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I have a ceiling rose with a twin live / neutral wire and no earth.

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This is unexpected as the house was built in 1986 and the light switch does have an earth.

Can I still use this with light fittings that are not double insulated?

Read more at diynot.com:

I am going to follow [a suggestion made in the above link] to replace the 2 core flex with 3 core flex. If I am only connecting it between the rose above the ceiling and the rose below, can I use standard 3 amp / 720w flex or do I need higher-rated non-flexible wiring? It is only connecting to a decorative pendant lamp.

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    No ground in 86 would not be code in the U.S. Many older houses (much older) do not have grounds just make sure the neutral is on the shell/ screw side of the fixture – Ed Beal Mar 12 '16 at 17:54
  • Maybe the fixture which was on there was mechanically connected to the rose and the ground went to the rose. The whole point of a rose is to cover up the electrical box which holds the wires and often, the mechanical connection. The modern 50-lb. chandelier/fan boxes did exist in 1986, so you may have the correct attachment point for your new lamp, behind that rose. Does the center part of it come off to allow access to the box? Also why is a birdnest in there? – Harper Mar 12 '16 at 18:10
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If your luminaire has any mettalic parts it needs to be grounded unless it is double insulated.

Your plan to replace the 2 conductor cable with a 3 conductor cable (2 conductor with ground) is probably the best course of action. Even if you current fixture has no metal parts you may want to change that in the future.

Good luck!

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That looks like flex cable, plus it's not US colours. Check that there's not a terminal strip up in the ceiling - it may be part of the old light.

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