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What is a Voltage Converter?
A voltage converter (also known as a power converter or voltage transformer)is an electric power conversion device which is used to change the electrical output of a power source. The most common use for these converters is to change the voltage from 220 volts down to 110 volts, or from 110 volts up to 220 volts. When an electronic device, appliance or power tool was built for a specific voltage which is not available, the only way the device can be used is by converting the power up or down to the correct level. The need for a voltage converter often arises for people who travel abroad or take overseas vacations and bring electronics along with them.
The video above contains helpful, detailed information about international voltage differences as well as the various types of converters. Please watch the video and then read the information below to have a complete understanding of how a voltage converter works, the different types of converters, and how to identify the proper converter for your specific needs.
What is a Voltage Stabilizer and Do I Need One?
In certain countries, the power supply’s voltage can fluctuate up and down, much more than just a few volts. These are called “brownouts”, and they are very common in some areas. A brownout occurs when the regular voltage drops far below normal, causing lights to nearly dim out. For electronics and appliances, this is worse than if the voltage went completely out. Many times when a brownout happens, this low voltage condition rises back to normal with a sudden surge of power (watts) so strong that it can damage electronics and appliances.
To help you protect valuable electronics from sudden power surges, we offer high quality converters containing built-in voltage stabilizers. Our Type 4 and Type 5 voltage transformers keep the output voltage at a stable level regardless of how much the input voltage varies. If conditions cause extreme fluctuations in voltage, the converter will simply shut down, preventing any damage to your equipment.
What is dual voltage?
Some electronics are designed so they can be used in different countries. This means they’ll be labeled as ‘dual-voltage’. Dual voltage electronics have two options: 110-120V and 220-240V. They are ideal for travel because they are safe to use at home and abroad, too.
Some electronics, such as newer Macbooks and iPhones have dual voltage that automatically adjust in their destination. However, you may need to adjust the voltage manually by moving an external switch in certain items such as hair tools.
If your device isn’t dual voltage, you’re better off leaving it at home. However, most modern devices such as phones and laptops already have a dual voltage capability built in.
Best Travel Adapter with Multiple Power Ports: Travel Power Adapter Kits by Ceptics
Can I use my laptop or tablet abroad?
Check the voltage on your product. If it says 110-120V then you’ll need an outlet converter to use it (and vice versa) but a travel converter can be a large heavy object to pack. Ideally, if your item reads 100-240V, you’re good to go!
Most laptops have this type of voltage so you are usually able to use them worldwide. To be sure, check the power supply or search online to read your specific devices spec details. If not, keep in mind your converter vs adapter needs.
Choose a travel adapter like this one, which allows you to charge your laptop, tablet, and phone all at once!