Rewiring antique British sconces?

drbeanie2000July 19, 2012

So there are these British art nouveau sconces that I'm drooling over. They've been restored and rewired - in England. I am in the US and so I would presumably have to rewire them. I know nothing about this - would it be complicated? I can't see how, but then like I said, I know nothing about it.



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If the lights use indandescant bulbs the rewiring would have been very simple. The only possible problem I can think of is that the bulb socket is a non-standard one.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:39PM
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The bulb socket should be easy to change too. British lamps often have bayonet sockets, though some have US-style Edison screw type sockets; the latter may be interchangeable, even if it's the slightly larger 27mm rather than US 26mm socket. UK power will be 230v with hot/hot rather than split-phase 120v (hot/neutral), but in most cases the socket, cord, and (if present) switch can be changed out, often easily.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Thanks for the replies. After seeing some beautiful English Art Nouveau light fixtures at a massive showroom in the US, discovering very similar ones online in the UK at a much lower price seemed like a godsend. I will proceed with caution but it's nice not to hear that it's IMPOSSIBLE that we could purchase these beautiful sconces from the UK and use them in our New England living room!

I'll be sure to keep your input in mind - thanks again!


    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:31PM
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" UK power will be 230v with hot/hot"

UK is 240 V to neutral.

The US uses Edison circuits to produce 240 V from a pair of 120 V legs.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:17PM
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oops, you're correct & I stand corrected - i'm thinking about European appliances sold in the US that are often fitted with 220v hot/hot/ground plugs without a neutral, but that's just to accommodate our funky split-phase 110v power in the US where you need two hot wires to get 220v. In UK/Europe that same appliance would run on single phase 220v with a single hot - and lamps are the same way.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:16AM
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Because the British and other Europeans run on 220v, their wiring is heavier than ours and can easily take the electrical load. I brought several lamps back when we moved home from England and just had to change the bulb socket -- and the plug, but that's not an issue with sconces.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 7:26PM
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Since they are most likely wired for 240 volts and you will be find using them in US (110 volts), the wiring will be fine. There are "adapters" that fit sockets if they have "screw-in" sockets that can change the socket size (available through specialty lighting stores). Where do you live? I know Shades of Light in Virginia carries them. Here's some great antique lighting that is already rewired and UL approved!

Here is a link that might be useful: Shades of Light antique wiring

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:23AM
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