Adapting North American light fixtures to use in Ireland

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Maria Ciccone, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Maria Ciccone

    Maria Ciccone New Member

    How do I convert a North american chandelier to use in Ireland.? Can I get a transformer to downgrade the voltage?
     
  2. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    What kind of lamps/bulbs are in the chandelier?
     
  3. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Many LED lamps work with voltages ranging from 100V to 250V (or thereabouts). If you fit them, you'll be able to use them on both sides of the Atlantic without the need for a transformer.
     
  4. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    That may be true but will the fitting and wiring be suitable for 230v ?
     
  5. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    The white is the neutral, black is phase and the green is earth. Look at the cable in the fitting, it may have the voltage rating marked on it.
     
  6. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    As said how it is made safe for use with 230 volt depends on the design to start with, it may be simply swap bulbs, however screw bulbs in USA tend to be 28 mm where in Europe they are 27 mm so Europe bulb may fall out. In the main USA is in inches and Europe in mm so would guess 28 mm will be some imperial measure.
     
  7. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    28mm = 1 1/8" :)
     
  8. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    Nearer to 1.1"

    Actually the US uses 26mm so 27mm are unlikely to fit.

    And with the smaller size, IES 17mm in the US and SES 14mm in Europe
     
  9. Hans_25

    Hans_25 Screwfix Select

    25mm is 1" and 3mm is 1/8 " near enough :p
     
  10. How about 28mm = 1 7/64" to be nearly exact.
     
  11. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    I brought several desk lights and what the Americans call 'standard lamps' with me when I returned to Europe after several years living in the USA. I simply put 240V E27 and ES14 light bulbs into them and they all work perfectly well. None were tight or loose.
    FWIW, ES stands for Edison Screw, and Edison refers to Thomas Edison, who was an American inventor. Why would ES27 and ES14 be any different on either side of the Atlantic?
     
  12. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    1 105/1024" is nearer
     
    Deleted member 11267 likes this.
  13. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    Because they are and defined by both ANSI and IEC
     
  14. They may work, but are the fittings /lampholders suitably rated for the uk use when the USA is 120v and we can be up to nearly 250v.
     
  15. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    I think USA is 240 volt centre tapped to earth, so split phase 120 volt. So likely the insulation is good for 230 volt. However don't know Irish rules.
     
  16. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    Most USA electrical fittings are rated for 240V, my cousin is a spark in NY and I've accompanied him on jobs over the years to wonder (why!!) at some of their methods. UK bulbs will fit US lampholders, i've had many over the years and never had an issue - some are made from plastic but many from metal insulated with waxed paper (I have a couple of these on table lamps I brought back and they work just fine)
    Due to the lower voltage the wiring will be heavier gauge (higher current) than our requirement and the UL cable testing standards are very strict. If the fitting is of good quality it will have a "UL Listed" sticker or stamping on it somewhere (indicating one like it was tested to destruction by the Underwriters Laboratory, the US equivalent of British Standards, in the US the item has to be tested by the UL to get on the list of approved designs - it's all independent and tied up with insurance companies, if your house burns down and it's traced to something not listed they don't cough up!), and possibly a "Union Made" sticker or stamping (Indicating it was made in a factory regulated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the electrical trade union, international being US & Canada!!).
    Leviton, Eagle, Cutler-Hammer (CH), and Hubbell-Bryant are all respected makes of lampholders and other fittings in the states, regarded like Crabtree are here
    Black will be live, or hot in US vernacular, White Neutral and Green Earth or Ground.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
    rogerk101 likes this.
  17. Mike58

    Mike58 Screwfix Select

    Having spent a lot of time working in the US, I can assure you that fittings may be rated at 240v but consumer goods certainly are not.
     
  18. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    I've yet to come across a lampholder from the states that isn't rated to 240V, until a few years ago we used to wire up lamps for a local foundry that made lamp bases, a lot for export to the US, and I have purchased literally 100s from the top manufactuters lines - there may be some cheapo exceptions of course

    Attached is a leviton product marked for it's rating - I'd happily use one of these in the UK and do, but wouldn't fit one new or replace it like for like here, but if its part of a fitting no technical reason for failure.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    There are actually two standards for the ES base E26 in the states and E27 in europe, for small sizes E12 & E17 in the states and E14 in europe, big sizes E39 in the states and E40 in Europe. Heaven knows why!!

    There is also E28 reserved for US consumer unit fuses (pictured).

    The only problem with US table lamps is that many have brass lampholders but only a single insulated figure of 8 mains lead. The flex they use is very robust stuff but often does not incorporate an earth as it is not a requirement, the logic is that the RCD will still operate by leakage through a person!! - so you don't die, but do get the fright of your life - nice!
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Screwfix Select

    As an aside, I have always liked the not very attractive US version of a FCU, takes a E28 screw in fuse - what an eyesore!!
     

    Attached Files:

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