Not all electrical outlets are the same around the world. For example, the United States operates on 110 volts, while countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia mostly operates on 220V outlets.
If you’re planning to leave the country, it’s important to understand the difference between power outputs. Voltage converters are special equipment that can take a higher voltage (220V – 240V) and convert it to its lower counterpart (110V – 120V). Converters can also do the opposite, that is take a lower voltage and make it higher.
These conversion processes are referred to as either stepping up or stepping down, depending on your converter. There are also 240 voltage transformers, which are capable of both step-up and step-down functions.
Converters vs. transformers
Voltage converters are often smaller and lighter, designed for short-term use. They’re the go-to option for travelers who want to use their small heaters, hairdryers, or kettles overseas.
On the other hand, voltage transformers are larger and heavy-duty. They can handle continuous usage without breaking down, keeping electronics safe for longer periods. Additionally, 240 voltage transformers go up to 5000 watts if you require that much power.
Why you need 240 voltage converters or transformers
You don’t want to risk your safety nor your appliance’s functionality. That’s why it’s necessary for you to use a converter or transformer, especially when traveling abroad. Without one, you might end up connecting a 220V appliance to a 110V power supply, and this could result in a very dim lamp or cooking equipment that doesn’t heat up properly.
Meanwhile, if you connect a 110V appliance to a 220V supply, it ends up operating in an over voltage condition. This will lead to damage and possibly burn some components.
Make sure not to run appliances that have a higher wattage than your transformer. It’s best to buy transformers rated at least 3 to 4 times higher than the listed wattage on your device to be safe.