Adding second light - only red wires

Postby Mindzai » Sat Dec 08, 2007 2:58 pm


I want to add a second light fitting (wall light) in my living room. I've had a look behind the single dimmer that is currently fitted and found that there are only 2 red wires - 1 going in to the common terminal and one into L1.

Is there any way I can add a second light given that there is no neutral to connect to behind the light fitting?

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Postby kbrownie » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:25 am

Hi Mindzai,
You will find this is/was the correct way to wire light switches (in bygone times yo).
With Twin and Earth now the more common method of intallation, you would find the switch arrangement as so:
Red and Black (with Red tag) or the new harmonised colours Brown and Blue (With Brown Sleeve).
They work off of the same principles Both cables are/have the potential of being phase live.
One of these reds will be live all the time (normally red/brown in twin and earth) and the other will become live when the switch is in a closed possition. (normally Black/Blue with tag/sleeve).
It is not there's no neutral cable, there never really was, it's just used now because more practically convenient as the swicth cable.
I hope I explained this well enough for you to understand.
Last edited by kbrownie on Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ban-all-sheds » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:06 pm

[quote="Mindzai"]Is there any way I can add a second light given that there is no neutral to connect to behind the light fitting?


You need to lift the floor above to get access to the lighting circuit, and in a convenient place (which should remain accessible for inspection in the future) insert a 4-terminal junction box into the lighting circuit cable - if you work near the ceiling light it should be fairly easy to tell which is the cable that runs from light to light, and which is/are the one(s) that go to the switch(es).

L/N/E to 3 of the terminals in the JB, and then run a twin and earth cable to the new wall-light switch:

Brown from L
Blue sleeved brown from the 4th terminal
Earth sleeved G/Y

And connect the wall light cable:

Brown to the 4th terminal
Blue to N
E to E
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