Voltage Converters vs. Voltage Regulators: What’s the Difference?

use voltage converters

One of the most important elements of using electricity for power is the ability to get the appropriate amount of voltage to the item being powered. The standard voltage of a U.S. home electrical outlet is 120 volts (though it may be as low as 110 volts, depending on the case).1

As voltage can fluctuate and various devices require different voltage amounts to function, it’s important to make sure that the input of electricity to the item is constant and meets its specific voltage needs. That’s where voltage converters and voltage regulators come in.

Voltage Converters

Voltage Converters

A voltage converter is an electrical component that is:

  • Capable of changing the voltage from an input power source to the desired
  • Often used in conjunction with other parts in a power supply.
  • Also commonly sold for use with appliances when traveling, as power input may vary by geographic location or between sources.
    • For world travelers, these are often sold as “travel adapters.”

In most household applications, a power converter takes the voltage from a wall outlet and reduces it to the necessary voltage.

Example: Simran AC-5000

  • 5000 watt capacity with the ability to step up (increase) or step down (reduce) voltage
    • 110V/117V/120V to 220V/230V/240V or 220V/230V/240V
  • Input: 110V/120V or 220V/230V/240V
  • Output: 110V/120V or 220V/230V/240V
  • CE certified
  • Heavy-duty continuous use transformer

Voltage Regulators

Voltage Regulators

Unlike a voltage converter, which seeks to actually alter the voltage amount, a voltage regulator is a piece of equipment that is:

  • Used to maintain a constant level of voltage in a given circuit, regardless of changes to load conditions or input.
  • Found in two types: linear and switching.
    • Linear regulators are generally used to power devices that require little electricity or in situations where the input and output are roughly the same.
    • Switching regulators are much more efficient and can be used for more high-powered applications while maintaining a small size.

Often utilized in electronic and mechanical components like computer power supplies and car alternators to control and maintain the steady output of volts.

Regulators from 110220Volts

A voltage regulator works by comparing the output voltage to the desired reference voltage. Via a negative feedback control loop, the system is continuously able to adjust and correct any voltage errors as they occur.          

Voltage Converters and Regulators from 110220Volts

Whether you need to convert power for a specific appliance or simply keep the voltage steady, 110220volts.com has everything you need to give your electricity-consuming devices the necessary “juice.” Plus, 110220Volts offers great deals on other electronics, including telephones, stereo systems, video tape converters, multisystem TVs, code-free DVD recorders, and much more.

To learn more about our products or ask any specific questions you may have about voltage converters and regulators, contact one of our expert staff today at (800) 827-9978 or visit us in Glendale Heights!


  1. https://www.reference.com/home-garden/standard-voltage-home-electrical-outlet-cafa76cd092e1ee8

Sending Electronic Gifts Abroad? Purchase 110 220 Volt Compatible Ones

Here in the United States, the electricity standard we use for most of our electronic devices is 110 volts. There are a few exceptions, like our dryers and ranges, which use special cords and operate using 220 volts. In foreign countries, electricity standards are all different, including the type of plug used in the outlets.

Converter 110 to 220

If you have family and friends who live abroad, it is important to carefully select the right electronic gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, the holidays, and other special occasions. That being said, always read the detailed descriptions about the products you are considering. Somewhere within the product descriptions, or if you can view detailed pictures of the product, there should be a label, typically on the power supply or where the cord connects to the device.

What you are looking for is the reference’s voltage range for the device. For instance, if you look on the back of your laptop power supply, there should be a line that says “AC” or “Input,” or it may be directly after the model number and may not be on a separate line. However, it will be similar to one of the following examples:

  • 110-220 V 50-60 Hz
  • 110V AC 60 Hz
  • 220V AC 50 Hz
  • 115-230V 50-60 Hz

The main thing you are looking for is to ensure the electronic gift will operate at 220V since this is the electricity standard in most foreign countries. However, there are a few exceptions, like in Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, certain Asian countries, and some countries in South America that also use 110V and similar outlet configurations.

If you are not sure what the voltage standard is in a particular country, it is best to find out ahead of time before sending a gift that someone might not be able to use. Once you know what voltage is used, the next thing you need to do is determine whether a 110 220 converter is required.

The key thing to remember with converters is there are differences. One type is designed to step down or step up voltages for devices that use a lot of electricity, like curling irons, hair dryers, and so on. The other type is designed to step up or step down voltages for devices that have a lower power demand, like your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or electronic razor.

Purchase 110 220 Volt Compatible

To determine what type of converter could be needed with your gift, you need to know how many watts it outputs. Watts can be calculated by multiplying volts times amps, or it is provided in some product descriptions or on the same label you find the volts. If the watts used are less than 50, then you can use the second type of converter; whereas, for any devices rated 50 watts or higher, you’ll need the high-powered converter.

Last, you may also need to order a transformer. The transformer is designed to allow the device to operate on both 50 and 60-cycle systems (Hz). If you are not sure whether you need a converter and transformer to accompany your electronic gift, please feel free to contact 110220Volts at 800-827-9978 for further assistance. Plus, remember to check out our wide selection of small electronic items!

Energy Saving Tips on Vacation

Taking a vacation—it’s lovely, and you may be surprised that it’s the opportune time to reduce energy costs, too. With no one at home to run the air conditioner, watch TV, or constantly use the lights in your home, you will most likely save a bit of money on your next utility bill.

Simply being away will save you money, but there are several additional steps you can take to maximize the amount of money you’ll save. Use these tips to save as much energy as possible while you’re on vacation

preparing for vacation

Heating and Cooling

There’s no reason to keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable 72 degrees Fahrenheit if there’s no one home to enjoy it. If you’re traveling during the summer, you should set your thermostat so that your house is hotter than your normal average temperature. In the winter, set it so that your house stays slightly cooler than your average. Just a few degrees difference for a few days can save you several dollars.

Of course, there is one caveat: If you have pets in your home, you shouldn’t make severe changes to the temperature. Instead, simply adjust the thermostat slightly so that you save money without increasing the risk of harm to your pets.

During the summer months, you’ll save around two or three percent on your typical utility bill for every degree higher your thermostat is set. So, if you normally keep your thermostat at 72 degrees Fahrenheit, and you raise the temperature to 90 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re gone, you’ll save about 32 percent on your utility bill during your vacation. If you prefer, you can turn your air conditioner off completely while you’re away to maximize your savings.

During cold winter months, you can reduce your ambient heating temperature by a few degrees, but be cautious of reducing temperatures too far. Doing so can cause your home to become too cold in the winter, and that can lead to frozen or busted pipes. Set your thermostat lower so that the heat doesn’t kick on as often, but make sure you aren’t setting it below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or turning the furnace off completely.

Hot Water Heater

Did you know that your hot water heater consumes enough energy that it adds up to between 15 and 20 percent of your monthly utility bill? There’s no need for your hot water heater to maintain a supply of hot water while you’re on vacation. Shut your hot water heater off at the breaker to save both money and energy or greatly reduce the maintenance temperature instead. When you get home, turn it back on and wait about an hour before using hot water to make sure it’s properly heated.

Unplug Unnecessary Items

When you have appliances plugged in, they’re drawing energy from the outlet regardless of whether they are in use. To save money while you’re away, make sure everything in your house is unplugged. This means electronics, lamps, smartphones, cordless phones, and yes, appliances, too.

It’s also a great time to clean out your fridge. Get rid of as much food as you can, and set your refrigerator’s temperature a bit higher while you’re away. If you’ll be away for an extended period of time, unplug it completely; just make sure you stick baking soda in the fridge, first, and prop the doors open to prevent odors. If you are planning to unplug it, make sure that all food has been removed from the fridge and freezer to prevent a nasty surprise when you return.

Saving Tips on Vacation

When preparing for vacation, you probably think about things such as packing a step up or step down voltage transformer to ensure your electronics charge properly while you’re traveling. While it’s good to be prepared, you don’t want to concentrate on packing so much that you forget about preparing your home.

The information in this article is an excellent reminder to focus on both your needs while away and your needs at home. For more information on all types of voltage regulators, feel free to browse our site for the latest products to help you as you travel around the country, or around the world.


Essentials for a Move to Asia

When you plan a move to Asia, you may find that you need to stay in a hostel or travel before you secure work and lodging. Because of this possibility, planning a move to this faraway land should always include packing a backpack with necessities.

There’s nothing worse than planning a stay at a hostel only to discover that you have no way to charge your cell phone because you don’t have a voltage converter, or even suddenly realizing that you’ve forgotten medication back home. These essentials should always be high on your list when traveling to areas like Asia or other international countries.

Traveling to Asia

Importance of Travel Locks

Whether you take advantage of a locker or safe deposit box at a hostel, or you simply want to secure your bag at the airport, it is important to keep several thin travel locks on your person at all times. Securing your belongings is very important in a hostel community with a lot of people coming and going. This also means that a locking backpack or bag is going to be important. No matter how many pockets and zippers a bag has, if you can’t lock it then it’s not a good choice for traveling through Asia.


A battery-operated or rechargeable headlamp is an excellent companion when staying in a hostel, and it can be of benefit while riding a train or flying, too. They enable you to see what you’re doing without using a large light or disturbing other travelers. This also comes in handy when you have to read a map or locate something outdoors after dark. More importantly, some hostels have outdoor bathrooms, and your headlamp will help you find your way.

Toiletry Bag and Towel

A good toiletry bag with a handle will keep your most important supplies dry. Fill it with items like extra toilet paper, feminine supplies (if applicable), soap, shampoo, and baby wipes for a quick and portable hygiene kit. This also makes hostel showers quick and convenient.

Always carry your own towel, too; many places don’t provide them. Even if they do, the cleanliness of said towels may be questionable (towels are particularly high-risk for bedbugs). Flip-flops are also an essential item for showering hygiene and will ward off Plantar warts. Avoiding germs is very important. The more of your own items you have on hand, the less chance you have of encountering germs and other unsavory bugs along the way.

Don’t Leave Home Without Your Travel Sheet

Also known as a sleeping liner, a microfiber travel sheet is ideal for helping you feel comfortable. Sometimes just knowing that you’re sleeping on a clean sheet is enough to help you relax. Most come in the form of a lightweight, airy sheet that folds up small enough to pack into a purse, bag, or backpack. Wrap it securely around your body while flying, at the hostel, or even while taking public transit to keep warm and snug.

Alarm Clock

Sure, it would be less hassle to just use your cell phone, but some hostels don’t have outlets near the bed, while others don’t have outlets at all. A foldable travel alarm clock is the best bet if you’re concerned about getting up at a specific time. Resting in a hostel is kind of a gamble, anyway, as they can be quite noisy, and travel is exhausting, so, when you finally do sleep, you could potentially miss a quiet smartphone alarm.

Travel Adapter

Whether your hostel provides an outlet close to your bed or not, eventually you are going to need to charge your electronics. If you purchase an international voltage adapter, look for a device with a built-in surge protector. This will keep you from having to buy new electronics before you even get settled in Asia. Visit 110220Volts today to find the best travel adaptors for your big move.

Travel Adapter

Five Tips for Hailing a Cab Overseas

Your plane ride isn’t the end of your journey when you’re traveling to foreign countries. You’ll also need to arrange for transportation to the sites you’d like to see when traveling abroad. Whether you plan to visit the Vatican or take a tour of Buckingham Palace, you’re likely to need taxi service.

Taxi service

For U.S. travelers looking for a ride while visiting overseas, these tips can help:

  • Know your host country’s tipping protocol – Do a little research and find out how much and whether you should tip. In some countries, generous tips are expected, and travelers who don’t tip may be in for some less than pleasant interactions with cabbies. In other countries, cab drivers don’t take tips and may be offended by an offer. Make sure you know the local customs.
  • Be aware of scams – In some countries, cab scams abound. Unscrupulous cab drivers may push you toward going to destinations other than your desired restaurant or club because competing businesses have paid them to direct travelers their way. Others may take advantage of foreign tourists’ lack of knowledge of the area to run up fares. Still others may be involved in even more dangerous activities, such as setting up tourists to be robbed. Be wary and always trust your gut.
  • Use cab hailing apps – By using Uber, Gett, Halio, and other cab hailing apps, you can avoid some of the pitfalls of taking a cab in an unfamiliar country. You can easily schedule a trip on the app and quickly have a cab at your location to pick you up. Many cab hailing apps have rating systems that let you know how reliable cab drivers are, so you can better pick your service provider.
  • Carry cash – While some cabbies will take plastic, many will not. Even if they do, you may incur higher charges for using your credit or debit card overseas. Having cash, particularly local currency, is always a good idea when traveling abroad, especially in less tech-friendly countries and locales.
  • Keep your smartphone charged – If you’re going to use your smartphone to make use of Uber and other cab hailing services, you’re going to need to keep it charged. Before venturing out of your hotel, make sure your phone has a full charge. Also, manage your phone’s power consumption while traveling to ensure you have sufficient energy to make use of ride-hailing apps when you’re ready to return to your hotel.

    Most foreign countries use different voltages and electrical outlets than those found in the U.S. Because the majority of non-U.S. countries use 220-volt outlets, using an American device with them will end in disaster. To safely charge your devices overseas, you need a step-down voltage converter. These devices will fit foreign outlets and allow you to safely charge your 110-volt devices.

Step down converter

110220Volts sells adapters, converters, and transformers that help U.S. travelers stay connected by keeping their devices charged while overseas. 110220Volts offers a wide selection of electronics, including region-free DVD players and much more. For help or a consultation, call 1-800-827-9978.