One of the nice things about our other gig, Icrontic, is that it puts us in touch with a lot of high-tech companies. I usually go to the Consumer Electronics Show every January to cover it for the community as a member of the press.
This year, I got to take a good look at a very intriguing product called the Power2U by Newer Technology. The Power2U immediately struck my eye as something intensely useful for the modern homeowner: It’s a standard 15amp UL Listed power outlet, but it also has two 5V USB charging ports built in. That means you don’t need to take up outlets with wall-warts to charge your USB-based devices.
Now, being that we often host large Icrontic gatherings in our house, power outlets are prime real estate. At any given Icrontic gathering, you’ll find people circling like vultures over any available place to charge their devices. The Power2U would alleviate a LOT of that pressure. With two USB ports in each outlet, that means a potential FOUR devices charging at once.
I contacted Newer Technology and to my delight they agreed to send us six of the units for our renovation project.
When I showed the Power2U to our electrician, he said “Oh WOW, that is so cool!”. I told him where to install them in our retrofit project.
The USB ports are covered by spring-loaded doors that shut off power to the USB ports when the cable is removed. They are also the only UL Listed certified outlets that contain USB ports.
We’ll have these units on both the first and second floors of the house for guests and visitors. If you stop by to visit us at IcronticHQ, you can plug your device in to charge via USB while you’re hanging out with us.
Power2U units are available from Other World Computing. They sell for $27.99 each individually, but they also come discounted in ten, twenty, and hundred-pack bulk orders for larger installs or contractors.
The Power2U cannot be used in places where GFCI outlets are mandated by electrical code (such as in bathrooms), and it requires 16 cubic inches of space in the electrical box (modern electrical boxes are generally this size). If you meet these requirements, you should check these things out. Every modern household should have a couple!
Full disclosure: Newer Technology gave us six outlets for use in this renovation project. In exchange, we are writing about their products on our site and taking photographs of the installed outlets.