Most pendent light fittings only have an earth to the ceiling rose. In old houses there may be no earth. The standard batten florescent fitting does require an earth. There are compact florescent fittings that don't require earths including 2D type but not the long tube type. Also a ceiling rose with standard wiring will normally have 4 connections. Line permanent, Line Switched, Neutral and Earth. If a non emergency florescent is used you may need to renew the connector strip to a 4 connector block rather than 3. However using an emergency light may be an advantage in a loft where if it goes out there can be a problem. But first you need to see how it is wired. As with all lights be careful to note connections it is common to find the sleeve showing the wire to be Line Switched to have fallen off so you can have a black or blue wire which is Line Switched not Neutral. So you do need to note how wired and if missing use some tape or something to ID the Line Switched wire. It should of course be a simple task but I am giving you the problems which I can think of, maybe others will think of more.
I havent taken anything apart yet but Im quite optimistic about the condition of wiring etc, in as much as the previous owner of the house had it rewired less than two years ago when he had an extension built.
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