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Colours of wiring ceiling light

Postby todgewsm » Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:19 pm

I have read through the forum to try to sort this out and know that this seems to be quite a common problem but I am still stumped!!
I am trying to wire up a new ceiling light but the am confused with the colours of the wiring and where they go.
I have two cables coming down from the ceiling.
One has; brown

The other has; black
yellow/green coloured wires coming out. I am confused with the grey, where does this go? In fact, where do they all go!! I have tried and so far the light works but now they won't switch off!
By the way my new light has only the 3 live, neutral, earth plastic connectors on it. (sorry I don't know correct terminology!)
Any help greatly appreciated!
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Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:49 pm

On a single phase system all line wires should be brown and all neutral wires should be blue. Older systems would have been Red and Black. However cables with two reds or two browns are both more expensive than the brown and blue and hard to follow the same with three cores three reds or three Browns are harder to follow and more expensive than red, yellow, blue or new colours brown black and grey. As a result it is the norm to used wrong colours and fit sleeves to show they are line rather than neutral cables.
Although this is allowed because they all should be one colour either red or brown according to age of installation there are no fixed colour codes for the base colours only for the sleeves put on the wires which will be all red or brown.
Having said that at the rose normally all base colour red or brown go together on to central loop terminals the one sleeved wire goes to double connector block and the rest of black or blue go to three way connector block.
At the switch there are only two wires except with two way switching and both switches in pair have same colours to each terminal.
There are some diagrams on my site which may help.
In industry we would use numbered cables and have plans showing what each cable does (Well we should have) but making "as built" plans cost time and money and if a house was built that way it would cost double what it costs now to wire up.
Green/Yellow is always earth sometimes sleeves fall off and they are bare wires.
The grey wire is normally only used between switches and not on ceiling rose with exception of bathroom where three core is sometimes used to feed fan.

Postby todgewsm » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:41 pm

Thanks ericmark but thats all too technical for me!!
Any way you can tell me where to put what wire?! My light is operated by only one switch and the black wire has a brown sleeve on and the grey wire has a blue sleeve on. This is in a room that was built and wired up only a year ago. Does any of this help?
Your help greatly appreciated!
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Postby ericmark » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:19 pm

If I could have simply said wire A goes to terminal 1 I would have done. So sorry you will need to get someone in if you don't have the skills.

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