Wiring a light might at first appear a little daunting. It involves turning off the power supply, checking the electricity is isolated, knowing where each wire should be housed and identifying the switched live wire. Our guide breaks down the process step-by-step to make the task simpler for you.
1. Are you capable?
When completing any electrical task around the home, you need to make sure you can confidently complete it from start to finish.
If you’re in any doubt at all, consult a trained electrician to get the job done for you. Progress to step two only if you’re sure you’re capable.
Important Notice: For your own safety please ensure that all electrical products are installed with the local building regulations. If you are in doubt, or required by law, inform someone who is registered with an electrical self-certification scheme.
2. Turn off the power and check the electricity is isolated
You must ensure you do this properly to ensure you don’t get electrocuted.
Before wiring your light, make sure there aren’t any home appliances in use, before turning off all the switches on your consumer unit or fuse box. This feeds power to subsidiary circuits.
Then check the electricity is isolated by using a voltage detector. Hold the device against the wires and a warning symbol (e.g. a red light or flashing red light and beep) will typically illuminate if the circuit is still live.
3. Remove the existing bulb and fitting
Remove the bulb by hand, and the fitting by screwdriver. If your switched live wire is already marked by a sleeve or insulation tape, do not remove this.
If there is no existing bulb or fitting (just loose wires), skip this step and proceed to step four.
4. Set up your domestic test meter appropriately
A domestic test meter will allow you to determine which of the exposed wires is the switched live wire, given this isn’t marked in every case.
Ensure your domestic test meter is set to ohms and the bleep test mode – this will measure resistance and wire continuity when the red and black crocodile clips or probes are attached to each wire.
5. Locate the switched live wire
Whether or not there is an existing fitting (e.g. a ceiling rose), you’ll need to attach the domestic test meter’s red and black crocodile clips or probes to each of the three sets of red (or brown) and black (or blue) wires to locate the switched live wire.
Operate the light switch each time to see if there is a bleep. Where there is a bleep, this is the switched live wire.
6. Distinguish the switched live wire
Now you’ve located the switched live wire, you need to distinguish it with insulation tape or sleeving.
7. Screw all wires in place correctly
If you had an existing fitting or not, you now need to screw all wires into the correct terminal blocks on your new light fitting.
Screw the two neutral wires (black or blue wires) into the left block (neutral block), the three live wires (red or brown wires) into the central block (live block) and the switched live wire into the right block (switch block).
The two remaining screw compartments will house the neutral and live wires belonging to your lamp holder.
8. Attach your lamp holder and bulb
Now your light is wired correctly, fit your lamp holder by screwing the neutral and live wires into the final two empty screw compartments. Fit your bulb by hand thereafter.
9. Turn the power on again
At this stage, you can then turn the power back on again. The process of wiring your light is complete!
To read more on how to use your new fittings with a dimmer switch, read our dimming guide.