Thursday, December 4, 2014

Leviton USB Outlets

These days we all have a lot of things that charge from a USB style charger.  Most of us have a collection of car chargers (see the previous post on better car chargers) and a bunch of "wall wart" chargers that convert 120VAC to 5VDC for charging and regulate charging current.  Five years ago, many of these chargers were all in one, but it's much more common these days to have a cable and separate power supply.

The next obvious step is to get rid of the wall wart clutter, right?  There are plenty of options out there, but I went with the Leviton T5632 in our home.  This particular outlet has a number of advantages over the other products I considered.  The first nice thing about this outlet is that it fits 2 standard 15A AC plugs in with the 2 USB plugs in a single gang, decora switch/GFI outlet form factor.  Many of the other options gave up an AC outlet.  Second, and more importantly, it can drive 3.6A to the two USB outlets.  This isn't quite the 4.8A that two iPads might draw, but it's close, so it will charge most combinations of devices at high speed.
We installed one of these next to each night stand in our bedroom, one at the bar in our kitchen, and threw all the wall warts in a drawer.  We may get a few more soon.  Let me know if you see something better.  Right now on Amazon there is another brand that advertises 4A, but the install looks a little less standard than the Leviton.  I'd say the Leviton is still the best option.

Like all USB chargers, make sure you get the correct part number (I've provided direct links), as there are lower power versions available.  Also, some of the Amazon reviews mention trouble fitting the plugs into boxes.  If you have an older home or remodel wall boxes, depth might be a problem, so I might try one before I went crazy and ordered 3 or 4.  This won't be a problem for your electrician in a new home, of course.

Products referenced in this post:

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