New Caledonia power converters - Do you need a converter for New Caledonia?

What is a power converter for New Caledonia?

A power converter allows travellers to use their 100, 110 or 120 volt electrical device with a 220 volt New Caledonian 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?

An expensive and bulky power converter [3] transforms the voltage of 220 volts from a New Caledonian power outlet to work with a non-220 volt appliance, whereas a smaller and more lightweight power adapter (or plug adapter) will change the shape of the plug on your appliance to fit into a power outlet found in New Caledonia.

Do I need a power converter for New Caledonia?

If you are travelling to New Caledonia from a different country please make sure that your device can be charged using a 220 volt power supply.

  • You need a step down power converter [4] if you are visiting New Caledonia from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your device or appliance doesn't support 220 volts. See the WikiConnections world power outlets guide to see which voltage your country uses.
  • You shouldn't need a power converter if you already use either a single voltage appliance that works with 220 volts or one that supports dual voltage.
  • Typically, devices designed to use a lower voltage such as 110 volts and used with 220 volts run the risk of damage to your device, an electrical fire hazard or a blown fuse unless you use a step down power converter [4].
  • You won't need a converter if you are attempting to charge a smaller electrical device such as a cell phone as these are typically dual voltage and designed for international use, but always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • If supplying power to high wattage appliances or generate heat (for example curling irons and hair dryers) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5] to allow it to be used with a 220 volt New Caledonian power outlet.
  • Investing a smaller lightweight dual voltage travel appliance should be more cost effective and practical than carrying a much heavier power converter in order to use your existing domestic appliance in New Caledonia.
  • Read these guides on how to use clothes irons, curling wands, flat irons and hair dryers in New Caledonia which includes guides on some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What converter do I need for New Caledonia?

You will need to buy a step down power converter [4] to use any 100-120 volt appliance with a 220 volt New Caledonian power outlet.

How to convert 220 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 220 volt New Caledonian 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 New Caledonia before plugging that into a New Caledonian 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 220 volt New Caledonian 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.

What voltage is used in New Caledonia?

New Caledonia uses 220 volts in their standard power outlets.

What voltage is my device?

Dual voltage hair straighteners

What voltage is my device?

The easiest way to tell if a device is single voltage or dual voltage is to look for either a sticker or numbers printed on the existing charger, or on the unit itself, normally on the rear or near to where the power cord goes. The location will depend on the make or model of your unit, it could also state in the instruction manual or on the box.

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

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Caledonia - New Caledonian country entry on wikipedia.
  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 USD (£100-£110 GBP / 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, costs under $100 USD (£80-£90 GBP / C$120-C$130).
  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 USD (under £110 GBP / under C$130).