What is a Charging Station?

B. Miller

A charging station is a convenient device designed to charge the batteries of multiple items at once, such as a cell phone, camera, music device, and hand held game, while keeping the cords neatly organized. Many charging stations function quite similarly, and feature a small tray with between four and six places to plug gadgets in. They are similar in appearance to a desktop mail organizer, and are designed to make a desk look less cluttered. A charging station also offers the convenience of always knowing where the chargers are located, as well as the devices. They prevent searching around the house in the morning for a misplaced cell phone or camera.

A cell phone charger.
A cell phone charger.

A charging station will typically be powered in one of three ways. The first is through a power strip hidden inside the charging station. The station is then plugged directly into the wall, and the gadgets are plugged into the station. Keep in mind that occasionally, the power strip must be purchased separately from the station.

Another common power source is through a USB port on a computer. To charge devices this way, they must each be compatible with USB. Luckily, most gadgets today can be charged safely through a USB power source, and feature adapters that can be purchased to make them compatible if they do not come with them.

Finally, some smaller charging stations are employing the use of solar energy, through a small solar panel mounted on top of the station. These are much less common, and are typically fairly expensive. It is possible to make a solar energy charging station with a little effort. Instructions can be found by searching online.

Far from the previously common design of black plastic, valet charging stations are now frequently made with warmly colored woods such as bamboo, mahogany, or oak, or covered with materials such as a durable leather. Many can be engraved with initials or have a nameplate added to the front, to further personalize the look. A charging station can make a great gift, especially one that is personalized or designed to match the decor of an office.

Many charging stations feature other organizational features as well. The cords for most devices can be hidden inside the charging station, and some also feature a small drawer to place items such as headphones, earpieces, or even keys inside. In addition to the slots for the devices, a charging station might also feature slots for other desktop items, such as mail, pens, or a small calendar.

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