Looking for a socket with USB?

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It was over a year ago that we published our popular article entitled 'Sockets with USB - all you need to know'. With a raft of USB sockets on the market, and forums filling up with questions, how do you know if what you're specifying or looking to purchase is the best option for your residential or hotel interior design project? If you're a mechanical and engineering (M&E) consultant, architect or interior designer tasked with sourcing switch-plates and USB sockets with matching finish, it can be a minefield to find the right manufacturer.

We've rounded up some of the more common questions we've seen online, and put together this second post about mains USBs to provide you with some answers.


What are the different types of usb chargers, plugs and sockets?

Most chargers (including Focus SB's) are fitted with a Type A USB socket, and most phones and tablets (except Apple devices) are fitted with Type B micro USB. Some newer 'phones and devices are fitted with Type C USB, which supports a new Power Delivery charging standard. Focus SB chargers do not currently support this standard (nor do most other manufacturers' USB sockets), however with the correct cable, will charge the devices (although not at the full charging rate).


USB plug socket - what amperage do I need?

This all depends on the device that is being charged. Leaving Power Delivery/Type C USBs and proprietary charging to one side, most Android devices will charge at a maximum 0.9 or 1.5A. iPads charge at 2.1 amp. Power Delivery/Type C USBs can vary amperage and voltage depending on the requirements of the device being charged, their output is usually referred to in watts. 


Do wall sockets with USB chargers use current when not connected?

Yes, less than 0.1W, for all USB chargers.


Do USB port electrical plug sockets charge 'phones?

Yes.


What is the difference between 2.1 and 3.1 USB?

This could mean the maximum charging rate in amps. 2.1A is the charging rate for an iPad.

Focus SB twin socket is one of the few sockets on the market that is rated at 3.1A. This allows for an iPad to be charged in one port which allows the other port to have 1amp available to charge a 'phone.

This question could also relate to the USB standard. USB Standards are 1, 2, 3 and 3.1. Mainly these standards relate to data rates, although they also state maximum charging rates.

  • USB 1 and 2 will support charging up to 0.5amp.
  • USB 3 will support charging and data up to 0.9amp, or 1.5amp charging only.
  • USB 3.1 standard allows for charging up to 3amps


What does 4.1 amps on a USB socket mean?


Maximum charging rate.


Can you use both USB points on a double socket?

Yes the maximum output is shared between both ports. Focus SB charge is optimised for Apple devices. The left port is rated at 2.1 amp and the right at 1 amp. For other devices the output is shared between both.


Are sockets with USB safe?

Yes, whilst some low cost or unbranded products may present risk of electric shock or fire, Focus SB USBs are tested to British Standards safety standards.


Why do I need a USB wall outlet socket?

  • Advantage in the home. You don't have to use unsightly plug-in chargers, or don't need to tie up a power socket with a plug-in charger.
  • Advantage for hotels and public buildings is to fit a USB socket from a reputable manufacturer such as Focus SB and know it is safe. If hoteliers or public building facilities managers rely on the customers to use their own charger, it could be an unsafe one bought from an unlicensed supplier.


Is it possible to have a USB connect point in an amplifier plate?

Special plates can be made to order please speak to our technical sales team on 01424 858060 about your exact requirements, or enquire via our contact form.

Read more about the safety of USB socket outlets as scrutinised by Electrical Safety First.

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