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From Lightning to USB-C: How to Find the Right Cable For Your Device

Power - by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 8/27/2020

Micro USB and USB-C charger ends

Every day you rely on cables to charge your devices, sync them to computers and transfer music, photos and other data. Unfortunately, they're also very easy to lose, meaning you'll probably have to replace them at some point. The type of cable you need varies by the model and brand of your phone or tablet. If you're having trouble tracking down the right cable for your particular device, we can help. At Batteries Plus Bulbs, we carry a wide selection of cables and chargers for a variety of devices, as well as wireless charging options too.

Making Sense of Cables

As technology has changed over the years, the types of cables and chargers you need have changed with it. You can tell cables apart by the connector on either end, which will match the port on your device. Here is a list of some of our most common cables and chargers and what they are used for.

Lightning to USB Cable

The lightning cable is exclusive to Apple devices produced after September of 2012. This new format features an 8-pin connector as opposed to the 30-pin connector used on older Apple devices. This cable can be used to charge your phone or sync up to a computer using the USB port. Best of all, the lightning connector is reversible, meaning it can be plugged in either up or down.

Lightning to USB-C Cable

Connect your iPhone, iPad, Mac, AirPods or iPod with Lightning connector to your USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) enabled Mac for syncing and charging. You can also use this lightning to USB-C cable with your USB-C Power Adapter to charge your iOS device. Some USB-C devices support Power Delivery capabilities (see "Power Delivery" below for more info).

If you're looking to charge your devices on the go, consider the 3 Amp DC Lightning Charger. This DC Lightning charger features a universal compatibility that allows you to charge any cell phone off of the DC power in your car. Either way, when purchasing a lightning cable, make sure that the cable has passed the MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) certification tests to make sure it is compatible with your device.

USB-C to USB Cable

Another newer cable, the USB-C is a 24-pin connector that is becoming standard on most newer Samsung phones, as well as Macbooks, Chromebooks and Google Pixel phones. Like the lightning cable, it is reversible. In terms of USB-C vs lightning charging speed, USB-C has faster charging speeds and transfer data rates than the lightning cable. It can also be used for the Power Delivery capabilities used by some USB-C devices (see the "Power Delivery" section below for more info).

Micro USB to USB Cable

Micro-USB cables are used by a number of cell phones, MP3 players, GPS units, photo printers and digital cameras. You might also find them on accessories such as Bluetooth speakers, wireless earphones and smartwatch charging stands.

We have both AC and DC chargers available for your Micro USB devices. Our 3 Amp AC Micro USB Charger plugs into any standard wall outlet and features dual USB ports (1 amp & 2.1 amp) allowing you to charge two devices simultaneously. We also have a 3 Amp DC Micro USB charger that allows you to help keep your favorite devices charged while you’re on the road.

USB to Micro USB 3.0 Data Cable

One of three variations on the Micro USB cable mentioned above, the Micro USB 3.0 offers higher data transfer rates than USB 2.0 speeds. This cable is compatible with any USB 3.0 devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 3 and Tab 4 model cell phones.

Apple Watch Cable

This charging cable is compatible with your Apple Watch series 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Power Delivery

Some USB Type-C enabled devices support Power Delivery capabilities. Power Delivery is a quick charging method that allows you to charge your cell phone or other device quickly over a USB-C connection. When two Power Delivery compatible devices are plugged in, the internal safeguards create a fast-charging situation that both devices can handle.

An interesting aspect of Power Delivery is that it allows power to flow both ways. That means if you connect two Power Delivery compatible phones with a Lightning to USB-C or USB-C to USB-C charging cable one phone could charge the other and vice versa.

How fast are we talking? Power Delivery allows you to charge your iPhone 8 or later model phone to a 50% charge in 30 minutes when paired with an 18W or higher USB-C power adapter.

One important note, not all USB-C ports allow Power Delivery. Consult the charger's packaging to confirm whether it is Power Delivery compatible. If it supports Power Delivery, it will be labeled as such.

Wireless Charging

Want to get rid of charging cables entirely? No problem. We also offer wireless charging options from Belkin and Ventev

No matter what device you're currently using, we can help you find the cable and charger you need to keep it up and running. If you still have questions, you can stop by any of our Batteries Plus Bulbs locations nationwide for help finding exactly what you’re looking for, or shop our assortment of charging essentials online.

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