The most commonly seen light fitting comprises a ceiling rose with a pendant lamp. If you want to change this for a different light fitting, it can present a problem as many light fittings are supplied with only a simple two or three terminal connection and have no allowance for the wires and connections which may be housed inside the ceiling rose.
If the ceiling rose contains just a Live, Neutral, and Earth, then the job of fitting the new light will be straightforward enough. However if a loop type circuit has been used you will find many more conductors connected at the ceiling rose.
This article explains how to remove the ceiling rose and replace it with a suitable junction box mounted in the ceiling void with a single cable feeding back through the ceiling to the new light fitting. At the end of the article details are included for fitting a fluorescent tube fitting instead.
1. Switch off the power at the consumer unit for the circuit concerned. If you have removable fuses at your consumer unit, switch off the power at the consumer unit and remove the fuse for this circuit.
3. If you have a single cable coming into the ceiling rose, this will most likely be a junction box type lighting circuit. You will have a brown (old cable colour = red) to the live terminal next to the flex connection and, a blue (old cable colour = black) to the neutral terminal next to the other flex connection. You will also have a green/yellow connected to the earth terminal. Clearly, connecting up the new light fitting in this instance is a simpler job which doesn’t require a new junction box to be fitted. Having removed the ceiling rose you will be left with just the one cable and can skip to the section detailing how to fit the new light fitting.
4. If you find that you have no earth conductors, you should seek the services of a professional electrician.
In a typical arrangement you may have:
- Two blue (old cable colour = black) conductors connected to the Neutral terminal block. These are the Circuit in and Circuit out neutral conductors
- Two brown (old cable colour = red) conductors connected to the Loop terminal block. These are the Circuit in and Circuit out live conductors.
- One brown (old cable colour = red) connected to the Loop terminal block, and one blue (old colour = black) tagged with brown sleeving (old tag colour = red) connected to the Live terminal block. This is the Live switch cable.
6. In order to connect the new light fitting a new junction box will need to be fitted in the ceiling void above to accommodate all these connections. A maintenance free junction box will be required unless the location is deemed accessible. More information can be found in our Junction Box article.
11. Access the ceiling void above the light switch and pull the cables carefully back through. Double check that none of the conductors is damaged. Decide where in the nearby lighting circuit it will be easiest to fit the new junction box. There will need to be a reasonable amount of slack in the cables to make the connections.
13. We now need to connect up the junction box to replicate the connections at the original ceiling rose, together with the new cable running to the light fitting position.
14. In this example we are using a Wagobox maintenance free junction box with both push fit type and cage clamp type connectors. Either type of connector can be used for solid conductors found in cable. If a flex was being connected, only the cage clamp type of connector would be suitable. Make sure that you use connectors of appropriate ampage.
Connecting a simple ceiling light
22. In this example we are installing a simple ceiling light fitting. This might equally be substituted for a fluorescent tube fitting as shown at the end of the article.
24. Feed the new cable through to the new light fitting following the manufacturer’s instructions.
28. Connect the green and yellow sleeved earth conductor to the Earth terminal of the light fitting. If there is no earth terminal on the fitting, insert the earth conductor in a terminal connector block ensuring that it is completely housed with no bare conductor showing, and tuck it safely out of the way of the other connections.
Connecting a fluorescent tube fitting
32. Identify the various fixing points and decide which of these will be most suitable. You should fix the fitting with at least two screws – one towards either end. The screw fixings will need to be into the joists if possible. If they don’t line up with these, cut timber battens and fix them between the joists to provide suitable support. Fix the fitting to the ceiling with suitable screws.