If you are an ex cigarette smoker at the start of your journey into vaping, you might like to know more about wattage.
In this guide, we will use and explain some of the common terminologies that can be beneficial to your vaping experience, and we will explain how to choose the right wattage.
Understanding Vaping Terminology
For many new vapers, an electronic cigarette set to a low wattage (e.g., below 20 W) will deliver the best entry-level experience. However, if vaping becomes a hobby, you may prefer to invest in a more powerful device or mod that delivers an intense hit or produces thicker clouds.
As you progress from starter electronic cigarettes, you will likely find that most vape devices come with three main settings. Although there are some scientific principles to know and understand, taking the time now to comprehend these terms is one way to help you to get the most from your vaping experience.
Voltage (V) relates to batteries. The greater the voltage, the greater the electrical pressure inside the battery. If we think of amps as singular units of electricity, a higher voltage means more amps contained within the battery. V multiplied by A equals wattage (W), explained below.
The higher the voltage, the greater the pressure inside the battery, meaning more amps can be supplied to the coil in rapid succession, heating the device faster. As we will see below, voltage and wattage are connected.
People often confuse wattage with voltage. Whereas voltage is the electrical pressure contained within the battery, pushing the individual units of electrical current (amps) around the circuit, wattage provides a neatly packaged way to think about volts and amps at the same time: W = V x A.
Because we now know that wattage is a measure of voltage multiplied by amps, we can focus on wattage as a means of understanding the power being supplied to the coil.
If you change the wattage, you automatically and safely change the voltage. However, changing the voltage can force an unchecked overall wattage increase that could be damaging to your device. That is why many people prefer using variable wattage mods for best results.
Unless you retrofit alternative coils to your device, you cannot change the ohms that your vape device comes with. In simple terms, ohms measures the electrical power your coil can carry (like the amount of water in a hosepipe). No matter the size of the batteries you are using, your coil can only carry so much electrical current.
The higher the ohms setting, the lower the number of amps that can pass through the coil. Higher resistance to the incoming current naturally results in a decrease in wattage, giving a cooler throat experience. Conversely, the lower the ohms, the greater the wattage, meaning your vape device will burn at a higher temperature.
Tying it all Together: Vaping Wattage, Temperature Burn, and E-liquids
Vape mod products are essentially batteries connected to atomisers. The power from the battery heats the coil in the atomiser, vaporising your juice ready for use (inhalation).
That means there is a significant relationship between wattage and ohms (even the most powerful battery cannot achieve a higher coil temperature than the maximum resistance capabilities any given coil will allow).
With that in mind, what wattage should you choose? It all depends on the coils in your mod and what you want to achieve:
Sub-ohm vaping - big vapour clouds & more taste
Sub-ohm devices have a lowered electrical resistance (under 1 ohm), meaning more electrical current can enter the coil, producing a higher burn temperature.
The product information on sub-ohm devices will tell you the optimum wattage settings to use for that mod. For example, a 0.4-ohm mod may recommend a 23 - 28 watt setting, and a 0.8-ohm mod may recommend you use up to 35 watts. Some recommendations can go much higher (e.g., 200 watts).
Sub-ohm devices work best when using a high VG vape liquid (e.g., a VG/PG ratio of 70/30). A high VG ratio produces thicker vapour clouds and more intense flavours that taste better (as opposed to a high PG ratio, which focuses on throat hit).
E-liquid devices over 1 ohm
More experienced vapers often prefer the more personal throat hit aspect of vaping over the social aspect of sweet aromas and thick clouds. E-liquids that produce a more noticeable hit with less of a focus on taste intensity and vapour clouds have a high PG ratio (e.g., a 70/30 PG/VG ratio).
The device’s product information will recommend a wattage setting. For example, you could find that a 1.6-ohm coil may need 12 watts. Coils above one ohm are intended to vaporise the e-liquid at a lower heat, as the greater temperatures that produce thicker vapour clouds are not required.
The optimum nicotine hit
If you are more concerned with achieving a good nicotine hit, a mod that produces around 20 watts combined with coils above 1 ohm should produce the desired results (note: not all e-liquids will contain nicotine to your desired or ideal level - you may need to add it to the liquid yourself from bottled products sold separately).
This is because devices above one ohm produce a slow burn, steadily vaporising the e-liquid for high nicotine release. Increased temperatures are associated with thick vapour clouds when used with the correct high VG vape juice but will produce a ‘burn hit’ when used with high PG liquids.
What Wattage Should I Vape at 0.8 Ohm?
0.8-hm devices are a common choice of vape device among ex cigarette smokers looking to give sub-ohm vaping a try.
These devices burn at higher temperatures and are intended for use with high VG liquids, producing thicker clouds and releasing more flavour from the e-liquid.
A typical wattage range for 0.8-ohm devices is 20 W - 35 W (or sometimes 40 watts - 50 watts). However, always check the product information on your vape device for best results.
What Does Higher Wattage Do When Vaping?
High wattage means more power. More power means hotter coils. Coils burning at maximum heat will help turn thicker VG liquids into thick clouds, whereas thinner PG liquids will turn into thin hot vapour, producing an undesirable burn hit.
Is it bad to Vape at Low Wattage?
A low vape wattage means vaping at a decreased power level (and, therefore, less intense temperatures). While this will undoubtedly prolong your battery life and increase the overall life expectancy of your device in general, lower burn temperatures will result in less vaporisation and a weaker vaping experience.
Vape Wattage - How to Choose Your Ideal Wattage
Vape wattage is a personal choice that plays a big part in your vaping journey. Whether you prefer the flavour and thick cloud production of high VG vape juice, or whether you prefer the intense hit of high PG e-liquids, a higher wattage will increase coil temperatures and vaporisation levels, meaning more vapour and arguably more enjoyment.
However, you will reach a cut-off point at which a higher wattage begins to burn the vape juice, producing an off-putting ‘burn hit’. At this point, you need to lower the wattage.
Experimentation is key
Experiment with your device settings to find the ideal wattage to use with your vaping machine. You will likely find that the perfect wattage falls within the range indicated on the device’s product information, although you may want to push the upper and lower limits at the start to give you a good idea of how different wattages work before you set your vape mod.You may also wish to use more than one mod and experiment using a range of products to find the right alternative to cigarettes for you.