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Stuff We Love: Electrical Outlet Upgrades

Here are two practical outlet upgrades for a safer and more functional place to plug in.

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family handyman

Electrical outlets are an integral part of every home. These two outlet upgrades make it easier to plug in what you need and see your way through a power outage.

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Don’t Get Left in The Dark

Outlet covers integrated with night lights aren’t new, but what happens to that ever-convenient light in a power outage? This brightOwl light solves that problem with a built-in rechargeable battery that gives 90 plus minutes of light when the power goes out; plenty of time for other provisions if the outage persists. Installing a brightOWL light is easy because requires no wiring. It has two prongs that clip onto the terminals of your existing outlet, so all you have to do is turn off the power to the outlet, push it onto your outlet, tighten the cover plate screw, turn on the power and let your little light shine!

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Double Your Duplex


If you’re plagued with power strips and other external accessories to get the power you need in one place, these new OUTlet’s provide a better solution. They convert any duplex outlet into a fourplex with an option for two additional USB ports. Designed to fit into a standard electrical box they meet code by being tamper-resistant as well. Install them either vertically or horizontally to open in the direction that best suits your needs. Not available in a GFCI version yet, but they do comply with UL safety standards. The basic version costs $40. Spend another 10 bucks and you can have the USB version.

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Bill Bergmann
“Bungalow” Bill Bergmann is an associate editor at Family Handyman. He’s been a licensed contractor/builder for more than 20 years. For him, there’s nothing better than taking out a few walls to make people happier in their homes.