Replace your AC outlets with this dual USB charger

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Go ahead, install it yourself! Nothing could possibly go wrong!


I could see this being great if you have exposed outlets, but mine are invariably behind furniture. Having USB chargers on cords coming out of them is much more convenient than having to plug into the outlet itself.

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These are nice, but at $18 a pop (vs. < $1 a pop for a standard outlet) you’re paying out the nose. Incidentally, a standard 12W Apple charger brick is only $15 on amazon:

So, at $18, you’re paying an extra $3 (and going through the minor hassle of replacing an outlet) to never lose a charger. Which may in fact be worth it to some folks.


It’s a great idea, but I don’t like the idea of plugging into USB without surge protection on expensive equipment like phones, tablets and our Jamboxes.

How much power do those USB ports consume when not in use?


This is EXACTLY what I want to know. Vampire draw can be significant on DC transformer power supplies and with these there’s no easy way to turn them off.

Depends on how good the circuit is that’s in there that converts the 120VAC into 5VDC. A well designed one should have minimal current draw – I’d imagine less than 1W. Only way to really tell would be to crack one open and poke at it with a multimeter to see how much power it’s actually wasting when doing nothing.

ETA: Looks like it’s rated for 5V 4A (which is 20W), so in theory it could charge 2 iPads (10W each) provided it can actually handle 4A output. It won’t do fast charging on both, though – the newer iPad “fast” chargers are 12W.

Per the FAQ on the Amazon page:

Very low static load-loss. The draw is on the order of 0.3 watts an hour, or less than 3 kilowatt hours a year or under fifty cents worth of electricity a year.

Just curious and this is not meaning to be a personal attack: where did the idea of this “vampire load” come from? If any energy is used by a DC adapter with nothing plugged into it, literally all of the energy is converted to heat. If you put your hand on your charger and don’t feel uncomfortable, it’s not wasting that much energy; certainly less than any old incandescent bulbs you might have around the house.

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Not sure how accurate it is, but from an Amazon answer:

Very low static load-loss. The draw is on the order of 0.3 watts an hour, or less than 3 kilowatt hours a year or under fifty cents worth of electricity a year. You will spend more on the outlet itself over a 30 year lifespan than on the electricity used in standby mode. Is the electricity wasted worth more than the frustration looking for the right USB adapter. Think iPhone versus iPad charger.

To each his own. I really don’t find manually plugging in an adapter “frustrating,” and enjoy the tiny warm fuzzy feeling I get knowing I’m wasting a little less power.

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Placement of the USB ports isn’t well thought out. A block transformer in either outlet is going to block both the USB ports.


With apple’s tendency to introduce new charging protocols I wouldn’t want to hardwire a USB charger into my house.


It’s not rocket science. I just replaced a bad wall switch today, and it’s virtually the same as replacing an outlet (which I’ve also done). I replaced most of the light switches in my home with X-10s years ago.

If it was that dangerous, they wouldn’t sell them at Target.


Um, excuse, don’t we need 16 D Batteries for our jamboxes? What the hell do you mean USB?


The EU, in particular, has been pushing for low standby power draws for all sorts of electronics devices (says, TVs). In the example given, if you have twenty of these outlets in your house, all with the USB plugs, that’s 60 6 watts. Times a hundred houses in your neighborhood, that’s 0.6KW. Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year - 5,200 KWhr.

Me? I’d prefer a good quality AC/USB adapter plugged into a socket. They’re cheap.


It’s interesting to do the math on that.

If everyone in the world unplugged every appliance they weren’t using, how many billions of tons of carbon would not be spewed into the atmosphere?

If every device that currently has a remote control (such as tvs, stereos, ceiling fans, etc.) had a hard-off switch instead, how many cases of lung cancer would not occur?

I did this exercise a long time ago, during California’s fake energy crisis created by Enron and their buddies. It turned out that there wouldn’t have been any crisis if it wasn’t for vampire draw. Now, it’s important to note that since that particular crisis was fake, it was going to happen regardless of how consumers behaved - but I didn’t know that yet back when I did the numbers.

Scale matters. If we all buy cool wireless chargers, thus wasting a significant portion of our charging current creating useless heat, how many people die? How many glaciers melt?

We can have nice things without harming the environment that supports human life, but we have to practice thinking at scale. It would have been extremely simple for the designers of this outlet to incorporate a mechanical switch which would cut off power to the USB voltage converter when not in use; but because people don’t think at scale, nobody bothered.


Look at those guns that he got just carrying around all those batteries, never mind the stereo!

But I meant something else… but you can still tote it around on your shoulder if you don’t care about your hearing.


(Yeah, I know… I just wanted to post that picture! Because Do the Right Thing…)


Where else could they have put them? The NEC and the Decora standard make that layout about the best they could do; certainly better than bunching 2 USB ports in the middle, which is the other layout I’ve seen.

I’m no math genius, but I 0.3 * 20 = 6, not 60.