How to Choose Voltage Converters for Traveling
If you're planning an overseas trip, you may have been warned that you can't use your electronics or electrical appliances overseas. Because electrical standards differ from one region to another, appliances and devices designed to operate in one region may not work if you plug them into the outlet in another region. Voltage converters and voltage transformers convert the electricity from the outlet so that your electrical item will work without being damaged.
Step Up or Step Down?
There are two basic standards of electricity delivery in the world. North America and a few other parts of the world deliver electricity from the outlet at 110-120 volts. The rest of the world delivers electricity from the outlet at 220-240 volts. If you look at the back or bottom of your electrical device, you'll find a label that tells you if it needs 110v or 220v current. If your device is 110v and the electrical outlet is 220v, you need a step down converter. If your device is 220v and the outlet is 110v, you need a step up converter. Or, to put it more simply, if your country uses 110v and you're traveling, you probably need a step up converter. If your country uses 220v, you probably need a step down converter.
Voltage Converter or Voltage Transformer?
Voltage converters and voltage transformers both change the voltage of the electricity from the outlet, but they do it in different ways. Voltage converters change the voltage by essentially chopping it in half. That works fine if you're powering an appliance like a hair dryer or an electric fan. Consumer electronics like laptops, cell phones and other things that rely upon electrical circuit boards need the voltage to be transformed in a different way. If the device you're powering up is powered by electrical circuit boards, a voltage converter could damage it. In that case, you need a voltage transformer.
Voltage converters only work with electrical appliances. Voltage transformers work with any electrical or electronic device. If you're not sure which one you need, choose a voltage transformer.
The Smart Choice
These days, you can buy step up and step down voltage converter transformers - nifty all-in-one devices that do it all, often completely automatically. You just plug them into the wall and plug your devices into the voltage converter and everything works the way it's supposed to.
A Note About Wattage
The other decision you have to make is how much wattage your voltage converter should be able to handle. In this case, more is usually better. You can never have too much wattage capacity, but you can certainly have too little.
To estimate what you need, check the labels on the backs of the devices you want to plug in at the same time. Add up the wattages listed. Add another 25% for a safety margin. That's how many watts the voltage converters you're considered should be able to handle.
If you travel with your electrical/electronic devices, voltage converters can make your life much easier. You'll find some great deals on voltage converters and voltage transformers if you shop online.
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About the Author
+Chris Robertson is a published author of Majon International. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 (Sat Mar 31 2012) Majon International. Majon International is one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing and internet advertising companies on the web. Visit their main business resource internet marketing web site at: http://www.majon.com