Outdoor living spaces are an extension of your indoor home environment where you and your family can relax, work, dine, and entertain. Smart technology has played a role in making outdoor living areas more “livable” by adding both convenience and enhanced functionality to the space.
Here are four of the most prominent ways that we are seeing homeowners incorporate technology to both care for and enjoy their yard.
1. Irrigation Systems
Smart irrigation systems are game changers when it comes to convenience, customized care, and saving money. By using data-collecting sensors, smart irrigation systems help set and maintain moisture and temperature ranges specific to your plant material and the current outdoor conditions. Managed via an app on your phone or tablet, smart irrigation systems take control of watering your plants and landscape, adjusting day by day as the system continuously collects and processes weather data in real time from your site. Homeowners can significantly reduce water consumption and save money overall using this custom technology. The smart technology also provides notification if there is a malfunction within the system, so homeowners or maintenance companies can be immediately alerted about the issue.
Outdoor lighting serves many purposes. Most importantly, it extends your ability to enjoy your outdoor space well after the sun has set. Additionally, if incorporated as part of the overall landscape design, it creates interest and a dramatic dimension that elevates the look of your property. Finally, lighting provides safety and security ensuring that paths and walkways are well-lit and access points to your home are illuminated. A smart lighting system changes the game as it easily integrates with the rest of your home’s technology. Homeowners can set schedules, dim, or brighten lights, and even turn them on and off from anywhere in the world via the smart devices they use every day.
In addition to convenience, smart lighting systems are efficient and can save money. Lights can be pre-programmed to come on and turn off automatically. Unlike other landscape lighting systems, smart systems utilize energy-efficient LED lightbulbs which have a longer lifespan than halogen bulbs.
Some smart lighting systems also allow a homeowner to change the color of the lights. No need to change light bulbs! This feature can transform the look and feel of a home’s exterior with the touch of a button!
3. Outdoor Entertainment
Patios, decks, and backyards have truly become outdoor living spaces. Just look at the wide array of smart options available for outdoor entertainment. For example:
• Audio Systems
Smart audio systems seamlessly connect your home audio system to the outdoors, meaning there is no limit to how and where music can be enjoyed. A smart audio system will keep track of favorite music apps and play them on command, and allow you to customize what you’re listening to and where. For example, you can enjoy the game as you grill on the patio while those in the pool tune in to a favorite playlist.
• Weather Resistant Outdoor TVs
Television watching is no longer an indoor activity. There is now a whole category of outdoor TVs designed to withstand outdoor elements. These devices wrap the sensitive LCD/LED panels in weatherproofing that makes them durable enough to withstand periods of rain, dust, dirt, insects, extreme temperatures, and UV rays. In addition, the screens on outdoor TVs are designed to be extra durable and power cables are typically thicker and more reliably reinforced.
• Barbecue Grills
Backyard barbecues have been elevated to a whole new level with the introduction of smart grills. No longer is the grill master a lonely position. Manufacturers have created smart grills that allow you to man the grill from a distance using iOS or Android apps – everything from igniting the grill to altering the flame strength and setting reminders to flip the meat.
• Fire Pits
Fire pits can add incredible ambiance to an outdoor gathering. Let’s face it, though, managing the flames can be a bit of a chore. Smart fire pits make things significantly easier, allowing you to either turn the heat on or off remotely or schedule a time for it to turn on.
Smart fire pits are also smoke and fume-free because they use ethanol fuel, a renewable energy source. That only adds to their convenience and helps to create a more enjoyable outdoor atmosphere for everyone that has gathered around to enjoy the fire.
4. Smart Plugs
A smart plug is a great option for those who want to “smarten” up their backyard without making a significant investment in all new gadgets and devices.
A smart plug comes at a rather affordable price point and is a small device that plugs into any outlet, allowing you to control whatever is plugged into it remotely. This means that you can easily turn on your outdoor lights, schedule your sprinklers to go off, or even control your fan without ever having to leave the comfort of your chair. Many outdoor smart plugs also come with energy monitoring capabilities, so you can see how much power each device is using and adjust your usage accordingly, helping you to save money on your energy bill in the process.
While you will not have all of the added functionality offered by true smart devices, a smart plug will allow you to enjoy some of the convenience of remote management.
A Smarter Way to Live
There are countless ways that technology and smart devices can make your outdoor living space more comfortable and functional. Incorporating the conveniences of smart technology into your overall landscape design can ultimately save money, save time and, most importantly, enhance your ability to enjoy your surroundings.
Buckhead Landscape & Design has a long history of serving the greater Buckhead area, providing landscape design, and maintenance services, as well as hardscape design, irrigation, and outdoor lighting. Our design process involves understanding how your property will be used and often leads us to identify opportunities to incorporate smart technology. Our mission is to create an outdoor environment that matches your lifestyle and inspires you to fully enjoy your property. The professionals at Buckhead are prepared to invest time in understanding your vision, goals, and budget to design and deliver a landscape that you will love.