Automating Your Outdoor Technology
Spring is just around the corner, and like you, we can’t wait to get back outside without having to bundle up! Spring means the start of outdoor parties, BBQs, and opening up the pools and hot tubs. Home automation can enhance your experience with all of this. Often thought of as indoor solutions, smart technology can be brought outside to take your outdoor time to the next level. Everything from audio, video, network coverage, and more can be automated or integrated into your smart home, expanding your smart home experience to your entire property.
Adding video to your outdoors can enhance your entire outdoor experience. It can bring your parties to the next level, giving your guests a chance to enjoy a football game while grilling outside, rather than having everyone huddled around a television indoors. The best part? You no longer have to worry about damaging your television or keeping it under a roof or tent. Samsung has developed The Terrace. This QLED 4K television is designed to give you vivid picture quality on even the sunniest of days. It was designed for outdoor watching too and is completely weatherproof, able to withstand even the harshest New England snowstorm.
Just like the above, having outdoor audio can bring your parties to the next level. Audio solutions from Sonos and Savant can bring your whole home audio outdoors, in complete sync with the music playing indoors. Your patio can be added as a zone in your Sonos or Savant app so you can walk from indoors to outdoors without missing a beat. And the outdoor speakers available are as discreet as they are sturdy. Companies like Leon, Sonance and Revel create landscape speakers that can be hidden in gardens, placed around pools, or even buried beneath the surface. In the case of our Galactic Getaway project, we installed Revel subwoofers beneath the surface of a tennis court, giving the homeowners an immersive audio experience while playing. Like the Terrace TV, outdoor speakers are built to weather even the harshest of environments.
One of the benefits of having ambient sound throughout an outdoor area is that you don’t have to blare it out of a few speakers for everyone to hear it. It will be a much more enjoyable experience and added bonus you won’t necessarily annoy the neighbors in the process. This way the music can be enjoyed as intended.
No outdoor scene is complete without ambient lighting. Color-changing LEDs from Ketra or Lutron can bring a party atmosphere to a wide outdoor space, all easily controlled from your phone! But the benefits of outdoor lighting and lighting automation go well beyond just a fun party trick. Lights that turn on automatically give you an added piece of security for your home. Synchronized with automatic blinds and indoor lighting, this can give the illusion that you’re home when you’re away, deterring intruders. Outdoor lighting can also give you a layer of personal safety. Especially in the winter when the sun sets well before many of us return from work, outdoor lighting can help illuminate our trip hazards and uneven pathways when walking from the car to indoors. Most of the outdoor lights we install can be synchronized with the sunset time so your outdoors are illuminated automatically every evening.
Let’s face it, these days, none of us are ever really unplugged from the net. Even when we leave our homes, our smartphones keep us plugged in while on the go. But what happens when you want to binge-watch the latest season of British Bakeoff and it’s a beautiful day out. You can always watch on your cellphone, but mobile data still isn’t cheap, or fast. Adding outdoor-rated wireless access points is a great way to stay on the net even while outside.
But as we’ve covered previously (The Importance of IT Prowess in Home Automation), choosing the right integrator is essential here. There’s a big difference between installing a few outdoor access points yourself and having a professional integrator set up your outdoor network. Not only can a professional integrator ensure every inch of your outdoor space has robust coverage, but they will also install your network and integrate your devices in a secure way, limiting the damage if you fall victim to a cyberattack.
Taking it Further
There’s really no limit to what can be automated in your own outdoor space. Whether you want to control your hot tub from afar, monitor your pool, or even control your grill (yes, Weber makes smart grills!) If it connects to the internet, chances are we can integrate it with your smart home. In Iceland, we finished a project (Poolhouse Retreat) that allows the homeowners to control the pool and both of their hot tubs down to the bubbles, all from a single, integrated controller. In New Hampshire at our Galactic Getaway, we integrated a license plate reader that automatically opens the garage door depending on which car drives onto the property.
Get Started at Your Home
Confining home automation to just your indoor spaces severely limits the possibilities of what your smart home can achieve. From lighting, audio, video and more, your outdoor space can be transformed into a unique experience through smart technology. If you can dream it, we can make it happen. Contact us today to get started on your smart home, and don’t forget to consider your outdoor spaces as well!
Further reading: DIY Smart Home Automation vs. Professional Integration, Benefits of Smart Lighting