Wiring a USB socket into lighting circuit.

3 Mar 2009
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United Kingdom
I am planning a shelf near my front door as a convenient place to leave mobile phones.

It would be even more convenient if I could get a USB charging socket to it too. However it's not close to a power socket. It is very close however to a light switch.

I can't find a "light switch with USB socket" like you can with power sockets. Would it be possible to wire a USB socket like this to the lighting circuit?

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I take it back; here's one:


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First thing to do here before you head out buying anything is to turn your power off. Then unscrew your light switch and take a photo of the wiring behind it with your camera phone. Make sure the photo is well lit and in focus and includes all wires contained within the back box of your switch.

Then screw the switch back taking care not to trap any wires especially with the fixing screws. Turn the power back on and post the photos on here. We will be able then to tell you if your switch idea is a good idea or a none starter.
I'm curious to know why a USB socket 5 feet away from the floor is useful? USB sockets built into mains outlet I can see, but all the way up there?

Maybe Eddie isn't the only person in the world to want a shelf near a door as a convenient place to leave mobile phones?
Both the USB sockets linked to are under rated at only 1amp. Although OK for phones tablets such as the IPad require 2.1 amp USB chargers.
When selecting the USB socket give some thought to what will happen if the voltage converter behind the USB socket fails.

Some of the cheaper ones ( that even have a forged C E mark ) are so cheaply made that a failure could result in mains voltage appearing on the USB contacts. This could cause a lot of expensive damage to the device being charged.

They are dangerous and hence illegal an in the UK but they are designed to be sold to UK customers.

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