The 10 Best Wall USB Outlets
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Chances are you rely on at least one USB-powered device in your daily life. As they becomes increasingly ubiquitous, it'll make more and more sense to cut out the middle-man and install some wall outlets with built-in ports in your home. All of our selections will ensure that your smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets stay charged, with no chunky adapter necessary. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best wall usb outlet on Amazon.
Why You Should Upgrade To USB Wall Outlets
The world of technology is downsizing, and that extends to the size and shape of its wall outlets.
The modern electrical outlet has been around since the early 1900s, making this style of an outlet a staple of every home today. You've likely had several two and three-prong outlets in every room of your home since you were born. When something has been such an integral part of the landscape of your life, it can be hard to adjust to the idea of getting rid of it. But USB wall outlets are the future.
There is no denying it when considering facts like this: by 2018, over half of internet activities will be done via a smartphone or tablet (both of which are, of course, USB devices). Smartphone subscriptions have also been growing by the billions in recent years, and that number is only expected to grow by 15 percent each year until 2020.
Product manufacturers have already begun to recognize the value of a USB outlet, with many of them including charging ports inside of desk lamps, speaker systems, and radios. If these everyday devices are including USB charging ports, it's no stretch of the imagination to believe that soon enough, these devices themselves will be USB chargeable. Change can be hard to accept but it can come fast. One can probably recall that just ten years ago, nine out of every ten houses had a landline telephone; today that number has been cut nearly in half. The world of technology is downsizing, and that extends to the size and shape of its wall outlets.
What To Look For In A USB Wall Outlet
Don't fret that a USB wall outlet eliminates your access to AC ones; many models still include several standard three-prong plugs, in addition to USB ones. Since you have devices all over your room, look for a USB wall outlet that has plugs on the top, bottom and sides. That way, you can easily charge items that need to sit on an elevated surface, or low on the ground, all at the same time.
This will prevent dangerous electric surges in your devices.
Some outlets even have a docking station for a smartphone, freeing up the other plugs for various devices. Those looking to save money on electricity should make sure that their USB wall outlet doesn't have any ghost power draw. Otherwise known as a phantom load, or vampire energy, this is a phenomenon through which appliances you are not currently using still draw power, and can cost you hundreds of dollars.
If you live with kids, look for a model with child-safe port covers. Every day, seven children are rushed to the emergency room due to electrical shock from playing with a wall outlet. Look for a wall outlet with surge protection that is rated at least 400 joules. This will prevent dangerous electric surges in your devices. If you are worried about installation difficulties, many USB outlets plug in directly over your existing AC outlet with little or no screwing necessary.
When you believe your smartphone has been charging for hours, and are ready to leave the house, only to discover your device wasn't charging at all, it can ruin your day. So look for a USB wall adapter with indicator lights that confirm your devices are drawing power. Of course, if you are caught in that predicament, you'll be grateful if your outlet has rapid charging capabilities.
The History Of The Wall Outlet
We have Thomas Edison to thank for household electricity. After creating a lightbulb whose filament wouldn't burn out like previous models had, Edison needed a way to power his new bulbs. This forced him to build the first electrical station called the Pearl St. Plant in New York City. His plant created direct current electricity, but it soon discovered a pitfall; DC electricity could not travel very far without losing voltage. So Nikola Tesla stepped in and produced the alternating current (AC) system, which delivered electricity in cycles.
However, the plug needed to be wired to the device that needed power.
The invention of AC electricity inspired many great minds to come up with ways for households to receive this power. A man named Harvey Hubbell came up with a separable attachment plug. His design connected directly to a light socket. However, the plug needed to be wired to the device that needed power. Hubbell eventually overcame this pitfall of his invention by creating a separable plug; one portion of it could be removed, while the other was left in the socket.
In 1928, Philip F. Labre brought us the three-prong plug. Before that, there had been a high incidence of electrical shock due to a short circuit. This would occur because when a person is holding an electrical plug and there is a short circuit, their body becomes the only path for the electrical current to the ground. The third prong eliminated this problem and lay the groundwork for the model of AC outlets we see today. In 2014, Panasonic released their USB wall outlet, and that changed everything.
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