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Discuss Permanent/Unswitched live colour in the Commercial Electrical Advice area at ElectriciansForums.net

Which colour do you use for the permanent/unswitched live?

  • Brown

    Votes: 126 73.3%
  • Black

    Votes: 46 26.7%

  • Total voters
    172

Zdb

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*Emergency Lighting*

I know this has already been discussed recently on a similar thread but I just thought that it might be a good idea to create a poll and see what the general consensus is.

I personally use black as the permanent live and brown as the switched but I recently had a debate with someone who said that the brown should always be permanent like with domestic where the sleeved wire is the switched wire. I completely understand the logic in this but I've always used the black as the perm.
 
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ipf

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Mentor
Arms
Esteemed
I use the brown as permanent but, as long as its sleeved, where's the problem? Not worth the hassle.
 

Resu

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Mentor
Arms
Depends on the existing install.

If new, brown for permanent live for me, only as I was taught that way. As ipf says though, as long as everything is actually sleeved!
 

robd

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Arms
I would go with brown as PL but neither is wrong by the book so long as black is sleeved. Splitting hairs really but if I went to an existing install and had to start from nothing my money would be on the brown being PL. Wouldn't lose any sleep over it either way
 

sam400

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Arms
I used to do brown for perm, black for switched.

Then I had connect 100’s of pre flexed Klik roses that are the other way round! So I changed over to there colours,
On the same job we had to install loads of danlers sensors which are different again!

Now I don’t know what I am doing
 

Zdb

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
That's true, although I use black as perm on emergency lighting, I use brown as perm on PIRs. Makes no sense whatsoever :D
 
Brown for p live, black switched, same in 3 core for timer over run fans, switch drops etc, just they way you're taught I guess!
 

KEV 1 N

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Arms
Esteemed
I was taught to use black as permanent live/keyed live/eme live.
The reason was on 3 pin lighting rock roses, the connections were LNE (brown,blue,green/yellow), so brown is switched live in the 3 core flex for a non-emergency fitting.

A 4pin rock rose (used on EME fittings) the connections would be LNE and AUX or L2, this would be used for the permanent live and would be connected to the black core of the rock flex/plug and brown would be switched (same as brown being switched on a non eme fitting)

Black = permanent live (IMO)
 

ChrisElectrical88

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Esteemed
Always black as permenant live, always have.

Only time ive had a issue was second fixing a corridor with about 30 lighta down it, i did 15 one way and the other lad did 15 the other way, our own fault for lack of communication. Re did all mine after losing a rock paper scissors. Could have just crossed over halfway but wanted to keep it consistant for future sparks.
 

Dave OCD

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That's another thing, what colour do you use as Common on two -way switching ? In the 'old days' there seemed to be a 50/50 split between those who favoured red and yellow. :)
 

davesparks

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Esteemed
Brown for permanent live.
Brown for switched live.
Black for key-switched live.

If you use black for the normal switched live then you end up swapping black to brown when you wire the normal lights with a 2 core and earth after the emergency fittings.
 

telectrix

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Esteemed
Brown for permanent live.
Brown for switched live.
Black for key-switched live.

If you use black for the normal switched live then you end up swapping black to brown when you wire the normal lights with a 2 core and earth after the emergency fittings.
that'sthe reason i started using black for perm.L.
 

davesparks

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Esteemed
Another way to look at it, the emergency feed is an auxiliary supply to the fitting for battery charging. So you have the main circuit in brown and the auxiliary supply in the extra core.
 
I personally favour Brown for perm and sleeve the black. Makes more sense to me to sleeve the black as it’s a switch wire. I know others I work with prefer black. End of the day if there’s an existing circuit you use the same system to save confusion.
 
D

Deleted member 26818

Due to there being so many different wiring systems, there is no standard method.
Some systems use a perm and a switched feed, some just use a perm feed and switching is controlled by a Dali type ELV circuit.
 

dinger809

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Arms
I’ve always done black as permanent live as that’s what I was shown. Plus, as said previously, Klik roses are black as permanent, brown as switched, so it seems logical to be the same. Can’t bring this up too much though, or there will be a reg about it soon!
 
I love it..Black always,like you say the klick shows the way.
Then take a 3 core t&e to the switch,for switching emg & light,give that to a apprentice,bang bang..
 
Red......yellow.....blue..

Brown.....black.....grey.

Brown/red - perm live.

Black/yellow - switched/em live (tagged near connections with brown tape or sleeving)!

Grey/blue - earth.................

:fearscream:

Joking pete999.....

Blue/grey - neutral.



That's how I do it and it seems logical to me.
 

davesparks

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Mentor
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Esteemed
Red......yellow.....blue..

Brown.....black.....grey.

Brown/red - perm live.

Black/yellow - switched/em live (tagged near connections with brown tape or sleeving)!

Grey/blue - earth.................

:fearscream:

Joking pete999.....

Blue/grey - neutral.



That's how I do it and it seems logical to me.
Then you end up with the lights wired in 3 core with yellow switched lives and the lights wired in 2 core having red switched lives. Overall it is easier to follow if all lights have a red switched live and just the few emergency fittings have the yellow auxiliary live.
 
Coz I've seen them untagged with connections that include both colours old and young and you still get 'diy'ers or 'handymen' trying to replace bulkheads you know. So just like a switched live a black core used as an emergency live should be marked with sleeving to identify a live rather than neutral cable.
Didn't think I'd have to explain that though.
 

bonjovi

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Arms
ive always used black as perm live on em circuits as at the db when I have 200 circuits ready for a big day of terminating the set thats black I instantly know theyre going in the relays and can easily part the bunches so as not to get them mixed up
 

dinger809

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Arms
Klik roses and most pre made lighting systems come as switched brown and unswitched/permanent live is blackZ so that’s what I do
 

ipf

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Esteemed
Klik roses and most pre made lighting systems come as switched brown and unswitched/permanent live is blackZ so that’s what I do
So Klik decide, then. Fair enough.
Must have spent twenty odd years messing with lighting circuits when the only click involved was knocking the switch on and off.
 

dinger809

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Arms
So Klik decide, then. Fair enough.
Must have spent twenty odd years messing with lighting circuits when the only click involved was knocking the switch on and off.
It keeps it simple on large sites. Any prefabricated wiring systems come the same way. Keeping it the that way throughout, saves confusion
 

marconi

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Zdb - I don't believe that the poll is unbiased because the % of votes for brown and black are presented throughout the polling and not revealed only at the end of the polling period. Or in other words, seeing the results so far may influence how some folk vote, or the possibility of this influence cannot be discounted. Just saying.
 

bonjovi

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Arms
seeing the results so far may influence how some folk vote, or the possibility of this influence cannot be discounted. Just saying.
agreed as most people sparks not sparks are like sheep and go with the general consenses ,
 

Zdb

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #37
Klik roses and most pre made lighting systems come as switched brown and unswitched/permanent live is blackZ so that’s what I do
Same as that. There is no right or wrong answer however I've just always used black for the same reason.
 

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