Step down and step up transformers are devices that don’t get the praise they deserve. They’re responsible for ensuring devices that are manufactured elsewhere in the world get the right amount of current in order to operate optimally. If you’re based in Australia and want to use devices that were manufactured for the US market, then you’re going to need a step up converter to take the voltage from 110V or 120V to 220V or 240V. On the other hand, if you’re traveling to the US and want to use devices that were manufactured for the Australian market, you’re going to need a step down transformer converter to take the voltage from 240V or 220V to 110V or 120V.
When traveling between regions that use a different voltage, besides a step up or step down transformer converter, you’re also going to need a plug adapter to ensure nothing happens to your devices. There are 13 different types of plug sockets used around the globe, so matching your plugs with the foreign sockets is also extremely important. When shopping for transformers, there are two important things you need to know – their voltage and wattage.
I briefly mentioned a little something about the voltage in the first paragraph, so now I’ll discuss the wattage. The wattage of a device implies how much wattage it uses. Most travel electronics use wattage in the 20-50 range, but there are some that consume a lot more, such as the heating devices. When buying a converter, you need to know the wattage of the devices you’re going to plug to it in order to buy the right model.
Generally, you want a converter that has two to three times the wattage capacity of the devices you’re going to use, just to be on the safe side. So for example, if the devices you need to be powered are 200W, you should consider a 400W or 600W transformer. When in doubt, always go for a higher wattage converter, simply because you can never be too safe. Speaking about safety, some safety features that are important in converters are voltage stabilizers or surge protectors, which protect against the surge of power that some devices need to start.
You can find many different step up and step down transformers online in a wide range of wattage ratings. As long as you know exactly what you need, you’re going to have an easy time finding what you’re looking for.