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6 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. Sometimes it's as simple as screwing in a new lightbulb. Check out these easy-to-add home technology add-ons to bring your house into the 21st Century.

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Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: Snap-On USB OutletsFamily Handyman

Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: Snap-On USB Outlets

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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Smartphone-friendly Garage Door Opener: Chamberlain HD950WFFamily Handyman

Smartphone-friendly Garage Door Opener: Chamberlain HD950WF

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. Buy it now at The Home Depot.

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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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Gifts Ideas for New Homeowners: Traveling DoorbellFamily Handyman

Gifts Ideas for New Homeowners: Traveling Doorbell

The Honeywell Wireless Doorbell Kit has six high-quality chimes to choose from, the volume is adjustable, and more than one doorbell and button can be used together. But what we love most is the fact that it can be lifted from the wall mount and brought with you into your shop, out in the backyard or wherever. So if you're waiting on a pizza delivery or the cable guy, you don't have to stay chained up inside the house. It has a 225-ft. range and a flashing icon to alert you in case you're working with headphones. Learn to replace an exterior door if you want to upgrade your home. Buy it now on Amazon.

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Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: Smarter Smart Bulbs: GE's C Light BulbsFamily Handyman

Gift Ideas for New Homeowners: Smarter Smart Bulbs: GE's C Light 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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Robotic Lawn Mower: AutomowerFamily Handyman

Robotic Lawn Mower: Automower

The Automower from Husqvarna works great. The guide wire that runs around the perimeter of your yard is held down with stakes, so no trenching was necessary, and programming is simple. The whole setup took less than 90 minutes. What makes this machine excel is the retractable, razor-like cutting blades. They're just a fraction of the size of thick steel blades, which results in clean cuts, longer run-times and super-quiet operation.

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More Than A Garage Door OpenerFamily Handyman

More Than A Garage Door Opener

This game-changing garage hub from Ryobi has a powerful 2-hp motor under the hood, instead of a 1/2-hp like most other openers. It features a super-quiet, steel-reinforced belt drive rather than a noisy chain or screw drive. It also has an LED light, which should last as long as the opener itself. The light is activated by a motion detector and turns on whenever you enter the garage. But what really sets this unit apart are the seven ports. Each port receives a module of your choosing, including a fan, a CO and temperature sensor, a Bluetooth speaker that broadcasts and receives music or phone calls from your smartphone, a retractable electrical cord, a battery backup, and even a laser system that tells you when your car is parked in exactly the right spot.