Electrical wiring is a general term that refers to the system of devices responsible for conducting electricity. There are various types of electrical wiring that are used. They vary based on three aspects: use, the quantity of electricity it will conduct and location. For instance, a household requires much less power than an office building.

The electrical wire is usually made of certain materials for electricity conductivity. The most commonly used material is copper. This electrical wire is also insulated so as to shield the conducting device from any damage. To distinguish the different types of cables and electrical wires, colour coating is employed. Put quite simply, a cable of a specific colour is used for a particular purpose. Below are highlights of the different wiring colours and what they mean.


Any electrical wire that is red in colour means it is a live wire. It signifies the positive side of the circuit. Red electrical wires also serve as hot wires. They are mainly used in installations that require up to 220 voltages. Another splendid application of the red wire is that it is used as an interconnect wire. For instance, it can be used to connect two or more hardwired smoke detectors.


Green basically indicates the grounding of an electric cable. The green coloured cable should only be connected to another green wire and not to any other colour cable. The green wires normally connect to the terminal on the ground through an outlet box. The cable then runs from the outlet box to the bus bar located within an electric board under the ground.

The chief purpose of a green wire is to offer a passage to the ground for a circuit’s electric current in the event that a live wire in the connection system has come into contact with either metal or any other conductive item.


The use of yellow electric wires is to transmit power. They are however not used for wiring the outlets especially outlets of prevalent plug-in electrical gadgets. Most yellow cables are utilized as switch legs to fans, structural lightings and outlets that have a switch. Switch leg means a connection that starts from the switch to the electrical device.


Black is the colour used for cables supplying power in all circuits. An electric wire that is black does NOT represent a hot wire.  The black wire is nearly always used as a neutral or grounding wire.