USB or Universal Serial Bus refers to a plug-and-play interface that allows a system of interconnected devices. While it is commonly associated with file transfer, it is also used for other purposes, such as powering smartphones and laptops. Because of the latter, it makes sense that you consider installing a USB outlet in your home or garage.
Installing a wall outlet with a built-in USB port has many advantages, especially for charging your gadgets. However, not all outlets are the same. If you are wondering about how to choose the best USB outlet for your home or garage, this quick guide has you covered.
Benefits of Installing a USB Outlet
Before we list down some of the most important considerations, let’s have a quick round-up of some of the most compelling reasons to install a USB port:
- It is a convenient way to charge your gadgets. There is no need to have a bulky wall charger plugged into an outlet. All that you need is a cord that connects your device to the plug.
- It frees up space in the socket. This will allow you to charge your device and run another appliance at the same time.
- It is efficient. It provides a maximum current of 500 amps. The current is transmitted without losing energy as heat. Plus, USB outlets shut off automatically when charging is done, which is a good way to save electricity.
- It is durable. Compared to having adapters that you have to plug and unplug, a fixed charging port is more durable. You cannot drop and break a USB port as against a charging adapter.
Choosing a USB Outlet
If you are buying a USB outlet for your house or garage, you might end up overwhelmed. The options are plenty, but it does not mean that they are all the same. To help you narrow down the possibilities, we’ll talk about the most important considerations below.
1. Number of Outlets
One of the first things to look at is the number of outlets that you will find in the plug. It is seldom that you will find only one. That is going to be a waste of space. we prefer having more outlets depending on your needs or the number of people in the household. There are sockets with only USB outlets while there are also others with an AC receptacle. This is good because you can charge and run an appliance at the same time. It is a great way to make the most out of the outlet.
2. Type of Port
Think about compatibility and versatility when deciding on the type of port that should be present in a USB outlet. It should match the charger of the device you will plug. To future-proof the outlet, it should also be versatile enough to suit the gadgets you plan to use in the future. Below are some of the most common types of USB ports.
- USB-A: This is a standard rectangular connector that fits a USB outlet only in one way.
- USB-B: It is an old connector and almost not used these days. The end is almost square.
- USB-C: This is the newest USB standard and common in modern phones, tablets, and laptops. It usually has a USB-A or also a USB-C on the other end. It is good because you can connect it in both ways.
In most USB plugs, you will find a USB-A in the socket itself. The other end can be different types, but the part that connects to the plug must be USB-A.
3. Charging Speed
The power level of the USB outlet is another important factor as it dictates the charging speed. It is frustrating if you have to wait several hours before your gadgets are fully charged. In recent years, manufacturers have introduced different types of fast chargers, so your USB outlet must keep up. For USB-A, the maximum speed is 12 watts or 2.4 amps. For USB-C, on the other hand, this depends on the voltage. Any model below 12 watts may not do you any good. They can be cheap but take note that they are also slow.
This is one thing that most people will ignore, but this is important if you want the USB outlet to blend seamlessly with your home or garage. The most important is the color or the finish. It should match the wall or the overall interior design, especially if it is exposed. You don’t want to ruin the look of a room only by having an outlet that is an eyesore. Speaking of design, you might also want to use one that comes with a sliding shutter. This will protect the USB port from dust, pet hair, and other things that can cause damage.
In sum, a USB outlet is a great addition to your home or garage. However, they are not all the same. They are different in terms of the number and style of outlets, design, and charging speed, among other things.
(we have written a guide for choosing the best dual fuel generators)