The Beginners Guide to Voltage, Wattage and OHMS

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Many people get by vaping without any knowledge of ohms, wattage and voltage, but if you’re using a variable device, it might make your experience that extra touch tastier.

Beneath its surface, vaping is more than just a great hobby for those trying to quit smoking. These heat-not-burn devices use a simple electrical circuit board which uses some very clever science indeed. If you’re using a vape device which doesn’t use variable controls or displays units, then you wouldn’t need to know about the circuit board, but once you upgrade to the heady world of RTA’s and sub ohm mods, you’ll start to realise that electronics play a large part in vaping. Not only this, but the type of battery you use will also depend on the power of your vape device, and not to mention the decision of high or low resistance on your vape coil. If you want larger vape clouds, it’s best to try a low resistance with higher wattages.

All getting a little overwhelming?

Don’t worry; below you can find everything you’ll need to understand the intricacies of the vape circuit. Before you dive into that end of season e liquid saleget to know your device and what suits it best.

How does a vape circuit work?

Vape circuits are simple on paper, but complicated in practice. With the revolutionary design from Hon Lik back in the early noughties has come a simple circuit design which applies to all vape devices.

Using a rechargeable or disposable battery as an energy source, the vape circuit uses electricity to send electricity through the vape coil. This metal wire in turn heats up the atomiser using this electricity which heats up the vape juice saturated in the surrounding wicking cotton. The vape juice in the wicking cotton and atomiser is heated up and inhaled through the devices drip tip.


So, what do you need to know about the wattage of vape devices?

Wattage is the measurement of power and current running through a system, so is measured in relation to what the batteries input to the system is. You will always find that the wattage is higher in number than the voltage and resistance in the circuit.


The Voltage refers to the output of the vape circuit. This is the resulting energy which comes from the wattage input and after it has been fed through the resistant coil. This is the power that gets to your atomiser, and so affects the power of the vape hit you’re inhaling.

The best way to differentiate between the voltage and the wattage is to think of the wattage as the batteries input into the system, and the voltage as the resulting force.


The resistance is the energy unit connected to the coil of the vape system. This resistance to the wattage is measured in ohms. The resistance refers to how much energy the coil allows through. Higher resistances will mean that less energy gets to the atomiser, and lower resistances mean you’ll be looking at larger amounts of voltage.

Ohms Law

All three of the above electrical units are brought together by one simple formula. This formula was devised almost 200 years ago by George Ohm, a scientist who found that the output of a circuit was relative to the amount of energy inputted and the resisting force against it through the circuit. He summed it up neatly in a formula:

Resistance = voltage / current.

This formula means that you can find the resistance, voltage or current of a circuit by simply dividing or multiplying the other two units in the formula.

Variable voltage and wattage devices

This has led to the development of variable voltage or wattage devices. These highly adaptable devices have voltage or wattage displays which allow you to input the wattage or voltage you want your device to work at. It will then work with the other units in the ohms law formula to reach that level, changing the output and resistance as necessary.

Going sub ohm

Sub Ohm devices allow you to vape with a resistance which is less than 1 ohm. Due to the lower resistance, the voltage exerted will be far higher and so you will be inhaling more vapour, resulting in larger vape clouds. The resistance is lowered through the devices computer chip finding the perfect balance of wattages and voltages to meet your low resistance needs.

What’s the best battery for your device?

The maximum wattage of a system will be determined by the power of your battery. Make sure that your vape battery corresponds to the maximum output of your vape device so that you avoid any short circuits or vape explosions, which can kill off your vape device for good.

Luckily, most devices have a regulated system, meaning that they simply won’t work if your battery is exerting energy the device can’t handle. For unregulated devices, popular with the DIY vaper, these restrictions are not enforced, and so the vaper must get their head around the devices optimum power settings.

For the unregulated vaper, the power is well and truly in your hands.

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