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Taking light fixtures from UK to North America

Discussion in 'Electrics Outside of the UK' started by junebug29, 26 May 2018.

  1. junebug29

    junebug29

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    Hello all,

    We are moving out of our house in the UK and moving to Canada.

    We are going to leave most of the light fixtures we have here in place, as we feel that it'll be a pain to take them. however, there are one or two things we want to take. We have a nice kitchen pendant light that hangs from the ceiling onto our dining table.

    The question I have is: are there any barriers to taking this fixture with us? I mean, it will of course need to be taken of the ceiling. we will for the buyers replace it with something else. but in terms of wiring, and the actual lamp fixture, can it be used in North America?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    The supply voltage in North America is generally somewhere between 110 volts and 120 volts AC 60 Hz so you will have to change the lamps for 120 volt lamps. The different frequency ( 60Hz ) is unlikely to be important for lamps
     
  4. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    If it's Bayonet Cap you may find it very difficult to get BC lamps in USA. (You can get 110V BC lamps in the UK for building site use if you want to take a stock with you)

    For Edison Screw, E26 is also called M(edium)ES in North America, and E27 or ES in Europe, are usually interchangeable.
     
  5. junebug29

    junebug29

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    @OwainDIYer

    it is an edison screw fixture, so that should be an issue. So, you are saying that those are interchangeable? i.e. if I put a NA lamp in it shouldn't be an issue?

    @bernardgreen

    so, is there something that I need to change in the fixture? As I said, it currently takes an E27 in the UK. What modification needs to be done? (i.e. I don't understand your response I will have to change the lamps for 120V).
     
  6. OwainDIYer

    OwainDIYer

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    USA E26 lamps should fit.

    You will have to change the lamps (bulbs) to 120 volt ones because UK ones will be 240 volt and won't work or will be very very dim on USA electricity.
     
  7. sonicm1etn

    sonicm1etn

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    cable colour is different as well.
    For UK (old Colour) to US
    Line = Brown(Red) - Black
    Neutral = Blue (Black) - White
    Earth = Green/Yellow (Green) - Green
     
  8. junebug29

    junebug29

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    ok. Just wanna be clear here... And I noticed a typo of mine, edison lamps shouldn't be a problem.

    So, I don't need to do anything? Just take the whole thing, wires, fixture (I am from NA, so when I mean fixture I mean where the lamp (=bulb!) actually screws into), shade, everything, and just hook it up? The only change is the lamp (=bulb!)?

    Thanks
     
  9. winston1

    winston1

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    Indeed, but the harmonised colours are actually allowed in the US because, well they are harmonised. But don't expect all Yanks to know this.
     
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  11. FrodoOne

    FrodoOne

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    While they may be "ALLOWED", North American manufacturers have not made TPS (Romex) cables containing conductors with the "harmonised" colours on the insulation.
    Nor is it made/imported there with those colours for flexible cables

    A similar situation pertains in Australia/NZ, where those colours are "allowed" but not used in any "building wire" made or imported into Australia/NZ. (Of course, one could use those colours with.insulated conductors in conduit, but it.is not done!)
    However, flexible conductors are now only abailable using the harmonised colours in Australia/NZ.
     
  12. junebug29

    junebug29

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    Actually, while I am on this topic.

    If I have some lamps (desk lamp, standing lamp etc), can those be taken? I mean, I of course need a converter travel plug (cheap, and I already have a bunch), but can a lamp be plugged into a power point in NA and work?
     
  13. winston1

    winston1

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    Don't use adapters, change the plug, cheaper and safer.
    If your lamps just have a "bulb" in them then just change them for a 120v one. If on the other hand they have some form of ballast, driver, transformer built in such as with a florescent or LED type then no don't take them.
     
  14. junebug29

    junebug29

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    By adaptor I just mean plug adaptors (i.e. just the physical adaptor so you can plug in the item, no voltage change in the adaptor).

    By change the plug, do you mean cut off the plug and rewire a NA plug? and then just put in an NA lamp?

    I guess this isn't surprising. I simple light fixture is more or less just a simple resistor i guess. Appliances like fridges, mixers, etc are more complicated.

    What else electrical could I take without issue?
     
  15. winston1

    winston1

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    Yes.

    Very little, can't think of anything really. If you have something you feel you must take come back here for advice.
     
  16. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    If the label on the items says something like "Input 110 - 230 volts " then with a change of plug ( or new lead from a US shop ) then it will ( should ) work in the USA, Mechanical electric clocks will run fast as the frequency in the USA is about 60 Hz and in the UK is it 50 Hz ( Hz = Hertz = cycles per second )
     
  17. StephenOak

    StephenOak

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    Not sure what you can take with you but we bought our house from people who moved to the US and his work paid for shipping so they did not have to worry about the cost of that. IIRC the only electrics they took with them were portable items (laptops, razor, hair-dryer [1]) and a few table/bedside lights.

    As well as fixed items, we inherited; fridge, freezer, cooker, microwave, toaster, several tall floor lamps, some table lamps, hoover, and probably some others.

    1. European versions of these are normally marked, as Bernard said, something like "Input 110 - 230 volts" so will work okay.
     
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