At a Glance
The Screwfix LAP 13A 2-Gang Switched Socket & USB Charger Port Brushed Steel Flat Plate is a great solution if all your power sockets are taken over by USB cable plugs. If you’re handy with a screwdriver and can wire a wall plate this is easy to install.
With a daily need for charging,
tablets end up causing more USB and Lightning cable mess than old-fashioned rotary dial phones with their curly cords.
Wall power sockets in every room of the house are being taken over with plugs for USB charging cables, meaning you need to disconnect the kettle just to charge with your iPhone or Android. Or you go to plug your charge cable in to a plug and find someone else in the house just started charging their device – leading to a very modern-day ethical dilemma.
The answer could be this product: a wall plate that includes both 3-pin power sockets and USB slots.
There are now a few companies selling such wall plates. We recently reviewed another: the
Group Gear USB charging plate.
If one of these looks like it will solve some problems in your house, you can buy one for around £20.
I prefer not to buy electrical equipment from sites such as eBay or even the Amazon Market Place (Amazon direct products should be legit) as you can never be too sure how safe these mostly Chinese imports are.
I purchased my USB charging plate from reputable builders merchants
ScrewFix. Reassuringly it is BS 5733 and BS EN 60950, ASTA approved.
The ScrewFix LAP 13A 2-Gang Switched Socket & USB Charger Port Brushed Steel Flat Plate costs £19.99 and looks nicer than the more plasticky Group Gear plate, but this will be a subjective judgement.
It features an integral moisture protection gasket and angled, in-line terminals, and comes supplied with backed out captive screws for easy installation.
Installation isn’t difficult depending on the placement of the plate and your own ability to wire up electrical equipment.
I stupidly decided to fit mine as a replacement to a wall plate under a cupboard in a darker corner of my kitchen. It was a bit of a struggle, especially when I left the plastic surround off the first time.
But if you have ever switched a wall plate before you’ll know it can be fiddly but isn’t head-scratchingly complex.
Turn off your house electricity, double-check power is off, and then remove the existing plate before switching to the new one.
I took pictures of the back of the old one while the wires were still attached in case I had to revert to the old one again.
The ScrewFix brushed steel wall charging plate features two standard 3-pin sockets and two USB outputs (2.1A, 5V, Type A) and requires a 35mm depth wall box. It is 90mm high and 150mm wide, with a depth of 40mm.
If your power sockets are all used up with USB plugs this is a great solution.
An alternative that at least frees up one power socket – maybe for one of the
best Powerline adapters – is a dual-USB slot plug, like this one below, which cost about £5 and don’t require a screwdriver.
ScrewFix USB Wall Charging Plate: Specs
- USB outputs: 2.1A, 5V, Type A. Requires 35mm depth wall box. Fixings supplied. BS 5733: 2010, BS EN 60950-1: 2006.