Going on a trip to Paris or any European country, in general, is fascinating. The picturesque views, exquisite cuisines, and monuments just take your breath away. And you want to bring back a piece of history with you.
Well, you can bring souvenirs of the Eiffel tower, the Luxemburg museum or even a baguette, which is okay, but not astonishing. What is more intriguing is bringing an old chandelier or light fixture that you can feature in your home for generations to come.
But there is a catch to it. The electrical voltage, light sockets, and wiring are different in Europe than in the US. So how to install a European light fixture without any big hassle? That is the question.
Some might suggest not to get a fixture at all from any European country due to these complications. But we have a clear understanding of the functions and will guide you to install your light fixture in your home.
How to Install European Light Fixture in the US
Installing your European light fixture is the same as any other light fixture. You hang it from their chain suspension, or screw it on your wall or ceiling, using bolts and screws just as same as you have done with any fixture at home.
The thing that differs from a European fixture is the light bulb socket, wire color, and light volt operation. These are minor fixes that you can do on your own. Let’s dive into the differences below.
The Main Differences between a European Light Fixture to a US Fixture
European Light Bulb Socket
European light bulb sockets are a bit different in name and size comparison. If you have an E27 European standard socket on your light fixture, an E26 US bulb will fit perfectly. But sadly European E14 doesn’t fit any US light bulbs. You have to change the socket from your light base to a more suitable one. You can do it with a little help from a professional anytime.
The Difference in Wire Color
Although the European electrical standard is 220V, you can use the same wire in the US with a 120V output. As the gauge of the wire is higher than the US, it can take on the load with ease. One thing that might confuse you is the wire colors.
European yellow/green wire means they are ground wires. And Blue color wires are neutral. Brown and black wires are always hot wires.
If you only have two wires, use the patterned and smooth wire method. Smooth will mean hot wire and a patterned or ribbed will indicate it is a neutral one. You can also check it with a wire tester by touching the wire tips. The wire that will flash the tester light is the hot wire.
European Light Volt Difference
European lights work on 220V. So if you brought one of those lights, it won’t work in 120V. Although it will light up, it won’t give the full brightness.
That is why it is ideal to swap them up with 120V light bulbs. You can find your suitable bulb in any home depo. Make sure it fits the socket of your light fixture.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I install a European light fixture in the US?
Absolutely! The only difference between a European light fixture and a US fixture is the bulb socket and light voltage. You might have to swap the socket if there is no alternative bulb on the market. The bulbs on the other hand only function properly on 220V. So it is a must to change them before using your light fixture.
How to install a European ceiling light?
You can install a European ceiling light just the same way you install any ceiling light. The screw, hanging equipment, and size may differ in the states, but you will certainly find an alternative in any home depot. If you are not familiar with it and feel overwhelmed, a professional can help you at any time.
Are European light bulbs different?
The chemistry and function of the light bulbs in the US and European country is the same. The only difference is their working function in different voltages. European countries have 220V electrical lines, so they have bulbs that work on 220V. But if you try to use them in the states, they will wear out easily as 120V won’t be able to run them properly.
Can I use US light bulbs in Europe?
Sadly it won’t. Although it will start lighting up in some cases, the bulb will die eventually due to too much voltage. So it is better to swap your lamp/fixture light bulb with a European standard bulb.
There are many people who think that European light fixtures won’t work in the US. Which is not at all the case. Yes, some light fixtures are complicated and you won’t find parts in the US. But don’t let that prevent you from buying a European light fixture. You can also check online for the parts of the fixture in the US while you are intending to buy it. And if you find that it has available parts in the US, go for it. Because wiring and light bulbs are always available worldwide.