The two wires coming from the ceiling electrical box are, one brown and one
red. To put in a new light fixture that has a black a white and the ground
wire,,,what wire goes to the brown wire and what to the red wire? Regarding
the green ground wire what would I do? Also if I was to put in a
light/ceiling fan what wires would go to the brown and red wires from the
On what planet, continent, country, district, county, borough and
Brown and Red by themselves doesn't sound like any legal wiring I've ever
What colour matches to what on the light switch?
Patt, it makes no difference how you connect them. The light or fan
will work just fine either way you hook it up.
I'd recommend you hook the Red to your Black wire and the Brown to
your White wire, but you won't notice the difference..
But if you want to investigate further, you can trace the red and
brown wire back to where they tie into a black and white wire.
Black is the hot wire and White is the neutral wire. The bare copper
or the green wire is the ground - which is not often used on lights.
The neutral conductor is supposed to be connected to the shell of the lamp,
and the hot conductor to the central contact pin. The purpose of this is to
reduce the risk of electric shock when changing light bulbs.
Yes, it will -- but one way is safer than the other way.
Won't notice the difference unless he happens to get his fingers on the base
of the bulb while changing bulbs, anyway...
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
I've transported some pretty seriously injured electric shock victims on
the ambulance in the course of thirty years of service who were not
grounded at the time of the shock. When someone gets a shock all
affected muscles contract and the stronger ones win the argument. This
can cause people to throw themselves of of ladders, smash their head
into things and so forth.
Also many ceiling lights require you to hold on to some grounded part
with one hand while re lamping with the other hand. Some examples are
chain supported fixtures and most chandeliers. Add to that the folks
who climb on chairs and balance themselves by holding on the fixture and
you have a real hazard.
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
I agree completely, and touching a metal fixture body was the first
thing which came to my mind which would ground (most likely) the bulb
changer's other hand.
I was trying to point out that just touching the base of the bulb while
it was still partially screwed into a cross wired socket wouldn't
necessarily give him/her a shock, other things were needed to power up
and complete the "shocking" circuit.
In retrospect I believe it would have been better if I'd just kept my
smart-ass comments to myself.
First thing I would do is test whether the mounting box is
grounded (via armored cable, or anything. If it is,
you can find out which incoming wire is hot by testing with
a neon tester against the case. If it's not, you'll have
to test against the ground wire of an extention cord.
If the box is grounded, that's where the ground for the
lamp goes. The black wire on the lamp goes to whichever
wire is hot in the mounting box, the white one goes
to the other.
Note that to do this test, you have to shut off the power,
take the ceiling box apart, spread the wires,
turn the power back on, test all the wires to see what's
what, turn the power back off, and mount the
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