Ah, vacation. It’s so exciting and full of possibilities. Many of us splurge buying a variety of items to enjoy when we get home.
However, you must be careful when you buy European lighting. Lighting regulations are different all over the world. So, you may have trouble when you go to plug in European Lighting in America.
This article will discuss the differences in American and European lighting so you can determine the alterations you will have to make.
Wiring does not discriminate when it comes to voltage. It will conduct electricity whether it is carrying 110 volts or 220 volts. So, you won’t have to worry about changing the wiring on your European lamp… as long as you are using a bulb purchased in the U.S.
Speaking of the bulb… you will need to purchase a bulb that works in your lamp. The most common U.S. bulb sockets are E26 (standard/medium) and E12 (chandelier/candelabra). The European equivalents are E27 and E 14. While an E26 bulb will fit into an E27 socket, an E12 bulb will not fit into an E14 socket. You will need an adapter that converts E14 to E12 or you will need to change the bulb socket.
Earlier in the article, we stated that you wouldn’t need to change the wiring in your lamp as any wire can carry any voltage. However, you must be careful about using a wire that’s extremely thin, which is common in some parts of Europe.
If the wire is too thin, it will heat up when carrying excessive amps and loads to the point where it becomes a fire hazard. It is recommended to replace wiring with an 18-gauge wire that is standard in the U.S. You should also start out with an LED bulb as these are low wattage and not likely to present a fire risk.
In the United States we use a cross bar and canopy to hang most fixtures. But if you shop for lamps abroad, you will find the fixture comes with just a hook or canopy that’s too small to cover the junction box. For best results, ask the seller if they can provide you with a 5” diameter canopy and crossbar at the time of purchase.
It can be difficult to determine the quality of a lamp when traveling abroad. Glass pieces that jut out when you run your hand over the globe and grout that comes off easily are signs of poor construction. The glass should also look nice and sparkly, not dull.
There are steps you can take to get your European lighting up to U.S. standards, but if you are unsure of yourself, it may be best to take it into A Lamp and Fixture. We will retrofit your lamp and ensure it’s working properly. We will minimize any dangers you may incur.
Don’t hesitate to contact A Lamp and Fixture for all your lighting needs.Learn More!