Laos power converters

What is a power converter?

Power converters allow you to use a 100-120 volt electrical device with a 230 volt Lao power outlet.

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

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

A small, cheap and lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet in Laos, but a heavy and bulkier power converter [3] converts the voltage of 230 volts from a Lao power outlet to work with a non-230 volt appliance.

Do I need a power converter for Laos?

If travelling to Laos from a different country please check that your device will accept a 230 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [4] if you are travelling to Laos from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance isn't compatible with 230 volts. Read the WikiConnections list of world power outlets guide to see which voltage is used in your country.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already own either a 230 volt single voltage device or one that is dual voltage.
  • Typically, electrical devices which are designed to work with a lower voltage such as 110 volts and used in a 230 volt power outlet run a risk of blowing a fuse, damage to your device or even an electrical fire hazard unless a step down power converter [4] is used.
  • You don't need a converter if you are attempting to power a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone or laptop as these are normally support dual voltage and designed for international use, but you should always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example hair dryers or curling irons) then you will need to use a more expensive higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5] to allow it to be used with a 230 volt Lao power outlet.
  • Buying a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance could be more cost effective and practical than trying to bring a much heavier power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read our comprehensive travel guides on travelling with curling wands, clothes irons, blow dryers and flat irons with a Lao power outlet , along with recommendations on affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Do I need a power converter for Laos if I'm travelling from America?

The voltage from a wall outlet in Laos is different to an 110 volt American supply so you need to bring a step down power converter if your appliance or charger doesn't support dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Laos?

You will need to buy a step down power converter [4] to use any 100-120 volt appliance in Laos.

What voltage does Laos use?

Laos uses 230 volts in their normal power outlets.

How to convert 230 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 230 volt Lao 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 Laos before plugging that into a Lao 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 230 volt Lao power outlet.
What is the difference between a transformer and a power converter?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a transformer and a power 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 easiest way to tell if a device is either single or dual voltage is to check for numbers printed on the supplied power plug, or on the unit itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord plugs into. This location might vary depending on the make and model of your appliance and should also state in the instruction manual or on the box.

  • Single voltage devices might have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • 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 normally say a large range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. - Lao Wikipedia web page.
  2. - 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, estimated cost between $90 to $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, between $110 to $120.
  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, between $140 to $150.