Gadget Bits: LampChamp Turns (Some) Lamps to USB Chargers

lampchamp

LampChamp is a good idea. When you think about all the options you have in your house to add USB ports to make charging your portable devices easier, lamps make sense. They’re already plugged in and using power, and it couldn’t be that hard to just piggy-back off it somehow. And indeed, that’s what the folks at Olens have done with LampChamp.

Basically, it’s a passthrough lightbulb socket. You unscrew the bulb from a standard E27 lamp socket, screw in the LampChamp, and screw the bulb back into it. Done. There’s a switch on one side so you can control the bulb and a USB port that will give you 5V DC at 2A for charging devices.

LampChamp 2

Again, it’s a good idea. In practice, it’s… a challenging design. You see, I received a review unit and, of the dozen lamps in our house that use standard E27 bulbs, I couldn’t find one where the LampChamp actually fit in a way that made it work well. The problem, in most cases, it that there’s not enough clearance, either between the LampChamp and the shade or the LampChamp and the shade support. With the former, while you can install the LampChamp, it may be tough or impossible to get a USB cable plugged in. In the latter case, the width of the LampChamp collar may simply not fit inside the lamp structure.

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I did get it installed in a small lamp, and it works as billed–you can plug a USB cable into it and charge things. For me, it was only accessible in an awkward manner; that made it less than useful. But I can see if you have a lamp where it fits, it would be a useful device. So, if this interests you, take care to verify it’ll fit your lamps first.

You can buy a 2-pack of LampChamps on Amazon for just $30.

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