Only 1 wire (yellow + green) coming out of my ceiling. Can I plug it into my IKEA lamp? If so, to connect with the blue or brown wire?

I had reposted the question earlier WITH photo. Here it is again:

enter image description here

  • 6
    No. Yellow and green is ground connection. You need two additional wires.
    – vidarlo
    Commented Mar 24 at 9:51
  • 2
    It is unusual to have only one wire. Turn off the power to see if there are other wires hiding. You might need to use your fingers in the hole so you do not want power on.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 24 at 11:22
  • 2
    Picture, maybe? Commented Mar 24 at 13:30
  • 4
    The connector at the ceiling buried in textured paint is where you really need to connect. Commented Mar 24 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


and welcome to StackExchange!

Let me first caution you that, if you are uncertain if a lamp needs 1 or 2 wires to work, I STRONGLY suggest you read / watch a couple of introductions to AC electricity and DIY wiring. Connecting just one wire is frequently a way to get zapped, start a fire, or worse. Electricity always flows into AND out of something... if there's no second wire, it will find its own path back.

And, please make sure electricity is turned off on anything you want to work on!
Do you have a multimeter? Even a cheap one helps. If not, at least get a voltage detector! (/end general caution)

I have never seen this before in house wiring, but the two white plastic bits sticking out here look like screw terminals, often used in hobby electronics. (Link to show an example.)

You insert one wire into each square area so it sits in a metal conductor, and you tighten a screw recessed in the round area, which presses the wire against the conductor, until it doesn't easily pull free. There's one wire hole and one screw for each of two wires -- circled in green and in blue in the picture here. close-up of user's image circling two terminals+screws Curiously, i can now see the ground (yellow/green) wire also ends in a single terminal, that has been chopped off a multiple strip. Do you know who did the original wiring in this ceiling? Is it a new apartment or house?

Be very careful -- don't connect wires to something unless you know what's on the other side. Are there wires connected to these terminals? Are they connected to house voltage, or to a power supply somewhere that provides lower voltage here, maybe DC? Who plastered the ceiling over top of the wires? That also looks dangerous to me.

Where are you located? I am in the United States, and have never seen this used in house wiring. In fact, I would be surprised if it were allowed, or rated for 240V / a couple of amps. The example I found is rated to 300V 15A, and other users confirmed this is not uncommon to use in home wiring!

Finally, it also looks like the Ikea lamp's brown/blue wires are designed to clip into a different kind of wiring receptacle. Was there another part in the lamp kit?

  • 4
    Those screw terminals are normal in 230V operation in the UK and Europe (implied by the wiring colours). Generally we use more screw terminals, but that's partly because there's no risk of aluminum domestic wiring. Burying them in ceiling plaster isn't normal or permissible though; it's quite a bad sign.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 24 at 21:39
  • 2
    The setup looks normal for where I live (the Netherlands), except that you're not supposed to plaster over the cover. We tend to use ceiling junction boxes with covers that contain screw terminals for a lamp, like this one: elektrohandelsprijzen.nl/product/…
    – Paul
    Commented Mar 25 at 16:51
  • Thank you both, I see now that even the one example I found is rated for 300V, I've struck out my warning about the rating of that connector.
    – Dan C
    Commented Mar 25 at 20:20

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