With summer so short, why spend it indoors? You can practically live outdoors by automating your backyard so you can get the best of everything – from watching your favorite sitcom on the patio to listening to your favourite tunes. You don’t even have to worry about getting up to turn the lights on, once you’ve automated them.
Automate your outdoor audio system, and you can enjoy the pleasure of your favourite rock band while grilling a steak. Speakers are typically mounted on walls or deck posts. If the outdoor system is connected to the house audio, the user can remotely control the volume or select the music to be played even while lounging on the deck.
A great way to revel in the summer while still enjoying a movie is to install a backyard theatre. A roll-down movie screen can be used or a weatherized TV surrounded by small speakers which can be mounted in the gazebo or on the overhang. The main components are housed inside the house. The automation can be synced to your laptop or mobile smartphone so you have everything a click away from your fingers.
For just enjoying the beauty of the evening and the scent of night flowers accent lighting may be the way to go. Depending on what you prefer, you may install just one switch that controls all the lights in your landscape or you can dedicate an in-line switch to control timed light sequences. These can be trained to shine on foliage or water fountains or even or a favourite piece of statuary.
Needless to say, timed accent lighting that turns on at dusk is perfect for footpaths, garages and front entrances. They impart a warm, inviting glow and add an element of safety for walking through a dark garden. Entrance lights of course deter intruders.
Pool & Spa Settings
The pool and spa lends itself perfectly to automation. No more goose bumps when entering the pool or waiting an age till the spa heats up to the correct temperature. Once automated, spa jets can be timed to turn on in time for you to relax while pool pumps and filtration systems can be set to turn on during off-peak hours. This will save you a hassle in time, energy and physical effort. All the features associated with the pool and spa such as heaters, lights and pumps can be monitored through your cell phone or computer so you have easy access and makes your pool more manageable and thus, more enjoyable.
Extend the backyard pool and spa automation to your water displays as well. Whether you have a large pond with a waterfall cascading over rocks or a tiny pond in a pot, it is possible to monitor the controls with a home automation switch. The pump can be set to turn itself on or off at specified times of the day or night to ensure that the water keeps circulating and does not have the opportunity to turn stagnant.
Underground Sprinkler Systems
An automated sprinkler system can quench your thirsty grass even when you are not there. Nozzles are implanted in the lawn at strategic spots and pop up when the system turns on.
You can make the summer last a little bit longer by being able to use your backyard later in the day – just through the use of a little automation. Life is good.
By: Beverley Burgess Bell