Currently doing a small renovation and replacing all the lights around the house. I have just dismantled the previous lighting, and trying to figure out which one is the live, neutral and earth.

The wire consists of the following- from my assumption

Single red wire - Earth
Double red wire, connected together - Neutral
Trio Red Wire, Connected Together - Live

enter image description here

After wiring them on my new LED lighting system, when i flick off the switch, the light still remains on. I have attempted to trouble shoot this problem by switch over the neutral and live wire however the issue still persists.

I have attached image below for my wiring on the lights-

enter image description here

Any comments please let me know.

  • Well, that's an accident waiting to happen :\ Do you have a multimeter? Tracing by resistance might be the best way to go about this. If the old & new fixtures have labels, what are they? I can't see terminal labelling on either pic.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 20, 2021 at 12:09
  • Hi Tetsujin The old fixture did not have any labels. For the new one, from left to right is as follows- Neutral, Earth, Live
    – Jonathan
    Dec 20, 2021 at 12:15
  • 2
    I could guess that the 3-wire is the loop, 2-wire is the neutral & the single is the switched live. No Earth. The only way I'd know to test this for sure would be a multimeter & some spare cable with crocodile clips, trace paths. Or get into the ceiling & visually trace where each set goes. Or book an electrician. I wouldn't guess. You got off lightly so far. Connecting a live to earth is not a good safety tip.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 20, 2021 at 12:46
  • 1
    Where on the planet is this foolishness? Anywhere with the slightest hint of electrical code this would be considered unacceptable. As for the old lights, did you bother to take pictures before you disconnected them?
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 20, 2021 at 12:57
  • 3
    Model T wiring: Any color you want, as long as its red. Dec 20, 2021 at 14:08

1 Answer 1


Make sure to keep track of how these are bundled. Label the wires 1, 2, and 3 according to the size of the bunch they are in.

Probably 3 is live, 2 is neutral, 1 is switched live. If that is the case you should confirm with ALL the following measurements. If these measurements check out, re-label the wires so the 3s are Live, 2s are Neutral, 1 is Switch, then look at the cable going to the switch, there should be a pair of wires, one of which you labelled "live", and re-label that other wire from live to Switch Send.

Measurements to confirm as follows. If these don't check out, you have a stumper!

Breaker on, Switch off:

  • 3/2 220V, 3/1 0V, 2/1 0V
  • 3/Ground, 220V 2/Ground 0V, 1/Ground 0V

Breaker on, Switch on:

  • 3/2 220V, 3/1 0V, 2/1 220V
  • 3/Ground 220V, 2/Ground 0V, 1/Ground 220V

Breaker off with ohmmeter:

  • Switch off 3/1 Open
  • Switch on 3/1 Short

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