Voltage Transformers vs Converters

What’s the Differtence Between a Voltage Converter
and a Voltage Transformer?

Not all electrical outlets output the same voltage throughout the world. Some countries have 220-240V running from their walls; while others have 110-120V. Meaning, you’ll need either a converter or a transformer for your single voltage devices when traveling to new countries.

Determine if your electronic device is single voltage or dual voltage because if it’s dual voltage, you may not need to worry about a voltage converter or transformer all together.

Check out the Voltage Converter Guide to figure out how to select correct size voltage converter or transformer.

Stepping Up vs Stepping Down

Both converters and transformers “step down” or “step up” the voltage from an outlet to power your device.

  • Stepping Down: takes higher voltage (220-240V) from the wall outlet and makes it lower (110-120V) so that it is safe to power your 110-120V only device.
  • Stepping Up: the smaller voltage (110-120V) is converted to a larger one (220-240V) to power devices from many foreign countries in North America.

Converters vs Transformers

Voltage Converter Guidelines Voltage Transformer Guidelines
Designed for short-term use Can handle continuous use
Uses a solid-state switch and circuit board to convert the voltage in a non-sine wave output - cutting off excess input voltage Designed heartier and heavier depending on the power requirements (watt)
Small converters with high power ratings are not recommended for sensitive electronics (i.e. computers, straighteners, etc.) Built with an actual transformer to output voltage in a sinusoidal waveform, compatible with all types of electronics
Heat resistive products work with voltage converters (i.e. travel irons, water heaters, hair dryers, etc.) Keeps your electronics safe for long periods of time while in use
Light and compact Can get bulky and heavy as you require more power (watt)

Lootking for more?
Below is the full video comparing voltage converters to transformers.

If you’re traveling the world, this means you’ll need to find the right adapter plug. And you can find it at ceptics.com - where every adapter has been made with your safety in mind so that we can connect the world.

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