How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Pete Your Own Question
Pete, Engineer
Category: Electronics
Satisfied Customers: 26757
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in the Electronics and IT industries.
Type Your Electronics Question Here...
Pete is online now

I am attempting to swap a single ceiling light for an LED

This answer was rated:

I am attempting to swap a single ceiling light for an LED strip light.
JA: What's the brand and model of your product?
Customer: Situation: Three cables coming through ceiling connected to connector part of original ceiling fitting as follows. Three (3) red wires to one connector, brown wire out to new light. Two (2) black wires to one connector. One black wire to one connector, blue wire out to new light. Problem: Black wire 1 connected to blue gives light on permanent, does not respond to light switch. Swap to black wire 2, light off permanent, does not respond to light switch. Swap to black wire 3 trips the breaker and damages the light switch. I am now on 4th light switch. What are the alternatives? Light fitting is a "Colours Oxbo 5600 Lumen Batten Light.
JA: The Technician will be able to walk you through that. What have you tried so far?
Customer: Just told you
JA: Anything else you want the Electronics Expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: Thats about it

Hi! My name is***** am the expert who will be assisting you today.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Good Morning, what do you think the problem is?
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Hello? Anybody there???????

Yes, please allow me just a few minutes to prepare some information for you, thank you!

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok, thought we had been disconnected.

No problem, just trying to work out a few wiring diagrams on a sheet of paper here, as it should be a straightforward swap...

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
That's what I thought

Was the original ceiling light a standard pendant light fitting?

Are the wires still connected to the original light?

Could you attach some photos of the wiring here?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
standard pendant light, not attached any more. I disconnected the light and removed the fitting. Then discovered the new fitting did not have space for all the wires to terminate. I cut the ceiling plate to allow it to pass into the new fitting and then re-terminated the wires as original. I cut a length of the pendant wire to act as a bridge to the new light fitting terminals - brown to brown, blue to blue, earth to earth. My phone is not very good sending photos to e-mail, to another phone ok.
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ceiling plate connections are brass 3 hole, 3 hole, 2 hole

Ok, on the original light with three cables entering the light fitting, this is known as loop-in wiring - there will be two circuit cables and a switch cable.

So this is not compatible with the new strip light.

What I would normally do in this case is keep the original rose light fitting and push it into the roof void or conceal it with the new light, then wire the new light directly to it. If this isn't possible then you will need to fit an intermediate rose somewhere on the circuit to take the two circuit cables and switch cable so that the switch circuit functions normally again.

Alternatively, you could try using connector terminal blocks to wire up the switch circuit again - it should look similar to the attached diagram with 3 separated connector blocks.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok, I think I can see the problem. I have the brown wire from the light going to the red power wire. Your diagram shows both brown and blue from the light going to blue terminals, or black in my case. I need to move the brown wire from the light out of the red terminal block to the black terminal block, then I have a choice of three black wires again to connect the blue wire to the light in the two hole terminal. Once I get the correct black wire it will then be connected to the switch. Ok, memory is fallible, I thought the brown wire was connected to the red terminal block.

Should you have any questions in the future, feel free to reply back at any time.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Magic! If there is a big blue flash and a bad smell you will know I got it wrong! Thank you very much for your help, Cheers, Steve

Glad I could be of some assistance!

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Does it matter which wire goes to the two hole, or is it just trial and error till I get the one that works, its only three tries after all.

It is just trial and error to get the switch sequence working.

Pete and other Electronics Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Ok great, I am already up the ladder. Cheers Steve
Customer: replied 8 days ago.
For your info, light now working, all well. Cheers Mate!

Hi Steve, glad to hear it worked! Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Pete.