Friday, October 13, 2017

Adding a USB Charging Port To a Lamp

In a previous post, we rewired this Mid-Century table lamp. The job included new sockets, lamp cord, plug, and felt. After the job was complete the owner decided to add a USB charger to the lamp base. This allows you to charge a phone, tablet, camera with your lamp and not tie up another plug or have to use a long cord.

The only lamp part we need for this is the USB adapter itself.

48472 - Table Lamp USB Charger for Cell Phones, Tablets, Etc.
You are reading a blog on lamp repair so you can also consider re-purposing an old phone charger. This might involve some soldering and delicate wiring, but is an option. An important note to consider is this really only works for lamps with hollow bases or some cavity to hide a charger.

For this old table lamp we will turn  the lamp on its side and peel back the felt bottom. Pick a spot on the lamp base to add the USB outlet and mark accordingly.

Next, you will need to connect the wires from the adapter to the lamp wires. This lamp is a prime candidate with its large hollow base and the preexisting wire nut connection. The USB charger uses the same power source as the lamp sockets. The pigtails wire directly in the wire nut connection. For our lamp, the black wire from the adapter connects to the smooth lamp wires and the red cord connects to the ribbed wires.

Using a cutting tool like a Dremel, cut the hole in the lamp base. Connect the charging side of the USB adapter to the lamp. Tuck in the charger body and replace the felt bottom.

Plug in the lamp; plug in the electronics.

Viola! Since the charger is on the wall side of any switch, the charger works even when the lamp is not on.

Total Cost < $25.00 total time < 1 hour