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Can you plug a 220V lamp into a 110V outlet?


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August 10, 2008 8:34PM

A higher voltage incandescent (not transformer powered) lamp will work on a lower voltage system but, as has been mentioned in the answer below, it won't be as bright.

Often 130 Volt lamps are used on a 120 Volt system to make a so called "long life bulb".

A 240 Volt lamp would barely glow on a 120 Volt supply and it would use only a quarter of the energy (Watts) that it would normally use at 240 Volts (because of the way voltage and current are related to energy) but it could still be used as a heat source in a small enclosure without having the brightness of a normally-used lamp.


There is some very "muddled thinking" going on in the suggested answers below this one...

So let's get some things clear in our minds...

1. Light bulbs have "bases" on them, not "plugs".

2. You never "plug" a bulb into an "outlet", you "screw" it into a "lamp holder".

3. The idea of running a 220-240 Volt bulb from a 110-120 Volt circuit is about as sensible as asking if you can drive a car around all day in first gear... Sure you can do it, but it just doesn't make sense! The lamp will glow so weakly as to be useless as a practical source of light so it would be a waste of a perfectly good bulb!

4. If you want to have a low light output, all you need to do is to use a low wattage 110-120 Volt bulb!


Probably not. The plugs should be different and not compatible with the socket.


Correction: Yes, you can if you just rewire with a standard UL approved plug which you can get at your local hardware store. The lights will be very dim, but will last a long time. Most regular 220v bulbs have Edison bases and you can simply change them out with 120v bulbs and you're good to go.