Bayonet bulb holder with 3 terminals.

28 Mar 2011
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United Kingdom
Today I went to replace the broken bayonet bulb holder serving the kitchen light; the fitting is flush to the ceiling, with no visible flex. When I opened it up I was confronted with something I'd never seen before: a bayonet bulb holder with three terminals, all occupied by cables. I'm assuming that it's been put there to act as a ceiling rose because of the flush-to-ceiling position.

Can you still buy these three terminal bulb holder fittings? Or is there something better that I could use in this case?

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The third terminal is for the looped Live connection. Same principle as the 3 bar ceiling rose. Used to be called the Home Office batten holder and did not have to have an Earth connection as it was considered ( by the Home Office ) to be double insulated.
Years ago (in the 30's/40's) the Factories Act was also known as the Home Office (H.O.) Regulations and parts of this are still referred to in HSE publications (see Appendix 3 of the Memorandum of guidance on the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989). I was told that the H.O. shroud (or skirt) achieved compliance with these regulations because it prevented the metal cap of the lamp being touched in damp situations. I wasn't aware that the description extended to the batten holder itself, but you are probably right, as usual ;)
Thank you all. The property dates back to around 1973 and I think this will be part of the original installation. Oh, and its plastic, by the way, and does look like a batten holder.

I love the quirky, good humoured way you ask for a pic, BAS; to follow when I dismantle said fitting again.

An additional query, if you would be so kind.

I've also taken down an old ceiling fan/ light combo to replace it with a three bulb metal light fitting. When I took the fan down I found three cables emerging from the ceiling. Two neutrals from the circuit cables were connected to one block and thence to the neutral terminal on the fan, the third neutral from the switch cable was marked with red tape and connected to the switch terminal on the fan. The earth wires from the circuit and switch cables plus the earth wire from the fan were joined together in one plastic connecting block and the three lives from the circuit and switch cables were unused, terminated in another block and taped up.

After I disconnected the fan, I connected the two neutrals from the circuit cables to the neutral from the fitting, connected the red taped neutral from the switch cable via another block to the live from the fitting and connected the earths from the circuit and switch cables to the earth from the fitting. I've left the three lives wires from the circuit and switch cables taped together unused whilst I seek guidance on here. Until I connected the wires as described above none of the other lights on the circuit would work, but I haven't switched the new fitting on yet.

Is it safe to flick the switch?
And here. I think this one shows it more clearly.


The three reds are not unused; they are connected together.

Neutral is the name of the conductor which completes the circuit from the load back to the electrical source.
It is not a name for any black (or blue now) wire.
Wires can be anything we want; they do not know what colour they are. :)
The original batten holder was really designed to fit on a conduit box


Nowadays most people expect a batten holder to look like this, there is more room to terminate the wires
After posting, it dawned upon me that to employ the word "unused" in relation to the red wires was incorrect and that in fact they are connected, but thanks anyhow.

And thanks also for the links, very...illuminating.

I've hit the switch and all works well.

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