Can I use US lamps (115V) in the EU? (220V)

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Jardins de Vin, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Jardins de Vin macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    European Union
    #1
    I am looking for new lamps for my home but couldn't find the kind I was searching for here in the EU, so I looked on Amazon International and found a lot of lamps in the US that are basically exactly what I'm looking for.

    Basically I'm looking for LED-lamps with touch dimmers in a classic look with lampshades made of cloth/textil, which will emit a warm light. We don't have any lamps that combine these characteristics. I looked everywhere, in all major european stores, but the taste of the european market is just awful.

    Now I'm thinking of buying these US-lamps:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CTFWB6...olid=31Y3NDU3W4T47&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074H21R9...olid=31Y3NDU3W4T47&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077VNRQD...olid=31Y3NDU3W4T47&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

    I don't know much about electrical stuff, so I thought I'd ask for advice here.

    Do you guys think these lamps will work over here if I use a 110-to-220 V converter? Maybe also a 50 Hz to 60 Hz converter? Do you guys think the dimmer will still work? What about light bulbs, will I have to use 220 V lightbulbs or 110 V ones? Is that even possible, because I'm not sure if we have the same formats?

    I also read something about higher safety standards in the EU, apparently there's a "double insulation" or something like that.


    Can anyone guide me in the right direction? I really want those new lamps but don't want to end up buying so many of them if they don't work. I want to make sure they will work normally and safely.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Absrnd macrumors 6502a

    Absrnd

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    Flatland
    #2
  3. Jardins de Vin thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jardins de Vin

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    European Union
    #3
    I didn’t think of insurance issues, thank you for reminding me. But then again, if I’m able to import them, they should be legal for use here. I’ll ask at the customs office.

    The reason I don’t buy them from European Amazon is that I can’t find the type of lamps I’m looking for. The one you posted has the design I’m looking for and most likely also gives off a comfortable, warm light thanks to its fabric shade, but it doesn’t have a dimmer function. I really need that, I need a low, warm, comfortable light which doesn’t strain my eyes. The only lamps for sale here that have a dimmer switch are just awful, they emit a harsh, aggressive and cold light. Most don’t use LEDs either.
     
  4. niji, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018

    niji Contributor

    niji

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    tokyo
    #4
    NO. you can not use these, as is.*

    * unless you use them plugged into a transformer.
    a transformer is different from an adapter.
    transformers are heavy and usually big.
    lamps that have great sentimental value might be worth it, but otherwise, due to flexibility of use etc, using a transformer is not a good solution.
    its an interesting question if dimmer function would work. my guess is, yes. would work.

    this one sold on amazon UK however is similar to what you are looking for:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/ZFHNY-Beds...d=1540042910&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=aooshine
    and it is 220v
     
  5. Lioness~, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018

    Lioness~ macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2017
    #5
    Legal is different to what the insurance policies might be.

    Those lamps that I use dimmer function in comes with it (as the US one you refer to) or you can mount a dimmerable switch that you can use even with other lamps. I have used transformer 110/120V>220/240V earlier too. Not a very good solution, and yes it's big, but sure it works

    Even think Ikea have dimmers that can be used with many lamps simultaneously, but it seems they can only be used with their stuff.
    Growing market. So look around. Buying from US and using 110/120V, I wouldn't do it today.
     
  6. Huntn, Oct 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018

    Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #6
    Yes, you can use a transformer/converter. Maybe they are smaller now. When my son was living in the UK (10 years ago), the converters, for the US electronics he brought with him, were the size of a couple of bricks. As I say that, I know that the itty bitty power chargers for Mac computers are dual 110/220v.
     
  7. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    betwixt
    #7
    Maybe you could buy the US lamps you like, then have them rewired for 220V @50Hz. It will depend on how the wiring and such is attached or integrated into the fixture. Touch control could make things more difficult, or that section might not need replacement. The cost might be unpleasant, too.

    A friend of mine recently bough a chandelier, which I helped to hang. It would have been impossible to rewire, because it was assembled with the wiring. Rewiring it would require complete disassembly, and many of the parts are riveted or connected with non-reusable connectors. Her previous chandelier, however, could be rewired, so it depends on exactly how the particular lamp is built.
     
  8. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #8
    As he is talking bout LED lamps there is a good chance that they have a switching power supply and not a bulky transformator like it was still 1979....

    With these it makes no sense to produce them in specific 110 vs 230V (220 hasn't been the standard in decades actual voltage is around 235V in most households).
    It making no sense doesn't mean it won't be the case.

    The bulb could be replaced with an E26 base 230V one easily, the wiring is strong enough as the current would be halved.
    Insulation could be insufficient but I doubt that.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors P6

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #9
    I’m familiar with most US house wiring, I understand how 220v heating elements work, in the US, that would be 2 phases of electricity. But I’m not familiar with light bulbs. Why would you ever need two phases of electricity to power LEDs? So can I assume LEDs lights in Europe use single phases of power?
     
  10. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #10
    I'd buy an inexpensive lamp and put an EU bulb in it and give it a try. Legal and insurance aside transformers are just to inefficient to use on a light.
     
  11. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #11
    You are not going to get good dimming from LED bulbs. In my experience even the bulbs that are advertised as dimmable barely have any variation, nothing like the range of brightness you get with dimming incandescent bulbs. Dimming LEDs almost always causes flicker as well.
    Obviously I haven't tried every LED bulb out there, but so far dimming with LEDs is almost worthless.
     
  12. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #12
    We have had dimming LED bulbs all over our house for 5 years or so. There are plenty of crap LED's out there, but if you buy good ones they will dim fine (check the packaging to make sure they are designed as dimmable). I find Philips to be the most reliable LED brand. We have a bunch of Philips models that even color shift like incandescents when dimmed. They match the few Edison-style incandescents we still have nicely.
     
  13. StralyanPithecus macrumors regular

    StralyanPithecus

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2018
    #13
    If you are going to the transformer route, which I really don't recommend, just remember that they are using electricity even when the lamp is off, small one quantity.
     
  14. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #14
    In Europe 2 phases = 400V
    1 phase = 230V
     
  15. dwig macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #15
    If the lamp uses a simple bulb and has no electronic circuitry (dimmer function, touch sensitive on/off, ...) itself, then simply replacing the bulb will work fine. If the lamp is UL Listed, the wiring insulation will be rated to at least 600v, so adapting it to 230v would be safe. Cheap Asian imports may fake any certifications so buyer beware.
     

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14 October 20, 2018