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Old 06-14-2012, 05:11 AM   #1
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


Hi, I am moving to a 220 v country and have a couple of lamps that I want to keep. Can I just change the light bulb and use a plug adapter? Will the wiring be oK, or do I also need to change it. These are bed side lamps with regular bulbs.
I shopped for inexpensive converters, they do not recommend to the have them plugged in all the time. Thanks


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Old 06-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #2
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


It would be easier to just store those lamps if you plan on coming back to the states, and purchase new lamps if you need them at the new place, when you get there.

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Old 06-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #3
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


The wiring inside the fixtures may or may not be adequate for 220/240 volts. The only easy way to tell is if each wire has voltage ratings stamped here and there along its length. You could take a chance and substitute 240 volt bulbs if you can find some that fit.

If the fixture has an even number of the same kind of 120 volt incandescent bulbs you can also rewire the sockets into series pairs and then the fixture will operate on 240 volts with the old bulbs without the need for adapters. Note that 120 volt non-incandescent bulbs that are direct substitutes (such as compact fluorescent screw-ins) might not work properly.

Also note that any modification to the fixture will void any safety rating such as Underwriters Laboratories.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 06-14-2012 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:29 AM   #4
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


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If the fixture has an even number of the same kind of 120 volt incandescent bulbs you can also rewire the sockets into series pairs and then the fixture will operate on 240 volts with the old bulbs without the need for adapters. Note that 120 volt non-incandescent bulbs that are direct substitutes (such as compact fluorescent screw-ins) might not work properly...
Hi Allan, not sure I understand the above. The lamp has only one socket (for a single regular round screw in light bulb). Also, you mean 220 not 120, right?
Thanks
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:53 AM   #5
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


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If the fixture has an even number of the same kind of 120 volt incandescent bulbs you can also rewire the sockets into series pairs and then the fixture will operate on 240 volts with the old bulbs without the need for adapters. Note that 120 volt non-incandescent bulbs that are direct substitutes (such as compact fluorescent screw-ins) might not work properly.
Not real pratical.....it means you have to use 120v bulbs which may be hard to find over seas....

I have been through the issue.....lived in the UK for a few years.....unless your buying a really cheap lamp, most lamp cords are rated for 600v.

Your bigger issue is going to be the socket....If I recall, the Edison base is not as common over there. They use a bayonet base more often....so you might have to swap out the sockets.

Of course, the main determination will be which country your going to....

On your lamp cord, if you don't chop off the male plug, you will have to use an adapter....if you chop off the end and use a local plug, then when you come back, you will have to put a new end on it....
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:19 AM   #6
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


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Not real pratical.....it means you have to use 120v bulbs which may be hard to find over seas....

I have been through the issue.....lived in the UK for a few years.....unless your buying a really cheap lamp, most lamp cords are rated for 600v.

Your bigger issue is going to be the socket....If I recall, the Edison base is not as common over there. They use a bayonet base more often....so you might have to swap out the sockets.

Of course, the main determination will be which country your going to....

On your lamp cord, if you don't chop off the male plug, you will have to use an adapter....if you chop off the end and use a local plug, then when you come back, you will have to put a new end on it....
Hi D, Thanks. will look for light bulbs or change sockets. I don't plan to come back, don't want to change the plug either but will if I have to. Will be renovating my new place.. yeeeeey..
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


What country are you going to? If France, then you need to be talking to FrenchElectrician
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


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Hi Allan, not sure I understand the above. The lamp has only one socket (for a single regular round screw in light bulb). Also, you mean 220 not 120, right?
Thanks
The rewiring of the sockets would apply only if you had and decided to use 120 volt bulbs and only with at least two sockets and an even number of them.

Also possible is constructing a portable junction box with a duplex 120 volt receptacle unit and a single power cord with a 240 volt plug on it. The receptacle unit is wired in series in a manner that both halves have to have (supposed to be identical) light fixtures (may have one bulb socket each) plugged in and each fixture then gets 120 volts. (For the duplex receptacle, bend off the tab between the two gold screws and connect one hot wire of the 240 volt cord to each of those screws; nothing is attached to the silver screws.)

If two non-identical devices were plugged into that junction box contraption, they would not get 120 volts each. One would get more than 120 volts, the other will get less.)
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:04 AM   #9
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


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What country are you going to? If France, then you need to be talking to FrenchElectrician
Not UK nor France..thanks for ur help.
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Old 06-14-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


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The rewiring of the sockets would apply only if you had and decided to use 120 volt bulbs and only with at least two sockets and an even number of them.

Also possible is constructing a portable junction box with a duplex 120 volt receptacle unit and a single power cord with a 240 volt plug on it. The receptacle unit is wired in series in a manner that both halves have to have (supposed to be identical) light fixtures (may have one bulb socket each) plugged in and each fixture then gets 120 volts. (For the duplex receptacle, bend off the tab between the two gold screws and connect one hot wire of the 240 volt cord to each of those screws; nothing is attached to the silver screws.)

If two non-identical devices were plugged into that junction box contraption, they would not get 120 volts each. One would get more than 120 volts, the other will get less.)
Nice idea.. will keep that in mind in case I cannot find sockets that i can use. my electronics is very rusty.. do you have a schematic?
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


Changing the lamps over to 220/240 will work !
The only concern is the rating of the insulation in the lamp bases !
Is it rated for 240v.
This could have legal liability issues !

How ever small 240 to 120 transformers are readily available
It does not need to be too big for something like a table lamp.
And this way you wont have any legal troubles.

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Old 06-14-2012, 06:32 PM   #12
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ
The rewiring of the sockets would apply only if you had and decided to use 120 volt bulbs and only with at least two sockets and an even number of them.

Also possible is constructing a portable junction box with a duplex 120 volt receptacle unit and a single power cord with a 240 volt plug on it. The receptacle unit is wired in series in a manner that both halves have to have (supposed to be identical) light fixtures (may have one bulb socket each) plugged in and each fixture then gets 120 volts. (For the duplex receptacle, bend off the tab between the two gold screws and connect one hot wire of the 240 volt cord to each of those screws; nothing is attached to the silver screws.)

If two non-identical devices were plugged into that junction box contraption, they would not get 120 volts each. One would get more than 120 volts, the other will get less.)
This is not a good idea and surely a code violation. It depends on identical loads to keep each side at 120v.

Just buy 240 v bulbs over there and get a plug adaptor to convert to a uk style plug. Typically the wiring is rated to 600 volts.
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Old 06-14-2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


I would just get a new cord and socket to match what is common to your new area. It's legal to repair a lamp. I have repaired many lamps. The sockets are usually rated for up to 250v and like others have said cords usually rated for 600v.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:23 PM   #14
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


I just came home and.. the metal socket sits on a plastic 'bowl' through which the on/off switch (a stick u push) goes in. On the plastic 'bowl' it says to only use 120v, type A bulb. I

t sounds like the 220v would just bake the plastic?

If I were to use a converter plug, I cannot keep them plugged in all the time, can I?

I am bringing my lamps no matter what. I will reconstruct them if I have..just trying to get informed on my options.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:55 PM   #15
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modifying 110v lamps to 220v?


WRONG !

If a 120v lamp doesnt melt the plastic !
Then neither will a 220v lamp melt the plastic !
Just because it is a higher voltage doesnt mean it runs hotter !
60w is 60w weather it be 120v or 220v.

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