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Lithe Audio: Can I Put A Socket Above The Ceiling?
9 Feb 2017 by Craig Walker

We have been asked a few times if putting a socket above the ceiling contravenes the wiring or building regulations.

In short the answer is no it does not cause any issues with building or wiring regulations.

 

Lithe Audio Bluetooth Speaker Wiring Diagram

 

Wiring Regulations

 

The Wiring Regulations state that a lighting point should be connected via "a suitable socket outlet" and of course will need to be suitably rated cable and circuit protection.

 

"553-04 Lighting points 
553-04-01 At each fixed lighting point one of the following accessories shall be used: 
(i) a ceiling rose to BS 67 
(ii) a luminaire supporting coupler to BS 6972 or BS 7001 
(iii) a batten lampholder to BS 7895, BS EN 60238 or BS EN 61184 
(iv) a luminaire designed to be connected directly to the circuit wiring 
(v) a suitable socket-outlet 
(vi) a connection unit to BS 5733 or BS 1363-4

A lighting installation shall be appropriately controlled, e.g. by a switch or combination of switches to BS 3676 and/or BS 5518, or by a suitable automatic control system, which where necessary shall be suitable for discharge lighting circuits. 
553-04-02 A ceiling rose shall not be installed in any circuit operating at a voltage normally exceeding 250 volts. 
553-04-03 A ceiling rose shall not be used for the attachment of more than one outgoing flexible cord unless it is specially designed for multiple pendants. 
553-04-04 Luminaire supporting couplers are designed specifically for the mechanical support and electrical connection of luminaires and shall not be used for the connection of any other equipment.
"

 

A three pin socket is deemed a suitable socket-outlet, it would be connected to a lighting circuit protected at 6 or 10 amps and the connected load (Lithe Audio Speaker) is of low current and appropriately fused. The socket should be marked for "Speaker/Lighting Use Only"

 

Building Regulations

 

Part P of the building regulations apply to electrical installations and, in short, mean that all installations must comply with the aforementioned wiring regulations.

 

What are the requirements of Part P?

 

As of 1 January 2005 it is a legal requirement for all work on fixed electrical installations in dwellings and associated buildings to comply with relevant standards. The relevant UK standard is BS 7671:2008, 'Requirements for electrical installations' (The IEE Wiring Regulations 17th Edition). BS 7671 covers requirements for design, installation, inspection, testing, verification and certification.

 

Speaker Load

 

The load of the Lithe Audio bluetooth speaker is 0.09A which is very minimal whilst playing music and when in standby is just 0.02A. Less than light fittings.

 

 

Alternative Connection Options

 

  • Cut the plug off and connect it to a fused spur with 3 AMP fuse installed on the lighting circuit. 
  • Run the power cable to a high level kitchen cupboard and install a socket from the ring final.

 

 

Conclusion

 

There is no issue with connecting a Lithe Audio Bluetooth Ceiling Speaker to a lighting circuit via a three pin UK socket.

 

Assuming that:

 

  • The lighting circuit is adequately fused at 6/10 amps.
  • The socket is accessible once the ceiling speaker is removed.
  • The socket is marked for it's use.

 

This has been written by a fully qualified electrician however it is for guidance only and if in doubt please consult your installing electrician.

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