Nowadays, with the wide spread of consumer electronics being sold all over the world via the Internet as well as increasing international travel, voltage converters are a necessary fact of life for many. Why are voltage converters needed? Here in the United States we use one electric current, whereas most of the rest of the world uses another. If you travel and bring electronic gadgets with you, or have bought electronic devices made for other parts of the world, you may need a voltage converter or deluxe automatic voltage regulator.
What do They do?
Voltage transformers and voltage converters change their electric current from 220/240 volt (used in foreign countries) to 110/120 volt (used in the USA), which is called a step down. There are step up voltage converters that change 110/120 volts to 220/240 volts and voltage regulator converters that can step up and step down, which are 10-220 volts 50/60 HZ that can be used anywhere. Knowing this can help you determine what kind of transformer or converter you will need to buy to fit your needs.
You will also need to know the correct wattage of any appliance in order to buy the correct converter. Usually this information is easy to find and is either etched into the device or shown on a sticker. The key is to buy a converter that is rated slightly higher in wattage than what is listed on your appliance.
Small vs. Large Gadgets
Keep in mind that cell phones or iPods will require much less wattage than say your laptop computer. If you are going to be using one converter for multiple gadgets make sure it supports the highest rated wattage item that you have. If you are traveling through multiple countries you will also want to buy international adapters plugs.
Other Things to Consider
International conversion standards are different for TVs and DVDs, which use codes. For these you may want purchase a multisystem TV or region code free DVD players. Power conversion can also be an issue when it comes to high-power appliances like motors, compressor and generators. If you are planning on using appliances such as these, invest a bit more in deluxe automatic voltage regulator.
It would be great if the world could get together and just decide to use one voltage, but unfortunately this is not the case. If you want to insure that all your gadgets will function properly anywhere you are, be prepared with the proper voltage converter, deluxe automatic voltage regulator, and foreign plug adapters, and you won’t regret it.