Introduction: USB Outlet Lamp
I had someone come into the Lowes where I work wanting to make a lamp with USB outlets inside. He didn't really know what he needed, so after doing a bit of research, I made one myself.
Step 1: Overview
The total cost of the project is around $70 without discounts. Everything but the USB outlet itself was bought at Lowes. They don't sell the outlet in store, so I picked one up online.
1 x USB Wall Outlet (I got a 4A outlet. More A or Amps, the more charging capacity)
1 x Red Spray Paint
1 x Metal Outlet Box (2 and 1/8 inch Deep)
1 x Single gang metal box cover (make sure it fits)
4 x 1/2 inch lock nuts
1 x 1/2 - 1/8 reducer (plumbing department)
1 x 1/2 inch floor plate (plumbing)
1 x 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch long nipple (plumbing)
1 x 1/2 inch NM/SE knockout connector
1 x Grounded plug (with wires exposed on one end)
1 x Lamp Socket (with on/off switch on the socket, make sure it works with your shade)
1 x Pack of Misc 1/8 inch rods
1 x Foot of 18/2 lamp cable
4 x Ring Style Wire End Blade Connector (Rings with little blue plastic sleeves)
1 x Lamp Shade (I used the one from my current lamp)
Screwdriver (multi-bit helps)
2 Wrenches (for tightening the lock nuts)
Wire Crimping Tool
Metal Hack Saw
Metal File / Metal Sand Paper
Step 2: Core Assembly
Screw the 1/2 Nipple to the Floor flange. Feel free to make this connection as tight as possible.
Remove two 1/2 inch knockouts on the box (the smaller ones) one above the other. Also knock out one 1/2 knockout in the back near the bottom, I chose the bottom right one when looking at the lamp from the front.
Next attach the 1/2 nipple and flange to the bottom of the box using two lock nuts, the attach the 1/2 - 1/8 reducer to the top using another one. Tighten with the wrenches, then screw your 1/8 rod of choice into the reducer. I recommend a 2-3 inch rod. You could go longer for a taller shade.
If you wanted a taller lamp, you could also use a longer 1/2 inch nipple for the base.
Step 3: Modifying the Outlet
My outlet didn't quite fit inside of my box. Your millage may vary, but I had to use the hacksaw to cut off the top hole connector. The face plate I'm using screws into the lower hole anyway.
Start by twisting off the little metal wings on the connector.
Next I would wrap the outlet in a cloth of some sort to keep out any metal shavings. Start with very slow forwards pushes against where you want to cut. Once you get a grove, apply some WD 40 using a q tip or similar to the metal, it makes cutting smoother. Once through simply file down the sharp edges.
Step 4: Paint the Faceplate
Optional, but the pictures I saw used a red face plate which looked really nice, so I stuck with the idea. One person I showed wanted one in purple.
Step 5: Wiring
This is the tricky part.
Start by feeding the wire through the connector on the back, give yourself enough slack to work with. Take your wire blade connectors and attach two to the white and black wires on the plug, and two to one end of the lamp cord. (I changed lamp cord to this higher quality one I had lying around)
Connect the black wire(Hot) to the brass screw, connect the white wire(Neutral) to the silver screw. Green wire goes to the green screw. Didn't take pictures of this part, but the included picture shows the basic idea, use the blade connectors to connect the wires to the outlet.
Next bring the other end of the lamp wire up through the 1/8 inch tube and out the top. Connect the black to brass, and white to silver. Don't need blades here, you should have enough room.
Lastly make sure it all fits inside of your box. I did my wiring to fit with the shape of the outlet/curve of the box. You may need to re-position some cables to get it all in there snug. Then test to make sure the wiring works before you seal it up.
Step 6: Putting It All Together
Put on the face plate (after unplugging the lamp from your testing) and pop on the shade. Plug it in and voila. A USB Lamp! A fun little project you can knock out in an afternoon. You could also put an exclusive USB outlet(one with only USB's) in there instead.
Thanks for looking!