Thursday, July 26, 2007

European Electricity

Wow! European electricity is crazy! Well not really; I just needed a powerful first line to entice you to continue reading. But don't worry, I'll keep this post short. Despite how boring this topic is, and how much time I wasted researching, it is useful information for if you are bringing any electronics to Europe.

I'll start off by briefly talking about electricity. Around the world, electricity is classified by a voltage and a frequency. For residential purposes the voltage is between 100V and 240V at 50Hz to 60Hz. North America is 120V at 60Hz and Europe is generally 220V to 240V at 50Hz. Check the following link for a listing of all countries:

Voltage, Frequency, and Socket

It may sound complicated but a lot of electronic companies make their products compatible with a range of voltages and frequencies. You will need to check the power label on your electronics and compare it to the requirements of the countries you are visiting. For example, the picture below shows that my Canon battery charger will work on 100V to 240V and 50Hz to 60Hz. If an electronic fails you will need to buy a power converter.

Note: my iPod, Canon camera, and electric shaver do not need a power converter. However, I will still need socket adapters. Refer to the top link for the list of countries and their respective sockets.

Well, that's about all you need to know about European electricity. Here is another website that I found useful:

Electricity in Europe by

Update (29/07/07): I just bought my adapters and it was a lot easier than I expected. I came in with a printout of each adapter I would be needing for each country. However, it turns out that there is really only 2 types needed for European travel; 1 for the UK and 1 for the rest of Europe. So, basically I was worrying about these adapters for no reason. I bought it from The Source (used to be Radio Shacks) and it comes in a nice light and compact set with 3 adapters (the other for North America/Australia).

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