Convert 220V lamp to 110V


Old 04-22-04, 08:19 AM
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Question Convert 220V lamp to 110V

I recently brought home a lamp from West Africa where 220V electricity is used. I want to use the lamp here and am wondering if I need to put a new socket in the lamp or if changing the bulb and plug is enough. Also, can I use the existing wire? Thanks.
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Old 04-22-04, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
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I always try to discourage this.

If you use 220-volt bulbs, they will only produce one-fourth the light on 110 volts that they would with 220 volts.

If you switch to 110-volt bulbs, the light output will be right, but the wiring internal to the fixture will generate four times the heat that it would have on 220 volts. Some people say that the internal wiring can handle it anyway, but who's to know for sure.

So I'd recommend you replace all current-carrying parts of the fixture.
Old 05-04-04, 06:39 AM
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Converting lamps from/to 220/110

I lived 15 years in Italy and bought many table and lights there, bringing them with me to Boston when I returned. The lamps were wired for 220v current, I simply put in 110v light bulbs and never had a problem. That's not to say someone else might not have a problem!

Now however, I have the opposite case. I just moved from Boston to a small, rural village in Turkey, bringing with me some light fixtures bought in the US, thus wired for 110v current. The 220 light bulbs here in Turkey fit my US lights (except for the candelabra ones) but I do not know what will happen if I leave them on for a long time.

I asked the local electrician if he could change the wiring and sockets, his reply was 'buy a transformer'. That means I would have to buy 7 transformers from the US since those sold in Istanbul (900 km away) are huge and expensive even for low wattage.

So my question is the reverse: can I put in bulbs of 220v, 100watts into lights designed for 110v current, and leave them on for a long time without risk of fire or other unhappy event?
Old 05-04-04, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Taking U.S. fixtures to Europe is probably safer than the reverse, since the 220-volt bulbs will draw less current than the same wattage 110-volt bulbs in the U.S.

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