Ceiling light

20 Dec 2004
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United Kingdom

I've tried to wire up a new ceiling light but have had a few problems.... there are 3 red wires, 2 black wires, 1 black wire with a red sleeve and 2 neutral wires. The wires from the light fitting are the standard blue, brown and earth. The light came on without even being connected to a switch. Someone told me this was because a neutral had been wired up to a live. I initially wired the earths together, the brown to the 3 reds and the black with red sleeve, the blue to the 2 blacks - this didn't work. Then I tried taking the black with the red sleeve out and just having the 3 reds wired up to the brown, keeping the others the same - this didn't work either. When I took the old fitting off, there was 1 red that wasn't connected, just taped up. and I can't remember how the other wires were arranged. Help!

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You need to connect all three red wires from the ceiling together and to nothing else,
You need to connect all three earth wires from the ceiling together with the earth from the light.
You need to connect the black with a red sleeve to the brown wire from the light.
You need to connect both unsleeved black wires from the ceiling to the blue wire from the light.

Use terminal blocks, don't just twist wires together, cover these in tape and keep inside the light base, do not push them into the ceiling, cover any un-sleeved earths with proper earth sleeveing
Adam, I have also just fitted a new ceiling light and done exactly what you have said. Its what I thought in the first place but out of curiosity could you explain to me why the black wire with red sleeving is connected to the live terminal of the light.

Am I right in thinking that this neutral acts as a live wire? I hope I haven't confused you.
the first three core cable brings in the supply, red is live black is neutral

the second three core cable takes the supply out to the next ceiling rose again red is live black is neutral

this gives two red wires joined together and two black wires joined together

the third three core cable goes between the rose and the switch

red is connected to live - the third red wire

when you get to the switch, you must get the switched live back to the rose and the only wire left is the black one

this then is used as the switched live so is covered with red sleeving to show this is what it is and at the rose is then connected to the brown of the light fitting

simple this electrics game ennit
:D :D
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The black wire with red sleeving is the switched live, its not neutral, one of the other three red wires is paired up in a twin and earth with it, and it goes to the switch, so it switches live(the three red wires joined together) to the light fitting, cable with two reds in does exist, but is fairly rare, so it is normal to just use normal red + black and sleeve the black with red, it also makes this wire easy to identify

hopefully that is clear, I'm not to good at explaining things clearly
Adam and Swelec, Thank You. You both gave a very simple explanation.

WARNING: Marking a switched live with a red sleeve is good practice but not everybody bothers. Many a black wire is live in lighting circuits. Just thought you'ld like to know that.

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