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Lectron Level 1 EV Charger Review (2024)

Struggling to find the best Level 1 EV charger? Our in-depth Lectron Level 1 EV charger review unveils features, installation and charging options, performance & value to help you decide.

For the past year, we’ve been putting the Lectron Level 1 EV charger to the test as our go-to Level 1 EV charger. As EV charging geeks, we’ve made some exciting improvements. We’ve upgraded Lectron’s branch circuit to enhance its safety features, added smart charging functionality, and even enabled integration with renewable energy sources.

Lectron Level 1 EV charger review dives into our real-world experience. We’ll reveal our custom setup, including the additional charging accessories we’ve integrated, and share our independent charging results. This will help you decide if the Lectron is the right fit for your EV charging needs.

For Tesla owners, please refer to our comprehensive review of the Lectron Level 1 Tesla Charger.
Table of Contents

Lectron Level 1 EV Charger Review Summary

8.7Expert Score
Our Verdict

The Lectron Level 1 EV charger is an affordable, reliable home charging solution for electric vehicles. The charger uses a standard 120-volt outlet and provides around 1.5 kW of power, adding 5-6 miles of range per hour. A full charge can take up to 12 hours, making it suitable for overnight charging. It features durable materials, solid craftsmanship, and a practical design. It offers consistent performance and durability over time. Offering excellent value for money, the Lectron charger is backed by a reputable brand and is highly regarded by experts for its simplicity and reliability.

Features
8
Real-World Usage Over Time
8
Materials
8
Durability Over Time
9
Craftmanship
9
Design
9
Monetary Value
9
Product Value
9
Brand Reputation
9
Expert Valuation
9
Pros
  • The Lectron Level 1 EV charger is an economical choice, offering great value for money
  • The charger plugs in a standard 110-volt outlet and is straightforward to operate
  • The charger provides a consistent and reliable charging experience
  • It is made from robust materials, and the charger withstands regular use and minor impacts
  • Its compact size and long cable provide flexibility in positioning and storage
  • Lectron is a trusted name in the EV charging market, known for reliable and affordable products
Cons
  • At 1.5 kW, it adds only 5-6 miles of range per hour, which is relatively slow
  • A full charge from near empty can take up to 12 hours, which may not be ideal for everyday use
  • It lacks advanced features that might be found in more expensive chargers, such as smart connectivity or faster charging speeds
There are two options for the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger. Option 1 offers a straightforward 16-amp charger with a NEMA 5-15 plug, suitable for standard household outlets. Option 2 provides added flexibility with both NEMA 6-20 and NEMA 5-15 plugs, accommodating different outlet types

Lectron Level 1 EV Charger First Impressions

The Lectron Level 1 EV Charger comes with a black and white themed box that looks modern with pictures of the charger and its specifications well labeled in black over the white background box, Unboxing it, we found a Lectron branded compact carrying case, and inside it was the charger itself, an informational card, a detailed manual, and two connectors.

The charger comes from the box attached with a 110v connector attached to the main charging controller with a 21-foot-long cable that connects it to the J1772 connector. The main charge controller is fairly small compared to other EV chargers such as the Grizzl-E or the Enphase EV charger.

The build quality seems solid, particularly the J1772 connector with its dust cover and secure latch mechanism.

A close up photo using the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger J1772 connector to charge an EV, the image shows shows its dust cover and secure latch mechanism when charging an EV

Initial testing showed charging speeds of 1.65 kW at 110 volts. The charger is FCC and ETL certified (UL2594 standard) for safety, featuring overvoltage, overcurrent, and short circuit protection. It is also Energy Star certified for efficiency and IP65-rated for dust and water resistance.

We found a key difference between the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger and the Lectron 110V 16 Amp Level 1/2 EV Charger in their packaging.

The Lectron 110V 16 Amp Level 1/2 EV Charger includes both 110V and 240V connectors, allowing it to plug into either type of outlet. This flexibility is useful for switching between Level 1 and Level 2 charging.

Lectron Level 1 EV Charger Installation & Safety

The Lectron Level 1 EV Charger is a straightforward charger to use, you simply plug it into a 110V outlet as specified in its user manual, what the Lectron Level 1 EV charger manual fails to show is the detailed instructions for installing the 110V outlets when the 110V outlet is not close to the point of use.

Important Notice: Installing an EV charger demands expertise from a certified electrician. The installation steps described here are specific to our experience and should not replace professional advice. We highly advise consulting with a qualified electrician to ensure the safe and correct installation of your Lectron Level 1 EV charger, prioritizing safety and optimal performance.

Here is our Lectron Level 1 EV charger branch circuit diagram, showing the circuit breaker, and the wiring layout of the 12 AWG cables to the NEMA 5-15 outlet.

Diagram showing wiring layout and connections for NEMA 5-15 receptacle outlet, including main breaker, ground bus, dedicated 20 Amp EV charger circuit breaker, 110 VAC, 12 AWG wire, Lectron Level 1 EV Charger installation details.

In our Lectron Level 1 EV charger branch circuit we used the Siemens Q120 20-Amp Single Pole Circuit Breaker (Type QP) and 12 AWG wire to connect the electrical panel with the NEMA 5-15 outlet as per the 80/20 EV charging rule.

The Siemens Q120 20-Amp Single Pole Circuit Breaker (Type QP) is a crucial component in our electrical system, specifically designed to provide dedicated protection for our charging infrastructure.

By installing a dedicated EV charging circuit breaker, we ensure that our charging system receives a steady and dependable power supply, free from the risk of overloading other circuits in our home or facility. The circuit breaker will also trip if a high-powered charger is plugged into our 20-amp electric vehicle branch circuit.

As part of our Lectron Level 1 EV charger we needed a NEMA 5-15 outlet, so we integrated the ELEGRP NEMA 5-15R outlet.

The outlet features high-impact resistant thermoplastic construction to prevent cracks and ensure durability. The outlet supports 15 Amps and offers easy installation with push-in wire and self-grounding capabilities to enhance safety. A glossy, soil-resistant finish and UL listing further ensure reliability and ease of maintenance.

Added Safety Features to our Lectron Level 1 EV Charger Installation

The Lectron Level 1 EV charger provides the users with shock protection and safety while charging in wet conditions, for this reasons we didn’t see any reason to install a residual current device (RCD), however, we decided to install a surge protection device (SPD) in our Lectron Level 1 EV charger branch circuit as shown below:

Surge Protection Device (SPD) installed to safeguard Lectron Level 1 EV Charger and other electrical devices from voltage spikes and surges, featuring fuse, AC Line 1, AC Line 2, and NEMA 5-15 receptacle outlet.

We installed the Intermatic AG3000 120/240 VAC Universal HVAC Surge Protective Device since our Lectron Level 1 EV Charger Installation was outdoors and we needed a watertight device suitable for outdoor installations.

The reason we installed a power surge protection device was to protect our Lectron Level 1 EV charger installation from lightning strikes, short circuits, EV charger malfunction, and renewable EV charging switch which can lead to voltage spikes and sips that may damage the charger.

Talking of renewable energy integration with the Lectron Level 1 EV charger, here is how we added solar EV charging to our Lectron Level 1 EV charger installation.

Solar EV Charging with the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger

Using the Lectron Level 1 EV charger is a more budget-friendly option for integrating Solar EV charging compared with using Level 2 EV chargers, this is because the cost of purchasing solar EV charging panels and accessories is much lower, and using a Level 1 EV charger is suitable for small solar panels and less exposure to sun exposure compared to Level 2 chargers.

FeatureLevel 1 EV chargerLevel 2 EV charger
Power DeliveryLower (typically 1.65 kW)Significantly Higher (6 kW – 19.2 kW)
Cost (Upfront)Budget-Friendly (charger unit + solar EV charging integration)Higher (charger unit + solar EV charging integration)
Solar SynergyEfficient for Day and Overnight Charging with Solar SurplusIdeal for Utilizing Excess Solar Generation During Daytime

The image below shows our upgraded Lectron Level 1 EV charger with solar power EV charging integration:

Diagram illustrating solar EV charging setup with the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger, including 110 VAC connections, 12 AWG wires, ground/earth connections, and components such as current sensors, smart meter, transfer switch, and Emergency Power Off (EPO) Button.

Adding Smart EV Charging Functionality to the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger

One wrong thing with the Lectron Level 1 EV charger is the lack of smart EV charging functionalities such as scheduled charging, remote monitoring, energy management, charge status notifications, integration with smart home systems, charging history and data analytics, over-the-air updates, and dynamic load management.

To add smart functionality features to our Lectron Level 1 EV charger we added a smart meter to our Lectron Level 1 EV charger branch circuit as shown in the image below:

We used the Sense Energy Monitor with Solar in our Lectron Level 1 EV charger installation to monitor and track our solar EV charging and track EV charging electricity usage in real-time.

The Sense Energy Monitor enhances our Lectron Level 1 EV charger with smart functionality, optimizing energy use and savings by providing detailed insights into EV charging energy consumption and activity. It supports time-of-use rate plans for efficiency, allowing comparison of solar production and energy usage to reduce reliance on the grid.

Sense monitors electricity consumption, and Lectron Level 1 EV charger usage patterns, and offers custom notifications. Certified for safety, Sense ensures reliable performance within the electrical panel, meeting rigorous ETL/Intertek standards in the US and Canada.

Conclusions.

The Lectron Level 1 EV Charger proves to be a reliable and efficient choice for electric vehicle owners looking to enhance their charging experience at home. From its impressive safety features ensuring peace of mind during installation to its seamless integration with solar power setups, the Lectron charger excels in both performance and sustainability. Whether you’re new to electric vehicles or a seasoned enthusiast, investing in the Lectron Level 1 EV Charger promises convenience, safety, and a step towards a greener future of transportation.

James Ndungu

About the Author: James Ndungu

James Ndungu, founder and editor-in-chief of Electric Vehicle Geek, brings over five years of hands-on experience in Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) selection, permitting, and installation. He specializes in assisting businesses and homeowners in the United States with a seamless transition to electric vehicles.

As a certified EV charger installer and holder of advanced certifications, including the EVITP (Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program), Diploma in Electric Vehicle Technology, and Diploma in Engineering Fundamentals of Electric Vehicles, I provide expert guidance and in-depth reviews on the latest EV charging equipment.

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Last update on 2024-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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