Replacing existing lights in my ceiling with downlights.

23 Jun 2013
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United Kingdom
Bit of a question here regarding fitting downlights in my hall ceiling. I want to fit one downlight in place of each of the three lights already there. When I remove each existing light fitting from the ceiling, they each unplug from a junction box screwed to the ceiling. Going into each junction box, from the big grey cable in the ceiling are the live, neutral and earth wires. This is all fine, but the terminal block inside the connection box attached to my new down lights only have two terminals, live, and neutral. So what do I do with the earth wire from the ceiling? The new lights are double insulated and so I believe they may not need the earth connection? But if this is the case, again, what do I do with the wire?


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It is common to use twin core cable from the ceiling rose/junction box to the bulb holder/light fitting but doing that can cause problems when the lights are swapped for those requiring earth so many will include the earth wire but not connect it at the bulb holder/light fitting. As to which you adopt will really depend on what is visible. Folding the earth wire back and taping to cable is all well and good when hidden but not when visible so it's down to using a little common sense.
The guy says "Plug in" so I would assume something like this is being used so no point in using a second lower quality junction box. The ceiling rose is a junction box these are very common with suspended ceilings allowing lights to be unplugged and panel removed for maintenance.
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Thanks for the replies guys. Yes eric, The current fitting in the ceiling looks like this;

And the connector box on the new lights are like this;

So, can I just take the earth wire, fold it back, tape it over and just put it inside the connector box, alongside the terminal block?

Thanks again
First of all you need to check you can actually install the down lights in those positions. It is common practice to place the cables of ceiling lights next to a joist, this gives the installer something secure to fix the fitting to. You can’t simply cut the joists as you will compromise the structural integrity of the building. Most down lights need to be installed at lease 50mm away from the joist – this is usually specified in the manufacturer’s instructions.
If by some chance you can install in those locations, then you remove the “junction box” you have on the ceiling, cut your hole and replace with a suitable junction as per my previous post, then fit your down light.
Alternatively call an electrician to do it for you.

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