How to change from looped-in light wiring ceiling rose

by Home Farm

The house we’ve moved into employs looped-in light wiring for all its ceiling lights. I’ve never come across it before, but it’s become a modern standard, and I find it rather confusing because it is quite complicated.

I tried to change a light fixture in our guest bed earlier this year and came across this wiring setup. It threw me, and we had to get an electrician in to change the fitting which set us back £80.

We recently purchased some new spotlights for our living room and their attachment fixtures couldn’t get over the ceiling rose.

I couldn’t bring ourselves to spend another £60-100 on an electrician so I sought out to do it myself.

This is how I went about it. It’s probably not the most sophisticated solution, but it’s one that worked for us.

If you choose to follow what I did, please note that you’re doing this at your own risk and I won’t be accepting any liability if you electrocute yourself or blow some fuses in your consumer unit.

Before starting, make sure you’ve turned off the lights you’re working on in your consumer unit.

For this job, I used side cutters to trim and strip wires, a screwdriver and some terminal (chocolate) blocks.

What we did

I started by removing the old fixture and exposing the ceiling rose wiring. The wires in the rose are in four groups following a 2-3-3 configuration, with the earth (yellow/green) wires in a separate area.

Next, I unscrewed the cable furtherest to the right (brown) and furtherest to the left (blue). These are the respective live and neutral wires that connect directly to the lamp.

With the cables removed I connected each to a separate terminal connector.

Next up, it’s time to start grouping the cables from the rose. Essentially there are four groups – live, neutral, earth and a ‘mix’. Do not mix cables up – you must honour these groupings. The cables in sections 1-2, 3-5 and 6-8 go together. You will have four groupings when you’re done.

If you have a series of lights like we did, in some instances there were more cables in our groups. That didn’t make a difference, and just make sure that they are part of their respective group.

Next, match up the cables from the neutral and live ends together with the terminals that will end up connecting to your lamp.

Next up I grouped up my earth wires.

And last, we put the mixed bag of wires into one terminator. This batch does not connect to anywhere – it’s just kept in the terminator. Brilliant. All the cables are grouped – now it’s time to connect the live and neutral wires to the lamp.

Great. We’re getting closer to the moment of truth.

Time to fire it up and see what we’ve done is correct.

Amazing. Time to finish things. We drilled the bracket into the ceiling, carefully placed all the chocolate blocks in the lamp cavity and were done. I repeated this process for all our new spot lights and they’re all working perfectly. Took a bit of time and patience but we saved ourselves some money on electrician bills.

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