By: Rick Akins

Over the last decade or so, outdoor living spaces have become key components within the homes of many families we work with. These spaces have turned into entertainment centers, work spaces and even high-end kitchens.

Today, five main technologies can improve the quality of your outdoor living experience. Fortunately, almost all of them can be implemented at any time, even if not planned for during the initial construction of your home.

Audio/Video:

What most people think of first is the audio/video entertainment experience in the back yard. Great progress has been made in recent years in terms of video. Most clients prefer outdoor rated LED televisions. These devices can be as large as 85” wide, they never have to be taken inside, and can come be seen clearly even in direct sunlight. A recent project in the North Shore included a pair of outdoor televisions, one for the Bear-loving mom and the other (which we tried to sabotage) for the Packer-loving dad. We are proud to have done our part to keep this marriage together!

Today’s new audio systems are equally advanced. Instead of attaching box speakers onto the home pointing out toward your neighbors, ‘landscape’ speakers can be hidden in the landscaping and pointed back toward the listening area. To enhance the sound, most systems we install include underground subwoofers that add amazing levels of base.

Elan Apps & a Garden Speaker

Other Solutions:

In addition to making your outdoor spaces more fun, today’s technological solutions can also provide the following benefits:.

  1. Enhanced outdoor WiFi for work and school.
  2. Camera systems to provide additional peace of mind.
  3. Lighting control to enhance the ambiance of your living spaces and make the home appear lived-in while you are away.
  4. Pool/spa heater control through an app on your phone
  5. Irrigation control with greater and greater integration with local weather services.

We are also witnessing a higher level of unique, motorized solutions. One very interesting solution is a motorized canopy that can ride underneath a pergola or other structure and reduce the heat of a summer day. All-in-all, a resort like experience in your own backyard.

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