3 twin and earth cables in a ceiling light?

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Mattprior, Dec 13, 2020.

  1. Mattprior

    Mattprior New Member

    Hey all,

    Appreciate if someone would Mind guiding me in the right direction.

    I am looking to replace the old ceiling light in the bathroom for a downlight. As this house has had a few surprises I wanted to check the wiring before purchasing a new light.

    The old plastic unit light has 3 cables(twin and earths) connected. Lives are in a bloc, earths are twisted together, then two neutrals in one terminal and another neutral in a separate terminal. PICTURE ADDED

    The light is only controlled by a pull switch.

    How would people recommend wiring this for a modern downlight please?


    Attached Files:

  2. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    One of the black insulated conductors is a switched live ,not a neutral.( It's the single one ) The two together are the neutrals. Don't mix them up.
    What " modern downlight" are you contemplating ?
    Mattprior likes this.
  3. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    If there is access above I would put all those wires into a junction box and then bring one 3 core cable down to your new light fitting, I am assuming it's an upstairs ceiling with loft above.
    Mattprior likes this.
  4. Mattprior

    Mattprior New Member

  5. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    You would very likely need more than one of those in a bathroom, and probably need an electrician to fit them. Is there access above ?
  6. Mattprior

    Mattprior New Member

    Only the one light, it’s a small bathroom.

    Carpet has just been laid upstairs so hesitant to get that up.

    With just one light fitting, isn’t this something I could fit myself?

  7. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Things to consider... The existing light fitting / cables will be close to a joist ,and the fitting you intend to fit shouldn't be close to a joist. So it will need to be in a different place ,away from insulation and any combustible materials as it sits some inches into the ceiling void. The existing cables need to be terminated in a maintenance free junction box,and one cable from that to your new light fitting. The junction box would be pushed up into the ceiling void ,and the hole made in the ceiling to get it there made good.
    And I very much doubt it will give sufficient light ,other than directly below it.
    Mattprior likes this.
  8. Teki

    Teki Screwfix Select

  9. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Screwfix Select

    As others have said, 1 single downlight, even in a small room is going to be dingy and shadowy and miserable

    Current fitting looks like a batten holder with a 'standard' type bulb fitted ?

    These give off light in a 360 degree spread, also up and down and is what we all had many years ago in every single room in the house - single bulb hanging from ceiling

    The downlight in question uses a GU10 lamp. These give out a focused, narrow beam of light in a cone shape (beam angle varies from lamp to lamp and will be stated somewhere) pointing downwards. Don't be fooled by the stated 50 watts either

    Back to the old days when we had that single 60w bulb hanging from the ceiling, nowadays, not unusual for that same room to have 8-12 downlights all using a 50w lamp

    Better to go for a ceiling mounted fitting with 2/3 angles spots or more than one downlight I recon
    Mattprior likes this.
  10. Mattprior

    Mattprior New Member

    Thanks Terry, really appreciate you taking the time.

    I will consider your points above on the location etc thanks, it’s a very small bathroom and it’s better then the 40 year old light up there.

    If you don’t mind, in terms of the cables. Would you mind quickly explaining how that setup should be to only have one cable fed down for the light. I.e. current black switched live to be my live, then use from the same single cable the associated neutral and earth? Then junction box the other two cables?

    thanks again, really appreciate it
  11. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    From the new light fitting take a three core flex ( live ,neutral and earth) to the junction box. The current black ( switched live ) goes into a wago connector block with the live to the fitting.
    A second wago connector would have the two existing neutrals and the neutral to the new fitting.
    A third wago connector would have the three red conductors ( not connected to anything else)
    A fourth wago connector would have the three earth conductors from the existing 3 cables ,AND the earth conductor going to the new light so all 4 earth conductors together.
    The wago connectors fit into a wago maintenance free junction box.
    Mattprior likes this.
  12. Teki

    Teki Screwfix Select

  13. ElecCEng

    ElecCEng Screwfix Select

    To expand @terrymac’S excellent post:

    Before you start make sure the circuit is isolated. Label each ‘wire’ with white tape and a marker. You’ll be better buying multi pack of triple Wagos. It’s fiddly to get the wires the right length to fit the Wagobox but less so than the junction box suggested.

    Also make sure you sleeve or tape the neutral wire used as a switched live.

    Ideally get an electrician in.
    Mattprior likes this.
  14. Mattprior

    Mattprior New Member

    Thanks all, that's really helpful!

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