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How Do Class 2 And Class II Differ?

Views: 26     Author: celeste     Publish Time: 2023-12-22      Origin: Site

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1. Introduction

2. What is class 2 power supply?

3. What is class II power supply?

4. What are the differences between Class 2 and Class II?

5. How do I choose between Class 2 and Class II power supply?

6. The differences between NEC and IEC

7. Conclusion


1. Introduction

In the field of power sources, Class 2 and Class II are commonly used terms, and people often confuse them. Both play important roles in ensuring safety and efficiency, but what are the differences between them? For example, if you need to choose a power supply for your small household appliances, how should you make that decision? And in which specific areas are they suitable? In this article, we will delve into the distinctions between the two and explore the differences in their internal technologies, providing you with a guide for making informed choices.

class 2 vs class II power supply

2. What is class 2 power supply?

Class 2 power supply is also referred to as a Class 2 power unit.Class 2 is a standard established by NEC, specifying specific voltage and power output limits for AC-DC power supplies. The AC adapter can also be called a Class 2 transformer. Essentially, it sets the maximum voltage and current values for devices, ensuring safety and mitigating fire hazards and electrical risks.

Class 2 represents a low-energy, low-voltage circuit, with 12V and 24V Class 2 power supplies being quite common. These are typically employed for low-power electrical devices and power sources, such as electronic toys, small computer peripherals (including keyboards and mice), printers, copiers, LED lighting systems, small cameras, and compact medical devices, among others.

class 2 power supply transformer 120vac 60hz 50w

3. What is class II power supply?

Class II is a protection class under the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, primarily assessing the internal structure and insulation of power supplies. A Class II power supply, as indicated by its label, features two layers of insulation and does not require a ground connection. The first layer serves as basic insulation, while the second layer is typically the plastic casing of the outer packaging. Operating at higher voltage levels, Class II power supplies significantly reduce the risk of electric shock.

Class II power supplies are commonly found in everyday devices, such as laptop or smartphone chargers with two-prong plugs. They are also crucial components in various critical medical equipment applications.

class II power supply 100-120v 50-60hz 0.8A

4. What are the differences between Class 2 and Class II?

Both Class 2 and Class II undergo stringent manufacturing standards to ensure safety and significantly reduce the risks of fire and electric shock.

Class 2 adheres to standards set by the National Electrical Code (NEC), while Class II follows standards specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Class 2 imposes restrictions on the voltage and power output of the power supply, whereas Class II assesses the structure and insulation level of the power supply.

Class 2 power supplies typically operate at lower voltages, while Class II can meet higher voltage requirements. Considering cost factors, Class II requires double insulation to enhance electrical safety in the event of equipment failure, making Class II somewhat more expensive.

5. How do I choose between Class 2 and Class II power supply?

When choosing between a Class 2 power source and a Class II power supply, it's essential to clarify your priorities. Consider whether safety or cost is of greater concern, or if there are other factors to weigh.

For powering small household electronic devices, a Class 2 power supply is recommended. If you intend to power devices like microwaves or hair dryers that require more electrical power, opting for a Class II power supply might be more suitable.

In general, your choice should take into account the power requirements of the device, safety standards, and the specific application environment. If the device has lower power requirements and poses minimal electrical safety risks, a Class 2 power supply could be an economical and appropriate choice. On the other hand, if the device demands higher electrical safety, especially in medical settings or environments with stringent safety requirements, a Class II power supply is more fitting.

6. The differences between NEC and IEC

IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is an international organization that collaboratively develops electrical standards with experts from multiple countries. It establishes consistent rules for electrical equipment worldwide, applicable on a global scale. On the other hand, NEC (National Electrical Code) is an abbreviation for a set of electrical standards formulated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) in the United States, primarily applicable within the U.S.

NEC focuses on specific technical specifications tailored to suit the U.S. environment and regulations, while IEC places a greater emphasis on globally applicable technical regulations to promote international trade and cooperation. NEC primarily emphasizes safety standards within the United States, while IEC provides a global framework for safety standards.

The electrical equipment classifications under NEC include Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 1 Division 1 and Division 2, Class 1 Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2. Class 1 generally refers to high-energy circuits, such as main power sources and traditional power distribution systems. Class 2 is typically used for low-power electrical equipment and power supplies. Class 3 represents circuits with moderate energy and voltage, commonly used in communication systems and digital signal transmission. Class 1 Division 1 and Division 2, Class 1 Zone 0, Zone 1, and Zone 2 are equipment classifications for hazardous environments.

The protection classes for IEC power supplies are Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I power supplies are grounded and have three wires. Class II power supplies are double-insulated, with two wires and no need for a ground wire. Class III refers to low-voltage devices, such as those with a rated voltage not exceeding 50V.

12V5A power adapter supply

7. Conclusion

Whether a Class 2 power supply adapter or a Class II power supply, both are designed to ensure people's safety and reduce the risk of fires and electric shock. We hope that this article can help you in choosing a power supply. At the same time, we also want to emphasize that the difference between Class 2 and Class II power supplies is not exclusive to industry professionals. It is crucial knowledge for anyone interacting with electronic devices. We offer a variety of power adapters, so please feel free to contact us if you need assistance.

Whether you're a manufacturer, designer, or consumer, making informed decisions about power supplies ensures safety, reliability, and optimal performance.


Q1: What is a class 2 power supply used for?

A1: A Class 2 power supply is typically used to provide low-voltage power for various electronic devices. It finds widespread applications in small electronic appliances, LED lighting, audio equipment, and other low-power consumer electronic products.

Q2: What is a class 2 power supply?

A2: A Class 2 power supply is a type of power source that complies with specific safety standards, established by NEC. These standards specify particular voltage and power output levels, commonly employed in low-voltage applications to significantly reduce the risks of electric shock and fire hazards.

Q3: What is a class 2 power supply cord?

A3: A Class 2 power supply cord, designed by safety standards established by NEC, follows a standardized wiring method. Class 2 wiring prioritizes the safety of low-voltage electrical systems and is commonly used in low-voltage lighting, thermostats, doorbell systems, and similar devices.

Q4: What is a Class 2 power supply, and how does it differ from Class II?

A4: A Class 2 power supply restricts voltage and power output, while a Class II power supply features double insulation. Both are designed to reduce the risk of fires and electric shock.

Q5: Are there specific industries that prefer Class 2 power supplies over Class II, or vice versa?

A5: Industries with lower power requirements and a focus on user safety may prefer Class 2, while those with diverse power needs might opt for Class II.

Q6: How can I determine if my device requires a Class 2 or Class II power supply?

A6: Class 2 suits low-power devices, while Class II is more versatile and suitable for a broader range of applications.

Q7: What are the advantages and disadvantages of Class 2 power supplies?

A7: Class 2 power supplies offer enhanced safety for low-power devices but may have limitations in high-power applications.

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