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loft lighting

This topic originated from the How to page called Adding a new light and switch
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loz

from United Kingdom

Joined: 06 Sep 2003
Posts: 1
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:12 pm Reply with quote

i have a relative knowledge of electricals but im not an expert and i am very gratefull to any help anyone can offer me,
i am planning to install a pendant light in my loft with a switch . from standing in my loft i can see power cables heading into the ceiling roses of the upstairs rooms in my house, can i simply cut into one of these (obviously with the current switched off) and put a junction box in? secondly im not 100% on how to wire the junction box itself. does a new cable go from the junction box to the new light rose then to the switch? or does a new cable go from the junction box to the switch and another from the junction box to the new light? i have seen it illustrated both ways in DIY manuals. please help
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breezer

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Joined: 03 Jan 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 am Reply with quote

you can as you ask "can i simply cut into one of these (obviously with the current switched off) and put a junction box in?"

and as it is hard to describe with out picture and you have a pictures in a diy manual why not follow your diy manual.

as for the junction box, you should connect each wire colour to colour, the only thing is you should connect it to a cable that goes from one light to the next light, not one that goes to a switch.

I would also recomend a flourescent light (even a 2 foot one) rather than a pendant light as it will be easier to connect and give more light.
(a pendant light you will have to use a ceiling rose and a pendant lamp holder (2 lots of connections) a flourescent the cable from the switch can go strait into it (one connection as opposed to 2, for the pendant light)

it is also easier if you take your cable from the junction box to the switch and then the light (following what your diy manual says)
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MANDATE

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:30 pm Reply with quote

Hi Loz,
When I did mine I used two junction boxes.
I used a 3 terminal box where I cut the cable and fitted another cable so I had all reds to term 1 all blacks to term 2 and all earths to term 3.
I ran this cable to another junction box positioned between light and switch but this was a 4 terminal say A. B . C. & D then wired as follows using a cable to the switch and a cable to the light.
Incoming red to term A
switch cable red from A to switch
switch cable black (with red flag) from switch to term B
light cable red from term B to light
light cable black (neut) from light to term C
Incoming cable black from term C back to fuse box.
Term D was used for all the earth wires.
Don't take my word it, draw this on paper you can follow the electrical path of the circuit which clarifys the situation .
Do you run the cable to the light first or the switch first ,well with two cables coming out of the 4 term box the answer is neither, but there is one golden rule you must always follow.
That is the 'live' must always go to the switch first then the light and not in reverse order. Although it will function in reverse order it leaves a dangerous situation because light has live wire when off.
hope it helps.
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breezer

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 9:37 pm Reply with quote

sorry to disagree Mandate when you say 'live' must always go to the switch first it doesn't have to go to the switch first, i understand and agree with what you say, but it doesn't have to, it also doesn't go to the switch first on the other lights in the house.

One incoming cable goes to the light /ceiling rose
another goes from the light / ceiling rose to the next
a third cable then goes to the switch.

an easier way to do it would be to use a 3 terminal junction box, connected to a live (neutral and earth lighting cable)

take this to the switch
cut the red (live) cable (leave others intact, but put earth sleaving on the copper wire, you do this by folding it in half and put a choc bloc on)
leave the black intact

take the other end of of this cable to the light and connect as normal

this way you only use one junction box

(edited by breezer as i forgot to spell check, then forgot this note)


Last edited by breezer on Sun Sep 07, 2003 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total
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paulfromswindon

from United Kingdom

Joined: 01 Sep 2003
Posts: 82
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 3:11 pm Reply with quote

Gents,

Sorry to disagree with just about everyone here, but this is, in my view, the simplest way to wire a loft light - I always try to avoid using junction boxes - it's another weak link in the system:

SWITCH THE JUICE OFF FIRST.

DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND AND FEEL CONFIDENT TO DO IT.

1) Check that your ceiling roses are wired with the 3-plate method - Have a look in them, you should see three sets of terminals (plus an earth terminal) - Each ceiling rose will have two or three cables going to it - if you only have one, this method will not work. The middle terminals should have red wires, the two outer ones (which feed the light itself) should have a black in each, one of which should have red sleeving on, (but this is often missing). These two outer terminals sets should also have the pendant connected to them.

2) Take a 1mm T+E cable from a ceiling rose to a switch box fixed to a joist in the loft. You will find that most or all of the roses will have three wires in, but the last light on the circuit should only have two - you will find it easier to wire it from this one if you can find it.

3) From this switch box, wire another 1mm T+E cable to the light fitting in the loft, and connect the light fitting to this.

4) In the switch box, connect the incoming and outgoing earths together to the earth terminal in the switch box, or if there is not one, into a 5 or 15A insulated connector block (don't forget to put green/yellow sleeving on the earth wires).

5) Connect both of the Neutrals together in the switch box into a 5A or 15A connector block.

6) Connect the incoming live (from cieling rose) to the 'C' connection on the switch.

7) Connect the outgoing live to the L1 connection on the switch (you may need to swaop this to the L2 if switch appears upside down when you have finished).

icon_cool.gif MAKE SURE THE SUPPLY IS ISOLATED. In the cieling rose, connect the earth to the earth terminal with the others. The live goes into the live terminal block - these are usually the centre terminals, with either two or three reds in. Th Neutral goes into the Neutral terminal block - it should be one of the side terminal blocks, marked N and have a black wire in, and the blue pendant flex. Do not connect it into the one with the black wire that is sleeved red, and also has the brown pendant flex in. This is switched live.

The only thing to be wary of is that sometimes, sparks don't put red sleeving on the switched live in the rose, so it's not always clear which is switched live and which is neutral. If you want to check, get a neon screwdriver, switch the light on, and the switched live will light the neon, the neutral won't. If you get this wrong, the loft light won't work properly unless the light you have fed it from is on! You may also find when you turn the loft light on, the light you fed it from will come on dimly. If this happens, swap the neutral you put into the rose to the other side, with the other black wire.

Hope this helps, please be careful..

Paul
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MANDATE

from United Kingdom

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:02 pm Reply with quote

Breezer! I do believe you have mis-quoted me and did not quote the full sentence
I said 'live' must always go to the switch first then the light and not in reverse order.

What I tried to explain was that the light switch should come before the light and not after it, and therefore the live must go to the switch before the light.
Even when the 'loop in' method is used the live wire still goes to the switch before the light although it goes via the ceiling rose which acts as a junction box.
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breezer

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:12 pm Reply with quote

sorry MANDATE but i only cut and pasted what you had written, although it wasn't all of what you had written.

I didn't mean to offend icon_eek.gif
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spyder

from United Kingdom

Joined: 25 Sep 2003
Posts: 3
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2003 8:36 pm Reply with quote

you need no joint boxes, just take a 1.0mm twin from any light cieling rose from the upstairs lights, take it to the switch ( which i would put by the hatch) then upto the light. connect the neutrals together in a choc bloc in the swicth and the lives either side of the switch.
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paulfromswindon

from United Kingdom

Joined: 01 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:59 am Reply with quote

Great idea, wish I had said that... Oh, hang on, I did!!! icon_wink.gif
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Pauly

from United Kingdom

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 1
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 6:30 am Reply with quote

Thanks allot guys 'n gals.

In the process of putting a light in the loft today, went and bought what I needed yesterday, but woke up this morning with a niggling feeling and pinned it down to how exactly was I going to put the switch in the circuit without having to put a rose in and have wiring to it, down to the switch, back to the rose and off to the strip light. icon_confused.gif

Must be an easier way I think and my idea was choc block in the switch for the neutral cable icon_idea.gif , but wasn't too sure if I was missing something and wether I should/could do this or not.

Well affer a quick search the answer was here. This is now book marked and I may well be asking basic questions on a regular basis.

Once again, thanks for the info given here. icon_biggrin.gif
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masona

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 27, 2003 8:12 am Reply with quote

I'm not a electrician

What they are saying is, connect a 1mm T & E cable to one of your ceiling rose on the lives & neutral then the other end of the cable connect the red on the common (top) wall switch and leave the black in a choc block then a cable back from the strip light to the switch connecting the red to L1 and the black in the choc block together with the other one.

As paulfromswindon said "the last light on the circuit should only have two - you will find it easier to wire it from this one if you can find it."

And don't forget to turn the mains off.

Hopes this is clearer ?
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bonters

from United Kingdom

Joined: 18 Jan 2004
Posts: 1
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:54 pm Reply with quote

I was having the same difficulty and had a relatively limited knowledge of wiring. I found the following Web Page, which makes it all so easy with the diagrams, and actually it does appear that only ONE junction box is required. Also it is far easier to put the light fitting in place as well as the switch and then run the wiring back from each to the supply junction, then wire the whole lot in. The site is
here
A little long-winded I know, but it made the whole thing easier for me.
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tj99

from United Kingdom

Joined: 09 Nov 2003
Posts: 8
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 10:23 pm Reply with quote

I would agree with the methods of using choc blocs in switches and JB's
but when i install lights in lofts i usually take a feed from the last ceiling rose on circuit with least cables, this feed would then go to ceiling rose and switch wire would then be taken from there as usual in rose, is this method not simple enough rather than having choc blocs in switches ?
Also a better standard of work ?
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