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Downlight Wiring Question


m4tty

Question

Hi,

Scenerio is through lounge (was 2 rooms but wall knocked down RSJ in) 5 downlights either end of room (Mains Voltage) controlled by 2 dimmers on same switch. Going to wire loop in at switch taking feed from B6 on RCD side of board. Question is can I run one T&E from breaker to 1st dimmer and connect other switch from this feed too or are two T&Es required to be run from breaker. Im using 1.5mm by the way.

Sorry to ask a simple question but any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

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14 answers to this question

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Robin Spark

Hi m4tty,

so just to clarify you have 5 downlights at each end of room that you wish to control by no1 of 2 gang dimmer?

So your taking feed straight from consumer unit and into dimmer with line into L1 of switch.

Neutral looped into choc block in back box.

Then for 1st gang another T&e goes from switch, Line into L2 and neutral into chock block. You then loop in/out to each of the 5 downlights.

For 2nd gang cut a small piece of cable using the brown core and link the perm live feed from L1 from 1 side of switch to L1 of 2nd gang. This is now your feed.

Then finally all you need to do is have another T&E from 2nd gang Line into L2, neutral again connected into choc block. Then this T&E loops into each fitting of your second set of five downlighters.

So in total you use 3 cable runs, 1 to feed supply to switch and then 2 more cables - 1 for each set of lights.

I havent mentioned the cpc hopefully you know what to do with this;)

Hope this makes sense!

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Thanks for helping us out here but would I need a Junction Box to run to first which has the four terminals in ie L, N, E & SwL or is there a different way.

Thanks again for your help mate

I agree with D Brenan,

Run your feed from the CU to the first spot light in one end of the room.

Then run a feed from that light to the first spot light in the other end of the room (No need for junction box).

Now run your 2 switch wires from these points to the dimmer.

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phil whitehouse

Both methods work but has anyone else noticed that all the younger sparks wire to the switches first with neutrals in chock blocks while older sparks (me included) prefer to wire lighting as 3plate like D Brennan and Jud suggest, has there been a change in the teaching methods?

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Phil. I'd be lying if I claimed to be a younger spark, but I prefer to loop in at the switches. I think this is because I spent many years working in a factory where most light fittings were over machines. Looping in at fittings made fault finding challenging.

The other thing is that with insulated and/or stud walls deep switch boxes are not a problem, but looping in so many modern light fittings is near impossible, and with chipboard floors joint boxes are an even worse idea than they were with T&G

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The Godfather
Both methods work but has anyone else noticed that all the younger sparks wire to the switches first with neutrals in chock blocks while older sparks (me included) prefer to wire lighting as 3plate like D Brennan and Jud suggest, has there been a change in the teaching methods?

My boys believe this is a much better method, much easier to connect at the ceiling with just a feed, rather than all the loops.

The Godfather

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I'm a young spark and I was taught both at college and at work that its better to loop at the fittings. Not sure why but thats the way I do it too.

I think neutrals in a connector block at the switch makes it more messy and crowded when putting the switch plate back.

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The Godfather
I'm a young spark and I was taught both at college and at work that its better to loop at the fittings. Not sure why but thats the way I do it too.

I think neutrals in a connector block at the switch makes it more messy and crowded when putting the switch plate back.

But less back breaking than all those wires to connect at the ceiling, especially when it's on it's 3rd or 4th light fitting (and become an almighty mess).

And If you are doing the loops at the switches, would you not fit a slightly deeper box?

The Godfather

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If I were wiring downlighters I'd loop into a JB and out with my neutal and s/w to each light, but as for the average 1 pendant per room, I prefer to loop to them.

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phil whitehouse

Big problem I often find on some of the inspections I carry out is that where they run everything to the switch in a stud wall they make more space in the fastafix box by stripping the cable sheath outside the box and running the single insulated cables into the box so they can squash connector blocks into the box. I also know of one block of appartments in Birmingham where there is a four gang light switch in every appartment where there is not enough space to terminate the neutrals and cpcs in blocks within the box and so they have either terminated the neutrals in blocks outside of the box and pushed the lot back into the stud wall or smashed the back out of the boxes to make space.... obviously there was two different sparks wiring these appartments but surely this must be happening quite often with the limited space in boxes.

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SPECIAL LOCATION

IMHO..

loop @ fittings can leave it easier to extend the circuit at a later date,

(say if you wanted to add a mains powered smoke detector?), as you have a perm live & neutral easily available near the light fitting.

BUT...

loop @ switch can make it easier for testing or when you come to change a light fitting.

I got a gut felling loop at switches probably uses more cable as well?

Not a lot.....?:| But still more!!:(

I do use a mixture of both....

I think some rooms work better one way than the other...

e.g.

Kitchens & bathrooms I tend to loop at switches

Lounges with fancy ceiling lights & probably wall lights also loop at switch,

Outside lights.. Loop at switch.

Bedrooms, halls & landings, garages...

I tend to loop at fittings!

:|;)

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Robin Spark

Everything in life is a matter of opinion (all valued of course), dont think really there is a definite right or wrong way for this sort of thing, and there are always going to be pros and cons to all methods used.

However just as long as the job is done correctly and to the regs, then I think use whatever is easiest and best method for you and the next spark who might be working on that circuit.

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SPECIAL LOCATION
Everything in life is a matter of opinion (all valued of course), dont think really there is a definite right or wrong way for this sort of thing, and there are always going to be pros and cons to all methods used.

However just as long as the job is done correctly and to the regs, then I think use whatever is easiest and best method for you and the next spark who might be working on that circuit.

Quite so Robin...:)

spose the bottom has to be...

Does your work do what the customer wanted and have you tested it to verify compliance with current regs!

:D:D

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D Brennan

i would run feed to first spot light then run switch wires to the dimmers controlling which ever spots you want from each switch.

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Thanks for helping us out here but would I need a Junction Box to run to first which has the four terminals in ie L, N, E & SwL or is there a different way.

Thanks again for your help mate

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