I purchased a chandelier from France. The 3 wires are blue, yellow and brown, rather than the standard black, white, and ground. How should I connect them?

  • Depends where you are in the world, depends on what your standard wiring is... – Rowland Shaw Jan 6 '15 at 20:18

If the device was wired using French conventions, the ground is yellow, blue is the neutral wire, and brown is the live wire (ref).

That said, the ground should be apparent by inspection. Look at where the yellow (or green and yellow) wire goes. It surely is attached directly to metal on the chandelier.

As for the other two wires, it doesn't matter electrically which is which: a/c (alternating current) works forwards and backwards the same. :-) For electrical safety reasons, it is best to get them right. That way if one unscrews a bulb while power is applied, it is harder to get a shock: The power will be at the bottom of the socket. With neutral and live reversed, the sides of the socket is energized relative to ground, so a casual bulb-swapper could get shocked.

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    however france has a 220V feed rather than the 110V in the US, So expect a higher current for the same wattage. – ratchet freak Jan 6 '15 at 9:23
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    Be sure and wrap some black and white tape around the two wire to show the new colors. – Ariel Jan 6 '15 at 10:14

France has a 220V power net so if you wire the chandelier to a 110V circuit you will need to be careful about the current that will flow through it.

The wattage rating on a light fixture is the lesser of the current rating and the heat dissipation it can handle.

A 50W/220V bulb on a 220V circuit will have 0.22A of current and will have a resistance of 1000 Ohm

A 50W/110V bulb on a 110V circuit will have 0.44A of current and a resistance of 250 Ohm

This means that if the wattage rating of the chandelier is current basted then you should only put in bulbs of half the 220V wattage rating.

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