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Additional Light

Postby scas1967 » Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:24 am

I need to put a second set of lights in a bedroom

At the moment I have a single central light and I want to add two spots over a desk area.

I would like to control this from the same place using a double dimmer.

I think I need to do the following

Drop two cables to switch
connect switch a to switch b using a bridging wire
run the cables to new lights
connect and go

Is this right?

If I wanted to run these lights from a completely different switch how would I connect this into the circuit?

Finally, I have a socket in the right general area of proposed new switch, can i run a spur off this socket for the new lights or is this just insane.

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Simply Build It

Postby kbrownie » Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:18 am

Hi scas1967,
What you are proposing to do, really needs to be done by a qualified electrician as it will come under part p of the building regulation, as you are extending exsisting circuits you will need certificates to prove the installation is safe to use. I would never discourage any body from having a go at DIY, but when it comes to electrics, not a job for a novice or DIY.
Sorry that I can't be more helpful, it will effect insurances on the house and any sell on of the property in the future.
Kind regards
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Postby ericmark » Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:38 pm

Simple answer “No” there is no neutral taken to light switches so you would need to come from the ceiling rose to new lights and from new lights to light switches.
Most likely you would want to fit two way switching but as kbrownie says you seem to be lacking basic skills required and most likely best option would be to get an electrician to do it for you.
There are instructions in project section and once you have read them you are welcome to ask more questions.
Only thing I would say is be careful to mark the switch wire in ceiling rose and don’t get it mixed up with the neutrals.

Postby securespark » Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:21 am

Extension to an existing circuit in a bedroom is [b]not[/b] notifiable.
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Postby kbrownie » Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:41 pm

maybe not notifiable as it stands, but consideration needs to be taken that these alteration do not effect the safety of the existing circuits, equipment on it, protective device are still suitable for load and it complies to requirements BS7671.
under minor works still needs certs.
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Postby ericmark » Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:06 am

I would agree any DIY work should be inspected and tested in same manor as that done by a professional and a installation certificate or minor works certificate filled in not really to in itself make it any safer but we as sparks realise no one is perfect and only by doing the tests can one insure any mistakes are found.
However we also know that most DIY people are unlikely to have access to the £750 worth of test equipment required to do this.
One method would be to get a periodic inspection report done once the work was completed but with small jobs this is unlikely to be cost effective i.e. it will cost more than getting the whole job done by an electrician in first place.
My son at the age of 13 was getting interested in electrics and I decided it was prudent to fit 30ma RCD’s to all circuits. And he added sockets and made power supplies etc. and yes he did from time to time trip the RCD. I was glad it was fitted. At 14 he joined me on many RAYNET events as a licensed radio ham and as such he did of course have a formal qualification with his RAE to show some electrical knowledge.
Although at this point not an electrician he was not without quite a bit of knowledge and would I would think come under the instructed person tag at least. Had I not at the time also held a licence there would have been areas that as just an electrician I would not be allowed to meddle in which he could.
When we look at these very involved hobbies plus those in allied trades like electronics and auto electrics there are many people who although are not electricians do have a vast electrical knowledge.
To try to tell people with this knowledge they should not play with their house electrics is to my mind wrong. Yet to instruct those with no electrical knowledge to undertake complex wiring is also wrong.
I hope on here I am able to make people realise the work is not simply to connect the wires yet not place unnecessary obstacles in their way.
It is a very fine balance.
We have no way to know how good scas1967 is? He does not know how we normally wire lights but if we were designing from scratch today it is unlikely we would chose the method we have. It is a historical thing started shortly after the war to allow massive house building program to be under taken using the least amount of resources and I am sure if a committee was to do the same today it would come up with a very different method so even if scas1967 was very knowledgeable about industrial electrical systems he could still not understand the way domestic lights are wired.
As to Part P as pointed out all house electrical systems come under Part P but only some need notification under Part P.
If everyone had RCD protection on all circuits in the main even if mistakes are made the chance of electric shock is reduced to an acceptable level and also fire problems are much reduced. But even houses on TT supplies which should have been fitted with at least 100ma RCD’s over 20 years ago are still found with no protection so sorry to say we are still likely to find home owners electrocuting themselves or others and setting their house on fire and I see no way we can stop it.
P.S. My son now fully qualified electrician and reckons he is working in a Zoo!

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