Netflix and grill

With everyone staying safe at home, now’s the perfect time to set up our homes for outdoor living. If you have a backyard patio, adding some tech accessories can transform your outdoor space and make it an entertainment oasis. Best of all, these are DIY setups that allow your creativity and tech know-how to shine. Let’s highlight some of the things to consider to set up your backyard patio for high-tech entertainment. 

Outdoor TV showing football

Outdoor TV or projector and screen

Backyard movie nights are the new drive-thru theatres. Generally speaking, there are two different ways to get a large screen outdoors. If you have a covered (or even uncovered) patio area with a nearby power source, adding an outdoor TV can bring endless entertainment options. I went the budget-friendly route and installed a refurbished television on my covered backyard deck. That allows for the evening “Netflix and Grill” session in the summer. It really doesn’t get better than that. 

If you decide to mount a TV outdoors, I recommend using an outdoor TV mount like the Kanto 37”-75” Full Motion Outdoor TV Wall Mount. It lets you extend the arm and tilt and swivel it to get the best viewing angle. The galvanized steel frame resists rust and corrosion. During the fall and winter months, take the TV off the mount and store it indoors for safekeeping.   

Another popular option is using a projector outdoors. This is a great non-permanent solution for the occasional summer movie night with the kids. You can set up a projector in minutes. There are two options for screens. If you have a large white wall like a garage door or shed, project directly onto that. Or purchase a portable stand like the RCA 100” 16:9 Projector Screen. This makes it easy to set up a projector outdoors in almost any location. The kids will love you, especially if you connect their gaming console to it. 

 

Outdoor audio

Streaming music outdoors is one of the first things anyone should do on their patio. There are many different options to get music outside, so choose the solution that fits your space and setup. 

First, decide between wired or wireless speakers. Wired outdoor speakers are a great option if you have an existing wired sound system or you’re connecting directly to an outdoor TV or projector. One wired speaker option is rock speakers. They are discreet, weatherproof wired speakers that can be set around decks, pools, and patios.

I think most people will gravitate towards portable Bluetooth speakers. There’s no shortage of Bluetooth speakers on the market today. There are subgroups of party speakers ranging from those aimed at camping and BBQs to water-resistant ones that are ideal for the pool and beach. Pick one that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. 

Covered backyard patios with an available power source are ideal for smart speakers. This provides voice command abilities to play all your favourite music, radio stations, and podcasts. 

I use Google Nest to play YouTube videos on my outdoor TV connected to a Google Chromecast dongle. When I’m manning the grill, I can search and play YouTube videos hands-free. 

Philips Hue lighting

Outdoor lighting

Smart outdoor lighting is quickly becoming a trend among smart homeowners There are many different outdoor lighting options that can add both ambiance and safety to backyard patios and spaces. 

First, it’s important to illuminate pathways so it’s easy to walk around in the dark. New motion sensor lights are smart and wireless. The battery-powered Phillips Hue Outdoor Motion Sensor comes with different mounting components. A motion sensor light can help people navigate outdoor spaces safely at night.  

Smart lighting can replace existing, powered outdoor floodlights. The Phillips Hue Econic Discover LED Smart Outdoor Floodlight can create epic colour and lighting effects on backyard patios. Colours can be adjusted to create mood lighting for outdoor events. It also works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit. Control the lights and colours on the fly with voice commands. If that doesn’t impress your friends and family, nothing will.   

Outdoor fire pit

Comfort

Backyard spaces are the perfect place to kick back and wind down on the weekend and during late summer evenings. The type of patio furniture you choose largely depends on your particular space, needs, and budget. For under $200, you can get a variety of folding chairs, tables, umbrellas, and even hammocks. These are great portable solutions that you can pull out when the weather starts to get better. 

For a budget of $1,000 and up, furnish an outdoor space with large cushioned patio sets. Made from wood or wicker, these sets can withstand outdoor elements. If your space is not covered, a patio storage box ensures you can quickly store them away when it rains. 

Typically, an outdoor space is built around patio furniture. Outdoor heating can extend your time outside early in spring and late into fall. There are several options from which to choose. The first are patio heaters. These are typically powered by propane or a standard 110V AC wall outlet. Infrared patio heaters are a good option if you have an outdoor power source, and want to avoid emitting carbon monoxide.  

The second heating option is outdoor fireplaces. For most people, gas fire pit tables are a popular choice since they use a standard propane tank with a multi-purpose design. When not in use, they can be used as a coffee table around patio furniture. They are also permitted by most municipalities because they do not produce any ash or smog. 

Patio bar area

Spending time outdoors

As the weather gets better, spending time outdoors at home with our loved ones is one of the best things we can do for our health and happiness. With the right tech products, you can transform your backyard space with voice-activated smart lighting and speakers. 

A TV or projector can provide summer movie and gaming nights with the whole family. Combined with outdoor furniture and heating, families can extend their time outdoors in the early spring and well into late fall.   

If there’s one home renovation project you should do this year, it’s setting up your backyard patio for high-tech entertainment. All the outdoor living gear you need is just a click away at Best Buy Online.

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