A Guide to Selecting an AC Outlet with USB Charging Ports
If you have only a single smartphone, you can manage to charge it from your laptop computer with a USB cable. But if you also have a tablet computer, e-reader, and other devices that are powered via a USB cable, you may find it challenging to find enough USB ports for all of your devices at once. And if everyone in your family needs to charge their cell phones on a daily basis, you’ll find yourself searching for extra outlets in your home where you can plug in your phone recharger. But, if you install an AC outlet with extra USB ports, you’ll be able to provide everyone with a means to recharge their portable devices!
We’ll see that there are a few options among these special AC outlets. There are outlets that require you to remove the conventional outlet and replace it with an AC with USB ports. Other products are simpler to use, where you just plug in the wall receptacle into an existing outlet, and it provides you with USB ports and more AC outlets as well. Either way, these extra USB ports will allow you to charge up your phone without your phone charger–all you’ll need is a compatible USB charger cable!
Let’s look at the options available. These devices will change a standard AC outlet into a charging station for your whole family! No more bickering and frustration of looking for a phone charger and a spot to plug it in!
Are there any safety concerns when using these USB outlets to charge my smartphone?
These AC outlets with USB ports have AC/DC transformers inside, to convert the 110 V/220 V AC to 5 V DC. These outlets also reduce the current from 15-20 Ampere to 2.4 Ampere. The result is that you can charge your smartphone or other mobile devices from these outlets, no different from charging them with a phone recharger. There isn’t any concern that it may “burn out” your devices.
Can I leave my devices charging, without having to make sure that they don’t overheat?
Many of these AC outlets have a “smart chip” inside to deliver power to your devices only as long as they need to be recharged. Once they reach 100%, they’ll stop charging them. They also have protection against overheating, as well as protection from exceeding the maximum current or voltage, or from short-circuiting.
Which devices can I charge from a USB outlet?
The specifications for these outlets will state which phone models and mobile devices can be recharged from these USB outlets. They’ll typically be good for iPhones, iPads, Samsung Android devices, and much more.
However, many of them state that they cannot be used to charge a laptop or notebook computer because they will require as much as 36 Watts of power to be recharged. These USB outlets will supply no more than 18 Watts.
Types of Ac Wall Outlet With Usb Charging Ports
Looking at the Best Reviews Guide list of the most popular AC outlets with USB ports, we see that there are a few options:
In-wall outlet receptacles: These are wall outlets that require you to remove the existing outlet to replace with the new outlet with USB ports. They usually come with installation instructions, and it can take as little as 10 minutes to install. An example is the Topgreener 5.8 A Ultra-High-Speed USB C Wall Outlet Charger. It has two AC outlets, 1 USB-A port, and 1 USB-C port. They also have an option with 2 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port. (Note: Topgreener also has a wall outlet that provides 3.6 A of current. But the outlet that provides 5.8 A will charge your devices more quickly.)
Topgreener 5.8 A Ultra-High-Speed USB C Wall Outlet Charger, with USB-A and USB-C Ports
Plug-in wall receptacles: If you don’t want to go through the trouble of installing an outlet yourself (which can entail some risk if not done properly), there are also outlets that you simply plug into an existing wall outlet. An example is the Bestten Wall Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB Charging Ports. It will help you expand a single wall outlet into 4 AC outlets and 2 USB ports! You can also position your smartphone on top of the unit while you are charging it.
Bestten Wall Outlet Surge Protector with 2 USB Charging Ports
Another product that provides you with even more outlets and USB ports is the Addtam Store USB Wall Charger Surge Protector. It provides you with 5 outlets, 3 USB-A ports, and a USB-C port. The outlets are angled and spaced in such a way that different devices can be plugged in without interfering with each other.
Addtam Store USB Wall Charger Surge Protector
USB Charger Hubs: There are also USB charger hubs, which you plug into an outlet. For example, when you plug in the Mini Butterballe USB Charger Hub, you get 6 USB-A ports. It comes with a 5-foot long extension cord, which allows you to keep the hub on your desk, together with the devices you’d like to charge.
Mini Butterballe USB Charger Hub
What reviewers say
Here are some customers’ impressions about their AC outlet with USB ports:
Wall plate: Some customers noticed that the wall plate on their new AC outlet with USB ports may not be the same size as their previous outlet. You may have to purchase the wall plate separately, so as to cover the space on the wall. Some wall plates don’t have to be attached with a screw. They just snap onto the plastic of the outlet.
Portability of the plug-in wall receptacles: A plug-in wall receptacle is very versatile, letting you charge appliances like a fridge and computer along with USB devices. But there’s also a great advantage to being able to detach it and plug it in elsewhere. You can always unplug it from the outlet in your house and plug it in in your garage if you need to attach several appliances and tools there.
Here are some tips about choosing an AC outlet with USB ports:
Care when installing the outlet: Installing an AC outlet with USB ports is no different than changing a regular AC outlet. You must turn off the electricity before starting the installation, and check the outlet with a tester to ensure that it is not “live”. It’s recommended to use a battery-powered screwdriver with a flashlight, to illuminate the outlet when removing the screws. Be careful to note the order of the wires connecting the outlet: which wire is GND, and which wires are “live”.
Buying in bulk: It’s also possible to order as many as 10 outlets at once so that you can install outlets in multiple locations in your home. That way, every room in your house will have convenient USB ports for recharging devices, as well as for running other appliances, such as alarm clocks or USB-powered speakers.
USB-C as well: More and more smartphones require a USB-C cable nowadays. It’s a big improvement to the USB-A port since it’s much easier to insert the USB-C cable into the port without being bothered by the cable not being in the right orientation. So, it’s wise to get an AC outlet that will have USB-A and USB-C ports.
Tamper-resistant outlet: Another handy safety feature on many of these outlets is that they are tamper-resistant. That means that there is a shutter mechanism closing the holes of the outlet until you insert a two- or three-prong plug. This can give you peace of mind if you have children in the house, who may be tempted to insert something into the outlet. The Elegrp 30W USB Wall Outlet has such a construction.
Elegrp 30W USB Wall Outlet with tamper-free guards
We looked over some of the advantages of an AC outlet with USB ports, as well as the plug-in version. They both can give you several more AC outlets, as well as allow you to recharge smartphones, smartwatches, game controllers, tablet computers–practically anything that needs a 5 V DC charger! Keep your electronics charged up and ready to go, with these versatile AC outlets!