Variable Voltage / Wattage on the Ecigs (terminology + infographic)

Variable Voltage / Wattage on the Ecigs (terminology + infographic)

Volt, Ohm, Amphere, Watt?

Volt stands for the unit of electrical potential (power) that is released from the ecig battery in order to heat up the coil inside your clearomizer or tank.

Ohm is the measure of resistance to the voltage being supplied. The lower the ohm rating is, the lower resistance has to run power and becomes hotter.

Ampere is the actual current that one volt can send through a resistance of one ohm. This refers to ecig batteries that list a milliampere-hour rating (mAh). The mAh  on a battery tells you how much power it can store (how long it can last). The bigger the number, the better.

Watt is a unit of electrical energy or power, one watt is the product of one ampere and one volt. When it comes to electronic cigarettes, the wattage is responsible for heating the coil. The more watts the combination of volts and ohms is able to produce, the hotter the coil will become. Lower wattage means poor vapour or none at all as too high wattage can burn out the coil.

What is the variable voltage (VV) and variable wattage (VW)?

First, let’s make a clear difference between these two. Voltage is about the amount of energy in a device and Wattage is all about the amount of work that is done in a unit of time.

The difference between using a VV and VW device: when you are using a device with VV settings, you are telling it to send a certain amount of energy through the circuit. When it comes to VW settings, you are telling your device how much work to be done, and the vaping device figures out the voltage needed to overcome the resistance.

So, these having been said, it comes more handy to cope with the Variable Wattage, instead of Voltage, as the battery automatically adjusts the voltage to provide the wattage you selected, regardless of the resistance.

The issue of variable voltage and variable wattage comes into play when you are about to switch between different types of clearomizers and batteries, as each brand/model comes with different resistance levels of coils used. To achieve the desired outcome of your vaping, you must know the resistance level of your device.

Low resistance is considered to be between 1.5 and 2.2 ohms, standard resistance is between 2.3 and 2.9ohms, and high resistance is over 3 ohms.

The average voltage for the ecig standard batteries is around 3.3 – 4.2, mostly used at 3.7 volts and it’s predefined. The standard batteries use the current from an electrical socket (or USB port). All of the standard resistance (ohms) coils are going to work with these.

Most of the variable voltage/wattage Ecigs use the 3.7 volt batteries, but with circuits that regulates the power supplied by the battery to the clearomizer or tank.

The trick in using variable voltage/wattage devices is to adjust the settings until you are getting a good flavour and the desired throat hit. Your vapour should not have a burnt flavour, nor weak flavour. Some flavours might taste better on low voltage as other might taste better on higher voltage.

Although playing with different voltage/wattage may sound fun, the variable wattage devices are better recommended for experienced vapers. If you feel brave enough to go for it, please have in mind to keep the coils wet at all time in order not to give you a harsh, dry hit when using higher voltage, but do not add too much of an e-liquid, as this can cause leaks or weird gurgle sounds.

Another way to make sure you are getting the most out of your new vape gear is to cross check the resistance (ohms) to the best matching voltage, like in the chart below:

© Chart photo source:

Sub-ohm vaping

Low resistance and its hotter burn for the voltage offers way more vapour production. On the other hand, the use of low resistance coil devices will determine the coil to burn out faster (as it burns hotter) and you will for sure increase the level of the e-liquid used.

The Max VG ejuices works best with sub-ohm vaping, as VG produces less of a throat-hit than PG e-liquids and you may be stuck with a nasty irritation. Another thing to have in mind with low resistance is that of lowering the nicotine level significantly when sub-ohm vaping. If you vaped before 12 or 18mg nicotine strength e-liquid, you should try now 6mg of nicotine or less.

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