The demand for smart home features is skyrocketing. Consumer smart home spending will more than double from $43 billion this year to $100 billion by 2020, Juniper Research projects, and Gartner estimates that the average home will contain more than 500 smart home devices by 2022.
Lots has been written about smart home technology that manages systems and appliances inside your home, but what about outside? Here are just a few of the ways smart home technology is transforming backyard automation.
Ninety percent of consumers surveyed for Icontrol’s 2015 State of the Smart Home Report see security as one of the top reasons to purchase a smart home system. The latest smart home security technology integrates seamlessly with systems for protecting your backyard and home perimeter.
For example, Honeywell’s Tuxedo Touch security system lets you use both touchscreen and voice commands to arm your indoor and outdoor security systems when you leave your home or go to bed. The system controls locks and lights. It lets you view up to four on-premise cameras per view on any screen, including Internet TVs and mobile devices. You can also record security clips up to two minutes long to remotely verify alarm or security events.
Outdoor Water and Pool Management
Thirty percent of the 320 gallons of water the average American home uses per day goes toward outdoor use, and half of this is wasted by inefficiency, the EPA reports. Smart sprinkler systems reduce this inefficiency while making it easier to care for your lawn and garden. For example, the Skydrop Sprinkler Controller connects to the Internet for local weather updates and gauges your sprinkler output to current conditions. The Droplet sprinkler robot combines weather updates with information about local soil and plant species in order to adjust your irrigation to your lawn or garden’s specific needs.
For pool owners, cleaning and heating pools is another important part of outdoor water management. Smart technology has this covered, too. For instance, smart solar pool heaters sense air and water conditions and automatically adjust valves as needed to maintain correct water temperature. Some controllers also control other pool and spa features such as pumps and lighting and let you alternate between solar, gas and electric heating.
Automated Lawn Care
In addition to helping you water your plants, smart technology is also making it easier to cut your lawn. Husqvarna’s Automower line uses an electric fence generated by a low-voltage wire, similar to those used to contain dogs, to let your lawn robot know when it’s time to stop and change directions. The mower comes equipped with safety sensors that make it back off upon collision and stop and retract the blades if you try to pick it up.
Smart home security systems often come integrated with outdoor lighting systems. Sixty-five percent of consumers in Icontrol’s survey listed automatic adjustable outdoor lighting as one of their most desired smart home devices. Smarthome’s website reviews a range of available options that achieve this. A C-battery-powered Fulcrum Outdoor Wireless Floodlight uses an integrated motion sensor to activate 6 ultra-bright LEDs, with photocell sensors built in to avoid daylight activation. The Smarthome SELECT Solar Powered Motion Sensing Spotlight uses the power of the sun to power 54 bright white LEDs. The SmartGuard Motion Sensing Light with Security Camera adds motion-activated voice alarms and video recording capability, enabling you to scare off an intruder with the sound of a dog barking or a warning that they are being recorded on video.
Smart technology also enables you to more easily expand your home entertainment system outside onto your deck or patio. Outdoor and Bluetooth-connected speakers such as Paradigm’s Rock Monitors can bedisguised as rocks or planters, built into the ground, mounted on the exterior of your home, or placed in portable units to supply your yard with remote-controlled music.