Light fitting wires

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barb1314 | 15:53 Sat 13th Aug 2011 | DIY
10 Answers
Ok so I'm rubbish at electrics but wondered if anyone can answer this question. I have a new light I want to put up in the lounge. After turning off th eleectricity when I've unscrewed the ceiling rose thing,there are only 2 wires,blue and brown. The new light fitting also has the green/yellow one. What happens to the third wire? Sorry if this is a stupid question but can anyone tell me? Thanks very much.I have been asking my OH to do this for almost 2 years now so thought I'd attempt it myself and don't want to blow anything up!


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I assume that your new light fitting is metal, whereas the old one was plastic. The purpose of the green/yellow connector is to earth the metal parts of the fitting, so that if the brown (live) lead was to come lose and make contact with it, the circuit would simply fuse (or 'trip out'), rather than making the metal parts 'live'.

Unless you re-wire the entire lighting circuit (to provide an earth lead where one doesn't currently exist) you obviously can't make use of that safety feature but, in practice, you can simply connect the brown and blue leads and leave the earth terminal disconnected. That answer won't satisfy electricians who want to work strictly to the regulations but it's what I'd do (and what I know many electricians actually do anyway). Just take extra care to ensure that there's absolutely no way that the blue and (particularly) the brown wires can possibly come into contact with the metal fitting.

Barb, there should be an earth terminal in the ceiling rose along with the loop on to the next light.........
Question Author
Thanks both so much.I took a look on You Tube too and there are some great videos to help. So you'd be very proud of me,together with your help and the man on the video. I DID IT. So very chuffed. That showed my OH. And it works and looks beautiful. Thanks again.
The cable to the ceiling fitting would normally be expected to have all 3 wires and a second cable going to the next fitting. However it's not that unusual to have a junction box hidden up somewhere which just sends a single cable to the switch. You can even find the switch sends the single cable.
I see you are giving us some 'light' entertainment with this question, barb!
I'll try again >:-(

... which just sends a single cable to the LIGHT FITTING.

This site needs edit facilities. Like yesterday.
Did you connect the earth? I know it is unlikely to become dangerous but how would you feel if years from now someone was electrocuted??
Question Author
Yes,John K I connected the earth. It would be me that would get electrocuted and as I didn't want that to happen,I made sure.It's totally safe. There was a connector there that was empty,I just hadn't spotted it before. The old fitting was plastic and this is a small lightweight chandelier.
@Old Geezer.I agree.Editing would be very useful on here :-)
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That's to earth it in case one or both of the other wires (brown or blue) are pulled out while it's on, touches the met and the by some random coincidence you happened to touch the metal part while the lamp was on then you would receive a 230 Volt AC shock (In England at Least). Hope that's okay.

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Light fitting wires

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