Variable Voltage vs. Variable Wattage

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This is probably not the first time you hear about variable wattage, variable voltage, low resistance atomizers and other similar terms but since you are not a scientist you didn’t pay too much attention. The thing you need to know is that many advanced vapers, after experiencing with all sorts of kits and personal vaporizers tend to appreciate high voltage vaping more as it fits their needs perfectly. But what is high voltage vaping? Well, usually when you use a device with a lot more power there are some noticeable benefits: it provides hotter, more intense vapor that requires less draw as opposed to standard ecigs.

clearomizers different colorsLet’s start with the beginning. Our vaping experience consists of a number of variables that include the temperature of vapor, the flavor of the eLiquid when vaped at a particular temperature, and the amount of vapor produced. This vaping experience is defined by the amount of heat that travels through the coil of our atomizer.

Usually when dealing with scientific topics, there is a formula which defines certain behavior and in our case this formula is called Watt’s Law. It implies that Power = (Voltage * Voltage) / Resistance. Knowing this formula will help us understand better how vaping works. Therefore we control the wattage produced by a personal vaporizer by changing either the resistance or voltage in the circuit.

Standard 510 atomizers have a resistance of 2.5Ohms while standard batteries often run on 3.2Volts. This means that a standard power output will be of:

(3.2 x 3.2) / 2.5 = 4.096 watts

If we switch the battery in our device with a 3.7Volts version we will get an output power of:

(3.7 x 3.7) / 2.5 = 5.476 watts

Finally, if we use a big 5Volts battery the difference will be spectacular:

(5.0 x 5.0) / 2.5 = 10 watts

This might sound amazing, but you need to take into account that voltage is not the only parameter that can be variable. If for instance you use a low resistance atomizer (of 1.5Ohms) with the same 3.7Volts battery the output power will become:

(3.7 x 3.7) / 1.5 = 9.127 watts

So it’s pretty clear that changing these parameters can alter your vaping experience, but why all the excitement? Because for any vaper, only a certain wattage will deliver the best experience possible. This is like fine tuning your device and getting the best flavor and vapor production suited for your taste. Variable voltage devices will let you choose the electricity passing through the coil while variable wattage devices will let you choose the total output power.

Variable voltage means that you always need to take into consideration the resistance of your atty in order to get the best possible vaping experience. Sometimes though, these can get mislabeled and you might end up having poor vapor production or burning your atomizer.

Variable wattage means that you don’t have to worry about anything and don’t need to make mathematical calculations. If you know your best experience is with 10.1Watts then all you need to do is set it on the device and let it do all the work.

In the end, in both cases you might get the similar experience, but it’s a lot easier for the variable wattage device to get you where you want with the least amount of fuss and with the same taste and vapor production no matter what atomizer you use.

Posted by Dave Allan

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Former pack-a-day smoker, I discovered electronic cigarettes back in 2011. Since then vaping has slowly turned into my hobby and my full time job. I’ve tested hundreds of e-cigarettes and mods across the years and constantly used my knowledge and experience to help others make the switch. I’m passionate about technology, I enjoy reading and I love big flavorful clouds.


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