Lighting Circuits - Ceiling Rose

Ceiling roses are common in UK properties. Typically, one was fitted in each room, located in the centre of the ceiling.

Older colour coding

Ceiling rose, old colours Ceiling rose, old colours Prior to 2005, live wires were coloured red and neutral wires were coloured black. The switch wire should have a short piece of red sleeving on it, as it is live when the switch is on.

The flex to the lampholder will probably be brown and blue, as flex has been manufactured in these colours for decades.

Ancient colour coding

Ceiling rose, ancient colours Ceiling rose, ancient colours Even older are installations with solid green earth wires. These may have cotton covered twisted flex to the lampholder, and some may not have earth wires at all.

Most installations of this age are overdue for replacement.

Use of insulation tape

Some people use insulation tape to identify the switched live instead of sleeving. This has the disadvantage that the adhesive dries out and the tape then falls off. Alternatively, the adhesive oozes off of the tape, attracts dirt and ends up as a nasty black sticky mess.

There are also those people who don't bother with sleeving or tape. You will curse them the next time you find a ceiling rose where the switched live is not marked.