I decided to repair an old fluorescent lamp cabinet I have but i am no electrician and have no idea how the actual system works. I bought a new lamp (T5) and a new starter so I just have to figure out (this might be dumb) where the power goes? There is a ballast and the cables seem to be connected, but the cables that I think lead to the "power in" just actually lead to a power socket.

Or am I horribly misunderstanding something?

The whole thing The starter goes at the end of the cable on the left and below it goes the bulb/lamp.


How do I get my light?

first other pic


Better picture of ballast. enter image description here

  • Can you get us a better photo of the ballast? Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:49
  • Just did. Hope it is more clear
    – Supercan
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


Those are the modern European colors of brown=hot, blue=neutral and as always green=ground... Europe puts a yellow stripe on it.

All of these converge onto a 3-row terminal block, which is the usual method of interconnect in Europe. Note that all the wires to that terminal block enter the same side. That tells me the other side is intended for the external power connection. That's where you hook it up. There are screws to clamp the wire, looks like the screws are on the other side.

enter image description here

I assume the unit is meant to be permanently installed and hardwired. If you put a flexible cord-and-plug on it, make sure to have proper strain relief on the cord - preferably into a metal hole. The mounting area there is plastic and you could damage it with a hard yank on a cord.

The receptacle on the white part has nothing to do with supplying power to the unit. Once it is hooked up, this is a convenience outlet for small appliances, and appears to be the CEE 7/5 type common in Czech Republic, Austria and France. The ground may not work with other styles of Euro plugs, and you may be able to change the receptacle to a type more convenient to you.


First, welcome!

Now I'm not familiar with your country's color use, but your power (line leads) will connect on the 3-terminal block I believe.

The leads will be ground, common and hot - but I don't know the order since I don't know your colors.

It LOOKS LIKE yellow is your ground (since it looks like there's a screw terminal holding it to the ballast mount), brown is hot (since it goes through the power switch) and blue is common (process of elimination). But that doesn't seem correct because blue is also going to the lamp sockets, which should be coming from the ballast... at least on more modern ballasts in the US that's true.

From the looks of it, that lamp was designed so that it could be wired in, but it was setup to use a cord.

I'd recommend either doing some research into basic electrical principals and then rewriting it, or waiting for a response from someone who knows your country's wiring standards.

  • Thank you, I am located in the Czech Republic. I just now found this website which details the color coding. Is it useful? openelectrical.org/wiki/index.php?title=Cable_Colour_Code
    – Supercan
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:14
  • Also if the line leads will connect on the 3-terminal block, what is the power socket for?
    – Supercan
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 21:22

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