Transformers And Inductors

The transformers and inductors are two important devices used in the electronics. Some people are confused about these two devices because they look similar in construction and appearance. However, one differs from the other in some aspects including applications, design, construction and so on. This article helps you find out some of the notable differences between these two components and decide on using any one of them for your application


Transformers are designed with two coils of insulated wires, which are wound over a ferrite, iron or steel lamination core. Primary functions of transformers include, converting AC at high voltage into low voltage and vice versa.

Transformers have primary and secondary coils. A constantly varying magnetic field is created around the ferrite/iron/steel core when the primary coil is connected to a source with alternating current. An alternating current is thus produced in the secondary coil. The secondary coil gives an output when it is connected to a separate electric circuit.

Ttransformers are divided into many categories inlcuding step up, step down, auto transformers, industrial control transformers, pin type transformers, waterproof encapsulated transformers and ring transformers, among others.

Transformers are widely used for LED lighting, power conversion for commercial, industrial and medical uses, and in high voltage (HV) and electro-static spraying applications.


Inductors are passive tow-terminal electrical components that have electrical conducting wires wound into a coil. When current flows through an inductor, it temporarily stores the energy in the coil’s magnetic field; and when the current flowing through is altered, voltage is created. The magnetic core around which the wire is wound is made up of iron or ferrite that increases the magnetic field and creates inductance. The inductance of an inductor can be calculated as the ratio of voltage to the rate of current change, and is depicted in the units of Henry (H). Inductors range from 1H to 10H in value. Inductors are used in AC electronic equipment to block AC while allowing DC to pass.

Applications of inductors

  • Tuning circuits
  • Sensors
  • Store energy in a device
  • Induction motors
  • Transformers
  • Filters
  • Chokes
  • Ferrite beads
  • Inductors used as relays


Transformers and inductors look similar but not the same. They each serve different purposes in electronic applications. Specify your detailed requirements and applictions to your transformer manufacturers and they will help you choose the most suitable components.

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