Wiring mains rope lights into Light elec circuit

calibos

Active Member
Hope some sparks can help me here.

I have two sets of ropelights plugged into the mains in my HC. Just switched on while browsing dvd's or showing movie monster figure display to visitors. ie they are usually on for no more than 5 minutes at a time.

Problem is they are plugged into a double switched socket alongside the PJ plug. You can see where this is going! :D Sometimes people flick the wrong switch and the PJ goes off instead of the ropelights. Needless to say this is bad for the PJ Bulb.

I have two light points with the light fixtures removed behing my dvd shelves and the old light switch is still on the wall. Could I wire the ropelights into the lighting circuit and switch them on and off with the light switch. ie just take off the plugs and wire the ropelights up. If the light fixture wires aren't colour coded does it matter which I connect the live/neutral to. (rewired a light switch elsewhere in the house and the wires were not coded. Worked fine though so did I just get lucky and wire the lightswitch correctly by accident or does it just not matter. Kinda thinking it doesn't matter as it doesn't seem to matter which way one plugs in a euro two pin plug.

Could I wire both sets of ropelights to one set of fixture wires. ie one of the old fixtures is nicely hidden by dvd shelf but the other is not and the ropelight cable going to that one would be visible.
 

bigbearh

Standard Member
Yes you could wire both to the lighting circuit which should already be fused at 5 or 6 amps (check your fuse board and isolate there before doing any work) the wires can go either way round as long as the rope lights dont have a sequencer ie flash. They could also be dimmed if you change the existing light switch to a dimmer switch. If you are not confident about what you are doing then it is best to get an electrician to do the work.
 

calibos

Active Member
Thanks bigbear.

I'm fairly confident having converted a single socket to a double while adding a spur at the same time. Knew that knowing which cables were live and neutral was very important :D , made sure I wasn't adding a spur to an existing spur etc etc. So I have no fear of simple electrical jobs and while I figured this lighting job would probably be possible and straight forward, I just wanted to double check first.

So its a simple case of wiring both sets of rope lights (2live+2 neutral)into one side of those little electric cable couplers and the single set of live/neutral light fixture wires coming out of the wall into the other side of the cable coupler?

The existing switch actually is a dimmer but I forgot to mention that the lights inside the ropelight are little LEDS. Are LEDS compatible with Dimmers?

Regardless, I may well replace the existing switch with an IR switch so I can use my harmony to turn the lights On/Off
 

bigbearh

Standard Member
calibos said:
So its a simple case of wiring both sets of rope lights (2live+2 neutral)into one side of those little electric cable couplers and the single set of live/neutral light fixture wires coming out of the wall into the other side of the cable coupler?

The existing switch actually is a dimmer but I forgot to mention that the lights inside the ropelight are little LEDS. Are LEDS compatible with Dimmers?

Regardless, I may well replace the existing switch with an IR switch so I can use my harmony to turn the lights On/Off


At present the rope lights are fused in the plug to prevent damage to the lights so you are best to cut the plugs off and connect them together using a fused spare onto the existing lighting circuit. (see what size fuse is in the plug probably 3amp)
You will need to check that the total wattage of the rope lights is less than the amount your new ir dimmer is able to handle - usually mains rope lights are normally 1/2 watt each led and spaced 1 inch apart, a typical rope light will generate approximately 6 watts per foot so 10 feet of rope light is 60watts.
The lighting circuit is protected at 6amps in the fuse box which would enable you to use approx 1320watts.
If your new ir dimmer or switch is fused then you wouldnt need to use a fused spare on the wall as the rope lights would be protected by the switch.
The rope lights can be dimmed.
Please note that not all rope lights are 220v some are 12v although I presume yours is 220v
 

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