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I have a hanging light fixture with a "plug-in" cord with a brown and a blue wire that is to be hard wired to house wiring black and white. Is the brown hot and the blue neutral?

  • Can you edit your question to include your location? Wiring conventions vary from country to country. – TomG Jan 10 '15 at 23:19
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go get an LED voltage detector. They're less than about $20 US, and it'll light up when it gets near the hot. And won't light up near the neutral...

  • Non-contact voltage detectors are nice for a quick check but in my experience they are somewhat unreliable—mine will sometimes give me false positives and false negatives. In this case I think a regular multimeter is a more reliable way to determine which is which. – Hank Nov 11 '14 at 15:14
  • Using a multimeter and a very long test lead plugged into a known ground? I've had the voltage detectors refuse to work (low battery, etc.) but I've never seen one misidentify a hot as neutral or vice-versa. – Bob Nov 11 '14 at 15:18
  • Agreed, but multimeter requires either a known ground or known neutral for reference, and a bit more care. The proximity lights and outlet testers, when they work, are a good starting point for those who aren't used to working with a meter. – keshlam Nov 11 '14 at 15:19
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Brown and blue is usually hot and neutral, but in the UK. Black and white is usually hot and neutral in the US.

So where are you? And why do you have the wrong type of lamp? Or why is your house wiring wrong?

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