I have some outdoor lights that are broken and need replacing. I have bought some new ones which I thought were suitable. However the problem I have is only 2 wires appear from wall recess (active and neutral). The light fitting I bought has a 3 point connector (a point for active, neutral and earth). Can this light fitting be wired into the 2 existing wires, or does it need an earth wire?

  • Where in the world are you, and can you post a photo of the inside of the box? Jul 11, 2016 at 3:38
  • I am in Australia
    – Jason
    Jul 11, 2016 at 4:42
  • Can you post a photo of the box's insides? Jul 11, 2016 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


You only need two wires. The earth, or ground, wire is a safety measure should something go wrong with the wiring inside, exposing a live wire. Older homes don't even have such a thing throughout the home and often include a three prong electrical outlet through "updating" without wiring up the ground connection.

  • 1
    Don't jump to conclusions! We don't know how the OP's house is wired -- conduit jobs have turned up on this site on quite a few occasions, and we've seen armored-type cables show up in a few questions here too Jul 11, 2016 at 3:39
  • @ThreePhaseEel You're right. I hadn't considered that cause it wouldn't be the norm.
    – Rob
    Jul 11, 2016 at 12:28

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