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A DIY question

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lanokia, Dec 24, 2015.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I've just spent 30 minutes trying to attach a new light fitting to the ceiling. For those of you curious: http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_60007+24104572_-1

    So IMO the unit's internal wiring was badly designed with the casing barely big enough to squeeze everything into it. And then the bracket and the metal work and the screws argh!

    So question... is there a reason not to have a universal ceiling socket for lighting? You know, a fitting and you just click in the ceiling light you want to use...
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    And it'd pander to fashions because then light fittings could be easily exchanged depending on the mood... having a party? snap in something snazzy... day to day? practical... somber? a sad family gathering? ... etc.

    Not that I want to do this but it just seems like it'd be so much simpler... like those tools you can buy where you only need one battery and it powers all units.
  3. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    I agree. Lighting is a b ugger these days.

    It used to be so simple.

    And don't get me started on these new regs requiring a qualified electrician to do some of the simple jobs anyway!

    (Yes I know, H & S and all that)
  4. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    It use to be a wire with a bulb on it... now it's a complete pain in the proverbial.

    A magnetic disk with a power socket [like a wall socket] and a light unit with magnetic attachments and a plug. In/out simple. Job done.
  5. NellyFUF

    NellyFUF Lead commenter

    Buying a lightbulb needs a comprehensive research programme.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  6. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    A simpler question might be to ask why there are so many different types of bulb fittings. I wouldn't mind a quid for every time a bulb has blown, but in the drawer we keep them in, there will be at least one of every type there is, apart from the one we need.

    Don't get me started on Christmas tree lights. They change the design of the bulbs every year and you can't get a replacement bulb for the set you bought last year for love nor money, so you're forced to purchase a whole new set, or were before the advent of LED lights.

    Incidentally, lan, the lights in the fitting you've bought will be costing you a fortune, since they rarely see the year out.
    racroesus likes this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Agree completely.
  8. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I agree @NellyFUF ... so we needed GU10... I went out and bought GU10, then it turned out that the type of GU10 we needed had to have a small plastic indentation in the base or the bulbs wouldn't go in the fitting. A small slight indentation.

  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    The way the 'light gods' have it in for me... I'm not at all surprised.
  10. wanet

    wanet Star commenter

    I suspect that the design assumes that there is a round box inset into the ceiling that facilitates all of the excess cable. I now tend to connect them to a length of twin plus earth cable and then connect that into the system. But won't go into details as I am not a qualified electrician.

    it once amused me that a gas fitter who was servicing a gas fire said that due to the way the fire was fitted he must have done it. I never told him that when we moved in we were short of money for a couple of months, when the origanal fire was checked it was condemned. A neighbour who was a gas fitter tod me one and told me how to fit it, which I did.
    irs1054 and lanokia like this.
  11. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Just so you don't get ripped off if you ever need to buy this from an electrical factor, the correct way to ask for it is "Twin an' erf" The only time "twin plus earth" is ever heard in the electrical trade is when contractors are discussing jobs with clients they suspect have too much money for their own good.
    irs1054 likes this.
  12. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    The best fitment to use with these type of light fittings is a round inset box such as:
    The ceiling rose electrical connection can then be replaced by a 4-way connector, live, neutral, earth, switched live.

    There is no reason why a standard connector cannot be designed but, since a lot of light fittings are not made in the UK, it hasn't been done.

    I agree it is very fiddly and you need to make sure the electrical connections are secure and out of the way as well as ensuring the metalwork is earthed.

    Part P is a nuisance but does allow "minor works". The actual offence is not notifying the local building control office of the work.

    It is not illegal for a householder to do gas work in their own home but I would advise against it unless they were very sure they knew what they were doing. (The law simply says they have to be competent but does not define "competent") Someone doing gas work for pay needs to be registered with Safe and will have a card saying exactly what sort of gas work they can do.
  13. T34

    T34 Lead commenter

    Doesn't look too bad.
    Screw the bracket into the joist taking care not to hit any wires. Put the two screws loosely into the bracket. Pull at least a foot of the cable down through the hole in the ceiling. Make sure the connecting block in the top of the fitting is seated nicely and is flush. Connect up the wires (it might help to have someone else support the fitting while you are doing this).
    Lastly, offer up the fitting to the bracket, threading the cable back through the ceiling as you go, twist the fitting and tighten the screws.
  14. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Thanks @irs1054

    So that unit you posted a picture of, that can be built into a ceiling and then different light fittings inserted in it? That is EXACTLY what I think is needed [although mine would involve shiny magnets for sci-fi cool]...

    Maybe the EU should make this compulsory on all new builds... I shall get right on that! Haha
  15. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Thanks for your helpful response ... I did indeed try to pull some from the ceiling hole but only got an inch or two... even if I had the problem would then have been trying to jam a foot of wire back in! Oh... so frustrating!
  16. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    When the EU gets round to agreeing that the safest and most sensible electrical outlet ever devised is the one that is the UK standard, we can move on to sorting lights out. For goodness sake, it's become the standard in all manner of places you might be surprised to find it in. I've been to some of the richest countries in Europe and been astonished to find how bizarre their electrical installations are. We ought to be exporting H&S to the EU.
    irs1054 likes this.
  17. irs1054

    irs1054 Star commenter

    We did the EU H&S directive was based on the UK 1974 act.
  18. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    So how come they don't take a blind bit of notice of it?
  19. PussyGraves

    PussyGraves Occasional commenter

    The plugs are far too big. Most of Europe has a more convenient size and circuit breakers.
  20. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Most house ceiling wires are not left loose in the rafters...and electricians cut them off short when installing..which is why you cant drag wire down from the rafter/loft space.
    Many homes are still fitted with ceiling roses which means the plaster rose would have to be drilled out to accommodate the box shown.Even fitting a standard new rose to these can be a problem.especially if they are directional lighting sets. Even where they are flat ceiling with no rose the support boxes have to be fixed to joists to support the weight of the fitting....and often they are not but just drilling into lathe and plaster or in some cases the plasterboard with a plasterboard rawlplug to hold if your lucky.
    Fitting a light fitting is allowable and doable by any competent diy er...but sometimes it does seem yu need 3 arms....I have fitted enough of them in my day.(ps if in the unlikely even the rose has an earthing wire please make sure its connected correctly....not like the one i went to do when the last fitter had cut it off but left the light fitting dangerous.
    Fitting gas fires is best done by qualified person...but i did mine 38 years ago and they still run ok although i need new ones......but now i have to change all the backing material and had a stand up argument with the fitter and told him to sling his hook he wanted £70 to take the fire ourt then 70 to use a smoke bomb on it then 70 to put in a new fire.he can bog off.On top of that he wanted me to sweep the chimmney ( 200) and replace all the backing bits.

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