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.

Materials:

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)

Tools:

Screwdriver (multi-bit helps)

2 Wrenches (for tightening the lock nuts)

Wire Crimping Tool

Newspaper

WD40

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!

Comments

author
Willyco2608 (author)2017-03-05

Good job, here is my lighter version, made out of TIGERWOOD leftovers

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author
hermancawood (author)Willyco26082017-05-16

Hi Willyco2608. Where did you find the USB adaptor?

author
Radio Dude (author)2017-01-19

Nice job! I have a question regarding the fact that it looks "top heavy". By this I mean does it have a tendency to get knocked over due to all the weight up top on a small base?

author
monkhm (author)Radio Dude2017-01-19

Sadly yea. You could remedy the problem by hot gluing or epoxying a smell metal rod inside of the base since it opens up into the main support pipe. I don't have issues with the one pictured here, but another I made for a friend does have some issues standing upright. They solved it by simply gluing a bit of cardboard to the bottom widening the base enough to make it stable.

author
beikugun made it! (author)2016-12-06

Decided on just an outlet and shorter pedestal. Painted the front in red and the rest grey.

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author
monkhm (author)beikugun2016-12-06

Ooo I like this, and your paint job is much nicer than mine. Excelent job!

author
beikugun (author)monkhm2016-12-07

Thanks! I really wanted it shinny.

author
inkstom (author)2016-03-10

I've been making these for years until the new girl I started dating said they were ugly as sin. They now live in my workshop. :(

author
Intensescroot (author)inkstom2016-03-11

...best excuse for constructing your mancave that I've ever heard!

author
inkstom (author)Intensescroot2016-03-12

Hahah, I didn't need an excuse before, but now that I have one....

author
Intensescroot (author)2016-03-11

Super idea, Monkhm! Love your photo too...a neat workshop is like a neat desk; It shows you spend more time cleaning than working. You should've seen Einstein's desk!

author
IRQ_VET (author)2016-03-10

My kid loves this lamp, I made one for her and I just have some side notes, add a double socket plate and add a light switch, this will run independently from the outlet so it doesn't have to be on to work, also add clear coat so the paint won't scratch off. Cool project tho

author
JoelC11 (author)IRQ_VET2016-03-11

Great idea on the switch.

author
monkhm (author)IRQ_VET2016-03-10

The way I have mine setup the light works independently of the outlet. Outlet is always on, light when I need it.

author
Inventoration (author)2016-03-10

Cool idea, add another project to the want-to-list! Thanks for sharing.

author
jarodpenn (author)2016-03-10

Made one myself recently. I'm a big fan of Fallout so mine looks a little more diesel era, but basically the same. Good job, man!

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