Identifying the USP in USB

August 6th 2018

Michael Simms is product manager for wiring accessories at Crabtree, one of Electrium’s leading brands in electrical components. He talks to Wholesaler & Electrical Distributor about USB sockets, about how wholesale staff can bring in additional revenue by understanding the possibilities of this fast-growing market.

Many of the devices we interact with every day use USB to charge. From phones and tablet computers to smart watches and satnavs, the list continues. All, however, contribute to the growing demand to have somewhere to plug them in.

USB socket solutions give a fixed, reliable and safe option for charging points. This becomes even more important when users of buildings such as offices and hotels might inadvertently accommodate unsafe plug chargers for charging devices.

The risk that poor quality chargers pose in the market is well documents with potentially very serious consequences of their use. Having a tested permanent USB charging capability can dramatically reduce this risk.

Whether in a residential, commercial or industrial setting there is a solution for every market. With a wide variety of socket-outlets, the range now available to the contactor via the wholesaler has never been better. 

This delivers the ability to demonstrate a level of service, knowledge and value proposition to the customer – which will ultimately secure repeat custom and increase turnover and your bottom line.

White moulded

At the most basic level, a white moulded USB socket is great for general applications. It provides all the necessary functionality and would suit the needs of a low traffic area, making it a good budget option for residential or light commercial settings.


With a more aesthetically pleasing finish and tougher durability decorative USB double pole sockets, like the ones available from Crabtree, provide a solution for the home, office and settings such as hotels and restaurants where a more robust solution is needed.

In the home this could mean adding a USB charging outlet where one is most needed, for example in the kitchen or down the side of the bed where wall space for sockets can be at a premium.

In a commercial setting, by providing a USB charging outlet, it encourages the end user to prioritise that over their own USB adapter which may be low-cost, or even untested (PAT), and so reduces the risk associated for the FM.

The decorative USB double pole sockets from Crabtree are rated at 5V DC and 2100mA which is shared across both ports and meet BS EN60950-1 BS1363-2 and BS5733. They are available in satin chrome, stainless steel, highly polished chrome, polished steel, polished brass and bronze finishes, as well as a choice of black or white interior colours.

Metal clad

Industrial sites such as factories, garages and workshops would benefit from metal clad products, such as Crabtree’s new Metalclad Dual USB socket-outlet.

Their tough exterior allows users to plug in devices safe in the knowledge that its surrounding environment won’t affect its performance.

The robust shape and composition of metal clad assembly makes it perfect to fit in a variety of applications, bringing a wider choice of USB socket outlets to the market.

Away from industrial purposes, installers at educational facilities would also benefit from the advantages provided by the high impact durability of the socket.

Meeting all relevant product standards, the new Metalclad Dual USB socket-outlet from Crabtree, is a 13A two gang switched socket with double pole switching – with two USB ports providing a total of 2.1 amps.

The durable finish of the socket thanks to its Metalclad features means it is resistant to premature aging, discolouration and corrosion, keeping the socket looking as fresh as the day it was installed.


There are certain applications where a USB charging outlet outdoors would be very useful. Such as loading bays in a logistics setting, where the tracking of goods in and out is all digitised and so keeping devises charged is imperative.

This can be achieved by combining Crabtree’s white and black dual euro USB modules with an IP56 weatherseal mounting frames for arduous environments

Crabtree’s USB socket modules can also be combined with a range of its module frame plates from decorative raised plate to Part M and White Moulded bringing even more options for USB charging where an additional plug socket isn’t needed.

Ultimately, end users have different needs and the range of USB socket outlet from Crabtree provides options and opens up more doors when it comes to your customer’s next project.

For more information about Crabtree’s USB socket-outlet range, get in touch with our team here.

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