Light switch on light pendant

2 Apr 2008
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United Kingdom
Hi folks,

I have a standard pendant light in my dining room. I would like to replace this with a set of spot lights in the centre of the ceiling and a pendant hanging low above the table, from the same place on the ceiling. I only have one wall switch (and don't want to chase out plaster and lift floorboards to fit a second) but I want the spots to switch independently from the pendant.

My plan is this:
Buy a set of ceiling spots and wire those in where the old pendant was - connected to the wall switch.
Hang a pendant from the centre of the spots (drill a hole in the base of the spots for the pendant wire to come through, and add appropriate strain relief and gromets) and wire this directly into the lighting ring (which is of course available above the existing light) with no connection to the wall switch. Put an inline switch in the cable just above the pendant lamp shade.

The result is the spots are switched from the wall switch, and the pendant is switched (only) from the switch in its hanging cable.

Unfortunately I can't find a pendant lamp holder with a switch built in, hence the separate switch. I would use a double pole switch with appropriate strain reliefs, and a safety lamp holder (disconnects the current from the terminals when the bulb is removed).

I'm quite confident that this will work OK and the spots I am looking at have plenty of space in the base for the additions, but would like some expert advice on the relevant regulations. Is this idea of having the top part of the pendant cable permanently live acceptable?

Look forward to your thoughts!
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My first thought would be, why would you want to do this. My second thought would be it will look a bit of a mess & my third, & probably the most important, would be that if you start modifying any manufacturers fittings they will no longer comply with the relevant B.S.
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Indeed, dont start drilling holes in light fittings. Yuck.

And if you were to have a switch in a pendant wire, you would need to incorporate strain relief, such that the strain bypasses the switch. Easiest way is to tie a loop into the wire around the switch, using tie-wraps.

I've done something similar to my laptop transformer (aka room heater) - I didnt like the thought of the wires getting pulled at, so I tied the low voltage wire to the mains wire. The mains wire is removable, so it doesnt matter if this gets pulled. ;)

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