French Guiana power converters - Do I need a power converter for French Guiana?

What is a power converter?

A power converter for French Guiana allows travellers to use a 100-120 volt electric device with a 220 volt French Guianese power outlet.

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

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

An expensive and heavy power converter [3] will convert the voltage of 220 volts from a French Guianese power outlet to work with a non-220 volt device, however a more lightweight and smaller power adapter (or plug adapter) changes the shape of the plug on your appliance to slot into a power outlet in French Guiana.

Do I need a power converter for French Guiana?

When you are visiting French Guiana from a different country double check your device will accept a 220 volt power supply.

  • You will need a step down power converter [4] if you are visiting French Guiana from a country that uses 100-120 volts and your appliance won't support 220 volts. Read our WikiConnections list of world power outlets page to find out the voltage your country uses.
  • You don't need a power converter if you already own either a single voltage device that works with 220 volts or one that is dual voltage.
  • Devices designed to use a lower voltage such as 120 volts and then used with 220 volts run the potential risk of an electrical fire hazard, a blown fuse or damage to your device unless you use a step down power converter [4].
  • You don't need a converter if you need to power a smaller electrical device such as a tablet or cell phone as these are normally designed for international use and dual voltage, however always always check the device for dual voltage support first.
  • When powering high wattage appliances or generate heat (such as clothes irons and hair straighteners) then you will need to use a bulkier higher wattage heavy duty power converter [5].
  • It will be more cost effective to use a robust lightweight dual voltage travel appliance than paying for a heavier power converter just to use your existing domestic appliance.
  • For more information read these guides on travelling with curling wands, clothes irons, hairdryers and flat irons in French Guiana which includes recommendations for some affordable dual voltage alternatives.

What converter do I need for French Guiana?

You need to buy a step down power converter [4] which allows you to use any 100-120 volt appliance in French Guiana.

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

Voltage converter

What is the difference between a converter and a transformer?

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 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 French Guianese 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 French Guiana before plugging that into a French Guianese 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 French Guianese power outlet.

What voltage is used in French Guiana?

French Guiana uses 220 volts in their normal power outlets.

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

Dual voltage hair dryer

How can you tell if you have a dual voltage appliance?

The best method to see if a appliance is single or dual voltage is to look for a sticker on the existing charger, or on the appliance itself, normally on the rear of the device or near to where the power cord goes. This location might vary depending on the make or model of your unit but could also state in the instruction manual.

  • Single voltage devices could have a specific number - such as 220V.
  • Single voltage devices could also say a small voltage range (around 20 volts) with a dash to accomodate small voltage fluctuations - such as 100-120V.
  • Dual voltage devices will say a large voltage range separated with a slash - such as 110/240V.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Guiana - wikipedia.org page about French Guiana.
  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, priced around £15.
  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, costing £80-£90.
  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, around £15.