How Safe Are Your Electronics in England?
You see, England’s electrical standards are different than those in the United States, and you will not be able to simply plug your battery charger into the wall.
Recommended US to UK electrical adapters listed below.
Here is a comparison of the two electrical standards:
- United States: 120 volts, 60 megahertz, type A & B plugs
- United Kingdom: 230 volts, 50 megahertz, type G plugs
- Electrical devices are those things that use heating elements or mechanical motors. This will include your hair dryer, electric toothbrush, and your electric shaver.
- Electronic devices are those things that use chips, circuits, or electric motors. This will include your MP3 player, your camera, your cell phone, your computer, and your battery charger.
As you will learn, it’s likely that your electronic devices will operate in the UK with an adapter plug. However, your hair dryer might be completely incompatible with the voltage standard and therefore inoperable.
Therefore, you must ask yourself two questions:
- Is it absolutely necessary that I bring this device? For example, your hotel may well provide a hair dryer. This would therefore eliminate a potential problem.
- What does your device’s power label say?
- Single voltage would read 120V. Household kitchen appliances like coffee makers, toasters and blenders are typically single voltage. This is usually not the sort of thing you are going to take on a trip.
- Dual voltage would read 110V/220V, and the device may have a switch to toggle between the 2 voltage inputs. This is common on hair dryers.
- Multi-voltage would read 100 — 240V. This is common on battery chargers and AC transformers for many modern portable devices like laptop computers. The example above is of a multi-voltage device that will operate on a voltage supply between 100V and 240V.
As you can see in the information listed on the back of my camera’s battery charger (above), it is a multi-voltage device (100-240V), and can accept 50/60 Hz. Therefore, my battery charger will work just fine in the UK, I will only need an adapter plug to accommodate the type G plugs used in England.
If you have a single voltage device that accepts only 120V, then it will not operate in the UK without a converter or transformer. A converter is for use with “electrical” devices and a transformer is for use with “electronic” devices.
If possible, eliminate devices that might require a converter or transformer. If that isn’t possible, then you will need to invest in one or the other, or possibly both.
A quick inspection of our electrical and electronic devices found all of them to be multi-voltage and operable in the UK with the proper adapter plug.
Recommended Electrical Adapters for Travel to England
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s what we recommend that you bring with you when you visit the UK:
If you’re like us, you are going to have a lot of things to power up and charge each night. Each of our recommended adapter plugs will accomodate two US plugs, and our recommended travel power strip will accomodate four US plugs.
Keep one adapter plug in the bathroom, and use the other adapter plug to power up your power strip. This will allow you to plug in five devices, and thereby accommodate your cell phone, battery chargers, and computer all at the same time.
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