Automating the Outdoors: Smart Tech for Your Backyard

Smart home tech and automation includes anything from wireless speakers to heating and cooling systems. With devices that support lighting, security, entertainment, landscaping and irrigation, you can level up your outdoor living spaces, too. It’s easy to transform your backyard into a functional and comfortable haven by embracing smart outdoor technology.

Outdoor Lighting

Smart lighting is an advanced way to brighten up your patio. Smart plugs and outlets allow you to connect your phone or tablet to a light fixture via Wi-Fi, so you can switch them off or on wherever you are. For existing outdoor lighting, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled smart light bulbs work similarly. To make things even easier, link lighting to your smart home system so you can give verbal commands.

Using lighting as patio decor is both fashionable and functional, and smart technology makes it even better. Try dimmer bulbs for your deck to create ambiance, or invest in automated solar lighting for a greener option. A motion-activated front porch light saves energy, switching on only when somebody approaches your door and providing much-needed light while you make your way inside.

patio string lights

Security

When it comes to protecting your home, smart technology has you covered. Outdoor equipment should be waterproof and firmly secured to the house to ensure it stays put through all weather conditions. There are many options on the market, including complete systems that come with multiple cameras to cover all of your home’s entrance points or smart locks.

Monitoring apps sync to your cameras, allowing you to view videos from multiple locations in real-time, review recorded footage, set timers and receive alerts when somebody approaches the door. For even more protection, remote control locks with passcodes replace keys, giving you a more private way to access your home and enabling you to let people in when you’re away.

Duck Covers Soteria Rainproof Stackable Patio Chair Cover

Entertainment Systems

Entertaining is easy when you have a smart home setup in your backyard. Smart speakers with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi allow you to connect a phone to stream music directly from your personal device. You can even opt for speakers disguised as natural features like rocks so you can maintain the organic flow of your garden.

Another fun way to use smart tech for outdoor entertaining is a theater system. Mount a projector under your porch’s awning, a gazebo or canopy and host movie nights for neighbors, family and friends. You can buy a collapsible screen or simply drape a white sheet over the fence for the perfect big-screen experience. Complete your patio layout with a few chairs and chaises for comfy open-air seating.

Smart Gardening and Lawncare

Cutting the grass can be an exhausting process, especially when you have a lot of property or when it’s hot and humid outside. Robotic lawnmowers allow for hands-free, low-effort mowing so that you can spend more time enjoying your beautiful yard or working on other landscaping projects.

Tracking the weather is an important part of planning outdoor activities, such as when to work on your garden or go swimming. A solar-powered smart weather station records information like humidity, temperature and wind speed, so you’re always up-to-date. Place it aboveground in an open area of your yard, like on your deck railing.

Are you a gardener who loves to take advantage of the latest technology? Smart gardening tools like soil moisture sensors are helpful for novices and experts alike. A soil sensor helps you avoid over- and under-watering using fork-shaped probes with a small charge that measures resistance, letting you know when to water your plants.

Photo of a Dining set

Smart Irrigation Systems

If you have a lot of land and little time to spare, consider investing in an automatic irrigation system. Smart irrigation keeps your plants healthy all season long using data-collecting sensors that let you set the moisture and temperature range. You can manage all of these features through an easy-to-use app on your phone or tablet.

Tips to Enhance Your Smart Yard

Why go out when your backyard has everything you need? With the wide variety of outdoor smart tech available, you can create a space that perfectly suits your interests and needs. With a small investment, you can save money and have a customized, modern retreat for you and your family.

Create a Hangout Space

Now that you have your deck up-to-date with the latest in smart home technology, you can create the coolest hangout space with stylish patio furniture. Whether you have a large porch with a sprawling conversation set or want to decorate a small space like an apartment balcony, these ideas can help you craft an impressive spot to chill with friends and family:

  • Tables and Chairs: From an adorable picnic set to extension tables for big celebrations, patio tables make decorating and entertaining a breeze. Use them for setting out snacks or add a few coordinating club chairs for a chic place to sip tea and listen to an audiobook.
  • Lounge Seating: A comfortable outdoor living space needs cozy seating. Chaise lounges are ideal for tanning by the pool while a sectional has enough room to seat all of your guests. Patio chairs are a great, lightweight option when you need to rearrange for backyard movie nights.
  • Cocktail and Bar Ideas: Gather with friends for a few cocktails and good conversation around an intimate bar table set. Add a wireless, waterproof speaker so you can enjoy good music while you hang out. These high tables and chairs are also a great alternative to large dining ensembles when you have limited space.
  • Garden Benches and More: Garden decor like string lights and birdbaths complement wrought iron benches to create a charming outdoor retreat. Place a few solar-powered lanterns throughout the area for a whimsical, fairy garden aesthetic.

Relaxed boho porch design with beachy vibe

Clean Up Your Landscape

One easy way to make your yard look beautiful and more sophisticated is maintaining a clean, well-groomed landscape. Smart tools help you keep a manicured lawn and freshly-watered grass or flower beds. Other tasks like pulling weeds, making simple repairs to retaining walls or gazebos and applying a fresh coat of paint to the shed ensure your yard looks as smart as it is.

Add a Firepit

A cozy gathering place for you and your guests, fire pits extend your patio’s useable season so that you can hang out under the stars, even on chilly nights. Adding a tabletop fireplace to your outdoor seating or dining area is a great way to warm up your space and enjoy a lovely, ambient glow. Smart fire pits let you control the airflow and flame for more efficiency and a better view.

Dark gray wicker seating with fire pit table