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#138950 10/08/03 10:58 AM
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Some days ago I watched the Fabulous world of Amélie movie and closely watched a scene wher someone changes a light bulb and it definitely looks like it is a bayonet cap one (only turns it maybe 1/4 of a turn, not nearly as far as needed for ES). Do they actually use BC bulbs in France?
I've only ssen them used in the UK/Ireland and in Greece.

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Didn't Spain also use bayonet base bulbs?

I have a copy of an old Larousse Illustrated dictionary in Spanish. The illustration for a lightbulb is one of those bayonet base types.

Of course, I believe the company that makes the Larousse is based in France, isn't it?

[This message has been edited by SvenNYC (edited 10-08-2003).]

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BC bulbs are definitely used quite commonly in France although I am not 100% sure if they're as normal as they are in the UK or not but I definitely remember changing plenty of them and they were easily available in the supermarket. Simple pendant and basic wall fittings were all BC in the house that I lived in anyway [Linked Image] You don't honestly think the French would do something the US way do you!?

ES fittings are quite plentiful too, although in the UK/Ireland EC fittings are increasingly commonplace particularly in cheaper imported designer lights. I would guess the situation is the same in France. Both types, as far as I am aware, are recognised by Cenelec / EN ... perhaps someone could check that as the ones here tend to only have a BS / IS number on them

I think Italy uses at least some BC bulbs too
http://www.mr-bricolage.fr/fiches_magazines/Mb33-05.htm

"Sir Joseph Swan and his brother Alfred had a significant impact on the development of electric lighting in their native England, and throughout Europe. Swan's lamps are recognized most by the famous "opposing side-pin" Swan lamp base, for which his brother Alfred was the inventor (see British Patent No. 9,185, June 19, 1884; U.S. Patent No. 313,965, Mar 17, 1885; and associated Patents of France, Belgium, Italy and Austria). The original Swan side pin twist-lock lamp base and socket evolved into what is now regarded as the "bayonet" base and socket, a standard for lighting in that part of the world. This Swan family influence is also world wide among auto makers through the universal adoption of this original mechanical arrangement. Compared to the Edison screw base, the Swan twist-lock arrangement was better suited for securing lamps in vehicles where vibration was a factor. For a century, Swan bayonet base lamps have been used in nearly every tail light and parking light of every car and every truck in the world."

http://www.edisonian.com

{ Edited to get second link to work -- Paul }


[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 10-08-2003).]

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I'm not sure about the EN classification, but I've certainly seen both BC and ES bulbs in France as well.

ES types are more common in the U.K. these days than they once were, and are used in quite a few light fittings, but BC is still the most common and regarded as the "normal" type by most people.

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You don't honestly think the French would do something the US way do you!?
Definitley not, but I wouldn't have thought they'd do something UK style either! So my guess would have been they used ES along with most of the other continental European countries.
Interesting they mention Austria here. 220V BC bulbs are absolutely unknown here, though they'Re widely used for LV lighting as mentioned in the article.

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Bearing in mind the way France likes to be different from the crowd in most things, it's quite surprising that they didn't come up with their own uniquely French style of lamp base!

The first brass/ceramic BC holder ("Douille métallique à baïonnette") in the Mr. Bricolage link above looks identical to those commonly used in the U.K.

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djk Offline
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French standard sockets are actually layed out in a very UK style too albeit with the earth being a pin rather than a hole. Very few other standards with the earth pin at the top.

I actually find French typical rewireable plugs a LOT easier to deal with than their schuko equivilants. They're a tad clunkier (usually complete with handle!) but they're less fiddly.

They've pretty neat plugs for 2 core cable too.

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Quote

Bearing in mind the way France likes to be different from the crowd in most things, it's quite surprising that they didn't come up with their own uniquely French style of lamp base!

But they did! Long ago there was a French version of the Edison bulb with at different treading of the base.

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A relative of mine has a house in France, about 50km from Perpignan, and recently had it rewired by a local contractor. They used only BC lampholders. Subsequent shopping for decorative light fittings resulted in a 50/50 mix of BC and ES.
Apparently however, small BCs, common in UK, are virtually unobtainable and had to be specially "imported" to equip a fitting they had taken with them.

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djk Offline
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Those small BC bulbs are very common in all sorts of wall fittings here.

Actually we have very few ES fittings other than larger reflector spots. I've found the BC version MUCH better! the ES version expands and jams the bulb into the fitting regularly.

Most normal shops here stock BC bulbs but it's actually quite difficult to get a normal style ES bulb. ES candle bulbs are more common. ES CFL bulbs are still almost only available via a lighting shop or a large hardware store (if you're lucky)
The BC versions are very easy to get.

[This message has been edited by djk (edited 10-11-2003).]

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