I'd like to install some speakers in my ceilings and I'm looking to run them with a Chromecast plugged into an amplifier. Would it be possible, legal and safe to get the power from the lighting circuit already in the ceiling?

Also, any tips on how I should go about it?

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    Where are you on this planet? – ThreePhaseEel Jan 19 '18 at 12:43
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    Are the lights switched? – kponz Jan 19 '18 at 12:52
  • I believe if he proposed this idea certainly the circuit is not used for lighting any more. – soosai steven Jan 19 '18 at 16:57
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    Sorry, I'm in the UK. It would be my current switched lighting circuit. – Rich Standbrook Jan 19 '18 at 16:59


There are a few issues here. While what you're doing could in theory safe, the rules are designed so that "what if"s are taken care of. ie. you're installing a socket which could be used for anything, so you have to allow for that.

  1. Sockets now require RCD protection, which you won't have on your lighting circuit.

  2. The rating for the lighting circuit will be lower than a socket circuit.

  3. You're required to terminate a lighting circuit in a suitable fixture. The rules allow for "a suitable power socket", but the implication here is that you'll be using a type D socket, as is typically used for things like table-lamps/uplighters on lighting circuits. Adding a type D plug to your appliance would probably invalidate it's certification.

  4. AFAIK you'll be required to submit a "Minor Electrical Installation Works Certificate" to local building control. While this can be done by a homeowner, it requires you to be competent, comply completely with wiring regulations and have tested the works properly.

  5. Your insurance company might require that works be carried out by a qualified and suitably registered electrician.

But! But!
Ok, so for point #1 you could add an RCD socket.
For point #2 you could in theory add a FCU (fused connection unit) with a 3A fuse - but here you run the risk of someone coming along in the future and changing the fuse for something higher. This in effect rules out this potion
Points #3-5 I don't see a way around.

All-in-all - this has bad idea written all over it.

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You can tap into the lighting circuit to provide power for your system. When I have done similar work in the past I put my outlet close to the light fixture pull the supply wires to the new outlet then add a new piece of wire between the new box and light fixture this provides enough slack to make proper connections. It depends on how the room is fed if this new outlet will always be hot or only if the lights are on. Sometimes the power is in the ceiling and a switch leg is run to control the lights (with this the outlets can be hot all the time). Other possibilities are the supply is taken to the switch and the switched hot neutral and ground feed the lights, in this case the outlet will only be hot when the lights are on.

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    Is this legal and in accordance to electrical code? – soosai steven Jan 19 '18 at 16:56
  • If the junctions are made in boxes with 6" available in each box and the wire is the same size or larger it is legal or code compliant. The toughest part is figuring where the wires are coming from so when you add the new box the wires will be long enough then running a new cable to the fixture this is usually referred to as dasiy chaining most of the outlets in your home are wired this way. – Ed Beal Jan 19 '18 at 17:02

It's safe BUT: be careful to install a switch (pull cord if it's in the ceiling and you won't pull wires around, or run wire to your current wall switch and place one there) If your devices are wired directly protect the system with a fuse (FF2A is more than adequate to protect both), or just use standard UK plugs that are already fused.

Also remember to check if you have both phase and neutral at ceiling box (old code: phase is red and neutral is black new code: phase is brown and neutral is blue).

Check also not to take power from the switched circuit (otherweise you'll be able to use your stereo only if lights are on).

Pleas post a photo of your box so we can try to help identifying the wires.

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