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Old 27.03.2011, 15:41
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DIY lighting - cable confusion

I just bought some lights in Ikea and (mistakenly) thought the cabling here would be simple - the usual 3 wires of brown, blue, green/yellow stripe....

But to spice up my basic DIY my ceiling cables have multiple choice options:

Ceiling cables all have a blue and yellow/green cable plus either a white, orange or green cable - are these all the LIVE ones instead of brown? Or is this just too logical to be true??

Any expert advice appreciated!
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Old 27.03.2011, 15:48
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Re: DIY lighting - cable confusion

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I just bought some lights in Ikea and (mistakenly) thought the cabling here would be simple - the usual 3 wires of brown, blue, green/yellow stripe....

But to spice up my basic DIY my ceiling cables have multiple choice options:

Ceiling cables all have a blue and yellow/green cable plus either a white, orange or green cable - are these all the LIVE ones instead of brown? Or is this just too logical to be true??

Any expert advice appreciated!
If you give yourself a shock with the electrics it's at your own risk!!!

I've seen some real botch jobs in light fittings in Europe so be warned!

Always use a multimeter, they cost about 20chf but very useful in identifying which is carrying current and what is not. If not purchase a electricians screwdriver the one with the light in the end.

Generally anything with green is an earth and should be wired to the metal casing of any light fittings

Orange is probably the live, blue the negative.
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Old 27.03.2011, 15:51
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Re: DIY lighting - cable confusion

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I just bought some lights in Ikea and (mistakenly) thought the cabling here would be simple - the usual 3 wires of brown, blue, green/yellow stripe....

But to spice up my basic DIY my ceiling cables have multiple choice options:

Ceiling cables all have a blue and yellow/green cable plus either a white, orange or green cable - are these all the LIVE ones instead of brown? Or is this just too logical to be true??

Any expert advice appreciated!
For some reason in spite of the Mil-Spec look of most Swiss electrical installations, ceiling light wiring seems to often be rather dubious. And even when right, colors can be confusing when lights are controlled by more than one switch, for example. If you are in doubt, and aren't equipped with a little electrical knowledge and a meter, I would recommend going with a pro. It's just not worth a fire or electrocution risk.
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Old 27.03.2011, 16:07
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Re: DIY lighting - cable confusion

I have seen the neutral & earth connected when there was only 2 cables, comming from the UK I thought that was really dangerous! however they seem to do the same in DE.
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Old 27.03.2011, 16:56
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Re: DIY lighting - cable confusion

I did all of my own lighting fitting when I came over. I also had purchased various light fittings from the UK.

I can't remember what the wiring setup was of the top of my heaf but I did find the info on the net.
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Old 27.03.2011, 22:15
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Re: DIY lighting - cable confusion

It's also fun when you switch off all the breakers (to be safe, of course) and can't figure out why there's no power when you have wired your nice light and flipped the breakers back on. Took me forever to realize I had somehow grounded myself to the system at some point and flipped the FI-Schalter (ground fault interrupt). Don't have those in Canada (except in the wet areas); we just like to fry.
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