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7 Home Tech Tips for Better Outdoor Spaces

7 Home Tech Tips for Better Outdoor Spaces

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Stealth Patio Theater (SPT) Extreme retractable outdoor LED entertainment system creates a resort-style outdoor residential oasis in Indiana.

Luxury homeowners love their outdoor spaces and are willing to invest in making these gathering spots the best they can be with technology. According to a recent study conduct by home entertainment industry publication CE Pro, the media project price point for outdoor entertainment was $11,668 in 2023. That’s likely due to more compelling solutions in security, lighting, audio, video, and outdoor shades than ever before—options that are easier to integrate than ever for less-invasive installations. Here are some important things to consider when planning a landscape where technology plays a role.

1. Call a Home Technology Pro Early in Your Planning: Outdoor entertainment systems come with a very unique set of requirements, from running specialized outdoor wiring to locating audio video equipment for optimal performance and safety. Coordination is often needed with other trades, such as a landscape architect or general contractor. It’s important to involve an HTA Certified home technology integrator early in any project where outdoor audio, video, lighting, or security is involved. If the technology portion of your outdoor project is not planned for properly with an expert, you may end up with costly and time-consuming headaches later.

2. Extend Your Home Network Outside: A home network may not be as exciting as that beautiful, big-screen TV. But then again, neither is trying to stream your favorite movie or TV show only to have it freeze up because your home network is not up to the task. And nothing will kill the mood like music cutting in and out because your Wi-Fi network is out of range.

As an extension of your home’s existing Wi-Fi network, outdoor network devices ensure coverage that is as good poolside as it is in your home office. A qualified home technology integrator knows the best outdoor-rated network components and where to locate them for even Wi-Fi coverage, everywhere. For a truly ideal outdoor entertainment setup, your home technology pro will hard-wire permanent outdoor TVs and speakers for reliability and the best audio and video performance. 


3. The More (Outdoor Speakers) the Merrier: Getting a great music experience outside can be a challenge, as sound can be dwarfed by the large expanse of your yard. The secret to excellent outdoor sound is having multiple speakers carefully placed throughout your entertaining space. This solution gives even sound coverage that envelops your landscape without having the problem of a few speakers turned up louder to try filling the expanse. Your neighbors will thank you.

Fortunately, options abound for powerful outdoor speakers that come in a variety of form factors. Speakers that virtually disappear into the landscape may look like landscape lighting, others look like rocks or double as a planter.

For extra bass, your technology integrator can bury subwoofers in the ground so that are hidden. Flush-mounted in-ceiling speakers are great for tucking under an overhang, and can be custom-finished to match the surrounding structure. Whatever your space requires, music can be part of your plan without detracting from your carefully crafted outdoor aesthetic, not to mention the beauty of nature. Do you have a larger outdoor area to play with? A skilled home technology professional can create several outdoor areas that can be used simultaneously. You can control these “zones” of audio individually, so that the adults can listen to a podcast on the patio while the kids listen to their favorite music by the pool.

Do you have an outdoor space that's plagued by adjacent street noise, leafblowing gardeners, or whirring AC units? Acoustic design professionals can recommend special acoustic treatment solutions for your outdoors areas to help. Barrier fences that are within code, noise cancellation techniques, landscaping, and more can all help to abate noisy outdoor speakers.

4. The Big Screen Experience, Al Fresco: Outdoor TVs, while more expensive than indoor models, are rugged, weatherized, and designed to perform better in harsh sunlight. These TVs are extremely bright, can withstand snow, humidity, extreme heat, and even bugs. If you want to hide it when not in use, your HTA Certified integrator can install a motorized lift mechanism so the TV disappears when not in use. Large outdoor LED video walls are making headway as an option for residences. Commonly used for advertising purposes, LED video walls offer a bright, customizable, and weather-ready viewing experience for outdoor applications at home. See the video embedded here of a 201" LED TV rise and literally unfold out of the ground!

If you are looking for a cinematic experience, your integrator can engineer a projector and movie screen solution for outdoor use. They can install a motorized lift so that the screen cleverly pops out of a storage bench or descends from the roofline of your home. While it’s not a good idea to leave an unprotected video projector outside, your integrator can install it in a weatherproof housing and ensure the projector is bright enough to watch outside. Another option is to mount a specialized rear projection screen on an exterior wall so that the projector shines on the screen from behind and is therefore located safely inside the home or garage.

Exterior landscape lighting system by an HTA Certified integrator5. Add Ambiance with Smart Lighting: Exterior lighting is a necessity for any outdoor space, though should do more than simply light pathways and illuminate the deck while you cook. Properly designed and installed light fixtures can add ambiance, accentuate architectural and landscape features, and create the ideal atmosphere for outdoor entertaining.

By integrating light switches and dimmers into a control system, your home technology expert can automate lights to activate at certain times of the day or when they receive a command from your smartphone or tablet. Your integrator can also configure preset lighting scenes that stage lights to suit the occasion and integrate with other technology features. Select “Party,” for example, and multiple zones of music begin to play at preset volume levels, walkways are illuminated, landscape lighting is turned on, the outdoor fireplace is lit, and water features, like a fountain or hot tub, begin to do their thing.

Whatever your outdoor space requires, HTA Certified home technology professionals are the most qualified and are here to help. They are happy to answer any questions you might have for dialing in the ultimate high-tech space, al fresco. Find one here and make your backyard dreams a reality.

6. Extend Your Living Space with Motorized Shades/Screens: Many home technology integrators are installing motorized screens outdoor to extend the usable living space of the home, creating a sort screened in patio that shelters homeowners from glaring sunlight, bugs, and weather. These are especially popular in coastal homes. A good home technology integrator can also tie in these screens to the home automation system for easy control.

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Cameras, like this outdoor in-ceiling model from Crestron Home, let homeowners keep an eye on things at home or away, and are a valuable part of your outdoor AV plan.

7. Keep an Eye on It All with Outdoor Cams: Outdoor security cameras are a must for luxury homes, and should be a part of your outdoor technology plan. These cameras let you keep an eye on things whether you are at home or away. These cameras become even more important when you consider that outdoor equipment, like an all-weather TV or an expensive pizza oven, is not under lock and key. Homeowners who live in areas where wildlife is active also love to see what the critters are up to when they aren’t looking.