Cable Colors

Please note: This article is only available in English.
Overview of a wire's shell-color for characterizing the kind of transport.

From time to time I have to do some electrical maintenance, e.g., connecting new lights or integrating flush-mounted switch. The by far largest problem here is to identify the right wires. Even though I know the current color specification, I rarely see them (at least in my recent flats).

This page aggregates some information to help me identify the right wires.

Wikipedia has the following table:

Country L1 L2 L3 Neutral N Earth
European Union brown black gray blue green-yellow
Germany brown black gray blue green-yellow
Germany black brown black blue green-yellow
Germany black brown brown red
Switzerland brown black gray blue green-yellow
Switzerland black red white yellow red-yellow
Austria brown black gray blue green-yellow
Austria black brown brown red
France brown black black blue green-yellow

If we combine L1, L2, and L3 to a single L cable we usually get to see the following color combinations in German households.

Old Alternative Current
Neutral N gray blue blue
Earth red green-yellow green-yellow
Phase L black brown black

The old convention can be usually found in houses build in the 1960s and 1970s.

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