Will my electronic devices work on Bonaire? Do I need a transformer?
Probably the most frequently asked question of new tourists to Bonaire relates to boring old electricity. Will my electronic devices work? Will they get damaged? Are there standard US/Canadian or European sockets or outlets where I’ll be staying? Is a converter or transformer needed? What is the electric current on Bonaire?
Whether from Europe or North America your devices will work
The short answer is YES, your electronic devices will work. But you need to be careful. The electric current on Bonaire is 127-220V/50Hz.
Outlets, converter or transformer…
Most accommodations on the island come equipped with sockets (outlets) that will work for both European and North American visitors. The 127V/50Hz sockets are the exact shape and size as what we normally use in the US and Canada. They have either two prongs if ungrounded or three prongs if grounded. If your appliances have three prongs you may want to travel with two prong adapters since not every hotel will have grounded outlets available. European outlets found here consist mainly of Shuko outlets, round with two prongs found in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. If you plug in an appliance built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter suffices.
But Unplug it!
For guests coming from the US and Canada: Electrical devices like hair dryers and electric shavers made for use in the US generally rated for 110V/60Hz will not be 100% functional with Bonaire’s 50Hz (slower) cycle. This difference in electric current can cause these appliances to overheat and eventually burn out. Transformers can only adjust voltage, not the cycle so they won’t help.
Appliances work but not exactly
At Breezy Bonaire Vacation Rentals we provide a hair dryer for our guests in all apartments. For everything else, like your computer and phone chargers, the only way to know if it’s completely safe to plug them in is to check your device. If the label found on the battery pack or charger of your device reads “input 110-240/V/ 50-60 Hz,” that means your appliance has dual voltage/cycle and you are good to go. For something like a curling iron or hair dryer, because you use it for such a short amount of time it should not have a problem even if rated for 110V/60Hz. A clock such as a clock radio or one found on the face of a microwave oven rated 110V/60Hz will not run the correct time.
Laptops come with universal power supply so don’t worry!
Laptops and phones, along with more and more electronics that people bring along on their travels are now made with a universal power supply. As a result you won’t have issues. But, to be safe check the power cable for that information. We suggest always unplugging already charged up appliances or those not in use.
We occasionally experience power surges
Keep in mind that because Bonaire is prone to power surges, travelers need to protect valuable items like scuba computers, dive cameras, go pros, etc. For extra precaution bring a surge protector (power strip with built in surge protector) from home for use when charging these items.
Converter or transformer for European Guests? Not necessary!
For guests coming from Europe, the discussion is shorter. Standard European current of 220V/50Hz is the same found on Bonaire. European outlets, found in many hotels and vacation rentals work the same as back home. All of our apartments at Breezy Bonaire come equipped with 220V circular two prong outlets where you can charge or use your devices without worry. However, due to occasional power surges we still recommend unplugging devices when fully charged or not in use.