Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tech for your tiny house; wall plugs with built in USB charging ports

For those of us who love tiny living and are also into our tech toys, here’s a great way to add integrated charging ports for iPhone, iPad, Kindle, cameras, and all our other USB devices.

I stumbled across a reference to a USB charging wall outlet online, so later when we were building our second tiny house, we decided to install some in it. I shopped around for quite a while for the right one, and finally chose the Power2U AC/USB Wall Outlet by Newer Technology. It has two AC outlets and two USB outlets arranged so they can all be used at one time. you can get it for just over $13 on Amazon, or direct from Newer Technology in 2 packs or bulk boxes. It installs easily in the same space as a normal wall outlet.

Besides the functional layout, what sets this option apart from others I looked at is the built in energy efficiency. The two USB ports have shutters connected to switches that turn off the power to the ports they’re not is use, preventing it from drawing a “vampire” energy. Many devices draw current anytime they’re plugged in, even when they’re off (or asleep). Electricians often call this a parasitic load, and obviously it’s a waste of energy and money we want to avoid.

In our YouTube video coming out Friday June 14, Dylan discusses the Power2U outlet and demonstrates the installation process. Enjoy a new level of convenience in your tiny house with handy USB ports in the charging location of your choice!