enter image description hereI’ve got a new light fitting with LIVE/EARTH/NEUTRAL. My old house wiring has 2 reds together and a separate red and separate black. I’m just wondering how to connect it? Which are live n neutral. Would I connect the single red n black together?

It’s UK wiring btw :)

enter image description here

  • 1
    Guessing you are in the UK or Europe. Think what you are seeing is the old colour insulation before they changed to brown/live, blue/neutral.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 11:54
  • 3
    Where on the planet, and how was the previous fixture connected? This would appear to be "old style" UK, AUS, NZ colors from what I recall seeing in other questions. But knowing for certain where you are would be very helpful to anyone attempting an answer, as local practices vary locally. You can edit to add that important information.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 12:08

1 Answer 1


Red is live/hot, black is neutral

Before the UK adopted the EU blue/brown standard, it used red for hot wires and black for neutral; we can also tell that red is hot from the two red wires joined together, as UK practice uses switch loops almost universally to the point where they made twin and earth cables with two red wires instead of a red wire and a black wire.

So, connect brown to the single red (switched hot), blue to the single black (neutral), and green/yellow to green/yellow sleeved (earth).

  • Thank you so much for your advice! Quick question though…the double red wire connected in one box…that just stays disconnected from the new fitting then?
    – Paul
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 15:23
  • 1
    The two ganged reds are the permanent live, one from the mains, the other to the switch. The single red is the switched live return. The black is neutral. Brown goes to the single red, blue goes to black. Without provision in the rose, the ganged lives stay floating. No-one ever buys double red [or these days brown] cable, even if they should. A ceiling rose ought to have four screw terminals not just 'three wires', so rather than do this 'loose' like the picture, the switch, lives & earths should have bus bars. Pictures of the lamp or rose terminals would be really useful.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 17:16
  • @Tetsujin -- yeah, it looks like their wiring predates modern ceiling roses to begin with Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 19:29
  • Thanks a lot guys 😃 So the instructions for the fitting show a 4th block for loop termination, but the fitting itself has no 4th block. I assume I should just leave it floating then. It’s for my parents’ house. I’m told they bought it years ago but never got round to getting it put up. When I checked, there was no light up there to refer to..just those wires sticking out 😬 I’ll try to add the pic in the original message. Thanks again 😃
    – Paul
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 22:00
  • @ThreePhaseEel you have your blue/brown mixed up. Brown goes to the single red switched live and Blue goes to black neutral.
    – brhans
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 2:26

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