Electrical plug

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Old 11-16-06, 09:16 AM
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Electrical plug

I received a Christmas light from a friend in UK. Seem like they're using 220V over there so the electrical plug wont fit in the outlet in the US. Do you know if there's some kind of adapter/converter so that I could plug this light into an outlet? What does this adapter call and where can I buy it? Thanks.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 09:39 AM
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You can buy them at Fry's Electronics, or probably several places on the Internet. They are common transformers for this application.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 10:04 AM
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> a Christmas light from a friend in UK

If the only electrical components are the socket, bulb and cord it will probably be cheaper to buy a U.S. lamp kit (sold in hobby stores for people who craft lamps) and fit it to the existing assembly; just don't exceed the original bulb wattage.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 12:57 PM
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Thanks!

so it is called a transformer, but there are many different types. How do I find the exact one that fits my need?
 
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Old 11-16-06, 01:59 PM
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The converter (transformer) will be rated in Watts or Volt-Amps (VA) which is roughly equivalent to watts. You need to get one that is rated for at least the wattage of your light. Also, you'll want to look at the unit to verify that it has a U.S. plug and a U.K. receptacle that matches your lamp cord/plug.

I don't know anything about this particular company, but here is an example:
http://www.voltageconverters.com/voltage_converters.html
 
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Old 11-16-06, 02:32 PM
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If you just got a $1 plug adapter, the 220V 50Hz christmas lights will work in a 120V 60Hz outlet, but they'll only be about 25% as bright, just as if you put them on a dimmer and turned it down halfway. If that's OK, it's going to be a lot cheaper than a full-up voltage converter and WAY cheaper than a frequency converter.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 03:19 PM
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The real problem would be when the bulbs needed replacing wouldn't it. The lamp bases are probably not compatible with US bulbs. On the other hand if they are then as suggested change the cord cap and also change the bulbs.

Of course if you have a spare 240 outlet you could... but no I'm not going to suggest that.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 05:47 PM
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Why not? afterall that was there intended use.
 
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Old 11-16-06, 07:41 PM
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Really don't know why it wouldn't but I don't know lots so I was hesitant to suggest. However I see no reason why not.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by ray2047
Really don't know why it wouldn't but I don't know lots so I was hesitant to suggest. However I see no reason why not.
The reason why is because now you 120 volt potential to ground from the outside socket of the light. In a 120 volt light the socket outside is at ground potential and there is no risk of shock when remove a light bulb.
 
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Old 11-17-06, 07:22 AM
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240 volts in Europe is with respect to ground potential.
240 volts in the US is on either side of ground potential.

There is also the difference in frequency, which doesn't make a difference with incandescent lights.
 
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