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USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Old Mar 11th 2019, 4:18 pm
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Default USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

I've got various USA lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps- Question is: can I get screw in type bulbs in the UK for the average lamp?
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 4:42 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by dojoman View Post
I've got various USA lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps- Question is: can I get screw in type bulbs in the UK for the average lamp?
Generally "no" - the most common bulb type in the UK is a "bayonet" fitting. Bulbs with a screw base, known in the UK as an "Edison screw" are not commonly used in the UK, but if they exist you should be able to find them on Amazon.

Also bear in mind that you will be running 240V through wiring designed for $120V, which will probably be OK, as you will only be using half the power (amps) for the same wattage bulb, however the increased voltage will create at least a theoretical increase in the risk of a short. …. So for a lamp with a metal base, be sure that there is a ground/ earth connection.

In short - given that lamps aren't exactly expensive, ask yourself if it is worth the effort of buying special bulbs, rather than just buying new lamps in the UK. …. For a lamp of sentimental value there is also the possibility of replacing the lamp's bulb holder with a bayonet fitting.

What other electrical devices are you planning to take?
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 4:52 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Yeah. I hear you on all that. I have one that is super nice. Maybe I can replace the socket etc when I get there...As far as other electronics- hp color jet that is rated 120-240v. Couple of stereo receivers, TV that will only be used for apple tv, a few other small items.....oh, I can't forget my Lava Lamp!
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

of course these receivers are rated only 120 volts. So I assume I will be hooking them up to a step down transformer...
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by dojoman View Post
Yeah. I hear you on all that. I have one that is super nice. Maybe I can replace the socket etc when I get there...As far as other electronics- hp color jet that is rated 120-240v. Couple of stereo receivers, TV that will only be used for apple tv, a few other small items.....oh, I can't forget my Lava Lamp!
Anything rated 120-240V (or similar - 100V-250V is fairly common IME), and 50Hz-60Hz will be fine - you'll just need to switch the power cord, and that is almost certainly going to be cheaper than replacing the plug. Amazon is your friend.

The receivers would probably need a transformer - see my advice on your Fender combo box. …. BUT you have an entirely separate problem using a digital receiver from the US. Radio stations in the UK have a different channel structure. While the AM/MW and VHF frequency bands are the same, US AM/MW band stations have 10KHz channel separation i.e. the frequencies are all multiples of 10KHz, whereas in the UK the separation is only 9KHz, and on the FM band in the US the channels are 0.2MHz apart, whereas in the UK they are only 0.05MHz apart. So if your receivers are digital they aren't going to be much use in the UK (you'll only be able to tune in to about 10% of AM stations and a quarter of FM stations). Older analogue receivers would be fine, with a step-down transformer if necessary.

You might get lucky with your lava lamp - small odd-type bulbs with an Edison screw do exist in the UK, otherwise you might have to fall back on the transformer solution. ….. OR you could give up your lava lamp.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 11th 2019 at 5:15 pm.
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Again, thank you. You know your electronics! Well, the good thing on the receivers is I would only use them to power speakers and run the TV sound through. No radio station expectations....that said, it's good to now about the radio frequencies! didn't know that for sure. I think I'll get a good electrician to take a close look at anything I do over there....thank you again Sir!
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by dojoman View Post
....thank you again Sir!
You're welcome.
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Oops. Sorry to bother you. Another question about Computer monitors. I have a bunch, different sizes, different manufacturers. What are we dealing with here?
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Old Mar 11th 2019, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by dojoman View Post
Oops. Sorry to bother you. Another question about Computer monitors. I have a bunch, different sizes, different manufacturers. What are we dealing with here?
Flat, I assume - probably 110V-240V, but you should check. If they run off a power brick marked 120V you could just swap that, but if the monitor, or brick is rated for up to 240V then you'll just need a new power cord (or plug).

As monitors are "closed loop" (not subject to things like broadcast coding standards), you just need the computer to have the right driver for the monitor, which is not a power/voltage/frequency/ geography issue.

If you have CRT monitors they they're too bulky and heavy to be worth shipping. Bin them.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 8:49 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Generally "no" - the most common bulb type in the UK is a "bayonet" fitting. Bulbs with a screw base, known in the UK as an "Edison screw" are not commonly used in the UK, but if they exist you should be able to find them on Amazon.
Been to B&Q lately? Edison screw bases are increasingly common, even more than bayonet among LED bulbs. I can pick up all I want in places like Home Bargains, and LED bulb prices have dropped dramatically.

As I sit here, a US lamp is burning brightly, fitted with an Edison Screw LED bulb. Another lamp is in a spare room, and a 3rd in the guest room, and 2 more in the master BR - all fited with LED bulbs. No problems with any of them for the nearly 8 years since we moved back.


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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

hey thank you! So to clarify: I can bring various lamps I have here in the USA....and in order for them to not blow out with the 240volts, I have to rewire them, or get step down transformers? Or are you saying I just need to replace the bulbs?? Thanks..
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by dojoman View Post
hey thank you! So to clarify: I can bring various lamps I have here in the USA....and in order for them to not blow out with the 240volts, I have to rewire them, or get step down transformers? Or are you saying I just need to replace the bulbs?? Thanks..
Almost certainly just replace the bulbs. The wires can actually be thinner for 240v power, because the current is halved for the same wattage bulb running on twice the voltage, so heavier guage wires in a 120v lamp will be just fine for a 240v lamp.

You might be able to switch to LED bulbs which use miniscule power, and produce almost no heat at all, and you might even find you can choose a temperature color - anything from 2400K for a warm orange ambience lighting, through 2700K for faux tungsten lighting to 5000k for bright "natural daylight" lighting.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 18th 2019 at 9:15 pm.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:20 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by Vadio View Post
Been to B&Q lately? Edison screw bases are increasingly common, even more than bayonet among LED bulbs. I can pick up all I want in places like Home Bargains, and LED bulb prices have dropped dramatically.

As I sit here, a US lamp is burning brightly, fitted with an Edison Screw LED bulb. Another lamp is in a spare room, and a 3rd in the guest room, and 2 more in the master BR - all fited with LED bulbs. No problems with any of them for the nearly 8 years since we moved back.
I was aware there were some, but I don't get many opportunities to visit B&Q seeing as the closest store is about 3,500 miles away.

That said, based on my experience in the US, if the bulbs exist in a brick-and-mortar store, thereally will likely be many times more choices available on-line.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:30 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

LED bulbs are very popular and even strongly encouraged because they are energy efficient. We've been back and forth multiple times now, but are firmly settled in the UK.

We used our Vizio TV (which was dual voltage) with a Freeview receiver. My HP 8500 inkjet printer was also dual voltage, and never an issue with replacement ink cartridges. My Samsung monitor and my Gateway desktop computer, also dual voltage as was an ancient 'region free' DVD player. We just changed the plugs on all of the above plus the lamps. Amazingly, all of my external hard drives were dual voltage, so again, no issues.

Hubby brought all his tools, and uses a big yellow box transformer These are common on building sites, as many UK tools are 110V (some safety thing, I think).

An electrician would likely say "rewire those lamps", but if you are using low voltage bulbs, it's not an issue. Plus, I think wiring is way more universal in all our mass-produced Chinese stuff. Hubby is one of those guys who tests everything, and is super cautious, and if he blesses it, then it's likely as safe as anything can be.

We shipped our worldly goods in a 40' container, so space wasn't an issue. We brought what we wanted, and what we knew we would use. Other things, including some kitchen appliances, we sold/gave away/donated before we left the US. I use a small transformer for a couple of little things, but don't have one plugged in all the time. It's a 'now and again' thing with a couple of tiny old appliances.
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Old Mar 18th 2019, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: USA Lamps to the UK- Will UK bulbs be fit?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I was aware there were some, but I don't get many opportunities to visit B&Q seeing as the closest store is about 3,500 miles away.

That said, based on my experience in the US, if the bulbs exist in a brick-and-mortar store, there really will likely be many times more choices available on-line.
Because Europe uses Edison Screw type, they became very common here years ago.Yep, lots also available on-line, but every place that sell bulbs has them, and cheaper than Amazon. Back in the early 90s, I struggled to find them; now - 'dime a dozen' comparitively speaking.

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