Charging portable electronics is becoming more challenging as the number of devices we own keeps growing!
Four years ago, the Consumer Electronics Association reported that the average American home had about 24 electronic devices. With each household member using multiple devices, a common challenge in modern American homes is finding a way for everyone to charge their devices. While many people default to a power strip full of individual chargers, that’s not the best solution. With the large transformers on each charging cord, it’s hard to even fully use a power strip. Power strips can also be dangerous if they overload an outlet, causing circuit failure or fire risk.
There are two basic options to add more charging functionality to your home: charging stations or upgraded outlets.
- Charging stations are available in two basic types; you can either buy just the USB station or you can upgrade to a dock that organizes the cords and clutter. The basic USB charging station has one electric plug connected to a transformer, which then provides power to multiple USB ports. A multi-device charging dock includes some sort of stand with dividers to hold the devices and cords.
- Upgraded wall outlets provide a sleek option, especially if you never seem to have enough outlets in your house. The easiest option is a pluggable converter; these devices plug right into an existing outlet and add two USB ports. Often available with higher USB amperages, these converters may also have extra features like a small cradle to hold your device. Another option is to install a new outlet altogether. Replacement options include a combination of traditional three prong outlets and USB outlets or an all-USB outlet. These replacement outlets may be sized differently than your current outlet, so we recommend professional installation.
Keep in mind the following considerations when choosing any type of additional charging for your home:
- The number of devices you will want to charge at once. Charging stations are commonly available that charge anywhere from four to ten devices, while outlets typically only offer one or two ports. Don’t go overboard with more ports than you need, since the device will simply take up more space.
- The power requirements of your devices. Charging outputs differ among devices; ideally, you want to find a station that delivers the highest amperage your devices can handle. Look for a unit that can detect the demand current for each device so your electronics aren’t damaged. Newer tablets and phones will take longer to charge on low amperage ports; ideally, the charging station or outlet will have at least a few ports that can deliver “fast charge” amperage.
- Charging stations and outlets are typically available in basic black or white, but there are also options for a silver or wood finish. If it’s going to be somewhere highly visible in your home, it may be worth choosing a design that fits your décor.
- As for any electric purchase, always check for UL safety certification. Nearly all devices on the market today will be UL certified, but occasionally you may still find a discount item that is not. Avoid any item that isn’t clearly marked with this certification!
Charlottesville Wall Outlet Installation
If you need further advice or want a quote to install upgraded wall outlets in Charlottesville, call Fitch Services. Our certified electricians can help you eliminate family squabbles over access to limited device charging outlets!