Build a Lamp Combo USB Charger Easy Fun DIY





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Here is a fun diy project that only takes a few hours and will run you around $50 dollars. The combo Lamp, electrical outlet and USB charger.

USB Outlet Lamp Combo_4

Here is everything that you will need with prices included:

Junction box – $1.02
Cover – $1.25
Outlet and 2.1 AMP USB – $15
Snaplock Connector – $1
1/8 nipples – $5
Wirenuts – $1
Rust-Oleum Spray Paint – $3.87
Electrical Tape – $1.50
Nuts and washers – $1.50
1/2 T – $4
Grounded cord (3 wire) – $5
Light switch – $2.97
Lamp Socket – $5
Galvanized bushing – $4.50
Lamp shade – $5

Total cost – $59.85
Hi-Res Printable Illustrated Parts List

USB Outlet Lamp Combo_2USB Outlet Lamp Combo_3

THE LIST – Outlet with usb, light switch, junction box. (there will be a variety of styles deep, square, plastic, metal).
The feet are galvanized and painted fittings from the plumbing section. Two “tees”, and some threaded reducer bushings to connect through the knockouts of the junction box.
In the lighting section they’ll have diy lamp kits, and will have threaded rods, harps to hang the shade on if needed.
You could always just print out the pics, or put them on your phone if possible, show them to the person at the home improvement store and they will help you find everything.

USB Outlet Lamp Combo_1

For those of you not an electrical genius, here is a not so professional way of hooking up the wiring – Connect green ground from cord to the green ground of the switch, outlet, AND THE METAL CASE, and the light socket if it has a shell ground. (As long as the metal body of the box is grounded, you are ok.)
Connect the white neutral wire of the cord to the terminal labeled neutral on the outlet (usually a silver screw) and to the white or outside threaded part of the light socket.
Connect hot black of the cord to the hot of the outlet (usually gold screw) and to one side of the switch. Connect the other side of the switch to the center hot terminal of the light socket.

wiring

You will need 4 more pieces of wire to get power to the outlets. Have a look at the wiring schematic above. We actually cut about 5 inches of wire off of the end of the cord we bought and used that for the extra wiring. 4 pieces of wire are needed to complete the wiring – A small white wire (neutral) A small black wire (hot) and two green wires (ground). The black wire will go from the USB outlet directly to the switch. The white wire will get spliced from the USB outlet to the white wire. (2 small green wires used here) One green wire will go from the green ground screw on the USB outlet to the green screw on the switch and the second will be grounded into the metal housing box. (NOTE: The black wire is the “hot” wire, power travels from the wall and up and into the switch (look at schematic above) the switch is used only to turn on and off the light. The USB outlet is ALWAYS powered regardless which way the switch is turned on or off.) Remember, it is a good practice to wrap the outlets with electrical tape to cover the screws when using metal junction boxes (you do have the option to use a plastic junction box instead). When you are pushing all that stuff back in and something touches the metal, it will cause a spark and or shock so wrap well in electrical tape.

USB Outlet Lamp Combo_6The power comes in from the wall to the outlet, then from the outlet to the switch, and from the switch to the light. So yes, the outlet works when the lamp is turned off. Also make sure the USB / Outlet is rated at 2.1 amps so it won’t be an issue charging your iPad.

USB Outlet Lamp Combo_5

USB Outlet Lamp Rear View

Lamp and USB Charger Combo with diy Skull Lampshade

The above USB Charger/Lamp Combo was sent in by one of our readers.
They followed our plans and went a few steps further by creating a custom lampshade.
When off, the lamp shade is white. Turned on, the cool colors appear!
Also notice the bottom circular plate that the lamp stands on.
This adds for a better appearance and keeps the lamp sturdy.
(A special thanks to Mark Justin for sending this photo to us)

*** FOR THOSE HAVING ISSUES WITH WIRING – PLEASE SEE BELOW *** diy lamp usb combo wiring diy lamp usb combo wiring diy lamp usb combo wiring diy lamp usb combo wiring diy lamp usb combo wiringdiy lamp usb combo wiringdiy lamp usb combo wiring

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bill March 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

I actually purchased everything you have in the list to make this lamp myself… Do you have a way for me to show you the finished product when I’m done? I think it would be cool to compare your lamp with mine. And btw I found a better USB outlet that says 2.8 amps. This means you can actually charge 2 iPads at once! I bought it at home depot and was only $25 dollars.

2 DIY Project Help Tips March 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Hi Bill, Yes feel free to email your lamp pictures to – info (at) removeandreplace.com
Once you or anyone else sends in a photo of your USB/Lamp Project, we will add it to the site for others to compare.

3 Alex March 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm

So, how do I connect the wires to more than one spot? Do I need a little piece of wire to splice a few of the spots together?

4 Alex March 6, 2013 at 4:42 pm

So I’m a little unclear about the wiring. If my brain is working correctly, you need some more wire. To span between the two plugs and to connect to the metal box and stuff? How do you put one wire from the cord, to two or three seperate spots?

5 DIY Project Help Tips March 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Hi Alex, Yes you need 4 more pieces of wire to hook up the outlets. Have a look at the wiring schematic above. (Or here http://removeandreplace.com/2013/03/03/build-a-lamp-combo-usb-charger-easy-fun-diy/wiring/ ) We actually cut about 5 inches of wire off of the end of the cord we bought and used that for the extra wiring. 4 pieces of wire – A small white wire (neutral) A small black wire (hot) and two green wires (ground). The black wire will go from the USB outlet directly to the switch. The white wire will get spliced from the USB outlet to the white wire. (2 small green wires used for the ground) The green wire will go from the green ground screw on the USB outlet to the green screw on the switch and then grounded into the metal housing box.

6 Colleen March 24, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Thanks for the plans/idea…going to make one for my desk in my classroom/computer lab :-)

Did you find the junction box cover as is or did you paint it? Thanks!

Colleen

7 DIY Project Help Tips March 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Hi Colleen,
Yes we did paint ours. However some home improvement stores may have them already painted. If you choose to paint yours, make sure to use a good quality spray paint. The Rust-Oleum brand seems to be the best for spray painting over metal.

8 Mark March 28, 2013 at 1:05 am

Just built this little steam punk lamp/iPad charger/outlet and it is just plain C-O-O-L! My question is the legs. I used the 1/2 T and bushings as indicated, but the legs are really wobbly since the bushings don’t snug up into the T’s to make a tight fit. What’s the secret? What did I miss?

Thanks for the inspiration and creativity!

Mark.

9 DIY Project Help Tips March 28, 2013 at 4:28 am

Hi Mark,
We did have the same issue…. Simple Fix – We removed the legs and sanded them down an 1/8 inch. This creates a flat surface on the legs making the lamp sturdy and level.
Also, could you email us a few pictures of your lamp? We would like to see how you did. info (at) removeandreplace.com

10 Andrew November 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Fantastic tutorial! I’m having trouble figuring out how you seated the lamp socket into the gang box though. The pictures don’t show you using the galvanized bushing or the other pieces shown in the original parts list and it doesn’t look like you knocked out the metal spacer. Hoping you can provide some guidance. Thank you!

11 DIY Project Help Tips November 5, 2013 at 10:14 pm

Hi Andrew,
We drilled a hole in the top of the gang box and put the threaded tube through the hole and secured it with a nut at the top and a nut at the bottom. Here is a picture to show you what we mean. http://removeandreplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/USB-Outlet-Lamp-Combo_3.jpg
-RR

12 Margie November 25, 2013 at 11:29 pm

For those of us less handy, sounds like a fundraiser to me!!!

13 chantel December 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Is there any tutorials you have about making the white lamp shade that changes colors when on?

14 Melanie May 27, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Do you have a more detailed parts list with sizes and quantities?

15 DIY Project Help Tips May 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

Melanie,
All parts needed can be found at your local home improvement store in the “electrical” section, “lighting” section, and “plumbing” section. There are pictures on this page that show everything you need. Print the pictures or screenshot with your phone and take it with you to the store.
-RR

16 CAPERNIUS September 12, 2014 at 7:48 am

COOL!!
TY for sharing!

I do not know if it is required for code, but I noticed tha you did the same thing I would do…
covering the wires with electrical tape. I started doing this years ago for safety reasons & I still do it today.
This is sweet! :)

Have to make me 1….or 3

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