O.K., it's no secret that I'm not a fan of the harmonized European color code, but as we're stuck with it now, I have to ask this question.
When flexible cords adopted brown/blue in the early 1970s all the specifications stated that the neutral conductor should be light
blue. Look at those earlier flexes and the blue conductor was indeed -- to a greater or lesser degree -- a fairly light shade of blue.
Over the years though, we seem to have slipped into using much darker shades of blue. I've noted this before, but what really prompted me this time was seeing the newly installed tails on a recent project now that the new colors are being applied to fixed wiring as well.
The Siemens guy marked up the meter tails with tape to the new colors, and at first glance I actually thought he'd used brown and black.
It wasn't until I got up close that I realized the neutral was actually a very
dark shade of blue (and the tapes he used did have L and N stamped all along them too). Now that black has become a phase color, about the last thing we need is blue identification tape or insulation which is so dark a shade of blue that it appears to be almost black in poor light.
So I have to ask: Whatever has happened to the requirement that neutral should be identified by light