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I'm moving from France to Canada. I recently had to rewire a lamp that had a bad socket. It was surprising to me how simple it was to just buy a new cable with a switch, feed it through the lamp's body, reconnect it to the new socket, and end up with effectively a new lamp with a longer cable. So now that we're moving, we've got these four lamps that we love and I'm wondering, can't I just buy new cables with switches, rewire those other lamps and start using North American lightbulbs (they now have 220V LEDs) or would the sockets have to change as well?

Thanks for any advice!!

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    What kind of lamp base do you have? Medium screw in? 2 pin. – Ed Beal Aug 24 '16 at 19:40
  • They're all screw in. E14 and E27. – tinpanalley Aug 24 '16 at 19:45
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Yes, you shouldn't have too much problem rewiring your lamps. Replacement parts are readily available at big box hardware stores, and lighting shops. What you call an "E27" base, we would more often refer to as an "Edison" base. It is by far the most common light bulb socket in North America. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edison_screw

The E14 is not seen often, the E12 or "Candelabra" base are more typical for smaller applications.

Well with the socket taken care of, you have two more problems:

  • You will also have to replace plug, with the two parallel blade type. Table lamps are typically not grounded but should be polarized, with the hot switched to the base, and the neutral on the screw.
  • Your bulbs should handle 120v @ 60 Hz
  • Thank you! When you say "your bulbs should handle" are you saying, 'the bulbs I already have should handle 120V 60Hz' or 'the bulbs you buy here should handle 120V 60Hz'? Also, replacing the plug has always scared me a bit because something about cutting off a plug and rewiring on a different one seems unsafe to me. Is that what you meant? I'd just rather replace the cable. – tinpanalley Aug 25 '16 at 8:06
  • Household electrical outlets in North America typically supply 120v AC @ 60Hz. Incandescent bulbs and other lights bulbs designed to fit in E27 bases should designed to operate with this. LED assemblies with E27 bases and Compact Florescent "bulbs" have built in power supplies. I'm sorry that you feel that replacing a plug is "unsafe." I do it all the time and the parts are readily available. You can buy cord assemblies if you want. dummies.com/home-garden/home-improvement/electrical-wiring/… – DaveM Aug 28 '16 at 2:23
  • I'm totally gonna try this now that I'm here. I have about three to do. Maybe I can get a pack of the cables from Amazon, my hardware store was no good for supplying cables with interrupt switches on them. – tinpanalley Mar 21 '17 at 19:26
  • Going along the same lines as these lightbulbs... I have an air purifier that works completely fine at 110/220V and 50/60Hz. It only uses a two prong plug. Is that likely just as easily replaceable/modifiable as lamp cables or are there gauges of wire to consider, amounts of power, different ratings of two-prong plugs, etc etc? – tinpanalley Mar 28 '17 at 20:11

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