Cell phones and small personal electronic devices, like the Apple Watch and iPad, have become de rigueur. Most of us have multiple smart devices that we use every day. They've become so integrated into our daily lives that it's hard to remember life without them. But all these little "computers," for that's what they are, run on batteries. They need to be charged up — usually daily. If you're not careful, that can lead to a mess of charging cords and power strips running across your countertops all over the house. That's why built-in phone charging stations are gaining in popularity throughout the home improvement industry.
The problem of charging cords all over the house is a growing problem. It started years ago with the advent of cordless hand tools. (Does anyone have a corded drill anymore)? The problem exploded, however, when personal, portable "smart" devices became commonplace in most households. And it's not just multiple devices per household. It's multiple devices per person in each household. For the typical family of four, it can really add up. Even if you buy a wireless charging stand, the stand still needs to be plugged into electricity. There's going to be a mess of wires, no matter how you look at it.
And the problem is two-fold. Not only do we have too many wires, but our homes have the wrong type of outlet for our USB devices. As a result, we end up with all sorts of adapters stuck into our electrical outlets in addition to the unsightly wires. It's no wonder that built-in charging stations have become such a popular accessory in home remodeling projects.
New homes are required to have regular 3-prong electrical outlets spaced every 6 feet along the wall. Unfortunately, there is no such rule for USB outlets. Yet, people need and want these just as much as traditional electrical outlets.
Types of built-in phone charging stations for your closet, cabinet, and drawers:
Countertop charging stations for the home:
Pop-up charging portals built right into the countertop are a great solution for charging your cell phone or other small electronics. These countertop phone charging stations are available three ways.
They can pop-up from the surface of the countertop using a touch latch release.
They can sit flush with the countertop and have a removeable cover.
They can sit open like a regular electrical outlet but offer USB ports instead of traditional plugs.
Countertop charging stations are available with multiple USB ports, or a combination of USB and regular electrical outlets. They are low profile. Most people wouldn't even notice them unless they knew where to look. Countertop charging stations work well in your built-in closet dresser, vanity tables, nightstands, and more. Keep them away from wet locations like bathrooms and kitchen countertops.
Built-In Cabinet Charging stations:
Cabinet charging stations can be built either into the bottom of the cabinet base or into the side wall. You can use the same unit for for both applications. When built into the bottom of the cabinet, they function just like the countertop phone charging stations. The only difference is that the cabinet door covers the charging station and hides the clutter. They are a good option when you expect to have many devices charging at once. They also work well for charging your laptop, as the cabinet can function as the storage where you keep the laptop as well as the place to recharge the battery.
Cabinet charging stations works very well with wireless charging stations. Just leave the tray or pad in the bottom of the cabinet so that it is always ready to accept your devices.
Hot drawers are electrified drawers where you can charge small appliances and portable smart devices. Some include standard electrical recepticals so that you can plug in your corded devices as well. The charging ports are usually built into the back of the drawer. For this to work, the drawer depth should be slightly less than the depth of the cabinet that houses it. Alternately, the drawer and be designed with a "double bottom." This way, all of the electrical connections reside underneath the drawer.
In some drawers, the bottom of the drawer functions as a charging tray and you don't have to plug anything in. However, these are designed only for cell phones, Apple watches, etc. and don't work on devices that need a non-USB type of connection to charge the battery.
No matter which type of hot drawer you pick, they are always a custom design solution. Work with your cabinet/closet company to get the drawer that will best suit your needs.
Benefits of adding built-in home charging stations for cell phones.
Ready to add cell phone charging stations to your next home improvement project? The convenience is hard to beat. And they can charge more than just cell phones. Use them for your laptop computer, tablet, e-reader, or other portable device.
USB phone charging stations are easy to install. You can even install them without the services of an electrician. Add several phone charging stations yourself during your next home remodeling project. Just cut a hole and mount the charger so that the unit sits flush to the cabinet, countertop, desktop, or the back of a drawer. A hidden cord runs out the back of each unit and plugs into a regular electrical outlet. It's kind of like adding a built-in power strip with USB plug receptacles.
Phone charging stations can be added anywhere around the home. Mud rooms, media centers, home offices, and even the closet could all benefit from having a place to charge small battery operated devices. Why not embrace the future? Move your home up to the next level with built-in phone charging stations.