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Still possible to get UK plug into standard light pendant

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Andy, May 1, 2006.

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  1. Andy

    Andy Guest

    I am in the UK.

    If I wanted electrical power from an ordinary ceiling lampholder like
    one of these:

    then it used to be possible to get cyclindrical electrical plug which
    bayonetted into the lampholder. A couple of wires could be attached to
    that plug and that way it was possible to use power from the light

    Are such things still available?

    Or have they been outlawed by some safety regulations?
  2. John McLean

    John McLean Guest

    These bayonet cap adaptors were probably outlawed for safety reasons: -
    liable to overloading misuse, no earth available and polarity not

  3. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    John McLean wrote...
    I haven't seen one available for a long time. In the early days of this
    new-fangled "electric", houses often only had wiring for lighting so these
    adapters were used for everthing else - including electric irons and room
    heaters! More recently BC to two-pin adapters tended to be supplied with
    electric shavers so that you could plug in to a desk lamp in a hotel room.
    I still have one of these in perfect condition on my desk as I type! Apart
    from the lack of earth and indeterminate polarity you need to remember that
    lighting circuits are usually fused at 5amp for the entire circuit and so
    the amount of power you could draw is very limited. However I do remember
    we used BC plugs and sockets to extend strings of christmas tree lights when
    I was a kid.

  4. Yup. People overloaded the lighting circuits then beefed up the fuse
    and burnt their house down.
  5. Tim S

    Tim S Guest

    They are not available for the simple reason that they never got
    the appropriate BS approval.

    As to why they were possibly never put forward for approval - well
    the rest of the thread answers that :)

    They are not intrinsically unsafe, it's the stupid things that some people
    used them for without thinking, irons, heaters etc. - given they were
    unfused, and rewireable fuses were common at the CU + handy pack of
    5A/15A/30A fusewire hanging on a nail encouraged the unthinkable...

    Our Christmas tree lights used to be terminated in one of these and plugged
    in a handy lamp, sometimes using the other great now-unavailable item, the
    1:2 BC adaptor. Heh.


  6. Mazz

    Mazz Guest

    I bought a few of these from a local hardware shop a few years back. They're
    great for powering xmas lights, especially as you can turn them on/off from
    the light switch. Also worked well for powering my mirror ball motor.

    I'm sure I've seen some old pictures of a woman doing her ironing and the
    iron connected the main room light via one of these conectors!!!

  7. Andy

    Andy Guest

    That last link is great. But he doesn't have the type I last used which
    was just a bayonet adapter from which a lead came out.

    The web page shows a more upmarket one where you can actually insert a
    two pin plug into the back of the bayonet adapter.

    Now if I can't get one then, hmmm, it's almost like one of Clive's
    Projects (see to convert a lightbulb's own bayonet
    plug into one of these!!!. Oh no. :)
  8. David Lee

    David Lee Guest

    Andy wrote...

    If you really want one then keep your eyes open in Junk and Charity shops
    and car boot sales. Look out for old electric shavers and if you're lucky
    then you may find one with a BC to two-pin adapter accessory (my Father used
    to have one). You'll probably want the throw the manky old shaver itself in
    the skip PDQ though!

  9. Are there better tools for an arsonist then?
  10. Derek ^

    Derek ^ Guest

    My mother used to do that Ca 1951-2.

    The assembly of bayonet lampholder, dual adapter, 150 watt bulb
    (bare), and bayonet connector for the iron used to swing around like
    crazy as she was "Dashing away with a smoothing iron" to the tunes of
    "Housewives Choice".

    The whole set up was nasty, rubber insulated twisted flex which
    hardened and got crumbly, zero or ineffective strain relief whilst the
    weight of the whole lot including 2-3 metres of Iron flex hung from a
    ceiling rose.

    Makes me cringe to think about it.

  11. The monstrosity of great luminosity was inspired by the old two way BC
    adapters. They would have a new lease of life these days with the
    lightweight CFL's.
  12. Oh yes. ;)
  13. Bob Eager

    Bob Eager Guest

    My Dad did that once...think it was inspired by something in Practical

    It was a cuboid thing made from copper sheet, presumably brazed or
    something. Standard electric kettle element, filler cap and a curved
    copper pipe out of the top. Added an oven timer from an electric cooker
    (easy to come by as he worked for a cooker company - Tricity) and a
    teapot and a built in table lamp, home made again. Oh, and a mains
    powered buzzer.

    Voila! A D-I-Y- Teasmade! My parents used it for years.
  14. john2

    john2 Guest

    During the war it was illegal to use power sockets at all because of
    lack of electricity.
    A light socket plug could be made by breaking the glass off an old
    tungsten bulb and attaching fly leads to the wires inside.
    (Ok its only a joke).

  15. So is it legal or not to install Euro Schuko sockets in a UK house - if the
    answer is 'yes it's legal' - must they be wired according to UK (ring main)
    standards (in which case AFAIUI - possibly dangerous) or only on a radial
  16. Guy King

    Guy King Guest

    The message <>
    Or make one from a dead light bulb and some epoxy and a bit of flex.
    After all, this is uk.deadify-yourself.
  17. Tim S

    Tim S Guest

    Someone on the IEE (sorry IET) forums claimed that their BCO said he would
    accept a Part P job done partly to German VDE100, specifically a schuko in
    the bathroom, which is apprently allowed under German regs, with caveats
    (30mA or lower RCD, 16A MCB, correct zone, fed from same CU as lights etc). AND English

    Don't think anyone's claimed to have put it to the test yet.


  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    A dead CFL will give a suitable cap to sloder two wires to.
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I've got one like that on a lead for my line earth loop tester so thatI can
    use a lighting circuit (non RCD protected) to get an indication of the
    earthing quality of RCD perotected circuits. I really should update it. My
    megger is a nice one in an oak box, and takes ages to get up to speed.
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