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French Hotel Tip: <Bring Your Own Strong Lightbulbs>

French Hotel Tip: <Bring Your Own Strong Lightbulbs>

Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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French Hotel Tip: <Bring Your Own Strong Lightbulbs>

So says Polly Platt in her book Savoir Flair - &quot;211 Tips for enjoying France and the French&quot;.

&quot;the French have different eyes. The see in the dark. Hense, a 25-watt bulb in the one bedside lamp is customary. If you are in a 4-star, it may have as much as 40 watts.&quot;

So Polly admonishes tourists to pack their own light bulbs.

esp in rural France: &quot;The only light in a simple hotel room in rural France is likely to be a bare bulb hanging from a cord from the ceiling - the bulb will surely be a 'baionette of 25 - maybe 15 watt and too high up for you to reach, and, anyway, difficult to extract.&quot;

Pollyanna Platt published this book in 2000 - but i think she must have writ it in the 1960s?

And i would wonder about overloading the socket with a stronger bulb - could be dangerous?

Actually when in Paris area i usually stay with in-laws so peut-etre this dim bulb thing is true and folks should pack their own light bulbs?

Or is it Polly who is dim-witted here?
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:16 AM
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I didn't think they used the same kind of bulbs in France as the US, but having said that, Polly's tips are silly in regards to France. The fact that bulbs can be dim in hotels is simply true all over the world in all hotels, they do it because it is cheaper. I have noticed no difference at all in this phenomenon in France versus other countries.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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&quot;Or is it Polly who is dim-witted here?&quot;

I think you may be right in suggesting Polly was the dim-witted one. &quot;Was&quot; being the key term as she just passed away... RIP.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:22 AM
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well in fairness to Polly i am plucking perhaps her most outlandish tips from her book - she does give many good tips - but to fool around with inserting a higher watt bulb in perhaps a lower-watt socket i think is not wise.

I do have a reading lamp i can strap on my head - battery thing.

But i would think that most hotels in France these days are motels - Accor type places and these have always had bright lights IME - Polly is talking about a type of hotel with perhaps old wiring, etc.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 09:24 AM
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Polly, may she RIP, gave bad advice.

Do NOT bring bulbs from the US--you can't use bulbs designed for 110 v in light fixtures even if they fit (you'll find generally two types of light fittings in France, one which is the same as US bulbs and one that is bayonet/baionette).

So, if you want to up the wattage, check whether the bulbs in the lamp are screw-in or bayonet type, then get some locally, being careful not to get more wattage than lamp can handle.

As an aside, I took table lamps to the UK from the US and I brought some purchased lamps home with me from the UK. The lamps' wiring can handle 110 and 220 but the lamp bulbs have to be the right ones for the local current.

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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:10 PM
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And just how did Polly recommend carrying these bulbs around in ones luggage so as not to break them? ;^)

More helpful advice would be to know that in many hotels the lights in the stairs and halls can be on timers... if you are too slow you'll get caught in the pitch dark on an unfamiliar staircase! Has happened to me.

And then there's the, to me at least, bizarre English habit of turning off a lamp and then unplugging it for good measure! We walked into a hotel room once in Chester and DW had to hold the door open to get a bit of hall light into the room while I fumbled around searching for a wall socket!

Maybe taking a wind up LED flashlight is a better idea than carry around spare bulbs! ;^)

Rob
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:46 PM
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Anyway, just like in a number of other countries, incandescent bulbs will be illegal in France in about 2 years.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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Will they be illegal or just not buyable?
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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I'm not sure they will be illegal - you just won't be able to buy them any more. I am not going to be arrested for still having a couple of incandescent bulbs in my house. They btw are daylight bulbs - something that low-energy light bulbs don't do well. I am considering stocking up on them before the ban comes in.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 01:11 PM
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We can now buy in the States, so I am sure you can in The Netherlands, low watt bulbs that mimic daylight--not the awful blue light that was about all that was available when they first came out.

They do take awhile to warm up--at first I thought my sight was going, but now we're used to it and pleased with the savings. LED-based aren't readily available here and I believe you'll get them first.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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Why France? Name me a country where the lightbulbs are adequate in hotels other than the ritziest class? Always pack a spare bulb if you are a reader, and always pack an extension cord if you need to use gizmos like chargers and what have you. The oldest tricks in the book, not confined to France.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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Dalai,

Palen was quoting someone named Polly Platt and although I don't want to speak ill of the recent dead, sounds like she was a prat.

Don't know whether or not you live in the States, if you do, sorry you can't pack a bulb to use in France or anywhere in Europe, for that matter.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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&quot; you can't pack a bulb to use in France or anywhere in Europe, for that matter.'

You buy one wherever you are, of course, unless you like smoke and fireworks...
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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I'm not sure this is a function of country - but may be a function of cost of the hotel.

I've stayed in several dozens of hotels in europe and the lighting was always fine (except for one ghastly place in St Pet before the revolution) and there was never a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. Always a selection of lamps - sometimes with overhead lights in the entrance hall or bath. And while they were not always 3-way (50-100-150) they were always fine to read by.

Caveat: we don;t stay in 1 or 2* hotels.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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DH and I both lamented the lack of good lighting in our hotels in Amsterdam and Brussels, and in parts of Normandy and Brittany. Both of us like to read before bed and it was basically impossible. In Paris the lighting was better, but we had to ask several times for a replacement bulb when one went out.
In the US we've occasionally run into the same problem, but not nearly so often. We did find Las Vegas lighting to be rather dim in the rooms, but I'm sure they don't want you there, rather in the casino losing money.
I usually carry a small book light when traveling but somehow it got left out on our last trip. Lesson learned.
And, I ALWAYS take a small flashlight. One mad dash down dimly lit stairs, 14 floors, due to a false fire alarm taught that lesson. Useful for so many other things while traveling, too.
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