Its the single with the sleeve that's throwing me, it cant be the swithced live surely??
It can be! They quite often did it this way. But best to test with a neon screwdriver or meter. Make sure all is off & join the reds in a connector & forget them. Join the 2 blacks to the neutral of the new light. Then that single cable to the live of the fitting. Then Earth the fitting if needed.
You could pop the switch off & have a look to see if there are single cables like the one at your fitting.
"modern spotlights" and there I am ripping them out as old hat?
We it seems years ago both DIY and time served electricians did not follow the rule book to the letter, single cables unless in conduit need to be double insulated we see it with the cables from meter to consumer unit with red or black inner insulation covered with a grey outer insulation with small lighting cables it was often easier to run a second twin and earth to running a single cable and keep to rule book.
So in the main single cable means some one was cheating, this does not mean it is dangerous, but it does show some one was not following the rule book.
I was banned from this site for trying to explain how to test wires without using a meter, I felt it was a bit harsh, but however he made a good point, without meters trying to instruct wire A to X and note result was too open to error both one one instructing and the one reading. So question has to be what test equipment do you have.
As to spot lights to work they have to be aimed at a white or light surface, it is the defused or reflected light which is used not the light direct from the bulb, this means light walls, ceilings, and doors and in some cases carpet, the idea was really a flop, although some 90's ideal houses had it fitted with good results, in the main one needed to increase the light output as so much was absorbed by the room, the net result was the lights both lit and heated the room OK in winter, not really what is wanted in the summer, one would have thought LED would improve the situation however the cooling fins used with LED lamps often resulted in the surface area being drastically reduced instead of 16 x 1/8th of an inch or 2 inches never worked out why they counted 1/8ths on a inch but that is what the 16 in MR16 stands for, but with LED it is reduced to often 1 inch so 1/3 or 1/pi of the area of the old tungsten lamp. The result is although rated 750 lumen (output of a 50W halogen spot lamp) because of the reduced area it does not light as well as the old 50W halogen, So what has been done is instead of using spot lights, we use surface mount LED lamps which are around 6 inched to 12 inches diameter with a diffuser this then reverses the area problem so a 6 inch LED of 500 lumen lights the room better.
Moving directly from the ceiling rose to surface mount has a huge advantage, there is not need like with the recessed spot lamps to remove floor boards and fit hoods around the lamps to retain the ceilings fire rating. And with a 12" type no needs to replace with many lamps which involves wiring just one single lamp replacement.
My spots from the 70's were mounted on lighting track originally more like 4" diameter with SES base all from Habitat shows how long ago. These were latter replaced with MR16 bulbs still with the SES now called E14 base. But last time we redecorated they were removed, they made the room too hot, we have returned to a simple 5 bulb lamp, all LED facing up to ceiling so the ceiling reflects the light what an improvement, down to 30W for whole living room, it was 360W to start with, dropped to 66W with CFL now 30W with LED. The lumen was with CFL around 3500 new with LED 2500 but it seems brighter, simply because we have a better spread of light.
DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!