Power converters for Kenya - Do you need a converter for Kenya?

What is a power converter for Kenya?

A power converter for Kenya allows you to use a 100-120 volt electrical appliance with a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet.

Also known as: electrical converter, electrical transformer, voltage converter, power transformer or voltage transformer.

What is the difference between a power converter and a power adapter for Kenya?

A heavy and bulky power converter [3] will convert a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet to work with a non-240 volt appliance, but a more lightweight and cheaper power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in Kenya.

Do I need a power converter for Kenya?

If visiting Kenya from a different country please check the device will accept a 240 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [4] is needed if you are visiting Kenya from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance or device doesn't support 240 volts. See our list of world power outlets page to discover the voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a 240 volt appliance or one that is dual voltage.
  • Normally devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage (for example 110 volts) and used in a 240 volt power outlet run the potential risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse.
  • You don't need a power converter if you need to recharge a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are normally support dual voltage and designed for international use, however you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair dryers) then you will need to use a much larger higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5] which allows the appliance to be used with a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet.
  • Purchasing a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance should be more practical and cost effective than trying to carry a much heavier power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our comprehensive guides on using clothes irons, curling irons, hair straighteners and hairdryers with a Kenyan power outlet which includes advice for affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter if I'm travelling to Kenya from America?

The 240 volts from a electric outlet in Kenya is different to a 110 volt US outlet, therefore you will need to use a step down power converter [4] if your charger or appliance doesn't support dual voltage.

What kind of converter do I need for Kenya?

In order to use any 100, 110 or 120 volt appliance in Kenya you need to use a step down power converter [4].

What voltage does Kenya use?

Kenya uses 240 volts in their standard power outlets.

How to convert 240 volts to 110 volts

  1. Use a step down power converter [4] to allow you to use a 110 or 120 volt appliance with a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet.
  2. If the power converter doesn't include the correct shaped plug then it will also be necessary to plug in the power cord from the power converter into a power adapter for Kenya before plugging that into a Kenyan power outlet.
  3. Some power converters include the ability to perform both step up and step down voltage conversions, therefore it may be necessary to manually switch the converter to output the voltage to the 110-120 volt range.
  4. Plug your appliance into the converter and turn the power on, your 110-120 volt appliance can now be used with a 240 volt Kenyan power outlet.
What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a power transformer and a converter?

Converters and transformers are both used to change one voltage to another, but this ambiguity can cause confusion as their purposes are different:

  • Power converters are designed for simple electrical appliances which typically generate heat or use motors such as clothes irons, shavers or hair dryers. Transformers are designed for more complex electronic items such as televisions or games consoles.
  • Buying a power converter is cheaper than buying a power transformer.
  • Power transformers are larger and heavier making them more suited for permanent residential use; for example an expat wishing to use an imported television would need to use a transformer for this purpose.
  • Power converters are more suitable for travellers wishing to bring domestic appliances abroad such as hair dryers or flat irons. However, it is more practical and cost effective to purchase a dual voltage appliance designed for travel rather than a heavier power converter.
  • Power converters are suitable for 2 pin ungrounded appliances, it could be harder to find a converter if you want to use a grounded 3 pin appliance.
  • Transformers can be used constantly however it is recommended that converters are used for no longer than a couple of hours at a time.
  • Shops may sell transformers under the name of converters, for the purposes this guide we will be referring to both converters and transformers as converters.
How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

How can I tell if I have a dual voltage device?

The best method to tell if a device is dual voltage or single voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the existing charger or on the appliance itself, typically near to where the power cord goes. The location might depend on the make or model of your device but should also state in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 120V.
  • Single voltage devices might also have a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 220-240V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a larger range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenya - Kenya Wikipedia page.
  2. http://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/ - International Electrotechnical Commission World Plugs
  3. Power converter - A step up step down power converter converts 110-120 volts up to 220-240 volts and 220-240 volts down to 110-120 Volts, under $100.
  4. Step down power converter - A step down power converter allows a 100-120 volt appliance to be used in a 220-240 volt power outlet, costs under $100.
  5. Heavy duty power converter - A 5000 watt heavy duty step up and step down power converter used to convert voltages for domestic appliances, power tools, televisions, heating appliances and motors, priced between $160 to $170.