I am replacing both of the hallway light switches in my house in the UK, and upon taking off the old switches, I am met with the following cable configuration:


Downstairs is a 2-gang switch that controls both the downstairs hall light, and the upstairs hall light. I know which wires control the downstairs light and can successfully wire it in.

Upstairs, there are 2 sets of 3 wires coming in, one with a red sleeve on the black wire, and one with the black wire disconnected and covered with electrical tape.

Inside the back box of the switch downstairs, there was also an extra piece of brown cable, but I don't know what it was connected to.

How should I connect these wires to a 2-way switch for the upstairs light?

1 Answer 1


Managed to solve this myself with a live wire detector:

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I believe the red/black on the far right of the diagram are wired incorrectly, as the black is live and the red neutral.

I believe this set up is described here, which states that it's not recommended for new installations for many reasons, but can be found in old homes.

  • As far as I can tell, the far right red wire is switched-live, and the far right black wire is probably unused. But you'd have to find the other end to confirm. There is no neutral in the light switch with this old-style configuration, just lives and switched-lives (and potentially unused wires).
    – AndyT
    Oct 28, 2015 at 16:06

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