How to choose a power/data station is much simpler than it appears at first glance, but you must be prepared beforehand to streamline the process. When some people are tasked with choosing a power/data station for their organization, their fear is palpable; especially when they have little to no experience with electrical products. Choosing a power/data station is a lot easier than it appears when you work one step at a time. It’s really not unlike buying a sofa for your home. You’re not expected to know about sofa construction or have experience building sofas. If that were the case, many of us would be sitting on our floors at home. You look at different models, take measurements, choose a fabric, and choose a color that will fit best in your home. Let’s translate that to how to choose a power/data station.
The very first thing you should determine is how many power outlets you need in the power/data station. Power/data stations come with either 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, or 12 power outlets. Narrowing down how many power outlets you will need in a power/data station will often limit your options sufficiently making your choice even easier. After you have determined the number of power outlets, you need to figure out if you need data connectors in the power/data station, what connectors are needed, and the quantity. RJ-11 telephone connectors, RJ-45 ethernet connectors, HDMI connectors, HD VGA connectors, USB connectors, and everything in between are available to choose from. Some units are restricted in how many connectors and what connectors they can hold. This will further narrow your options and ease choosing a power/data station.
Now you’ve chosen the number of power outlets and the data connectors that you want in the power/data station. If this has not sufficiently winnowed your list of options, let’s move on to how you would like the power/data station to be installed. Power/data stations are available as pop-up units, surface mounted units that screw to the surface or underside of your table top, undermount units that are accessed through an open hole in the table top, box units that install in a cut out in your table top with a lid to conceal your cables, or troughs that also install in a cut out in your table top but utilize recessed doors that stay open for access to your power outlets and connectors. We save the fun part for last and that’s the finish. You can choose a power/data station in black, silver pearl, brushed aluminum, or brushed stainless steel depending on the aesthetic you’re going for in your conference room or office.
This is just one way of choosing your power/data station. For some, the finish may be the most important option while others couldn’t care less about power outlets, but want to make sure they can get the data connectors they need. The main focus is to take your power/data station shopping one step at a time. You don’t have to be an electrician to choose a power/data station. Remember the process can be as easy (or as hard) as you make it; so make the process easy people.