Choosing the Right Power Adapter for Your Industry

In our technology-focused world, many of us use power adapters every day—to charge our phones, to power our computers, and to keep our appliances running. Commonly, offices and households will have drawers or boxes full of different power supplies, including AC/DC adapters, power cables, charger plugs, and power bricks.

When there are so many power adapter options on the market, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Choosing the wrong power adapter can have serious repercussions for your business, including power failures, device damage, and lost money and time.

To choose the right adapter for your business, you’ll need to consider which devices are used most often within your industry.

Understanding input and output

To decide which power adapter is right for you, you’ll first need to check your device’s rating label. The device’s input should be the same as your adapter’s output. This includes voltage and polarity. A device with a DC input of +12V and 5.4A, for example, will match an adapter with a DC output of +12V and 5.4A.

Science and engineering

Bench power supplies are essential for use within a laboratory, designed to provide clean, stable power to devices under test. These specialised adapters provide DC voltage to circuit boards or other devices under test, and are available in a variety of types with different functions and features.

Single-channel power supplies, for example, have one controllable output, while multi-channel power supplies have two or more. A multi-channel power supply is ideal for developing devices that feature both digital and analog circuitry.


When choosing a power adapter, the basic rule is the match your device’s voltage rating and surpass its mAh rating. In industries like networking, however, you may need to make further considerations. Power surges and failures are one of the most common causes of network downtime—so, if you’re working in this industry, it’s important to choose a reliable adapter.

Uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) are essential within the networking industry. These special adapters feature a constantly-charged internal battery, meaning intermittent problems won’t have devastating effects. Modern UPSs also boast useful features like noise filtering, battery management, and advanced warning diagnostics.

Office PCs and peripherals

If you work in an office environment where computer peripherals (like keyboards, monitors, and modems) are commonly used, a 12V DC power supply is a smart choice. 12V DC power supplies are one of the most common power adapters on the market today and are affordable, versatile, and reliable for use with many office devices.

The PCs themselves will require a Power Supply Unit (PSU). More powerful computers will require a higher wattage rating. Generally, it’s better to choose a slightly higher wattage than you think you’ll need, rather than matching your needs exactly. A 400W power supply should be enough for a standard office computer.


Choosing the correct power adapters and testing equipment is vital for effective, productive, and safe work within any industry. By investing in testing equipment from RS Components, you’ll ensure security and success for your business.