Travel Power Adapters: How to Choose?

How to Choose Electricity power Adapters, Converters and Transformers?

Travel Power Adapters

Are you planning to travel internationally and want to take items that require electricity? In most cases, you’ll need only an adapter plug; in some cases, you’ll need a voltage converter or transformer, too.

Travel Power Adapters: How to Choose?

Adapter Plugs

All over the world, there are different kinds of electrical wall outlets. Unless your destination country has the same outlet configuration as your home country, you’ll need an adapter. Adapter plugs do not convert electricity, they simply allow your device’s plug to fit into the foreign outlet.

Travel Power Adapters: How to Choose?

For example, If you’re traveling outside of North America, you’ll most likely need an adapter plug.

How to Determine if You Need a Transformer or Converter

The label on your device will help determine if a voltage converter or transformer is necessary. This label may be as bolow:

a) affixed directly to the back of the device;

b) on the AC transformer box of the power supply lead; or

c) molded into the plastic on the plug. It is often in very small print.

The INPUT line contains the key information—whether the voltage (V) is single, dual or multi.

Single-voltage items have a small voltage range (such as 100–120V). These small ranges are designed to accommodate voltage fluctuations only and will not accommodate a 220V power supply. Single-voltage devices include older appliances, such as hair dryers and irons.

Dual-voltage devices use a slash to separate the 2 voltages. Example: 120V/240V. Common dual-voltage devices include newer hair dryers, electric shavers and toothbrushes, irons, coffee makers and tea kettles. These do not require a transformer or converter.

Multi-voltage items use a dash to indicate the range of voltages. Example: 100–240V. Common multi-voltage devices include laptops, e-readers, tablets, smartphones, cell phones, MP3 players, cameras and battery chargers. These do not require a transformer or converter.

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