If you're planning a vacation or holiday in North America, it's important to be prepared. Generally, you'll need to arrange for airline tickets, hotels and any activities you plan to pursue - but what about your electronics? Many people venture overseas to foreign countries each year without considering how - or if - they'll be able to use their electronics at their destination.
The standard electrical voltage varies from country to country and from region to region around the globe, often making it difficult to use electronics and personal devices while you're traveling. For example, Europe uses a standard of 220 volts while North America uses 110. What this means is that all electronics sold in Europe are designed to work only with 220 (or 240) volt electricity, and all North American electronics are designed only for use with 110 (or 120) volts. Any attempt to use electronics with the improper voltage can result in damaged devices, fire, or even electrocution.
So what do you do when you're preparing for a special trip to North America and want to take your electronics along with you? Well, it depends what you're bringing. Many cell phone and laptop computer manufacturers design their chargers for use with any voltage, however, it's important to check the label or voltage information for your device before you travel. Other devices like electric razors, curling irons and hair dryers are usually only designed for a single voltage and will require the use of a voltage transformer for North America.
What Does a Voltage Transformer for North America Do?
Voltage transformers perform a simple but very important task - they transform the voltage up or down (depending on the type of transformer) so you can safely use your electronics in foreign countries. For anyone in a country using 220 volts who plans on visiting North America, a step-up transformer is required in order to use electronics. The step-up voltage transformer boosts the standard 110 volts used in North America up to 220 volts, meeting the voltage that your electronics were designed for and allowing you to use them without worry.
What size Voltage Transformer Do I Need for North America?
The size of the transformer depends on the number of watts your devices use. Most cell phones and electric razors use a rather low wattage. People who only plan to travel with these types of personal electronics will usually be fine using a travel voltage transformer. If you plan to bring your laptop, hair dryer, radio, Blu-ray Player or anything similar that uses a higher wattage, you'll need to purchase a step-up voltage transformer that has a wattage which is equivalent (or higher) than the wattage used by your device. For example, to use a curling iron rated at 800 watts, you will need a minimum of 800 watt set-up voltage transformer. It's recommended to use a transformer rated for double the wattage of your devices to protect against power surges or voltage fluctuations.
Buying a Voltage Transformer for North America
For more information on purchasing a voltage transformer for North America, visit our Voltage Transformer Buying Guide. It will expelling everything you need to know about choosing the proper transformer for your specific needs. You can also learn about foreign plug adapters to ensure you have the proper plug to fit the electrical outlets in North America.
As specialists in international travel and foreign relocation, 220 Electronics has over 35 years of experience in dealing with electronics and voltage transformers. We also sell a variety of voltage transformers in all sizes, from 50 volts to 25,00 volts. Be sure to purchase your voltage transformer from a reputable seller and be sure you're purchasing the correct size and type to avoid any complications during your travels! Enjoy your trip to North America.