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Thread: Packing Christmas boxes - worth bringing lights from US?

  1. #1
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    Question Packing Christmas boxes - worth bringing lights from US?

    Ok, now the holidaze is starting to pass, my mind is back in immigration mode! As I pack up our Christmas boxes, I'm wondering whether it's worthwhile to bring all our strings of lights...they are mostly the new LED style, used indoors for the tree, but we have a few outdoor mini lights that are incandescent-style. Are these expensive in NZ? What kind of power converting setup would we be dealing with, and is it too much of a fire hazard?

    I'm also wondering how well fragile and meltable things travel in the shipping container...I have some snow globes and candles. Would you risk it? It would be nice to bring the specially sized candles for our Swedish angel chimes, but not if they arrive in a slagged heap of wax :-P

  2. #2
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    Check power rating and specs. If those LEDs of yours will accept 240 VAC - usually printed on the LED power supply plug.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Super_BQ :-) I'm just starting to familiarize myself with all the electrical stuff. I imagine there's a limit on how many foreign devices we should have plugged in at any given time...even my kitchen here in California can't handle three countertop appliances working on the same circuit breaker

  4. #4
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    We just moved into our rental house and unpacked our TV from the container shipment. We came from Canada and the Sony TV said it works for 110v. We thought since we packed the TV, may as well plugged it in to see if it blows up (make sure you know where the circuit breaker is before doing that). Guess what, the TV works without a transformer! So, just because the label on the appliance said 110v, it may support 240v. Of course, I won't recommend this method for expensive appliances. We brought a $200 transformer for our digital piano.

    BTW, shipping people really know how to pack stuff. We have a digital piano and they packed them in a custom made wooden crate (costed us $600). We had a few delicate oil paintings too and they wrapped them up in tons of tissues paper, bubble wrap and then put them vertically on a box so all our paintings arrived safely!

  5. #5
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    So, just because the label on the appliance said 110v, it may support 240v.
    Most modern TVs have power supplies that are 'switch mode' type that is very similar to your laptop power adapter or your cellphone charger. If you look closely to the Sony TV fine print on the back of the TV, it may very well say AC voltage between 100 - 250V

  6. #6
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    Yes, we bought few electrical stuffs from amazon which had 110-240V adapters and some like the oral-b toothbrush had only 110v as the specification. So do check the power rating on the adapters before you bring them over.

  7. #7
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    Christmas lights aren't expensive here. For outside we use solar powered ones (easy to spot the Canadian/Americans on any street--we have the Christmas lights!). Starting in late November stores like The Warehouse and Mitre 10 and Bunnings will all start running sales for Christmas lights--if they seem too expensive wait a few days.

    However...most of the Christmas tree decorations are cheap and nasty. If you like glass, ceramic or other nice decorations bring 'em yourself

  8. #8
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    Thank you guys, good to know about the TVs and other adapters! And nice to hear that Christmas lights wouldn't be too expensive to replace :-) I hope they have the LED ones instead of incandescent bulbs, since LED is so much cheaper to leave on, and safer too.

  9. #9
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    Re: Candles: regular parrafin are ok with bio security, but when we moved to NZ from Hawaii in 2006 I was very careful not to bring anything that might have beeswax in it. I didn't want to have any troubles getting through bio inspection. Anyting that has come in contact with beekeeping or bees is not recommended to bring. Also, the shipping containers can get very hot sitting in the sun and passing over the equator if your container is the one on top.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juniper View Post
    It would be nice to bring the specially sized candles for our Swedish angel chimes, but not if they arrive in a slagged heap of wax :-P
    I brought candles, they did not melt.

    However, you can get them in NZ. I shop at https://www.safka.co.nz/ and https://www.swenztaste.co.nz/ for my Christmas goodies. Where are you moving to? There is a Swedish bakery in Nelson where I also purchase things for Christmas.

    I don't think there will be lights that have adjusting voltage. I'm pretty sure that you won't' be able to use them and the price of a transformer would be the same as replacing them. They aren't quite as cheap as USA but if you buy them after Christmas you'll be fine. If you're moving to a city, this will be no problem. However, I find that the selection is limited in Nelson. Also, the sun doesn't set until quite late at Christmas so I really don't use them as much as I did in the US. The kids put up a string in their room in June and we call them Winter Solstice/Matariki lights.

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