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.
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.
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!