Outdoor living with smart home technology

Our home is our sanctuary and people are increasingly looking at ways they can make their living space more desirable and comfortable. This includes revitalizing their outdoor space to create the ultimate outdoors experience.

As a distributor of smart home technology, we know how important a comfortable, safe and efficient home is. We also know how technology can help.

With summer fast approaching and the sun beginning to shine, now is the time to look at what great smart home technology there is for use outdoors.

  1. What is a smart home?
  2. Can I install smart home technology outside?
  3. Are there TVs that you can install outside?
  4. Can I install speakers outside?
  5. Where to install outdoor speakers?
  6. Can I control my smart home devices outside?
  7. What is a home automation system?
  8. How can I get better Wi-Fi reception outside?
  9. What is the best Wi-Fi extender for outdoors?

What is a smart home?

TechRadar states “At its core, ‘smart home’ can mean any device or appliance connected to the internet that you can control using a smartphone or whose function you can automate.” This allows for functions like sprinklers, lighting, heating, blinds et al to be automated, taking away the need for manual operation.  

Can I install smart home technology outside?

Simply, yes. As developments with smart home technology continue to happen, so does the ability for the technology to work in a multitude of settings. IP ratings give an indication of the level of protection against intrusion, dust, water and accidental contact by electrical enclosures and mechanical casings. This classification makes it easier to find suitable products that fit the needs of the customer within their desired environment.

Currently, there are speakers, Wi-Fi extenders and even TVs that can be installed outdoors.

Are there TVs that you can install outside?

Designed for the garden and IP55 certified, Samsung The Terrace TV promises more than 2,000 nits of brightness allowing for a great viewing experience even on the sunniest days*. The QLED 4K TV is available in three sizes, 55”, 65” and 75” and comes with a wide viewing angle and anti-glare technology.

Samsung The Terrace TV - suitable for outdoors

Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connectivity, the outdoor entertainment experience can be clutter-free.

Can I install speakers outside?

Providing sensational sound in the garden for all occasions is easier than you think.

Able to withstand the elements, outdoor speakers can be installed to optimise audio within the outdoor space. Homeowners can revel in the awesome power and clarity that an installed speaker system can deliver.

Exclusive to Invision, Origin Acoustics has a wide variety of outdoor options to suit a multitude of garden sizes and layouts.

Origin Acoustics Bollard Speaker - suitable for outdoors

Designed for long-lasting outdoor installation, the Landscape Bollard from Origin Acoustics is a single unit that houses both a subwoofer and a mid/high frequency satellite in the same enclosure.

With a high-performance 360-degree acoustics lens, sound can be spread evenly across the outdoor space and, through effective positioning, coverage can be maximised to suit the user’s needs.

There is also an option to choose a dispersion of 180-degrees to prevent sound spilling over into the neighbour’s property or into areas where sound is not wanted.

Depending on what configuration is needed, the Bollard must be ordered in that configuration as the insert must be installed at the factory. Damage to the unit is likely if the insert is changed in the field.  

Available in brushed aluminium, bronze or ash black finishes as well as in a round or square shell, the luxurious Bollard speaker can be chosen to suit the aesthetic of the garden.

Origin’s Acoustic Landscape™ AS41 System transforms any garden into an outdoor audio oasis using 4” plantable speakers and an 8" burial subwoofer for extended bass response.

A full solution that evenly covers the garden with sound, the AS41 system provides quality tone and coverage without disturbing the neighbours.  

The satellite speakers can be hidden away in flowerbeds and planters with rust-proof HDPE stakes attached. The buried subwoofers provide resounding bass while leaving a non-intrusive cap.

Origin states that “A standard 2-channel receiver or amplifier and some 4-conductor wire are all that’s needed to plant the AS41 directly into your landscape”.

Origin Acoustics AS41 Audio System - suitable for outdoors

Another option is from Lithe Audio. Their Bluetooth Rock Speaker combines quality audio with exceptional design. This must-have speaker is easy to install with a range of up to 10m and comes with a four-digit pin for added security.  

An all-in-one system in a weatherproof IP56 fibreglass housing, the speaker comes in a discreet stone rock design, fitting in nicely with any garden design, and pairs with any Bluetooth enabled device.

These speakers can simply be connected to mains power and positioned in the garden to stream audio from any phone or tablet.

Lithe Audio Bluetooth Rock Speaker - for outdoors

Where to install outdoor speakers?

Origin Acoustics advise that there are a couple of factors to consider when installing outdoor speakers. Firstly, how uniform of a sound field is required? The further the listener is from the sound source, the lower the apparent volume. This means that there will always be areas with less or limited sound. However, more speakers mean a more even coverage.

Secondly, what is the desired and required maximum sound pressure?

Origin states “Some systems are designed for background or ambient music only, while others are designed to rock the house or provide dance music.” As mentioned above, the number of speakers will affect the maximum output and Origin suggest that you should “Consider creating different zones where louder music is required in one area and softer music in others”.

If you have any queries about speaker layout and installation, Origin Acoustics offer a free design service to help map the optimal speaker placement as well as recommended amplifier power.

Furthermore, we have Origin Acoustic brochures available that can be rebranded to help you sell to your customers.

Can I control my smart home devices outside?

The ability to conveniently control functions like heating, lighting, sound etc within the home is becoming increasing desirable as we spend more time at home. Now this control can be taken into the garden as well as providing remote access allowing for control of the home automation system while away.

What is a home automation system?

With a home automation system, multiple aspects of the property can be controlled with ease. Music can be streamed to outdoor areas simultaneously with turning off the lights indoors using a simple voice command or button press on a remote or touch panel. Remote access to some systems, means that the control can be from on app on a mobile phone, providing greater command to the user.

RTI’s U3 weather-resistant remote is the perfect companion for hot tubs, pools, bathrooms, and decks, delivering reliable wireless control of electronic systems in environments that are too harsh for standard remotes. The durable and completely sealed remote floats if dropped in the water allowing for easy retrieval.** IP66 rated, the remote is dust and water repellent as well as ergonomically designed permitting effortless, one-handed operation. Easily integrated with third party systems, RTI allows easy control of lighting, heating, irrigation etc.

RTI U3 weather-resistant remote - suitable for outdoors

For use, the U3 requires the RTI ZB-Pro Zigbee Programming Tool to program and download firmware updates.

Watch the RTI U3 make a splash via this video by RTI Dealer Bridger Automation in Australia:

How can I get better Wi-Fi reception outside?

As more people are working from home, having a powerful and reliable network that covers the whole of the property, including the outdoors, is important.

Strategically placed outdoor access points allow for the Wi-Fi reception to be extended outside.

What is the best Wi-Fi extender for outdoors?

The UniFi UAP-AC-M Mesh Access Point, part of the Ubiquiti Networks UniFi Enterprise Wi-Fi System, is a high-performance outdoor dual-band access point. Capable of speeds of up to 1167mbps, this weather-resistant access point has a range of up to 183m (600ft) expanding the network outside. Its compact shape allows for easy deployment anywhere and flexibility with mounting means it can be installed on a pole, wall or Ubiquiti high-gain antenna.

The UniFi UAP-AC-M features UniFi Mesh technology to simplify Wi-Fi infrastructure deployments in outdoor spaces and more.

Ubiquiti UniFi UAP-AC-M - suitable for outdoors

For more information on the products mentioned, please head to our outdoor landing page or contact your Invision account manager.

*The Terrace is designed for placement and use in outdoor shaded environments. The TV can be partially exposed to ambient/non-direct sunlight but direct sunlight should be avoided.

** The RTI U3 remote is not intended for exposure to water for extended periods of time.