The process of creating your dream outdoor living space is an exciting time. All the thought that goes into where the swimming pool will go, whether you will have a gas or wood-burning fire pit, and what color pavers you will choose. However, it’s those small but often overlooked add-ons that can turn your space from ordinary to extraordinary.
Technology has come a long way in a very short amount of time. Some technology is designed to save you time, some are designed to help you relax, and, some technology can even save your life.
Most homeowners are not utilizing their basements to their fullest potential. Even in houses with finished basements, you will often find inefficient uses of space, unorganized storage areas, or simply a cluttered mess. While it is common to think of your basement as one large room, there are many opportunities to transform your basement into an efficient multi-functional space.
In Pittsburgh, as in most parts of the country, the weather is often unpredictable at best. It can rain for a week straight and then we won’t see a cloud for several days. Imagine waking up every morning, looking at the weather, then taking the time to figure out if and when to turn on the water. Then, once you make that decision, remembering to do it.
Forget the timer technology. Gone are the days when you simply program the hours in which you want the sprinklers to turn on and off. Now, with a smart irrigation controller, you can designate several factors of your property such as the plant and soil types and it will automatically determine the amount of water needed based on the upcoming weather.
To learn more about smart irrigation systems, take a look at this article from the NY Times Wirecutter.
Let’s be honest, mowing the lawn is a time-consuming chore that takes away time from enjoying your outdoor living space. Sure, you could hire an expensive crew to come out and mow your lawn, or you can argue with your kids for hours to put down the video games and help out. But, wouldn’t it be nice to hit a button, sit back, and relax as your lawn gets trimmed?
While the model you get will determine the size yard it can handle, robot lawn mowers are powered by rechargeable battery packs and are super quiet. Features for these mowers can include rain sensors, anti-theft security, Bluetooth connectivity, mobile apps, and flexible scheduling.
For more information about robotic lawn mowers, check out this article from PC Magazine.
Watching everything from a local sporting event to a romantic movie with your significant no longer needs to take place inside the house. In fact, it’s getting less and less expensive to turn that dream into a reality.
Most people think they need to get an expensive “outdoor TV’ to entertain outside. However, as long as the TV is protected from the direct elements such as rain, it is completely feasible to have a regular TV in your entertaining space. While you will want to protect it from extreme temperatures, you can use it nearly all year round.
If you want something that is a little more portable, a projector is the way to go. That being said, however, there is one major downside to a projector and that is ambient light. Depending on when you want to use it, you will need to consider the lumen output of the projector.
Another important consideration when using a projector is the surface that is being projected on to. The screen can be as simple as a bed sheet, but, in our opinion, you will want to invest in a free-standing, movable screen so you’re not limited in where you watch.
Ok, so outdoor speakers are not “invisible”, but they are designed to blend in with your landscaping while still providing amazing Bluetooth sound in and around your outdoor living area. Speakers can be designed to look like rocks, boulders, flower pots, and planter pots to blend perfectly into your existing space.
Want a little more bass in your life? Niles has a subwoofer that is designed to be buried in the ground with only a paintable port tube sticking out of the ground.
Sitting outside at the end of the day and starting to get a little chilly? You can control your outdoor fireplace with the click of a button. When the temperature drops a little, simply pull out your phone and get the fire going. Sitting in the hot tub and don’t want to risk dropping your phone in the water? With many models, you can simply connect your fireplace to a smart speaker and use your voice to turn it on.
In the “old days”, you had to rely on a single thermometer that was built into the roof of your grill. Once you got the grill to your desired temperature, you would then have to rely on color and texture to determine if the food you were cooking was done.
However, with wireless grill thermometers, not only can you know the exact temperature of the various foods you are cooking, you can receive alerts when the desired internal temperature is reached. Now, you can have the peace of mind that your food is not undercooked and unhealthy, or overcooked and wasted.
Imagine looking out at your pool and seeing this amazing stream of light arcing out from your pool deck or surrounding landscape. That’s exactly what you get with the Pentair MagicStream Laminars. At night, these translucent colored streams create a water effect that adds a fun and elegant entertainment effect to your pool or water feature.
People often think of security as an in-home product. When you have a beautiful outdoor space, you need to protect that too. Products such as wireless cameras and security lights will not only keep your family safe, but can also keep you aware of any property damage or theft.
When you have a pool, safety should be the number one priority. You cannot always keep your eye on the pool and accidents can happen at any moment. An automatic pool cover from Cover Pools can help prevent accidents or keep loved ones and pets away from danger.
Automatic pool covers are easy to use. With the flip of a switch, you can automatically open or close your pool. Plus, covers are built specifically for your pool which ensures a perfect fit.
Smart lighting is a great way to make your outdoor living space look its very best. You can adjust the ambiance of your space to fit any occasion: an evening with the family, a date night with your significant other, or a large party with family and friends. With a simple push of a button on your smartphone, you can set the mood of your space.
Smart lighting can also play a role in your safety. Not only will lighting help you get around your space safely at night, you can set your lights to greet you as you arrive home or easily increase the brightness if you heard something go bump in the night. Get the peace of mind that, no matter where you are, you and your family are safe.