Voltage Transformer/Converter & Adapter Guide
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International Plug Adapters
Most travel electronics such as laptops, iPod, camera chargers, travel iron, shaver, etc.. are dual voltage which means that these items support both 110/220V and are often marked with 100~240V 50/60 hz rating on their spec labels. These items are designed to operate anywhere in the world and do not require a voltage converter/transformer. However, you'll need a correct plug adapter for the traveling country to connect them in to their sockets. These plug adapters do not convert voltage. We have all kinds of plug adapters for use around the world. There are grounded (three prongs) and ungrounded (two prongs) plugs available for most countries.For easier navigation, type in the name of the country in the search bar on the top left hand corner and press go to see a list of plug adapters available for that country.
Few Things to Remember About Plug Adapters:
- If your item has a switch to select the input voltage (110V or 220V), make sure you set it to the correct voltage before plugging it in. Laptops, iPod and camera chargers do not have a switch they will accept any voltage between the range (100~240V) automatically.
- Always opt for a grounded plug adapter if your item has a grounded plug to avoid any electric shocks due to unstable voltage in some countries.
- Many countries have more than one type of sockets, in this case travel with all types of plug adapters available for that country.
- Remember, plug adapter do not convert voltage. Use them with dual voltage electronics or in conjunction with voltage converter/transformer.
Travel Voltage Converters
Some small electronics such as tooth brush, shaver, telephone, battery charger, portable DVD players, very few laptops, etc.. are only 110V. These items would require a step down voltage converter for use in abroad (220V countries). Since these items do not require as much power, small travel size voltage converters are sufficient enough for them. We have small size travel converters up to 200 watts for small electronics and 1600 watt for heat producing items such as hair dryer and iron. We also have small travel size step up voltage converter for use with 220V electronics in the US or Canada (110V countries).
A quick note about dual wattage (50-1600 watt) travel converters:
These type of converters have two different type of converters built into one unit. At LOW (up to 50W) setting, it uses an AC transformer to converter 220V sinusoidal waveform into a 110V sinusoidal waveform. This is the best approach for a voltage converter and works well for small electronics. However, to handle higher wattage the AC transformer would need to be much bulkier and heavier. Thus, at HIGH (1600W) setting, this converter simply uses a solid-state switch inside to chop off part of the input 220V sinusoidal waveform causing a highly distorted output waveform which is far from an 110V sinusoidal AC. A completely resistive appliance (such as travel iron or water heater) will work just fine regardless of different voltage waveform. But, do not attempt to use an an electronic appliance such as laptop, battery charger, DVD player or curling iron with this distorted 220V waveform, it will damage the item and the converter.
Few Things to Remember When Using Travel Voltage Converters:
- Most travel size voltage converters are not designed for continuous use. Unplug them from the outlet when not in use.
- Make sure that your item's required wattage is less than the maximum capacity of the travel converter. We recommend at least 50% higher wattage converter than your item's required wattage. Certain products "spike" when they are switched on causing the wattage to exceed 2 or 3 times more than the stated wattage.
- Don't forget to get a compatible plug adapter for your country if the plug on the travel converter is incompatible with your country's outlets.
Heavy Duty Voltage Transformers and Regulators
These are designed for continuous use for small to large electronics or appliances. All of our heavy duty voltage converter/transformers are dual way (step up or step down). Voltage regulators that we carry also have a step up/down voltage converter/transformer built in. Voltage Regulators are useful in countries with unstable voltage. Select the correct voltage transformer according to your items required wattage, usually abbreviated with W in the items specs. WATT can also be calculated by multiplying AMP times VOLT (WATT = AMP x VOLT). You may also use power strips with large voltage transformers to connect multiple items at once. We recommend using 250V power strips, do not use standard US 125V power strips with surge protection with voltage transformers in 220V countries.View our voltage converter/regulator feature comparison chart for differences between all the voltage transformers that we carry.
Few Things to Remember When Using Heavy Duty Voltage Transformers:
- Select the correct input voltage in the back of the transformer according to the country's voltage before connecting it the outlet.
- Always use a transformer that is completely grounded.
- Make sure that your item's required wattage is less than the maximum capacity of the voltage transformer. We recommend at least 50% higher wattage converter than your item's required wattage. Certain products "spike" when they are switched on causing the wattage to exceed 2 or 3 times more than the stated wattage.
- Don't forget to get a compatible plug adapter for your country if the plug on the transformer is incompatible with your country's outlet.
- Turn it off when not in use.
For more detailed information regarding voltage differences around the world, visit our complete voltage converter guide. You may also reach us at 847-983-4761 with any questions or for assitance in selecting the correct transformer for your product.