Electrical question

I am hoping someone can help me!
I am installing a sensor operated floodlight at our entrance gate.
I have no problem running a wire from an existing live feed to the light (about 25 metres) however I would like to put an on/off switch near the light. I understand that as the light has a sensor then the switch will have to be ‘on’ all the time but seems sensible to be able to isolate the light if required.
I have rummaged around in my workshop and found a light switch but haven’t a clue how to wire it!
The following link is the switch however my switch doesn’t have a light on the switch to denote when it is switched on.


The attached photo shows the one I actually have.
Seems to me that the right hand side is the business side as it has little widgets to press to allow the cable end to go in and out whereas the left side doesn’t.
The two cable holes in the middle next to the red widget are marked ‘L’
The two cable holes at the bottom next to the grey widget are marked ‘L1’
The two cable holes at the top next to the grey widget are marked ‘L2’

I would like to know where the incoming wires ( live, neutral and earth) connect from the power source and ditto for the outgoing wire to the light. I have trawled the web in the hope of seeing my exact switch neatly wired as an example but all I can find are spaghetti looking diagrams!!


If that were me, I’d install a solar powered light that looks after itself. I have one at my place and even in the darkest winter days there’s enough charge to keep it going as required. Night after night after night…


Second vote for solar PIR, we have 7 sets around the farm and since we are on the flight path to Charles De Gaul my wife recon’s we will have a plane land at some point due to the brightness :yum:


Only live is connected to the switch and the feed goes into L, L1 connects to the light, with the neutral and earth going directly to the light.

Personally, I’d agree with the recommendation to go solar.

Many thanks for the replies chaps. Never gave solar a thought!
Seems that not having to buy 25 metres of cable and adding the cost to purchasing a light makes good sense.
The proposed position of the light will catch the sun virtually all day but given that we have had rain, cloud and only a glimpse of the sun in 3 weeks how much sun is actually needed to keep the light charged?
For those of you that have the beast I am looking for what are your recommendations.
The online marketplace seems to be ‘flooded’ with them.

That would depend on how much you use the light. I have a couple of cheap ones that came with the house and battery life has never been an issue, similarly for my solar security cameras. I’m in 86 if that helps.

I dont think the light would be over used as having a PIR motion sensor and presumably only detecting motion when it is dark? The light is purely to light an area around our entrance gate if on the rare occasion we venture to it when dark.
The position of the entrance gates and the proposed light cannot be seen from the road so traffic movement would not trigger it and as we have maybe 6 passing vehicles per day it is more likely to be activated by a passing puss!

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We have had three of the below for a few years now and they have been excellent.


Late to the party, & if solar wins out this info is no longer necessary, but to add to the general knowledge pool…

What you have in your picture is the rear view of a standard two way switch, or “va et vient”.

@JohnH has already given the correct info; neutral & earth have nothing to do with the switch & would be connected separately using Wagos or similar. L is where you connect the incoming live feed, & the load/lamp is connected to L1. Using L2 would work as well but the switch would be live in the opposite direction - a two way switch simply switches/flips from L -L1 to L-L2.

The unmarked mirrored set of holes are there for when the switch is supplied as a 2-gang unit & won’t have anything behind them.

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Interesting discussion… thanks for raising it @JohnBoy

We’ve tried a number of solar exterior lights in the past and thay haven’t been at all successful. The cheap ones didn’t last 5 minutes anyway, but that was to be expected. As far as the others were concerned, we had two problems. One was that they were forever being triggered by passing animals so the batteries didn’t last all that well, and that was in combination with the second which is that, in the winter when they are most needed, we don’t get much sun here.

We’ve had to go for a wired solution so that we can switch on and off at will rather than rely on movement detectors. I’m not sure where JohnBoy is but I would hope that lack of sun was less of a problem there. :smiley:

There are some detectors that leave out animals under a certain size so cats and dogs dont trigger the light but the lower cost bundled versions may not have this feature in which case tape placed along the bottom of the sensor can block animals on ground level for instance

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Really appreciate all the information being provided.
The choice of solar is endless with lots of 2 for one offers!
How can a 2 pack be sold for less than 50 euros and still make a profit?
Reading the detail and trying to compare the various points needs a supersized spreadsheet and I don’t do those!

My current thinking is that as I have a reasonably close power supply then rather than spend 50 euros on a twin pack of solar lights would I be better to buy a good quality hard wired light for similar money?

As for the switch arrangement I think I know understand.
live, neutral and earth arrive at a junction box.
neutral and earth go from junction box to light fitting.
live goes from junction box to light via the light switch.
when live arrives at light switch it is connected to L and leaves the switch via L1 to the light fitting.
Sorry if I am repeating the explanation from @JohnH and @Badger, it is just the way I see it, hopefully correctly.

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Full marks.

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And be sent all the way from China

Probably one for badger, had a discussion with the farmer next door about the proper way to wire a french plug and socket, looking from the front I thought face/pin side it should be socket L to R Neutral Earth Live and pin side on a plug L E N or on the terminal side of the plug N E L, he said it didn’t make any difference at all :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Makes no difference since the equipment doesn’t care and, unlike the UK, both sides are cut when the breaker trips.

Which solar security cameras are those JohnH? Family have asked me to look into this and I’ve only got as far as thinking eufy and the Amazon Ring system may work

I always stick to convention, live on the right (as in a uk plug)

I just went by the leaflet my electrician left me when he rewired the two houses, surely there has to be some sort of standard.