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I bought a string of lights from America (110V, 25W per socket, 50 sockets (1250W total) to use in South Africa (power supply is 220/230V 50Hz).

I thought I could just use a converter (220V to 110V) and 25W incandescent bulbs.

But now I wonder if I really need a converter? The resistor is the actual bulb, which I will buy here and will therefore be rated 25W at 220V.

Surely that will be fine? I figure 1250W/110V=11.4A for the string or 25W/110V=0.23A for the socket. Or 1250W/220V=5.7A for the string or 25W/220V=0.11A for the socket.

Does current make a difference? These are just lights, not electronics, right?

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The lamp sockets are presumably rated at 110V - this means if you use 220V you may be endangering someone due to not having sufficient insulation built in to cope with the higher voltage. Play safe.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So can we tell from this? - amazon.com/gp/product/… \$\endgroup\$ – Elizabeth Jul 23 '15 at 13:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ And then the obvious question that lead me to wonder about this: can I use the 220V bulbs in that lamp holder with 110V input? I don't care if they're dim. I would actually buy 11W bulbs if we could get them here. \$\endgroup\$ – Elizabeth Jul 23 '15 at 13:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ These are outdoor use lamp holders. I wouldn't even consider plugging them in to 220V. You might kill someone. Without a definitive statement from the manufacturer you are taking risks that I see as unreasonable. Either use a step down transformer or don't use them is my advice. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jul 23 '15 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Will 220V lamps mechanically fit? If so this is a safe option with a 110V supply. \$\endgroup\$ – Andy aka Jul 23 '15 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah they fit, I did check that. So why is that dangerous? I don't see why if the bulbs themselves are rated at the correct power? And step-down transformer or just a converter? \$\endgroup\$ – Elizabeth Jul 23 '15 at 13:49

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