Smart-home technology isn’t just for interior spaces. The growing list of smart-technology solutions for home entertainment, lighting, and even heating and cooling now have outdoor applications as well.
Many of the latest tech innovations have essentially enabled backyard spaces to become bonus rooms. For example:
Outdoor TVs. A number of manufacturers are designing televisions specifically for outdoor use. In addition to their ability to withstand the elements — from driving rain to extreme temperature swings — various models are engineered for optimal color and contrast in direct sun or full shade.
Invisible surround sound. From speakers that resemble boulders or other natural elements, to partially-buried, in-ground subwoofers, the technology exists to bring movies, music and other entertainment to life with audio that thrives in the outdoors.
Lighting. Advancements in LED technology allow lighting to be incorporated as part of a landscape design: illuminating pathways for safety, or highlighting landscape features for dramatic effect.
Heating and cooling. Automated fans and heaters designed to tuck into porch and patio ceilings can extend the use of these “extra rooms” beyond just the mild seasons.
Spa and pool controls. Automated heating and lighting are a plus when using these features. And some are taking it to the next level: A Florida home owner recently contracted with a firm that specializes in smart-home technology integration in an effort to create “a light and sound show that can be seen and heard from space.”
Fifteen LED fountain lights — controlled by the same system used at Disney World — are programmed to interact with the client’s preferred playlist. Outdoor speakers and subs are powered by four amps boasting a total of 3,400 watts. Each song has its own custom light show that’s called up individually on a Lutron keypad.
This guest post is from Ed Wenck, content director for CEDIA, the industry association representing those professionals who manufacture, design and integrate goods and services for the connected home.