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PowerBright VC100J Step-up/Step-Down Voltage Transformer for Japan (100 Watt Capacity)

  • Model #: VC100J
  • Manufacturer: PowerBright (China)
  • Allow 1 business day (M/F) to ship
  • Usually ships from: Wilmington, NC Warehouse
  • Qty orders may require 3-4 days additional lead time
  • Certifications: ISO 9001:2000 Registered, RoHS Compliant, CE Marking


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Unlike most other voltage transformers for Japan, PowerBright transformers can be used as either a step up "booster" transformer or a step down "reducer" transformer. This means a PowerBright transformer will work whether you're bringing a North American 110 volt appliance to Japan, or bringing a 100 volt Japanese appliance to North America.

If you are bringing a U.S. or Canadian 110-120 volt appliance to Japan, you need a step up "booster" transformer. Step up transformers take the 100 volt electricity supplied by Japanese sockets, and convert the voltage up to 110-120 volts for use by the North American appliance. PowerBright transformers do that.

On the other hand, if you are bringing a 100 volt Japanese appliance to the U.S. or Canada where the voltage is 110-120 volts, you need a step down "reducer" transformer. Step down transformers take the 110-120 volt electricity supplied by American and Canadian sockets, and convert the voltage down to 100 volts for use by the Japanese appliance. The same PowerBright transformer will do that too.

PowerBright VC100J Step Up / Step Down Voltage Transformer Features:

  • This voltage transformer can be used in 110-120 volt countries and 100 volt countries.
  • The transformer will convert from 100 volts to 110-120 volts (step up mode) AND from 110-120 volts to 100 volts (step down mode)
  • On & Off switch
  • Fuse protected
  • 2 Spare Fuses Included
  • CE Approved

But do I need a voltage transformer? Or would a plug adapter be enough?
Well, that depends on what you need to plug in. If your appliance's voltage matches the local voltage at your destination, then a plug adapter will do just fine all by itself. But if your appliance is not compatible with the local voltage, that's when a voltage transformer comes in. Voltage transformers actually change the local voltage to a voltage that's suitable for your appliance.

Electrical sockets in Japan usually supply electricity at 100 volts AC. If you're plugging in an appliance that was built for 100 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need.

But plug adapters do not change voltage, so the electricity coming through the adapter will still be the same 100 volts the socket is supplying. North American sockets supply electricity at between 110 and 120 volts. Consequently, North American appliances are generally built for 110-120 volts. But that doesn't mean that your specific appliance isn't already compatible with the Japanese voltage -- it may very well be.

So how do I know whether or not my appliance is compatible with the local voltage at my destination?
Short answer: The only way to know is to check, and there's absolutely no getting around that crucial step. Electricity is nothing to mess around with, and assuming can be bad news. If you're wrong, you could "fry" your appliance, or worse yet, start a fire.

That being said, generally speaking, most modern "digital-age" appliances (especially ones that run on batteries) are being built to be compatible with all worldwide voltages, from 100 volts in Japan to 240 volts in the United Kingdom. This usually includes things like laptops, PDAs, cell phones, digital cameras, digital camcorders, many portable video game devices, digital music players, etc. More and more personal grooming items like hair dryers curling irons, shavers (especially cordless ones) and such are being built to be compatible with multiple voltages as well, but most of them aren't.

"Conventional appliances" like kitchen items, audio/video equipment, vacuum cleaners, lamps and lights, and most bath appliances are not compatible with multiple voltages. Again, the only way to know is to check. A common misconception is that there's any such thing as a "standard" electrical input for appliances. There's not. They're all different.

How to find your appliance's voltage info

Okay, so how do I find this info for my specific appliance?
The electrical input specifications will appear on a label on the appliance itself, or on its charger or AC adapter if it uses one, near where the brand name and model number appear. Look for the word "input." As a last resort, you could check the back of the manual, but 99 times out of 100, it will be on the appliance's or charger's label. The input voltage is usually abbreviated to "V" and it should look something like this:

Input: ~100-240V 50/60Hz 65W -- This means the appliance is compatible with multiple voltages. This item can be brought just about anywhere in the world, and any difference in voltage is basically irrelevant. The appliance (or charger) adjusts itself to whatever voltage it receives. The only issue is whether or not the plug can physically interface with the socket. The appropriate travel plug adapter is all that's needed.

---or--- Input: 115/230V 50/60Hz 200W -- This means that the appliance can be switched between 110-120 volts in North America, and 220-240 volts in other parts of the world. This is common of desktop computers and some hair dryers/curling irons/etc. However, it is not compatible with Japanese 100 volt electricity.

---or--- Input: 120V 60Hz 2.8A -- This means that the appliance is only compatible with a single voltage, in this case, 120 volts. For a 100 volt Japanese socket, then an adapter by itself isn't enough, because travel plug adapters do not change the voltage supplied by the socket. For this appliance to work as intended, the voltage needs to be changed from 100 volts to 110-120 volts by way of a voltage converter or transformer.

Is this transformer big enough to support my appliance?
The transformer you buy must be capable of supporting the amps and/or watts that your appliance needs in order to operate. If the transformer is too small, you will blow the fuse. The model VC100J supports 100 watts. So as long as your appliance is 100 watts or less, this transformer should be fine.

The watts and/or amps that your appliance requires can be found on a label on the appliance (usually on the bottom or back) where the brand name and model number appear. If the appliance uses a charger or AC adapter, the information will appear on that piece. Sometimes this info is molded into the plastic or stamped into the metal, as opposed to a label. Look for something like this: "Input: 110V 60Hz 100W " The "W" number is the watts. For this model transformer, that "W" number should be 100 or below.

Sometimes the label will show amps instead of watts. In that case the information would look something like: "Input: 120V 60Hz 10.0A " If the label lists amps, you can figure out a rough approximation of the watts by multiplying the amps by the volts (the "V" number). Example: 120 volts x 10.0 amps = 1200 watts. In this case, the VC100J would not be big enough to support the appliance. You would need to but a transformer with a higher wattage capacity. PowerBright manufactures transformers that support up to 3000 watts!

Plugging the transformer into the electrical socket:
These PowerBright transformers are wired with a standard U.S./Canadian household plug, and are designed to plug into U.S./Canadian wall sockets. Some Japanese sockets are grounded (meaning they will accept the third, round grounding pin) but most are not. In order to plug into a non-grounded Japanese socket, you would need a plug adapter (our item number WA-6.) You would plug the adapter into the socket, and then plug the transformer into the adapter.

Plugging your appliance into the transformer:
Your appliance will plug into one of the two sockets on the transformer. In the picture above, the socket to the left is the 100 volt output socket. This is where you would plug in your Japanese 100 volt appliance when using the transformer in North America in step down mode (110-120 volt source to 100 volt appliance). The socket to the right is a U.S./Canadian socket, which is where you would plug in your North American 110-120V volt appliance if you are using the transformer in Japan in step up mode (100 volt source to 110-120 volt appliance).

PowerBright VC100J Step Up / Step Down Voltage Transformer Specifications:

  • Capacity: 100 watts maximum
  • Input Voltage: 100 or 110-120 volts
  • Output Voltage: 100 or 110-120 volts
  • Switch: On/Off
  • Fuse Protected: Yes
  • Dimensions (WxLxH): 3.7 x 5.2 x 3.5 in.
  • Weight: 3.52 lbs

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