Part 53: Specifying USB charging sockets

    Image of blue and yellow modern room with close up of USB port
    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    Relax and recharge, as we speak with Hamilton Litestat’s Sales and Marketing Director, Gavin Williams, on how changing EU regulations will increase reliance on USB charging sockets, and why more than one type of USB port is needed to support devices and futureproof a hotel’s charging capabilities…

    Today, ensuring your guests have access to the right electrical wiring solutions to recharge their devices is as important as them having a restful stay. Whether they are relaxing by watching a film on a tablet, or replying to important emails while on a business trip, those devices need to be powered appropriately.

    Until now, block plug-in USB chargers have come as standard with battery-powered devices. In a move to reduce electrical waste and the impact this has on the environment, the European Union is looking to stop manufacturers from providing these with every device and move towards a standard USB-type charging connector. One of the first brands to make this change is Apple, which isn’t providing a charging unit with the iPhone 12. An increased demand for USB charging ports is an anticipated fallout from this. But not all USB connectors were created equal.

    USB-A vs USB-C

    The USB connector we’re probably most familiar with and is used in laptops and remote storage devices is the USB Type A, or USB-A. This has a reasonably large physical connector and offers charging of up to 2.5W. However, a new standard that enables significantly faster charging is on the horizon – the USB Type C, or USB-C. USB-C is physically much smaller and, more importantly, facilitates extremely fast data transfer of up to 10 Gbps and power transfer of 100W for rapid charging.

    Unlike the early days of mobile phones where each brand had its own unique charging cable, USB-C is set to become standard across new devices. More than 700 technology companies, including Apple, Dell, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, and Samsung, have done away with the charging block and adopted the USB-C standard for upcoming products. Demand for USB-C charging ports is set to soar.

    Image of luxury clean room with a usb charging socket close up

    Image credit: Jonathan Borba/Hamilton Litestat

    Charging ahead

    Hotels looking to support all visitors and their varied power requirements will need to provide charging options for both legacy devices and the new standard.

    Hamilton is supporting the industry with combined double switched 2.4A USB sockets that feature both USB-A and USB-C charging ports. Available in four stylish and versatile plate designs – Hartland, Hartland G2, Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX – and up to eleven finishes, these solutions deliver functionality of the future while ensuring interior style and design aspirations are achieved.

    Double switched USB sockets sit perfectly either side of the bed in a guestroom for convenience and style. And with Hamilton offering a vast range of flexible solutions in those plate designs, lighting and other functionality can be delivered with coordinated plates throughout the guestroom.

    Since you’re here, why not read Hamilton Litestat’s recent case study, featuring Hotel Indigo Bath?

    Power up!

    However, faster charging needs more power more rapidly and there are still restrictions on the charging capability from a 13A socket. To deliver the higher rate of charge for high-capacity devices, such as the new MacBook Pro or iPad Pro, a Euro Module is required. Hamilton has recently launched a 45W Type C / 18W Type A Euro Module that is designed to deliver additional power, ensuring power-thirsty devices can charge at full capacity, ensuring guests will never run out of power.

    The Euro Module works particularly well in bespoke plates, designed to meet the requirements of the international traveller. Often positioned alongside desk/dressing table areas, guests have everything they need to work, relax, and recharge.

    For hotels looking to support their guests in the long term, Hamilton’s USB charging products provide stylish transitional solutions. Supporting legacy devices, along with providing the power needed of the latest high-capacity devices, all guests will be able to both work, relax and recharge without any worries.

    Hamilton Litestat was a Session Sponsor at Hotel Designs LIVE in February 2021, and is also a loyal Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

    Main image credit: Edelle Bruton/Hamilton Litestat

    Hamish Kilburn / 25.02.2021


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    Hamish Kilburn