Illuminated lightbulb

Electricity Explained: The Difference Between Watts and Volts

Electricity is a complex force, and people often use many terms without understanding what they mean. Two terms that often come up in discussions about electricity are watts and volts. But how many of us know these terms and how they work together?

Let's take a closer look at the difference between watts and volts and how they work together to help us light up our homes.

What are Volts?

At its most basic level, voltage is the measurement of electrical pressure, and volts are the unit of measurement. Voltage is used to describe the difference between two electrical points. For example, when you plug something into an outlet, you have a difference in voltage between the source (the outlet) and the device you're plugging in (the appliance).

This voltage difference creates an electrical current or flow of electrons which powers your device. The higher the voltage, the more significant amount of power can be transmitted through the wire, which means faster charging times or brighter lights.

What are Watts?

Watts measure power output or usage. Power is calculated by multiplying voltage by current, also known as amps. Wattage tells us how much energy an appliance needs to run or how much energy it will consume over time. The more watts an appliance draws from a power source, the more it will cost on your electricity bill.

Knowing wattage also helps you understand how much power your devices need to run efficiently. For example, if you buy a lamp with a 100-watt bulb but only have access to 60-watt bulbs, your light will get less bright than it would with its intended bulb type.

How Do Watts and Volts Work Together?

Now that we understand what volts and watts are separately, let's talk about how they work together to make light bulbs work. A light bulb works when electricity passes through a filament within its structure, causing it to heat up until it glows brightly. The bright glow is known as incandescence!

Both watts and volts are needed for electricity to travel from its source through wires attached to the light bulb to create incandescence. Without both elements, a bulb won't turn on no matter how many times you flip the switch!

If you have questions about electricity or an electrical project on your to-do list, our experts at Tingley Home Services are always ready to help! Contact us online or give us a call. (508) 456-8838