Battery science is still developing. We do not have devices that can last long on a single charge or ones that require no charge at all. We need to charge everything, and all consumer gadgets are fighting each other in the market by showing off battery specs.

But the true power still lies in the power cable. The better it is, the faster your device will charge without heating up.

This brings to light the power cables that gadgets use and the reason behind it. While there are various types of power cords, North America generally relies on the company: National Electrical Manufacturers Association or NEMA. When it comes to power cables, there is no other name more popular. This power cable is standard across the continent.

The thing to know mainly about the NEMA power cord is that it comes in two variants: ungrounded and grounded. The grounded one has a grounding pin in addition to two flat pins and the ungrounded one just has two flat pins. Appliances that require more voltage use the grounded cord and ones that require less voltage use the ungrounded cord.

Let’s walk through a typical household and see the variations we find in the power cords:

Laptops

Laptops have the NEMA power cord in two parts. The power supply part has an adapter for AC-DC conversion. Alternative Current flows through power cords but since laptops cannot handle that much voltage, despite it being stable, the adapter converts it to Direct Current that is at a lower voltage. This adapter detaches from the main power cord and has the laptop’s charging pin at the end. A laptop being a battery-operated device means that its battery can recharge at low voltage.

Kitchen Appliances

One of the biggest kitchen appliances is the refrigerator. It requires high voltage and therefore it needs to use the earthing connection via the grounded NEMA power cord. This protects the user and the device from high voltage. Similarly, a microwave also requires a grounded power cord. Other smaller kitchen appliances like a toaster, blender, etc. function on low voltage and therefore only need ungrounded power cords.

Entertainment Setup

A typical entertainment setup has a TV, soundbar, gaming console, and a streaming box. These gadgets require less voltage. Some of these devices have a cable directly built in, and some don’t. These are items that we use over the course of at least five years and therefore it is crucial that their power cords are top notch and don’t malfunction easily.

Smart Home Appliances

It is the era of the connected home. Not only will you find devices that are smart and have fancy sensors, but also power plugs themselves are smart. If you plug a smart plug into your wall outlet and then plug in any normal appliance, like a lamp or a music player or a toaster, then you can control that device without using physical switches. If you plug in a lamp, then you can also automate it to turn on every evening at sunset by itself. Similarly, you can automate a lot of devices, like your coffee machine for mornings, or your Christmas lights for every night in December. Smart plugs take traditional gadgets or appliances and add intelligence to them.

Across the continent, you can safely plug in a device with the NEMA power cord since all wall sockets are compatible with it. They are also the standard one that all gadget use. Before plugging in anything, it is always safer to check what voltage your device can handle and plug it into a matching wall socket. This prevents a risk of electricity overload and hazards due to it.

Some wall sockets are also USB ports but not everything runs on USB power. Hence, the NEMA power cord is most certainly here to stay.

While they cannot carry data and electricity both, they are essential for power supply. Most devices don’t need data to run anyway. Devices that require data or use data transfer are also plug and play, therefore they need the dual function. But apart from those, a power cable is enough to use as a power supply.

Wrapping up:

Power supply is changing for many devices in this emerging smart IoT world. But nothing is about to start running on power supply over the air. The NEMA cord is here to stay. And you should definitely know all about them.

At SF Cable, we stock a variety of these for whatever purpose you need them. Get in touch with us for more information regarding the nuances of power cables and guidance for selecting one.