Power consumers in the household

Electricity is used in households in three different manners. I’ve collected a few useful tips around these three power uses that I find important to make everyday life easier or that I’ve come across as a problem in other people’s homes.

Electricity is used in households in three different manners.

  • 220V power outlets are used for regular household appliances

  • Low voltage adapters are used to power rechargeable devices such as smart phones and tablets

  • Finally, batteries are used for a number of other gadgets

I’ve collected a few useful tips around these three power uses that I find important to make everyday life easier or that I’ve come across as a problem in other people’s homes.

220V tips and tricks – The world of power outlets

If you’re about to have your house constructed/renovated, you should think hard about the placement of power outlets. You can be certain that you’ll miss a plug where you need one, or there will be fewer power outlets than needed. This basic problem is exacerbated by a few more that you’ll encounter every single day.

  • rooms usually have four walls. Power outlets should be installed on at least three of them.

  • if you’re planning on putting a wardrobe or a floor to ceiling book case against a wall, you can put the power outlet just below the ceiling.

  • one power outlet is never enough. Always place at least two together. Power strips take up more space and are uglier than sockets installed in the wall.

  • the living room and the kitchen really “eat up” power outlets. You often need more than 8-10 of them.

  • use surge protectors for more valuable appliances and devices. You can install surge protectors for the power outlets you already have. For example, use this cheap protector.
  • if you have a table in the middle of the room, you can use an in-floor power outlet

  • nowadays, smart power strips are becoming more widespread. These can be controlled from your phone or timed as you wish. Here you can see about one in detail. This function can be handy if you want to automatically control lighting, or to start up your kitchen appliances in the morning.
  • to protect children, you should childproof your outlets. We didn’t have much luck with the Ikea safety plugs. We kept losing the red plug that was supposed to serve as a key to remove the safety plugs. We’ve tried a number of swivel socket protectors. Finally, we’ve found a type by Reer that lasted for years.
  • power strips are often also extension cords in one. Yet we keep an extension cord with one socket for the vacuum cleaner. It’s easier to move around in the house with it, and you don’t need to keep unplugging and plugging in the vacuum cleaner when you go to a new room.

  • cords on the floor collect dust. It’s better to have them tied up on the wall. Just one screw in the wall or in the furniture is enough to hold these cords up. You should use cable ties to fasten them.


The world of USB chargers

Most of the rechargeable devices use 0.5-, 1- or 2-amp battery chargers. Honestly speaking, I now avoid 0.5-amp chargers because devices that take a lot of power such as most smart phones take forever to charge with them.

  • a fundamental accessory of your nightstand is a phone charger

  • in the kitchen, we use a USB hub. During the day this is where we tend to plug in the devices whose battery died (tablet, phone, watch, mini drone battery). This article describes a bunch of these USB charging hubs. Choose what you like in terms of design, your wishes and your wallet.
  • better desk lamps today have USB charging capabilities. Just stay away from the ones with 0.5-amp chargers.

  • you can use multi-charging cables. These are universal chargers that allow you to charge all your devices whether they have lightning, micro USB or mini USB plugs.
    multi_cable (1)
  • If you want to have a power bank on hand, the ones I’d recommend can double as torch lights. We’ve used several products of this company with satisfaction: Bioliteenergy.com

Batteries and rechargeable batteries

The life-changing moment came for us when I decided to keep all the batteries and rechargeable batteries in the same spot. I set up a nook with the following things:

Since these are all in one spot, it is easier to see if something’s running low. As for brands, I have no particular preference. Although for rechargeable batteries I’ve started to rely more on the Enelope brand lately.