Wiring For Light - Always On

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by lewisharvey, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. lewisharvey

    lewisharvey New Member

    Hi all,

    I have a 3 gang (two way) light switch inside my front door with wiring for:

    1. Hall lights (on this switch with another down the hallway)
    2. Stairs and landing (on this switch with another upstairs)
    3. Outside light (single switch)

    I have attached a photo of the switch rear and it was wired by someone else (before my arrival so I can only guess at an electrician). The outside light is a sensor light that I would like to be mastered by this switch - however there is always constant power to it.

    The outside light is on the switch on the right of the photo (note the common, L1 and L2 are upside down on the middle switch) and the two cables going to the outside light are the brighter brown and blue.

    Please can you advise what I should change to get this switch working without affecting the other lights. I have tested the switch with a multimeter and it appears to be working ok.


    Attached Files:

  2. J.P.

    J.P. New Member

    Cripes - the addition of brown sleeving.......................
  3. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Lewis can you post another photo showing wiring for the left hand switch please. Its not clear on the current photo where the live loop goes to on that switch.

  4. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    What concerns me is the black sleeved blue, JP. Neutral in a single pole switch! Very suspect if it is a neutral.
  5. J.P.

    J.P. New Member

    Exactly Un I was just going to post that - its very bad tbqh
  6. lewisharvey

    lewisharvey New Member

    Here is the left side of the switch and the back.[​IMG]

  7. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Lets get these to a decent size so we can work out whats going on.  Which cable do you *believe* is running from the switch to the outside light?  How do you know this?  Are you sure there could not be some joint box somewhere between the switch and the outside light?  What colours do you have at the outside light?


  8. lewisharvey

    lewisharvey New Member

    Well the bright brown going into L2 and bright blue going into the common go direct to the light. I can't be 100% there is no junction box between but the colours are identical that come to the light and look like the same cable. Plus it's on the same wall, although the switch is inside :)
  9. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    I think there must be a joint somewhere - Whats going on in thay switch doesn't make sense otherwise.
  10. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select


    It looks suspiciously as though the blue in the common is a neutral because there is a black sleeved blue going in to L2 with the bright brown. The feed to L1 is taken off the middle switch L2. As though the wiring to the o/s light is reverse polarity (blue is the live) and brown is the neutral and the black sleeved blue is also a neutral? Very dodgy. Switching neutral.

    I would say that the switch to the outside light should be as follows:

    Disconnect all the wires from the right hand switch. Put the brown link from L2 in to the COM But the brighter brown in L1. Check the polarity of the wiring in the outside light to ensure live and neutral are as believed.

    But I am not sure. if it was intended as a switch override then the duller brown could be the permanent live and the brighter brown should be the switched live. Very confusing.

    This is bollix. The neutrals would short with the live.
  11. Lokkars Daisy

    Lokkars Daisy New Member

    Is there a switch position that brings on the light permanently
  12. lewisharvey

    lewisharvey New Member

    No, that's the odd thing - the light is on with the switch in either position.
  13. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    If it was wired as an override the dull brown with the link brown in COM would provide the permanent and the bright brown would then be a switched live to override the PIR. That is if the neutral can be verified.
  14. lewisharvey

    lewisharvey New Member

    Well if it will help I can test anything with a multimeter. Glad it's not just me that thought what was going on was mad!
  15. unphased

    unphased Screwfix Select

    Well in that case find the neutral in the light and see where it comes from. Then we can sort out the rest.
  16. seneca

    seneca Screwfix Select

    I think you'll need a spark to sort this out for you, it's almost impossible to sort out that jumble of wires by communicating on a forum. If you have any electrical knowledge or experience you need to do some tests with your meter to determine which circuits the various wires go to. Not meaning to be unhelpful but trying to sort it out from photo's is like trying to win the lottery!
  17. Lectrician

    Lectrician Screwfix Select

    Working it through in various combos, I cannot work out how it would remain on at all times, reverse polarity or not.

    Perhaps the blue and the black sleeved blue are meant to be in a terminal block, and the shiny brown in the common.  This sould still not explain why the light is currently on at all times.
  18. lewisharvey

    lewisharvey New Member

    I tried that combination and it had absolutely no affect. A sparky might be need me thinks.
  19. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Looks to me like those two browns in the right-hand switch(the one with the outside light wires) have no right being there. I would take them out and put them in a connector block, and try the switch again.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  20. Lokkars Daisy

    Lokkars Daisy New Member

    Take the cover off the outside light and see what's there. You should be able to identify the Neutral . Use your multimeter to identify what the wires in the light are doing when the light switch is in both positions, then take it from there

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