Buyers Guide For Voltage Converter and Voltage Transformer

Jul 3


Wasim Rangoonwala

Wasim Rangoonwala

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Overview A Voltage converter is a device which changes electricity line voltage from one amount to another. Most countries use electricity at approxim...



A Voltage converter is a device which changes electricity line voltage from one amount to another. Most countries use electricity at approximately 220 volts/50 Hz while United States,Buyers Guide For Voltage Converter and Voltage Transformer Articles Canada and Mexico have electricity 110 Volts/60 Hz. Most of the electronics devices manufactured in US are of 110volts/60Hz cycle and other countries electronics devices are made for operation on 220volts/50Hz cycle.

Two types of voltage converters are available. STEP UP Voltage Converter and STEP DOWN Voltage Converter. A Step-Down converter will take the 220-250 volt current used in most countries around the world and convert it to the 110-volt current used in United States, Canada and Mexico. This is useful to travelers of United States going overseas. A Step-Up converter will take 110 volt current and converts to 220 volt current to make international devices used in the United States.

When traveling to another country, you want to be as prepared as possible when it comes to adaptive equipment, battery chargers and other electrical devices. You should have sufficient information about the electricity voltage supply in destination country.

What is a Voltage Converter?

Voltage Converters are only for use with ungrounded (2-pin) electric heating appliances or those that use a 'universal' motor (Cordless Phones, Battery charger,curling irons, hairdryers, irons, etc.). Most converters are not designed for continuous use and should only be used for short periods of time, 45- 60 minutes. They should be unplugged when not in use.

What is a Voltage Transformer?

Voltage Transformers are used with grounded (3-pin) appliances and can be used with both 'electric' and 'electronic' appliances (electronic devices like radios, TVs and computers.) They can also be used continuously for long periods of time (unlike converters) and at higher wattages. Like converters, transformers can be either 'Step-Up' or 'Step-Down' or 'Both' with a switch to control the direction in which the transformer is working.

How much wattage your device used?

Wattage refers to the amount of electricity used by a device. Travelers need to know the wattage of the device in order to get the right transformer/converter. Most devices have a label showing the wattage. If the wattage is not listed on the label, the voltage and amperage usually are listed and can be used to figure out the wattage using a simple formula. Multiply the voltage by the amperage (amps or A) to calculate the wattage.

Example: An appliance labeled with a voltage of 110 and amperage of 1.5 is 165 watts (110 x 1.5 = 165 Watts)

Plug Adapters

Plug Adapters are devices that allow you to plug a flat-pinned (US) plug into a round-pinned (European/Asian) outlet. However, there are at least 13 different configurations around the world, all needing a different adapter, and some countries have several different configurations. Adapters do not change voltage. You need a converter/transformer to change the electrical voltage. Adapters only change the shape of the plug.

How to select the Right Converter/Transformer for your device?

It is recommended that travelers use a transformer that is rated at least 50% higher watt than that of the appliance with which you intend to use it. For example: A 500 Watt appliance should be used with a transformer of at least 750 Watts. Purchase a transformer that is at least 50% higher than the required wattage.

Travelers will need either a Voltage Converter or Transformer, depending on the type of equipment and a Plug Adapter that is compatible with outlets in the destination country. For more information visit