Outdoor tech for your home

The weather is warming up and many of us are trying to figure out our summer plans. Since we’re spending more time at home these days, this often turns to what we can do to improve our leisure at home. There’s tons of great outdoor tech to help you enjoy your home this summer (and fall, and winter…) Here are some of our favourites.

Automated outdoor shades

Automated shades are a great addition inside our homes, and adding them outdoors has many benefits as well. They can expand your outdoor living space by not only providing privacy and light filtering like indoor shades; automated outdoor shades are also a convenient way to help make a space more comfortable and extend outdoor enjoyment into cooler evenings or shoulder seasons. Companies such as Screen Innovations make great outdoor shades that provide these benefits and are made to endure the elements.  

Outdoor music 

There are lots of options for outdoor music – from in-ceiling speakers in eave overhangs, to wall mounted speakers, to landscape specific speakers. All are great options that can be used to match your home’s specific situations. We’re also looking forward to trying out  Sonos’s new Roam speaker (available this spring). Sonos’s Move speaker is also made for outdoors, but we think the Roam will be more in that sweet spot of being more portable and affordable. 

Outdoor WiFi

We never stop talking about the importance of good WiFi, as its a critical piece of any good home tech system. You need WiFi for most everything from streaming your music and video, working, and even controlling your smart outdoor lights and water features. A home’s exterior walls often block WiFi signals. If you want excellent WiFi coverage in your outdoor spaces, then you need outdoor specific WiFi equipment. Vendors like Access Networks make products that will make sure that the WiFi goodness will continue outside.

Outdoor TVs

We’ve covered outdoor TVs in the past, and the highlights are that they are not only made to survive the outdoor elements, they are also brighter to help offset outdoor natural lighting. There are also options for outdoor AV sound systems to augment your AV experience. There’s even full projection systems if you need a really, really big outdoor screen!

Whatever your outdoor tech jam is, make sure that you’re well covered with your home technology.  Let us know if you need help to get to your outdoor nirvana.

 

What about an Outdoor TV?

Outdoor TVOutdoor TVs are increasingly popular. Its started out as people using regular TVs temporarily outside to watch shows and sporting events while still enjoying nice weather. Now people want something permanent. To help this trend, manufactures like Sunbrite and now even Samsung sell outdoor TVs. In the lower mainland, we often want to maximize our enjoyment of the outdoors – maybe it would be nice to be outside and keep binge watching The Great on Prime. In that case, what should you look for in an outdoor TV?

Outdoor TVs can handing even the lower mainland’s weather

Some people are tempted to install a regular indoor TV outside. It could be dangerous due to the electronics water safe outdoor TVnot designed to be outside, and it will definitely not last as long as it should. Although the weather in Vancouver and area isn’t as rainy as the rest of the of country thinks, lets face it, its quite damp here. Even in covered areas, that dampness will creep into everything outside. Outdoor TVs are made to handle that dampness and the heat in the summer. They can be left out in the rain or get splashed with no issues. If you put one pool side, you wouldn’t even have to worry about even the best (or worst?) cannonball splash. 

Outdoor TVs are brighter

Since outdoor TVs are made to be, well, be outdoors, they are also brighter than regular TVs. Even in full shade, the outdoors is much brighter than in a home. Consider how hard it is to look at your phone outside in full sun versus in your home.

How bright of a TV you need depends on where you’re installing it. For covered, shady areas, you can use a less bright one like a Sunbrite Veranda. If you’re putting it out in full sun, by a pool for example, then you’ll want a much brighter one, such as a Sunbrite Pro.  

How to connect an outdoor TV

You’ll need a power outlet near the TV location at the very least. If you want to stream video from Netflix or Prime, you might be able to just use you home’s WiFi if its strong enough. Most outdoor TVs are now full 4K, so you’ll likely want a better signal. For a better connection, you should use network wiring. You can use network wiring to also route the video from a cable box somewhere safe and dry in your home. Then you can decide if you want to use an outdoor fixed mount or a moving one that allows for better viewing. You can also add an outdoor rated sound bar for improved TV sound. Some people build a whole outdoor surround system for a full theatre experience under the stars too!

If you’re considering an outdoor TV, it might be a nice way to make it through these COVID-19 times. Once you balance out your goals and location, a nice outdoor TV system can be set up to match your outdoor lifestyle.