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Wiring Multiple Downlights to a Single Switch

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by askman, 13 Oct 2017.

  1. askman

    askman

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    I've currently got 4 no. downlights in my bathroom which return to a single rocker type switch in the hallway, all of which is connected through a typical ceiling rose in the loft above, however it is currently a bit of a state - the incoming cable from the previous rose, and outgoing to the next, seem fine, but the feeds to the lights don't make sense. From the rose is a cable that feeds light 1 and 2 in a radial arrangement, and there is another two cables feeding lights 3 and 4 in a ring arrangement, e.g. there is a cable between the rose and 3, and the rose and 4, and a further cable between 3 and 4.

    The lighting currently works, however I am (with some help from my father who is an electrician) in the process of rewiring the house anyway as the cabling is old and generally a mess, and will be tidying up the bathroom lighting as part of this.

    My question is - what is the best way to wire all of the lights back to the switch?

    I understand the fundamentals of wiring a ceiling rose to a switch, but as the cabling from the rose isn't via a bit of flex that would go to a pendant type light, is there a better way to do it?

    I am currently thinking of using a four terminal junction box with the following:

    Terminal 1 - IN live, OUT live, SWITCH live
    Terminal 2 - IN neutral, OUT neutral, LIGHT neutral
    Terminal 3 - IN earth, OUT earth, LIGHT earth, SWITCH earth
    Terminal 4 - SWITCH neutral, LIGHT live

    I'd then wire the 4 lights as a radial from the junction box.

    Which I believe effectively replicates what is going on in a ceiling rose. I could use another rose, but it doesn't seem particularly neat as there won't be any flex coming out of it.

    Preempting the "if you don't know how to do it, you shouldn't be doing it" comments, of course I will get it checked over my dad before I go turning the circuit back on.
     
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  3. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Dad not know ???

    That's fine NOW.

    It doesn't matter how you wire the lights as long as they are all connected to 2 and 4.
    In a line (from first light to second then third etc.) may be better as you won't have all the wires in the one place (although that may be what you want).

    Your junction boxes must remain accessible or be of the Maintenance Free type.
    https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/ASJ804.html
     
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  4. EFLImpudence

    EFLImpudence

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    Neutral is the name of the conductor which completes the a.c. circuit from the load back to the supply.
    It is not a generic term for black or blue wires.
    Wires can be anything WE want them to be; they do not know what colour they are.
     
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  5. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    But you don't.


    Such comments would be justified.

    But finding out before you do it is not just OK - it's what you should be doing. I do think though that you should take a step back and spend some time learning the basics, because you don't actually know as much as you think you do.
     
  6. Risteard

    Risteard

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    Although to be accurate live is the name of any current-carrying conductor. It is a generic term and does not indicate whether it is a line (phase) conductor or a neutral conductor.
     
  7. askman

    askman

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    Dad does know. However Dad is more of a do-er, not a tell-er, and I want to understand the principles myself, not just watch him do the entire job.

    Good point. I was getting the cable colours correct in my head with ref. to live / neutral and what goes where, so understand the principle that the blue "neutral" becomes switched live.
     
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  9. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    It doesn't.

    It is not, and never was a neutral conductor.
     
  10. askman

    askman

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    You're right. Such comments would be perfectly justified. But such comments also encourage DIYers to just crack on and have a go at things, and instead of double checking their understanding with those more knowledgeable and risk receiving arrogant, condescending responses which put them off pursuing help in future, it instills a stubborn "I'll show them" attitude when they should be stepping back, realising that they are out of their depth, and seeking professional help.

    Electricity is a dangerous commodity, and looking for guidance should never be discouraged, whether directly or due to those who seek it being effectively ostracised from the forum due to unhelpful responses and never learning because the guidance is "you clearly don't know what you're doing, get someone in who does".

    I appreciate your suggestion about learning the basics further, and will take it on board, but that is effectively what I am trying to achieve with the post.
    Well it does. The conductor with blue insulation that was formerly an inanimate length of copper and I had referred to as "neutral" becomes the switched live.
    After my first post where I acknowledge that I was wrong, I didn't say it was a neutral conductor. What I said was that I was using the colours which are used to guide which conductor carries out what purpose to get it clear in my mind which conductor needs to be connected to where, and that although I called it neutral, I understand the principle that it becomes switched live.
     
  11. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    You may have misunderstood and/or I may have been unclear.

    You are not diving in without finding out. You've not come here having had a stab at it to report half your lights no longer working, or the MCB tripping and the expensive smoke escaping from your switch, etc.


    Indeed, but I feel you're starting from a position where you think you already know more than you actually do.
     
  12. askman

    askman

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    Fair enough, now what do you have against simple garden-based storage structures?
     
  13. ban-all-sheds

    ban-all-sheds

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    I mean this:

    [​IMG]

    not this:

    [​IMG]

    ;)
     
  14. DIYnot Local

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