5 Easy Home Tech Add-Ons

You don't need to completely rewire your home or spend thousands of dollars to take advantage of advanced technology. Check out these easy-to-add home technology add-ons to bring your house into the 21st Century.

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Chepko Danil Vitalevich/Shutterstock

Simple DIY Smart Home Tech Additions

Even if you’re not that handy with tools… or technology, there are some simple additions you can make around your home with very little effort.

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USB outlet
Family Handyman

Gift Ideas for New Homeowners

This outlet cover plate with a built-in USB charger is as easy to install as a regular cover plate. You just shut down the power, unscrew the old plate and screw on the new one. No receptacle replacement required. The USB port gets its power from two prongs that contact the screws on the sides of the receptacle. Step up your technology game but updating your home with smart appliances.

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Family Handyman

Smartphone-friendly Garage Door Opener:

This Chamberlain garage door opener includes a few very useful ‘bells and whistles.’ It has a hefty 1-1/4-hp motor and a battery backup (so it’ll work even if the power is out). The door starts out slowly, picks up speed, and then slows down before reaching the top or bottom. That, in conjunction with the belt drive, makes it super quiet. And, with the included smartphone app, you can open and close your garage door (or check it you left the door open) from nearly anywhere.

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Install the Ring Video Doorbell

You bought a Ring Doorbell but don’t know how to set it up? Follow the steps below to install your Ring Video Doorbell 2 in less than an hour.

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LED Lights
Family Handyman

Smarter Smart Bulbs

The new line of LED lightbulbs from GE, simply called “C,” can be directly controlled with a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth — no central hub necessary. There are two types of bulbs in the “C” line: The “C Life” is an all-purpose light perfect for the kitchen, living room or office. The “C Sleep” bulb has been designed to support the body’s natural circadian rhythms, which can help you sleep more soundly. It emits a traditional soft light for the day; a warm, calming light before bedtime; and a crisp, energizing light in the morning. Using an app, the lights can be dimmed and set to a timer as a group or individually. When run for three hours a day, the bulbs should last 20 years! You can start thinking about replacing lights in your new workshop area with LED lights.

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