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Step-Down Voltage Converters

step down voltage convertersAs you may or may not know, the standards for electrical voltage vary from country to country and region to region. Depending where in the world you live, you may find anything from 110 volts to 240 volts being delivered to your home. Since electronics sold locally are always compatible with the local voltage, we never really notice (or need to notice) differences until we travel overseas, relocate, or work abroad. It's during those times of going abroad that the voltage differences play a part in our plans, and therefor we have to be prepared.
 
In United States and the rest of North America (including Canada and Mexico), the standard voltage is 120 volts. All electronics and electrical devices - with the exception of some commercial equipment and machinery - are designed to work on the 120 volt electrical grid. If you're moving from North America to Europe for example, your electronics will not be compatible with the 220 volt standard electricity there. The higher voltage will not only damage your 110 volt devices, but using them can result in fire or electrical shock. There are two options in this situation. The first is leaving your electronics behind and purchasing new items when you arrive in your destination country. The second option is to take your electronics along with you and simply purchase a step-down voltage converter.
 
What is a Step-down Voltage Converter?
A step-down voltage converter is a rather simple device that plugs directly into a wall outlet and changes the voltage from 220 volts (or 240 volts) down to 120 volts. Since the electricity is being decreased, it's called a "step-down" converter because it literally steps the voltage downwards. The opposite converter - which could be used to power European electronics in North America - is called a step-up converter. Voltage converters are affordable, efficient, safe to use, and often more economical than purchasing new electronics and appliances. Not only do step-down voltage converters work for people traveling to foreign lands, but they're also popular among the locals of 220-volt countries who wish to purchase appliances and/or electronics which are only available from 120-volt countries.
 
How Much Do Step-down Converters Cost, and Where Can I Buy One?
Step-down voltage converters are relatively inexpensive. The price and availability generally depends on the size you'll need, and the size you'll need is dependent of the wattage required to run your electronics or appliances. Since a refrigerator uses significantly higher wattage than a LED TV, you'll need a step-down converter with a larger capacity for the refrigerator than you would for a TV. The general rule is to purchase a converter that is rated for 2 to 3 times the wattage of your device(s) to protect them during prolonged use or any electrical surges that might occur. Generally speaking, voltage converters are available in any voltage from 500-watts up to 25,000 watts. The prices vary accordingly, and you can shop a complete inventory of step-down converters here. If you're not sure which style or size you'll need, you can learn more about converters in our Voltage Converter Buying Guide.
 
Step-down Voltage Converters can be purchased both locally and online, but it's important to choose a retailer who has a history of international electronics as they'll be more inclined to identify your specific needs. Once you have the proper type and size of step-up converter for your application, you'll be able to use your electronics safely and efficiently without the risk of damage or injury.