Laos power converters

What is a power converter?

A power converter for Laos enables travellers to use their 100, 110 or 120 volt electric appliance 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 you are visiting Laos from another country check that the device can be used with a 230 volt power supply.

  • A step down power converter [4] is needed if you are visiting Laos from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance won't support 230 volts. See our world power outlets page to discover the voltage is used in your country.
  • You won't need a power converter if you are already using either a single voltage appliance that works with 230 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Normally electrical devices designed for a lower voltage (such as 110 volts) and then used in a 230 volt 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 laptop as these are typically designed for international use and support dual voltage, but you should always always check the device for dual voltage support prior to your journey.
  • When powering appliances which draw more power or generate heat (such as curling irons and hair straighteners) 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 230 volt Lao power outlet.
  • It will be more cost effective to purchase a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than trying to bring a much heavier power converter to Laos just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • Read these comprehensive guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, hair straighteners and hairdryers with a Lao power outlet which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

Will I need a power converter for Laos if I'm visiting from Canada?

The 230 volts from a plug outlet in Laos is different to a US outlet, therefore please use a if your charger or appliance isn't dual voltage.

What converter do I need for Laos?

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

What voltage does Laos use?

Laos uses 230 volts in their 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 dryer

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

One way to see if your appliance is single voltage or dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the charger or on the appliance itself, typically near to where the power cord goes. This location will depend on the make or model of your appliance, it could also be written on the box.

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

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laos - Lao Wikipedia web 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, estimated price C$60-C$70.
  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, around C$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, priced at C$120-C$130.