So you have just moved in to your new home. All the electrical wiring have been installed by the contractor and the only thing left for you to do is to choose the kind of light fixture you like and have them installed. You can either pay the contractor to install them for you, which is the best option OR if you are already tight on budget after the big move, you can try to terminate light fixture wires yourself.
How To Terminate Light Fixture Wires
However, to terminate light fixtures wires on your own, you first have to know how to identify the wires and differentiate the live wires from the neutral wires. This might sound simple as you might be thinking that it only involves 2 or 3 wires at the most. But then, the way the electrical circuits are arranged on a house, many light points will have more than one neutral wire or more than one earth wire. So apart from the live switch wire, you might end up have five or six wires at any light points to contend with.
The simple fact is if there are more than 2 neutral wires or more than 2 earth wires, then all the neutral wires must be connected together. Like wise for the earth wire. If you fail to inter-connect all the neutral wires, then the adjacent lights will not work.
Lets take a look at the image below.
From the example above, we see 2 neutral wires being twisted together and terminated to the neutral terminal of the light fixture. It is has become so because the electrician has “looped” the neutral wires from this light point to the adjacent light points. There are various reasons for doing so but it is a perfectly safe and legitimate installation.
The consolation is you will almost always have only one live switch wire at any light points unless you have designed it to have multiple lights controlled by a single switch. As long as you can differentiate the live switch wire with the neutral wire, then your installation will be perfectly safe.
Follow These Steps To Safely Terminate Light Fixture Wires
Now if you were to install a light fixture at the next light point. you might find 3 neutral wires. It is crucial that you have all the 3 neutral wires connected together. That is because all the neutral “feed” to this point and possibly the next point is fed from this point that you are terminating. If the wires are not connected, then there will be no neutral feed to the rest of the light points in this circuit.
The wires should be preferably connected with regular wire connectors but if you do not have any, then they can be twisted tightly together and properly insulated with insulation tapes.
The same procedure should be repeated likewise with the earth wires.
Once you have differentiated the neutral wires, the earth wires and the live wires and you have “bundled” the neutral and earth wires, you will be left with 3 terminals. From then on, it is just a matter of connecting the right wires to your light fixtures.