require more experience than you have.... being willing to shorten some jumpers, knowing how to dress them down neatly so they don't take up so much space, that sort of thing.)
    – keshlam
    Mar 1, 2016 at 22:46
  • @keshlam - see those photos of the instructions? The one with a cut off sentence is as much as they provide for this step. Yay.
    – JoshDM
    Mar 1, 2016 at 22:50

2 Answers 2

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Wow that is a lot of connections for a light. I am surprised the MFG did not send something as that is too many for wire nuts unless you do several sets and connect them together. I would use a terminal block maybe a little bigger than this but I use this in control panels that are tight on space. I use jumper wires on 1 side then use the other for the connections. They are finger safe but I would put a layer of tape over the screws in this case. 2 tan and red 3M wire nuts connected with a jumper would be safe if that is 14awg wire but that is really pushing the limits.

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  • Just in case you cant fit all those terminal blocks inside the fixture housing, push connectors like this might be a good idea: amazon.com/478047-773-168-Push-Connector-Conductor/dp/…
    – Jeff Meden
    Mar 1, 2016 at 14:48
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    I think you're asking for trouble trying to use wire nuts or push connectors without tinning the stranded wire with solder first. If this is typical stranded lamp cord, its not strong enough for those connectors. I agree with terminal blocks if you can find one that works. Or tin all the wire ends.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 1, 2016 at 14:53
  • Assuming "tinning" is to add standard solder each end, then I'm going to have to take this beast apart, and back together, but I think that's a good option. There isn't a lot of room inside that globe, so the smallest of terminal blocks seems like a good idea
    – JoshDM
    Mar 1, 2016 at 16:37
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The simple answer is "in parallel" -- that is, all the whites to one side for connection to neutral and all the blacks to the other side for connection to hot.

The more complicated answer is probably tree-style -- that is, group the blacks into sets of three or four plus a jumper (whatever the wire nut accepts), then group three or four of those jumpers together with another jumper, until the remaining number is small enough to attach to the wires that go up the stem to the electrical box.

I would not tin the wires if you're using wire nuts. US practice (and US code?) frowns upon that, worrying about solder someday melting and causing shorts, or flowing and loosening the wire nuts, or both. Wire nuts can work Just Fine on stranded wire, if the wires are tightly twisted before being bundled; I believe you'll find that many lamps are wired exactly that way. (There's some debate about whether the twisting is required; it make me more comfortable.)

This is someting much easier to help with in person than over the net. I'd strongly recommend finding local assistance.

I have a similar lamp (now running dimmable LEDs, 300W-incandescent at full brightness but usually dimmed down considerably) in my living room, though I've converted it to be a hanging (swage) lamp rather than being rigidly mounted on a stand-off tube. (The larger -- wooden -- chain will eventually lead the cord across the ceiling and down the wall to the dimmed outlet; I need to splice on about 12 more feet.) prior owner of house called this the "star trek light"

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  • Un-tinned push connectors and jumpers?
    – JoshDM
    Mar 1, 2016 at 23:13
  • @joshDM: Push connectors are less common on this side of the puddle, so I honestly don't know.
    – keshlam
    Mar 1, 2016 at 23:29

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