Do you have a USB so I can charge my phone? It’s a common question asked by house guests. Learn why you should install USB outlets in your home.
These days, devices charged via USB power ports are everywhere. Almost every home has more than one smartphone, tablet, e-reader or other mobile device that uses a USB cable. If you want to charge one of these devices from a standard, three-pronged wall receptacle, you’ll need to plug your USB cord into an adapter first.
But that’s changing. These days, homeowners have the option to install electrical receptacles that accept USB charging cables directly. That means you can ditch your adapters, plug more devices into a single outlet, charge faster and free up your standard three-pronged receptacles for other appliances.
Find out more about the advantages of installing USB electrical outlets in your home.
Most outlets have only two receptacles for standard three-pronged plugs, although a double-gang outlet will accept four three-pronged plugs. When you need to use an adapter to charge USB-powered devices from the wall, you might find yourself plugging devices into different outlets all over the house or using a power strip to accommodate all your bulky adapters. But power strips shouldn’t be a permanent solution to your electricity needs – they can pose an electrical safety risk.
Installing some USB outlets in your home allows you to charge one or two USB-powered devices at each USB wall outlet, eliminating power strips and turning your entire home into a clutter-free charging station. With many USB outlets, you can have two USB ports in every outlet, if you so choose.
Well, maybe don’t throw away your USB charger adapters – you’ll probably still need one once in a while, if only while you’re away from home. But if you're one of those people who have trouble keeping track of adapters, USB wall outlets can eliminate that problem because they allow you to plug your USB charging cable directly into the wall.
If you don’t have a USB adapter to charge your device from a three-pronged receptacle, you can plug it into a laptop or even into the USB port on your TV. However, charging it this way might not be the fastest way to get those batteries full.
Usually, charging a device from the USB port on a laptop or TV delivers a current of no more than 500 amps to your device. Using an adapter to plug your device into a traditional wall outlet will be a bit faster. But by plugging your device directly into an electrical outlet with a USB port, you can charge it up to 40 percent faster than using an adapter. That’s because many outlets with USB ports also include smart chips that can detect the optimum charging amperage of every device and adjust the current output so that each is charged as quickly as possible.
When you use an adapter as opposed to a built-in USB wall port, that’s one less three-pronged receptacle you have to plug in a lamp, a hair dryer, a small kitchen appliance or some other electronic gadget. Often, adapters are so big and clunky that they even cover the other three-pronged receptacle above or underneath the one they’re plugged into.
Installing USB electrical outlets can free up more three-pronged outlets for other uses. USB connections are so slim and streamlined that it’s possible for a USB outlet to handle two USB devices and two three-pronged receptacles, so you don’t even have to give up a three-pronged receptacle in order to get USB charging ports.
Are you wondering how to replace an outlet with a USB-compatible outlet? It’s as easy as installing any other electrical outlet, and many USB outlets are designed to handle different configurations of electrical outlet wiring for the convenience of homeowners. If you’re not sure how to wire an outlet, or you’re not confident you can safely do so, it’s best to have the job professionally done. You can get quite a shock – literally – from botching electrical wiring work, so don’t take the risk. Most electricians usually charge $100 to $120 per hour to replace your existing electrical outlets with USB-compatible outlets.
USB outlets are a simple home upgrade that can really improve your quality of life. Imagine having a lamp, a laptop, a smart phone and a tablet all plugged into the same receptacle with nary a power strip in sight – it’s possible with USB electrical outlets.
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