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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

We will be selling the majority of the contents of our house and definitely anything that "plugs-in", aside from our computer. However, I have two small lamps that I really really love - can you love a lamp? Well, I do and I was wondering if I brought those over, could they be easily re-wired? Would it be worth it even? I have done a search online and can't seem to find any lamp repair shops - which seems funny to me, surely people repair lamps occasionally in England? I will be in Lancashire... any thoughts on having this done? Or is it better to just ditch the lamps?

And as far as computers go - has anyone shipped over their computer independently of their household good shipment? Thinking we will need access to our computer up until we fly and sooner than our container will be able to arrive in the UK.
 

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Hi All,

We will be selling the majority of the contents of our house and definitely anything that "plugs-in", aside from our computer. However, I have two small lamps that I really really love - can you love a lamp? Well, I do and I was wondering if I brought those over, could they be easily re-wired? Would it be worth it even? I have done a search online and can't seem to find any lamp repair shops - which seems funny to me, surely people repair lamps occasionally in England? I will be in Lancashire... any thoughts on having this done? Or is it better to just ditch the lamps?

And as far as computers go - has anyone shipped over their computer independently of their household good shipment? Thinking we will need access to our computer up until we fly and sooner than our container will be able to arrive in the UK.
I left all my electricals in the States because I either couldn't afford the shipping (sewing machine mainly, too heavy so it would have been too expensive to ship) or because they would have needed transformers to be used in the UK. Transporting those lamps probably won't be erm, cheap, and packing them to avoid breakage won't be easy either. I'm no electrical genius but I'm pretty sure the lamps could be rewired by any electrician in the UK. The big question is how much is that going to cost-it may be less expensive to find replacements.

You probably love the style of your American lamps-colour, shape, height, etc, something about those lamps have captured your heart. Figure out what you love so much about them, and then check around some of the online homewares sites in the UK to see if you can get the same style when you arrive.
 

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Step-down-transformers are relatively cheap and can be bought in the UK without any problems. If you love something so much for sentimental reasons, I suggest no harm in taking them. Although I am now wondering if you need a transformer at all for a lamp as a lamp requires an electric bulb which comes with a specific wattage and since the bulb will be bought in the UK you probably best ask an electrician if you can do that without requiring a transformer.
 

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Can't help you on the lamps, though I have heard that lamps are fairly easily rewired.

On the computer - very often if your employer is handling the move, you'll be allowed a small "air freight" amount (usually 500 pounds or so). If you're serious about wanting your computer up to the last minute and first thing on arrival, you may want to include the computer in the air freight shipment.

The other alternative is to get a laptop or netbook that will hold you until your container arrives.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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(Forehead smack!) Manny, I just remembered-the sockets are different between the UK and the US-I haven't seen any bulbs here in the UK that will fit an American screw-in bulb socket.

@ TwoLsMummy, when I posted earlier, I mean to add that I put all my computer files on a thumb drive and uploaded to a new computer here-much easier than trying to cope with the shipping and the transformers. My husband just happened to have a fairly new MacBook just lying about...(insert huge happy grin here)
 

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(Forehead smack!) Manny, I just remembered-the sockets are different between the UK and the US-I haven't seen any bulbs here in the UK that will fit an American screw-in bulb socket.

Hmmmm...I just checked and easily found screw-in bulbs in UK stores online, although I am unsure whether the size is compatible or not.

You can also look into lamp socket convertor like
.

Having found the above two options, I am fairly confident having a US lamp operating in the UK is far far easier than other complicated things like a coffee-maker :)
 

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Hmmmm...I just checked and easily found screw-in bulbs in UK stores online, although I am unsure whether the size is compatible or not.

You can also look into lamp socket convertor like here on Amazon.co.uk website.

Having found the above two options, I am fairly confident having a US lamp operating in the UK is far far easier than other complicated things like a coffee-maker :)
I don't get out much-the only places I've looked at light bulbs are the ironmonger, The Pound Stretcher, and The Nickel and Dime Store, LOL! Maybe things are easier to find down in England? I would never have thought to look at John Lewis for bulbs because our lamps all take the ones sold at the local stores. OK, besides which the closest JL is down in Edinburgh, about an hour and a half drive from my Angus location:D
 

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I don't get out much-the only places I've looked at light bulbs are the ironmonger, The Pound Stretcher, and The Nickel and Dime Store, LOL! Maybe things are easier to find down in England? I would never have thought to look at John Lewis for bulbs because our lamps all take the ones sold at the local stores. OK, besides which the closest JL is down in Edinburgh, about an hour and a half drive from my Angus location:D

Most stores found in Scotland and England are the same. If you look online, you will increase your probability of finding what you are looking for specifically any unique adapter to make US things operate in the UK :) ASDA is another option to try (they are American owned after all). Pound Stretcher is probably last place I believe one can find special adapters although you never know :D
 

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Most stores found in Scotland and England are the same. If you look online, you will increase your probability of finding what you are looking for specifically any unique adapter to make US things operate in the UK :) ASDA is another option to try (they are American owned after all). Pound Stretcher is probably last place I believe one can find special adapters although you never know :D
You'd think that about the stores, wouldn't you-I know I did. We do have an ASDA now, I'll have a look next time I'm in there. I did find an adapter for the electric toothbrush I bought at SemiChem in the Nickel And Dime, that surprised me.

It's a bit of a hoot about that toothbrush. I left my American one in the States. I bought a new one here. I brought it home from the SemiChem thrilled that I found the exact same model OralB I left behind. I fought the packaging, won that fight, and raced to plug in the new charging base...

And couldn't because (wait for it...) we don't have that kind of outlet in our 50 year old Scottish bathroom.

Luckily the High Street is a mere 1/2 mile from our house-off I went and found the adapter I needed at the Nickel and Dime.

And here I thought I'd been so smart leaving all those pesky American electricals behind in an effort to avoid needing transformers, adapters, and electricians!

ETA: I actually do a lot of shopping online, lol, I've got all the stores bookmarked:) And also, even though ASDA is owned by the American company WalMart, about the only thing similarity in the two stores is that I can buy George clothing in ASDA at the same time I do a grocery shop just as I could have done in WalMart back in the States. Never thought I'd admit kinda sorta missing the old Wally!
 

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Don't even try plugging in a US 110V-rated lamp into UK 230V mains by just changing the bulb to UK's 230V. Everything else that carries the current in a US lamp unit is only rated to 110V, half the UK voltage, and can overheat, melt, arc or short-circuit. This includes leads, switch, lampholder and plug. And unless the equipment is properly earthed, using it at 230V is extremely dangerous. The only safe way to use the lamp is with a properly-rated step down transformer, like these in Maplin catalogue:
45W UK to USA Voltage Convertor : Power Supply Convertors - Traditional : Maplin Electronics for a small lamp up to 45W, and 300W UK to USA Voltage Convertor : Power Supply Convertors - Traditional : Maplin Electronics for up to 300W.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow - thanks everyone for the input, my most popular question yet! ;)

The UK uses different light bulbs? I had no idea! I really don't want to faff around with bulb convertors or with step down transformers, just thought if they could be easily re-wired for the UK, then I would bring them over. But, maybe it's more of a hassle. They are lovely though, oh well, sigh...
 

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I found this thread interesting. I have a lamp that belonged to my grandmother and I will be taking it with me. It's extremely sentimental and there's no way I'm leaving it behind. I can always set it out for show and not use it, but at least there is an option from what I can see above.
 

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It's actually easy to rewire a lamp; you will need to replace not only the wire & plug, but the socket and switch as well. Or take the lamp to an electrical repair shop and have them do it for you.

It's ridiculous to run a lamp on a transformer, and you wouldn't be stepping down, you'd be stepping up from 110 to 230v. Transformers are cumbersome to have underfoot and use up a lot of standby power.

Hope this helps!
Cheers
Nona

p.s. We have two kinds of bulbs here: bayonet (usual) and Edison (the american-style screw-in ones). You have to get the proper bulb for the socket you use.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It's actually easy to rewire a lamp; you will need to replace not only the wire & plug, but the socket and switch as well. Or take the lamp to an electrical repair shop and have them do it for you.

It's ridiculous to run a lamp on a transformer, and you wouldn't be stepping down, you'd be stepping up from 110 to 230v. Transformers are cumbersome to have underfoot and use up a lot of standby power.

Hope this helps!
Cheers
Nona

p.s. We have two kinds of bulbs here: bayonet (usual) and Edison (the american-style screw-in ones). You have to get the proper bulb for the socket you use.

Thanks Nona, I really didn't want to deal with cumbersome convertors, transformers, adaptors, etc., but I was hoping that surely, there must be a shop that can do a full rewire or whatever needs to be done, to use the lamp in the UK. I will take it with me and worse case scenario, as Hayburner mentioned, I can always just set the lamp out as decoration! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What a step down transformer does is to reduce the mains current of 230 V to 110V so that a US equipment can be plugged in.
You want a step-UP transformer if you want to use a UK equipment in US.
See Step Down Transformers - Step Down Transformers Info & Suppliers
Thanks for the info Joppa, good to know. All this stepping up and stepping down business can be confusing! ;) But hopefully, it will be easy to find a small electrical/lamp repair shop in Lancashire?
 

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If your computer is relatively new you should not need a transformer. Check the motor on your pc to see if it reads 50 ~ 60 Hz, 110 ~ 240 Volts. If so then no transformer needed. All power adapters for laptops have been multi-voltage for years now.
 

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Thanks for the info Joppa, good to know. All this stepping up and stepping down business can be confusing! ;) But hopefully, it will be easy to find a small electrical/lamp repair shop in Lancashire?
Whether your small lamp can be rewired to be used in UK depends on a number of factors, such as the position and fitment of the lampholder, position an size of the switch and so on. Often these things are made specifically for a particular model and replacements don't often fit. But a competent electrical repair shop - there are so few of those as people just replace old models with new as they cost so little - will be able to tell you.
 

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Be SURE to flip the switch on the back of your tower or desktop computer before plugging it in!!! (i fried one tower and one printer by just not paying attention!!!)
 
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