Usually when people think about smart home, solutions such as voice control, web-enabled thermo-stats, door locks and large TVs come to mind first. But there’s good reason to think outside the box, or house walls in this case, as the smart home extends to outdoor entertainment and living too.
Mirroring the growth of whole-house AV systems, home theater, networking and control solutions, the outdoor category has rapidly evolved. Today, integration professionals can offer complete outdoor entertainment systems that rival traditional systems with amenities that include advanced networking capabilities, customized automation and state-of-the-art audio and video.
As the category continues to grow, more manufacturers are entering the space and new products are being developed to supplement the outdoor entertainment experience. A couple of examples include outdoor lighting and outdoor shade solutions that offer expanded lifestyle zones.
We’ve compiled a sampling of outdoor products, from AV to lighting. We’ll begin with the latter category and post our picks for audio and video categories in the near future.
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Roundup of Residential Outdoor Lighting
Match Lights are said to combine the company’s proprietary lighting technologies with a minimalist industrial design. Coastal Source explains that the product’s Gimbal LED delivers complete control over light, and the sealed, watertight build protects the light module from the weather and other elements.
Draper’s Exterior Clutch-Operated Flex Shade offers homeowners a convenient way to control outdoor light in a range of locations. Draper says integrators can utilize the product on their clients’ pools and patios, and they can also specify the product for commercial environments. The product is available in sizes up to 11 by 11 feet, and it can be specified ANSI/WCMA A100.1 compliant for areas with small children.
UL-listed, the 2216 TruColor LED Strip Light is a waterproof white adjustable solution that employs 2216 LEDs to deliver a high CRI. The product positions a 2400 Kelvin Very Warm White diode and a 6500 Kelvin Daylight White diode next to each one another to provide the appearance that a single large LED is changing color as it is tuned. The product is IP65 rated and provides up to 50,000 hours of operational life.
Hunter Douglas offers a range of outdoor shade products that can visually enhance a variety of living spaces. Depending on what options are specified, Hunter Douglas’ outdoor shade products can block the sun to reduce glare on electronics screens, and they can provide high levels of privacy. The customized outdoor shades can also be used in tandem with lighting systems to help control a home’s heating and energy costs.
J Geiger is a South Carolina-based manufacturer of residential and commercial shade products that brings more than a decade of experience to the category. The company offers several product lines to address indoor and outdoor applications, and provides integrators with full-service support that includes design and the ability to order custom-made solutions. Additionally, J Geiger shades offers a choice of power options and hardware to enable integrators to meet any shade requirement their customers may have.
For use in residential or light commercial applications, the Smart Outdoor Switch is a simple solution for extending controls including voice commands to patios, decks and pool areas. In the app, the switch can be used to include outdoor lighting, or other features like fountains, in the creation of scenes or schedules with existing home controls via a home’s wireless network. The GFCI switch includes automated options for energy savings, while offering reliable, code-compliant ground fault protection, Legrand states.
The Micro Series Module from Lighting BOSS’ Lumien Lighting is an integrated fixture that is IP68 rated. The company says the products offer quick-connection designs to facilitate their setup and installation, and the company says the Micro Series Module dissipates heat faster than MR16 lamps. The Micro Series is available in 3.5- and 5.5-watt versions, and the products are in-field repairable.
Adding shade to a home’s outdoor space is more convenient than ever through Pergolas powered by Somfy Systems. Through Somfy’s motorization and control solutions, homeowners can protect their pergolas from the harsh elements and they can easily operate their pergolas when they are outside. Somfy Systems offers a range of solutions, including sensors, remote controls and wireless interface products to help homeowners maximize their pergolas throughout the year.
Screen Innovations’ (SI) Zen 2 is an architecturally focused motorized shading system available in a variety of colors and installs in a fraction of the time of traditional products, according to the company. SI offers the Zen 2 with a choice of box, roll or pocket cassette types, and the shades incorporate zipper tracks for open rolls and pocket installations. Additionally, SI offers the Zen 2 with a selection of fabric materials.
Available in 43-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, the value-minded Shade Series 2 outdoor TVs deliver 4K resolutions and companion soundbars. The IP56-rated TVs are ruggedized to withstand temperatures ranging from -24 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and are also rated to produce brightness levels as high as 700 nits.