Transform Your Backyard Into a “Connected” Oasis
People are spending more time than ever at home this summer. It’s the perfect opportunity to use smart technology to transform your deck, patio, or other outdoor space into a “connected” oasis. All you need is a strong internet connection from PMT and a few essentials listed below to become the envy of the neighborhood.
Get the party going with perfect outdoor speaker
Whether you’re enjoying some downtime in your backyard or hosting a few friends for a “socially distanced” celebration, music should be part of the mix. But what smart speaker will do justice to your summer playlist?
Luckily, an array of highly durable options are now on the market:
- The UE Megaboom 3 is a highly portable Bluetooth speaker that can easily be toted from patio to poolside. Its sound quality is respectable. Its battery lasts for 20 hours. And at $150 to $200, it’s one of the more reasonably priced speakers that can hold up to summer heat and pool splashes.
- If you’ve got the outdoor space and are looking for something more substantial, consider the Polk Atrium 4. For roughly the price of the Megaboom, you’ll get a pair of speakers that produce high-quality sounds that can be heard over party chatter and kids playing in the pool.
- Wanting to go all out? Sonos Move produces unrivaled, stereo-quality sound for up to 10 hours. Its wide soundscape, paired with the speakers’ easy switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi make it easy to see that it’s the leader of the class. But keep in mind, this speaker is an investment at about $400.
Keep that landscaping looking lush
No backyard paradise would be complete without beautiful, lush landscaping. But who wants to keep up with the watering? That’s where smart watering apps come in.
One of our favorites? For around $60, the Orbit B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer will turn your hose faucet into a programmed sprinkler system in minutes. And its app will give you insight into water consumption from your smartphone or tablet. Want to change up your irrigation schedule? Alexa will take your voice command and get it done.
If you have a sprinkler system, you may want to update your controller to something that is WiFi enabled like the Rachio Smart Controller, so you can monitor, control, and receive feedback all from the touch of your phone.
Keeping your paradise cool.
Outdoor spaces quickly become unusable during the heat of the day. Too many homeowners must crawl behind patio furniture or through bushes to turn on their fans, misters and other small appliances.
There’s a much better way thanks to a growing line of new smart plugs, including the iHome control iSP100 outdoor smart plug. Pair this $40 water-resistant plug with Alexa, Siri, Nest or other platforms to turn on your device with a voice command. You can also set it for specific times on certain days and never worry again about keeping the party going.
Plugs aren’t the only thing getting in the smart game. Smart bulbs like the Eufy Lumos offer on-demand dimming and can even create color schemes.
Light up the night.
When the sun goes down, it’s time for outdoor areas to shine.
A growing line of smart lighting can highlight your foot paths, flowerbeds, and water features. Some can even turn your outdoor area into a wonderland of color.
One of the most popular choices: Philips Hue lighting can be set to change brightness and yes, even color. Choose from Tropical Twilight, Arctic Auroro and others to set your backyard mood. Use Hue’s smartphone app or Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to control the system.
Big screens for movie night
Whether it’s snuggling up to stream a romantic movie or laughing at silly YouTube videos with the kids, outdoor TVs are quickly becoming outdoor must-haves. Weather-resistant models, such as those made by Sunbrite, allow you to enjoy your show without worrying about rain, humidity or the sprinkler system destroying your TV.
These outdoor devices, paired with fast and reliable Internet from PMT, will ensure a fun summer in your backyard paradise!