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Old 04.11.2007, 22:49
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Light Fittings

Hi there,

I have recently moved into an appartment, and would like to attempt to fit the lights that I have bought by myself. Please can you advise on:

A. Is it worth it? Or is it better and safer to get an electrician to do this?
B. Is there a website that will have diagrams to show how I can correctly wire the lights?
C. Anything else that may be relevant.

Many thanks in advance.

Z
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  #2  
Old 04.11.2007, 23:09
cfarns
 
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Re: Light Fittings

I don't think it's too hard, if you follow directions online. I had to spend ~CHF 8 on electrical wire for one fixture, which I imagine is much cheaper than getting an electrician. I would say that you need to evaluate how "handy" you are, and how much common sense you have about electrical wires...

Basically, you shut off the power to the wires of choice using the circuit breaker (if you're not sure which breaker to use for your wires, just shut 'em all off for the moment; there's a lot of voltage that could run through your body if you make a mistake here!). Then, connect wires from your ceiling to the wires in your light fixture, making sure the right wires are connected (there's a color code for this, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrical_wiring_%28UK%29). Flip the circuit breakers back on and use your light.

You have to be careful of loose wires in your connection, so often the wires from the ceiling directly connect into slots in your light fixture. Otherwise, your ceiling might have a plastic connection box that will hold the wires from your light fixture in contact with the apartment wires. These plastic doodads can involve a little fenagling (coaxing) to stay in place, which is tedious if you're standing on a chair in a dark apartment.

Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 05.11.2007, 00:41
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Re: Light Fittings

Before you start, buy a tester which you can use to check if the power is really off, it looks like a screwdriver. It is a handy tool to have and could well save your life one day!
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Old 05.11.2007, 01:07
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Re: Light Fittings

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Before you start, buy a tester which you can use to check if the power is really off, it looks like a screwdriver. It is a handy tool to have and could well save your life one day!
True. I'm a cheap grad student, so I opted for the safe but annoying method of shutting down power to my whole apartment while I worked on the light fixtures. 220V shouldn't kill you or anything unless you have a weird heart condition; it will give you a shock to remember, though...Just ask my friend that didn't realize a cow pasture was guarded with electric wires inside of harmless-looking nylon string...
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Old 05.11.2007, 20:20
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Re: Light Fittings

Ha ha was that cow field in Switzerland?

I have only been electrocuted by a hand dryer and that was in Spain!

Thank you so much for you help, cant wait to give it ago at the weekend

Z
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  #6  
Old 06.11.2007, 08:38
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Re: Light Fittings

Dont forget, you need to be sure the fixtures are securely mounted with proper screws and be careful not to drill into the wires when doing so. If the screws come out, the light will follow, if it is a fan,,,.... well, it will vibrate loose.
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  #7  
Old 25.02.2008, 17:18
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Re: Light Fittings

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T220V shouldn't kill you or anything
WRONG!

220V is life threatening and dangerous. Do not be complacent, 220V does and will kill.

Never work on live equipment, ALWAYS unplug the appliance, or if working on fixed installations, switch off the main switch AND verify the power is off.
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Old 02.04.2008, 21:56
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Re: Light Fittings

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Hi there,

I have recently moved into an appartment, and would like to attempt to fit the lights that I have bought by myself. Please can you advise on:

A. Is it worth it? Or is it better and safer to get an electrician to do this?
B. Is there a website that will have diagrams to show how I can correctly wire the lights?
C. Anything else that may be relevant.

Many thanks in advance.

Z
I've been reading the replys you've been getting Zuricher and it seems to me you need more info.

In Switzerland the newest color codes are:

Brown, Black, Grey are all phase colors so any one of these may be found behind the light switches or outlets.

Light Blue is Neutral

Green/Yellow is Earth (ground)

These colors are tipically found in new installations. It is possible, however that it is an older building therefore could have any number of combinations of colors.

I have recently seen : Red as phase/active and Yellow as Neutral with no earthing whatsoever.

The Swiss use a phase color from the circuit breaker/fuse to supply a light switch (line side)then use a different color (pink, purple, orange) to feed the light (load side). So in an ideal situation you would have 3 wires protruding from your ceiling... a color (pink, purple, orange) which is the "switched active/phase" a light blue which is neutral and a green/yellow which is earth.
With many light fittings it won't matter which terninals you connect the active and neutral to, although a fluroescent tube fitting will be polarity concious but will be labeled.
In the case of a cheap lamp/bulb holder type I would connect the active/phase to the lower contact (the lowest point if you were to look into where the lamp inserts(you can usually see which terminal is connected to which contact)) and the neutral to the contact joined to the threaded section.
Make sure all connections are firm but not so tight that the wire breaks and don't use the wire and connections to hang or support the light. Use a hook, screws or other fasteners.

With all electrical works... Isolate the supply... test before touching... and be wary.. 220-230 Volts AC will and has killed.
If you are still unsure... ask a swiss neighbour for guidance or call an electrician (90-110 CHF per hour)

Hope this helped more than it confused.

Good luck
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Old 11.07.2008, 11:25
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Re: Light Fittings

Hi,
As some of you, I just moved in to a new apartment. I wanted to install a lamp in the ceiling, however I found that there are not 3 wires, but 7! : one brown (live), two blue, two green/yellow and two pink.
While I managed to get the lamp to work by connecting the brown, one blue and one green/yellow, I noticed that now there is a plug in the wall that is not working anymore!. This is so weird!
So before trying all the possible combinations with the remaining wires I would like to know if any of you have seen something similar...how to get both the lamp and the electric plug to work?.
thanks
c
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  #10  
Old 11.07.2008, 11:30
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Re: Light Fittings

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Hi,
As some of you, I just moved in to a new apartment. I wanted to install a lamp in the ceiling, however I found that there are not 3 wires, but 7! : one brown (live), two blue, two green/yellow and two pink.
While I managed to get the lamp to work by connecting the brown, one blue and one green/yellow, I noticed that now there is a plug in the wall that is not working anymore!. This is so weird!
So before trying all the possible combinations with the remaining wires I would like to know if any of you have seen something similar...how to get both the lamp and the electric plug to work?.
thanks
c
Green/yellow are ground, connect all of these together

Blue is neutral, conenct all blues together

Pink will be switched power to the powerpoint, connect all pinks together
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  #11  
Old 24.09.2008, 13:14
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Re: Light Fittings

bringing this up for some more questions

the light fixtures at my new apartment is weird, like they said, it almost has no color coding on it, however i realize that the green/yellow is consistent to all of them, and it is fixed in the middle. one is in color blue, the other is the mixed one

M G/Y B
--- --- ---
| | | | | |
--- --- ---

thats the basic configuration of the wiring, i was guessing that the mixed one is the neutral, the blue is live, the G/Y is the ground/earth. i don't have a tester with me, can i assume that i was correct?

Last edited by nathan-rahl; 24.09.2008 at 13:41.
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  #12  
Old 24.09.2008, 14:26
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Re: Light Fittings

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The basics:

- Brown: hot
- Blue: common
- Green/Yellow: ground (earth)
- Turn off the circuit.

The end.
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Yes, the colours are:

Brown or red: phase (power)
blue or black: neutral (power)
Green or green/yellow: earth (safety)
No, Not Always

This is Switzerland and here they have a 'special' way of colour coding

Blue - Always Neutral
Green & Yellow - Always Earth
Brown, Black, Red, White - Almost always LIVE
(3-phase uses Black, Red and White in my place so depending on which phase the plug is on will determine the colour).
Light fittings tend to be 'Switched' so will not be 'Live' all the time (depending on Switch position). But use a tester, meter or pull the fuses to be sure.

Yellow (so be careful not to get mixed up with the Earth), Green, pink, orange, purple etc...... Switched LIVE.

If you havea largish hole in the ceiling (3cm or more across), you can buy these nifty hooks that are fitted on 2 metal plates with spikes, that as you turn the hook, they expand out and grip into the ceiling. I've seen these in Jumbo and Ikea. Not sure if I can find a picture on the Web. They can save you having to drill a hole to mount the lamps. Jumbo had 2 sizes of these.
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  #13  
Old 24.09.2008, 17:56
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Re: Light Fittings

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Blue - Always Neutral
NOT ALWAYS

Be very careful with your "always", that gives people the security you know 100% in their own case which may not be true.
By law, blue is to be the neutral, but it really depends on the installer whether he is a licensed man or simply a Jumbo shopping handyman.
When in doubt ask a professional or make sure your insurance is paid!
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Old 24.09.2008, 22:29
cfarns
 
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Re: Light Fittings

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When in doubt ask a professional or make sure your insurance is paid!
I was under the impression that if you mix up the live and neutral, you would find that either the light didn't work in this configuration, or it broke because of the mix-up. (I was working with the CHF 2.95 IKEA fixture, so I didn't care about the latter.) Either way, I didn't think it would impact the extant electric grid in your apartment or building.

Am I flat-out wrong? Is this why you suggested the apartment insurance? I'm just wondering how lucky I was to wire 2 lights on my own without (1) shocking myself and (2) doing electrical damage to my new apartment...
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Old 24.09.2008, 14:30
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Re: Light Fittings

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bringing this up for some more questions

the light fixtures at my new apartment is weird, like they said, it almost has no color coding on it, however i realize that the green/yellow is consistent to all of them, and it is fixed in the middle. one is in color blue, the other is the mixed one

M G/Y B
--- --- ---
| | | | | |
--- --- ---

thats the basic configuration of the wiring, i was guessing that the mixed one is the neutral, the blue is live, the G/Y is the ground/earth. i don't have a tester with me, can i assume that i was correct?
NO

See my last post.
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  #16  
Old 24.09.2008, 14:32
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Re: Light Fittings

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Green/yellow are ground, connect all of these together

Blue is neutral, conenct all blues together

Pink will be switched power to the powerpoint, connect all pinks together
Yes they tend to 'Daisy chain' the cables.

They even do this to/from power sockets to lights etc.. remember once decoupling the 2 Blues (Neutrals) in the ceiling for a lamp installation and the Stereo in the other room turned off.

In the UK, light circuits and power circuits are separate.
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