As we fill our cars with more and more power-hungry car accessories, keeping them all charged is becoming increasingly difficult. If you spend a lot of time on the road you'll know how annoying it can be having you phone, MP3 player, sat-nav or even laptop run out of power right before you need it. As I spend a lot of time in my car I have a range of sockets which can be plugged into my car cigarette lighter attachment to keep my tech powered up.
The socket I use most of the time is my trusty USB socket. This seems to do a great job of charging up most of my car accessories assuming they can be charged using a standard powered USB cable from a computer. However, this does not work with all devices I find that my phone requires a charger designed specifically for the model. This is because although all USB devices are designed to work on a 5v adapter, phones require a larger 'ampage' than other devices. So although using the wrong plug does not harm your phone you may find that it charges very slowly or not at all.
If you have a lot of car accessories which come with their own cigarette lighter charging point you may end up trying to switch this over as you drive, to keep all of your equipment powered. As well as being dangerous to do whilst driving this is also quite frustrating as you try to find the balance between all your electrical equipment. Multi-sockets are available which plug into the cigarette lighter port and can take up to three other car accessories themselves. Obviously care should be taken to not leave things charging while your car is off as these could quickly drain your battery.
Additionally, I have an adapter that plugs in to give my car its own three-point plug. As you would imagine this draws a lot more power from the battery so the instructions will tell you not to use it for more than four hours. Basically this take the 12v charge from your cars cigarette lighter and converts it to a 230v charge which should work fine for most electrical equipment. However, higher powered electrical car accessories such as laptops will not charge as quickly as they would at home but these are really handy at a pinch.
Hopefully this will keep all your car accessories powered up so you will never be caught out with a flat battery again.