Author Topic: Which countries used bayonet caps..?  (Read 739 times)
MissRiaElaine
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Which countries used bayonet caps..? « on: August 01, 2018, 08:34:46 AM » Author: MissRiaElaine
It occurred to me not long ago that the UK is one of the few countries in the world that use the BC (bayonet) cap. I know that France once used it, although whether they still do I'm not sure, as I haven't been there for a while.

Do/did any other parts of the world use BC caps..? Also the use of the 3-pin variant (B22d-3) for low wattage mercury lamps seems to be confined to the UK, did anyone else use these..? It always struck me as eminently sensible to use a cap that could not be fitted to an ordinary lampholder, but with E27 (ES) caps that is exactly what can and has happened, resulting in rapid and possibly spectacular lamp failure  Shocked

So, who else uses/used the good old bayonet cap..?
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Ria in Aberdeen

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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 09:31:18 AM » Author: Beta 5
I think Australia uses BC caps.
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MissRiaElaine
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #2 on: August 01, 2018, 09:34:38 AM » Author: MissRiaElaine
I think Australia uses BC caps.
Sounds about right, what with them being a colonial outpost and all that  Tongue Cheesy

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Ria in Aberdeen

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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 12:36:01 PM » Author: Medved
I would guess only the former British empire.
The reason for not using Edison caps were the British Swan patents (invented as a way to go around Edisons patents) on the BC, so using it instead of the E cap meant the patent royalty money stayed within the British empire.
For other countries this was no difference - in any way they had to pay abroad, so the simpler (and probably cheaper royalties) won.
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MissRiaElaine
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 12:39:07 PM » Author: MissRiaElaine
I would guess only the former British empire.
Possibly, but I know France did use them at one time. I used to have a 130V lamp I bought in France at a time when they used that voltage in some places as well, that was a BC cap. Unfortunately it got thrown out accidentally many years ago  Sad
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Ria in Aberdeen

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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #5 on: August 13, 2018, 03:51:27 PM » Author: James
In the introduction of the Lamp Cap Standard, IEC 61, there is a list of countries and their preferred lamp caps.  It was last updated November 1999 and at that time B22d and B15d were listed as active for the following regions:

Algeria, Antigua, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Borneo, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, British West Pacific, British West Africa, Brunei, Channel Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, France (north only), Gambia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Iraq, Ireland, Isle of Man, Kenya, Kuwait, Lesotho, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Montserrat, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Northern Ireland, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, St Bartholomew, St John, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Tanzania, Tuvalli, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Western Samoa, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

So there you go!  Incidentally the reason for using bayonet caps in some regions is not related to patents - the British manufacturers also freely offered Edison screw lamps, and indeed it was Joseph Swan's younger brother Alfred Swan (who worked for GE in USA) who invented the modern screw cap.  Instead there was a debate that raged for many years over which cap type was technologically superior, safer, and cheaper / easier to manufacture.  The fact that both continued for so long is evidence there is almost no difference, but gradually the screw caps have won (looking to earlier versions of the standard, most of Europe used to prefer the bayonet cap).

It was originally argued that Edison screw caps are superior in terms of the quality of electrical contact, but had the drawback that they can work loose over time under conditions of vibration, and are potentially lethal if the cap shell is touched while screwing into a lampholder in which the live is connected to the shell.  Bayonet capped lamps are incontestably superior in terms of vibration resistance (eg their widespread use for automotive lamps, and for German train lighting), but are only recommended for use up to 200W.  They are also more challenging and expensive to properly fuse to avoid cap puncture at end of life, and during manufacture because of the risk of internal leadwires touching the cap shell - which could electrify an entire luminaire, since brass lampholders were typically connected directly to the metal chassis of a luminaire.  Since the 1980s screw caps have been proposed as the preferred choice in all new general lighting applications for all countries, but it may take many decades before bayonet-capped lamps completely disappear.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 03:55:35 PM by James » Logged
funkybulb
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #6 on: August 13, 2018, 11:42:25 PM » Author: funkybulb
USA use BC15d caps in exit signs and sewing machines
and BC15s cap is more common.
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #7 on: August 14, 2018, 05:30:44 AM » Author: MissRiaElaine
Thanks James, as always you're a mine of information Smiley

Given that as you say it was a member of the Swan family who invented the screw cap, it's intriguing that it has come to be known as the Edison screw cap..!
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Ria in Aberdeen

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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #8 on: August 16, 2018, 04:50:06 PM » Author: James
Edison invented the first screw caps, hence the name - Alfred Swan just went on to improve it.  His only credit was to have the date of his patent stamped into the rim of many older American lamp caps from about 1908-1920s.

Funkybulb, yes that is also true.  The list above was mainly intended to refer to countries where bayonet caps are the most popular for general lighting A-shape lamps.
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 08:07:19 PM » Author: Willpower2
Yes we do use bayonet sockets. Also our electricity is 230v.
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MissRiaElaine
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #10 on: September 14, 2018, 06:43:50 AM » Author: MissRiaElaine
Yes we do use bayonet sockets. Also our electricity is 230v.
You haven't said where you are.
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Ria in Aberdeen

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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #11 on: September 14, 2018, 06:06:22 PM » Author: Willpower2
Sorry. Australia.
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 01:49:35 PM » Author: Roi_hartmann
There was some very limited use for 230v bayonet cap lamps in Finland as you could get them from most wholesalers (even as stock item) but I have never seen where those were used. Not in general lighting at least. I have few modern GE made ones just for the collection.
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #13 on: September 16, 2018, 06:23:44 AM » Author: Willpower2
We used to run on 250v. Then it got lowered to 240v. And it recently got lowered again to 230v. According to an electrician that i was talking to, there trying to get all the country’s to run on the same volts.
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Re: Which countries used bayonet caps..? « Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 06:42:33 AM » Author: Roi_hartmann
We used to run on 250v. Then it got lowered to 240v. And it recently got lowered again to 230v. According to an electrician that i was talking to, there trying to get all the country’s to run on the same volts.
Finland used to have 220v until late 70's when it was lifted to 230v.
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