Confused about Studio Lighting Bought from Italy


Postby J3795 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:33 pm

Recently bought studio lighting from Italy: Connector is L type sealed 3 pin 10 amp version exclusively used in Italy. The other version in use in Italy is a 16 amp version with the same 3 pin connector. I know I can strip the connector and convert to standard UK plug. Hopefully being a three pin connector I'll also find an earth wire in there somewhere, although reading these and other forums I believe even if it doesn't I can still use the equipment safely in a Standard British Plug. Perhaps someone could confirm if this advice is correct.

The actual question I'd like to ask however regards the fuse rating with or without the earth wire... I haven't had the courage yet to cut the connector off a brand new expensive studio light... but what fuse rating should I use after the conversion 10 amp?

The output of the light is rated at 70w if that's any help.

Just to add I also have two similar studio lights but these are rated at 150w the first unit has a Schuko style plug with UK adapter the second unit has a Standard British Plug both are equipped with a 13amp fuse.

Thank you in advance for any advice
Joseph
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Postby ericmark » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:07 am

The fuse in the British plug is to protect the cable, so in the event of a fault the full 32A can't flow only 3 or 13 amp according to fuse fitted which will match the cable. However since the fuse is there then no harm fitting a size which also offers the equipment some protection as well. So if replacing a 16 amp plug the 13A fuse or 5 amp plug then 5 amp fuse is correct. However I would look at the wattage and up to 230 W = 1 amp and so on. But we tend to have standardised with two fuse sizes other sizes are harder to find so 3A would be normal size for what you have.
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Postby ericmark » Sat Feb 13, 2016 10:09 am

PS we are harmonized with Europe colours should all be same as UK.
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Postby J3795 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:59 am

Thank you for your reply. You did kind of lose me with the whole 32A thing. I'm not sure if your talking about the total amperage running through 240v here or not. Anyway the plug I'm replacing doesn't actually have a fuse. Its a flat moulded 3 pin 10amp connector [Type L] used exclusively in Italy. Hence, my initial question what fuse should I use after I have cut this connection and rewired to a Standard British plug. As previously mentioned the wattage of the actual studio light is 70w. I know Wattage divided by Volts = Amps. So I'm guessing a 3amp fuse would be sufficient. The reason for the confusion is the original connector and therefore cable is designed for 10amps.

I still haven't had the courage to actually cut this connector off the studio light by the way so I'm still uncertain if there is an earth wire connected to the middle pin or not and slightly concerned about safety after converting to BS plug if there is no earth wire. I don't have a problem with the actual rewiring to Standard British plug. Your right the colours are going to be pretty much standard here even for the Italians. ;-)

Regards
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Postby ericmark » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:18 pm

Sorry I was trying to explain why we have a fuse. Yes 3A is ample.

In most other countries the consumer unit is much larger than ours and there is a cable run to every room some times more that one socket but the fuse/MCB/RCBO in the consumer unit will be no bigger that 16 amp. Hence if 16 amp is low enough then no need for a fuse the one in the consumer unit is enough.

We in the UK are the odd ones out, instead of loads of 16A MCB's in the consumer unit we use a 32A and as a result have to fit a fuse in the plug. It results in less cable required to wire a house and was designed at tail end of WW2 to allow quick building of cheap houses.

It has both advantages and disadvantages but on the whole is a better system.

The L type Italian plug I seem to remember the centre pin was slightly off centre so could not be plugged in wrong way around. As in the UK pre war they had different tariff lighting and power in the UK it was illegal to use lighting electric for power but there were adaptors sold so you could. Likely it was the same there until 1960 and also again like the UK there were some areas using 127 volt which is the neutral to phase voltage when using 220 volt three phase seems they fed two phases into each house so depending on how wired you could either get 127 or 220 volt. Algeria was similar so I would guess at one time also used in France.

So do need to check the voltage of your lamps. I would be surprised if 127 volt more likely the harmonized 230 volt but still check. Most of Europe has 16 amp sockets but Italy still has some 10A sockets.

I would simply check voltage is 220/230 if so cut of plug and use a British plug with 3A fuse. I would test any metal parts are connected either to nothing if no earth or the earth pin. Getting line and neutral mixed up likely it will still work but switches may not switch off line so there is a danger swapping bulbs if not unplugged. But one would hope all colours are correct.
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Postby J3795 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:31 pm

Thanks again for the response. Ok I get the 32AMP reference now. I figured that you was talking about the consumer unit but wasn't quite sure.

Just to clarify your correct about different tariffs historically hence why the Italians have a 10amp and 16amp version of the L Type connector. The pins and likewise receptors are spaced differently and therefore not compatible although looking very similar.

I've since learned although I can't confirm there are regions in Italy that do use standard Euro Type C, E, & F sockets. Why they cant just use the Schuko Type F plug just like everyone else in Europe I will never know. It would make life far easier from my point of view.

By the way I think there should be an earth wire connected to the middle pin unless its just there for show and grounded at the socket by some means. Your probably getting to realise by now I'm not exactly an expert on electrical matters.

[L Type Plug]
•used almost exclusively in Italy & Chile
•3 pins
•grounded
•10 A & 16 A
•220 – 240 V
•10 A socket compatible with plug types C & L (10 A version) / 16 A socket compatible with plug type L (16 A version)

I also wanted to clarify an earlier error. It is the Metal Halide Osram Bulb that is rated at 70w not the unit it is housed in. The unit itself has a ballast to regulate the HMI bulb. The unit/studio light runs off 220-240v @50hz. So voltage is compatible.

I realise all of this is insignificant and useless information for anyone other than me but wanted to be as clear as possible. All of this just to cut the damn connector off anyway and rewire to BS.

One last thing the cable and obviously the L Type connector it is attached to [which by the way looks very similar to any standard shaver plug] does not actually have a fuse... although rated for [regional] use at 10amps as previously mentioned.

So are we still in agreement. Once I have cut the connector and rewired to BS. I should then use a [3amp] fuse as the HMI [bulb] itself is rated at 70w although the unit runs off 220-240v or should I actually go with a fuse rated at 10amps? or doesn't it really matter which?

Irrelevant because I'm cutting the thing off anyway. Nevertheless would still like to know the correct fuse rating after rewiring.

I know I know... if I haven't already bored you all to death by reading this I can hear people out there saying... just cut the damn connector off and rewire blue to neutral brown to live and if there's a green/yellow wire connect it to earth and fit a damn fuse man.

VERY EXPENSIVE FRESNEL HMI LIGHTS MY FRIENDS...
Regards,
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Postby ericmark » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:19 pm

I have a 70W Nickel metal halide lamp in the loft stored not used and it works great off a 3A fuse.

However not much good for studio lighting as the colours are rubbish. Get a CD and angle it towards the light and the groves act as a 1/4 wave filter and you can see the colours from any light source. I find LED very good, but discharge lamps give loads of light but miss out some colours.
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