There’s a big difference between power adapters and power converters, and the difference can fry your electronics. An adapter merely changes the physical style of plug from one type to another. A converter changes the voltage of power for your device. We recommend purchasing a power converter that has multiple adapter plugs.
In the United States and Canada, we typically use Type A (ungrounded) and Type B (grounded) plugs whereas in Israel Type H and Type C, the “Europlug”, are used. A power adapter will merely change your Type B plug into a Type C plug, for example, but it will not change the voltage of the outlet to match your device. For that, you’ll need a power converter.
A power converter changes the voltage of the outlet to match your device. In the United States and Canada, the standard voltage is 120 V at a frequency of 60 Hz, but in Israel it’s 230 V at 50 Hz. If you plug a device that is expecting 120 V into an outlet that’s delivering 230 V, it would obviously overload the device.
Example: Laptop Power Supply
To determine what your device needs, look at the power input requirements of your device. I’ve included an image for a power supply from a common laptop manufacturer. Notice the requirements: INPUT 100-240V ~ 50-60Hz. A power converter is unnecessary for this laptop since its input could directly handle the 230V at 50Hz. You only need a power adapter for this laptop power supply.
What’s It Mean for You?
Thankfully, like the example, the majority of modern electronics are dual-voltage (120/240V) or multi-voltage (100–240V), but you have to have a power converter for any single voltage electronics.
- Single Voltage (120V): Older irons and hair dryers do need a converter.
- Dual Voltage (120/240V): Newer hair dryers, razors and toothbrushes do not need a converter. See the input requirements on the device.
- Multi Voltage (120-240V): Cell phones, laptops, tablets and cameras do not need a converter.
Most hotel rooms are equipped with irons and hair dryers. Minimally, you’ll need a power adapter, but we would recommend purchasing a power converter that has multiple adapter plugs.
If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments below or message us on Facebook.