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Malcolm Hamilton November 5th, 2015 07:12 PM

N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
Hi there,
I'm flying to South Africa the day after tomorrow to do some shooting. I'm bringing two small lights (a Lowel Rifa soft light and a Lowel Tota). I have some 220V bulbs for te Rifa, and I can get 220 (or, for whatever reason, 230) V bulbs for my other light in Johannesburg when I arrive.
But the fellow at the luggage store here in Canada, where I just bought a couple of plug outlet adapters, said that I shouldn't try to plug in my lights in South Africa, even if they've got the right bulbs in them, because my cables won't be able to handle the extra current.
I don't have a good understanding of electricity, so I'm seeking advice here.
Any thoughts about what I can and can't do?
Regards,
Malcolm

Dave Sperling November 5th, 2015 07:54 PM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
I assume you're talking about the cords attached to the lights. I've traveled with a variety of lights in the past, everything from Arri to Ianiro to Lowell to LTM, and never had problems with them after switching from 110v to 220v bulbs. Of course if you have really skinny 18 gauge extension cords I'd recommend going a little beefier.

Mike Watson November 5th, 2015 08:48 PM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
My layman's electrician knowledge says you'll be fine with your current cables and the adapter. Ohm's law and all.

Edward Carlson November 5th, 2015 09:26 PM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
More voltage actually equals less current for the same load. W=VA, so a 100 watt light draws 1A at 100 volts, and 0.5A at 200 volts. 12 AWG cable will drop less than 0.1 volts at 240 VAC for a 25 ft. header cable. Don't worry about it. Throw on some passive plug adapters and go to work.

John Nantz November 5th, 2015 10:09 PM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
Edward and Mike have it correct. The lightbulbs will operate with a certain wattage. The wires for 120V are heavier than for 240V so from a current carrying standpoint they’ll actually do better.

The 240V wiring in Europe is much smaller than the 120V wiring in North America.

However, there may be someting about the design of the fixtures that might be sensitive to a higher voltage. But for current, you’re okay.

Malcolm Hamilton November 6th, 2015 06:44 AM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
Thanks so much, everyone. Didn't even see an emoji eyeroll, when I suspect that was probably what my question called for!
Very relieved... and appreciative.
Regards,
Malcolm

Dave Sperling November 6th, 2015 10:59 AM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
One thing NOT to bring -- a standard 6-outlet power strip (with built in surge protector.) It REALLY won't like the 220v power.
Also -- if you have time for shopping while you're there (and think you may do more foreign travel at some point) stop at an electronics store and get some 'standard' adapter cables with 220v plugs to go to your battery chargers, 12v adapters, etc. Sometimes adding an adapter to an existing cable can make your cord stick out too far, or fall out of the plug.

Mike Watson November 6th, 2015 05:14 PM

Re: N.A. shooter in South Africa: I've got some 230V bulbs, but will my cables fry?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Malcolm Hamilton (Post 1902140)
Thanks so much, everyone. Didn't even see an emoji eyeroll, when I suspect that was probably what my question called for!
Very relieved... and appreciative.
Regards,
Malcolm

To the contrary. I hold my breath a little and close my eyes so the sparks won't hurt them when I plug an item I think of as a 110v item into a 220v plug. There are never sparks, but it never stops me from being nervous the first time.


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