Who doesn't love hanging out in the back yard, listening to great music, enjoying serene lighting, and smelling burgers sizzling on the grill?
But what if you could control your music, your lights, your grill—and more—right from the comfort of your lawn chair? It's possible with the right outdoor smart home devices.
At Asurion, we not only fix and protect the tech inside your home, we can help with your backyard gadgets as well. Here's our guide to bringing your smart home outside.
Start with a smart home hub
A smart home hub is the brain of your smart home operation, connecting to and communicating with all your smart home gadgets over Wi-Fi.
You don't need a home hub to manage your smart outdoor devices—in most cases, you can also control them with a tap of a button from your smartphone or tablet. But using your hub, typically by talking to your smart speaker, is an easy and fun way to control your outdoor smart devices.
There are many smart home hubs to choose from and they come in many shapes and sizes, from the tiny Echo Dot® to the full screen Nest Hub Max™. The two most popular are equipped with the Google Assistant™ and Alexa™ to help you carry out commands.
Check out our guide to everything you need to know about Google Home Hub™ vs. Amazon Echo™ to help you decide which is best for you.
Connect your outdoor smart devices with smart plugs
Using a smart plug is an easy way to automate the wired devices in your home. If you're wondering, “Can smart plugs be used outside?" The answer is yes.
With a weather-resistant, outdoor smart plug like the iHome™ Outdoor Smart Plug or the Amazon® Outdoor Smart Plug, you can turn things on and off remotely, like the pump that controls your water fountain or the decorative string of lights on your patio.
Simply connect your smart plug into an outlet and then sync it to your Wi-Fi network by following the directions in the app on your phone or tablet.
Light up your backyard with outdoor smart lighting
It's easy to make your outdoor lights smart, and it starts with using waterproof outdoor bulbs like a Philips® Hue™ or a Wyze™ Bulb. Both come with an app you can use to set up a light schedule. Just set a time to turn your lights on or off, change color, or dim and brighten whenever you want. It's that easy.
Ready for a backyard party? Try decking out your patio with smart string lights that you can control with your voice or phone, like Govee® Lynx Dream Bluetooth & Wi-Fi Outdoor String Lights.
If safety is your priority, there's nothing smarter for your backyard than adding path lights like Philips Hue Outdoor Light Strips, which you can program on a timer, or floodlights from Ring® Smart Lighting, which you can sync to your smart doorbell or security camera.
For more information, watch our video on how to sync lights with your smart doorbell.
Get smart about outdoor security
When it comes to outdoor security cameras, there's a lot of information to sift through. Nest™, Ring, and Blink™, are a few of the more popular brands. They each have similar features, like motion sensors, HD video, and night vision, and they all boast easy, wireless setup.
What separates them are storage options (cloud or local) and price. To learn more, check out our guide to the best outdoor and indoor security cameras for your smart home.
Rock your outdoor playlist with smart speakers
When you're creating the perfect playlist for a party or even a casual night in your backyard, a wireless, outdoor-friendly speaker is essential. Look for a waterproof speaker with great sound and a long-lasting charge, like the JBL® Charge 5 or the Bose® SoundlLink Flex.
Water your lawn the smart way
The smartest thing you can do for your lawn—and your water bill—is to set up a smart sprinkler controller so your sprinkler system uses less water. Check out models like the Rachio® 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller. This system connects to your smartphone and checks local weather for rain, and, if needed, will change your watering schedule. Another option: the Orbit® B-hyve XR Smart 8-Zone, which allows you to customize watering in up to 16 different zones.
Wise up and let your smart mower cut your grass
Hate cutting the lawn? Let a robot do it for you. Much like a Roomba®, which automatically vacuums indoors, you can connect an outdoor smart mower like the Worx® Landroid S to Wi-Fi and control it using an app to cut your lawn on a schedule and follow the patterns you set. A model like the Robomow® RK 4000 can mow up to one acre of grass and handle slopes up to 45 degrees.
Get cooking with a smart grill
One of the coolest patio gadgets around is a smart grill. Models like the Weber® Genesis II 3-Burner Gas Grill have built-in probes that connect wirelessly to its app, so you can monitor your rack of ribs while you're playing lawn darts. If you prefer the smoky flavor of a wood pellet grill, check out the Traeger® Ironwood 650 and use its mobile-friendly app to avoid uneven cooking temperatures.
Check on your pool from anywhere
It's great to have a pool, but maintaining it is a big job. Here's a smart device to try: a smart pool monitor like the WaterGuru® Sense or the Sutro® Smart Pool Monitor. You place the device in your pool's water skimmer basket and use an app connected to your smartphone to remotely check pH (acidity) and chlorine levels. Say goodbye to test strips for good.
Watch movies under the stars
No drive-in nearby? You can set up an outdoor smart projector right in your backyard. The most important feature to look for is a built-in, rechargeable battery, a feature of models like the Nebula® Solar Portable Projector or the ViewSonic® 1080p Projector, you'll always know how the movie ends.