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Beginnners Lighting Question

My Brother has moved into a house and when trying to install light fittings he has messed up the wiring and now they will not work correctly as i havent seen the layout in person i will do my best to explain what i have been told but if more info needed i will re post after i visit myself at end of month

he says he has loads of wires coming out of ceiling, claims to have 5 black, 6 red etc but hasnt mentioned earths,

from my BASIC knowledge of wiring at my own home, i was always under the impression that these wires are jus continuing a circuit (forgive me if i used the wrong term lol) so if u have a 3 block, put all live into 1, all neutral into another and all earth into the 3rd, then the light fitting would just go into the opposite side of the same values nice and simple?

he also goes on and on about how its not that simple because he has a dimmer switch but im sure that wont have anything to do with the wires in the ceiling as all the necessary wiring for the dimmering is in the switch itself?

thanks in advance for any help

 redline 01-09-2008 08:02 AM

The red is usually a "traveler" from two light switches that control one light fixture.

 Piedmont 01-09-2008 10:56 AM

I would get an electrician, sounds like it's going to be difficult for you to figure things out and it doesn't sound like an easy circuit.

The red wire is often used in a 3 way circuit or it can be a very common trick to control 2 light circuits with a single 14/3 cable, where one light switch would use the red wire as power and controls any lights connected to the red, and the other light switch uses the black wire in it, and controls any lights connected to it but is just 1 wire. I think it will be hard to figure out if it's a 3 way, or the common trick of using 14/3 to control two lighting circuits and best to call in the pros.