7 smart outdoor tech gadgets for creating a backyard oasis

It’s that time of year when all you can think about is relaxing in the backyard without a care in the world. Whether you’re gathering with friends around the patio table, sinking into the hot tub, or just lounging in a hammock, making your space the best it can be pays dividends. Not only will you save money on restaurants and bars by making your place better than going out, but you can also relax, take a good nap and really enjoy the summer.

The outdoors can be tricky for a tech fan due to the elements, limited Wi-Fi range, and lack of places to plug in. With advancements in battery storage, connectivity, and waterproofing, your problems have been solved. It’s time to turn your backyard into the perfect oasis to escape to when work is done for the day. We’ve got some great choices to help you do things exactly the way you want and automate things along the way.

Philips hue outdoor light strip in purple.

Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

Philips Hue outdoor lights

Put some color in your garden

Advantages

  • 16 million colors with adjustable output at 900 lumens

  • Weatherproof operation in all conditions

  • Freestanding or screw mounting options

  • Simple installation with extension kit available for longer runs

  • Support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

The inconvenients

  • Strips cannot be cut to size

  • Dull silicone coating

Outdoor lighting is a key first step in creating the perfect garden ambiance. Additional lighting can protect you from hidden hazards you might trip over and also from prowlers. Best of all, it can really make a statement. Imagine your garden lit up with color, keeping the party going long after the sun has set.

Philips Hue outdoor light strips are a great choice here. You can use them to line the driveway, create a border for a flower bed, or hang them on the side of your building. They come with mounting clips to place them along railings or posts. These lights have an IP67 rating, which means they can withstand just about any type of weather without worry.

They work with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant, and you can create Routines to turn them into specific colors and modes. You can also control the appearance and brightness of lights with the Hue app. The lights are dimmable, have a diffuse lighting effect and can change color.

Philips hue smart light strip

Philips Hue outdoor lights

Put some color in your garden

Bose soundlink flex bluetooth speaker in blue.

Bose SoundLink Flex

Waterproof sound for tough activities

Advantages

  • Small, portable

  • great sound

  • Floats

In the past, outdoor speakers meant either carrying your boombox around or running lots of speaker wires somewhere out of the rain. Nowadays we have wireless connectivity and waterproof devices. You can take your music anywhere and even customize the sound and direct it wherever you want. There are a few solid options for wireless outdoor speakers.

The Bose Soundlink Flex delivers high-quality sound from a relatively small speaker. Bose has made a name for itself by delivering amazing speakers, and the Soundlink Flex is no exception. It has a range of 30 feet from your device and remembers the last eight devices paired to it. The app offers custom algorithms and sound balancing, and the speaker can also receive calls from your phone. It offers 12 hours of battery life before recharging and has an IP67 protection rating. It even floats!

Bose soundlink flex

Bose SoundLink Flex

Waterproof sound for tough activities

Review jbl flip 6 trashed radiator

Ted Kritsonis/Digital Trends

JBL Flip 6

popular and effective

Advantages

  • Solid build quality

  • Loud and clear sound

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Excellent protection against water and dust

  • EQ offers some sonic tweaks

  • Works with JBL Portable app and PartyBoost

The inconvenients

  • Unable to stereo pair with non-Flip 6 JBL speakers

  • Doesn’t work as a speaker

  • Not radically different from Flip 5

The JBL Flip 6 lets you stream music from two separate mobile devices so you can share DJ duties. It has a two-way speaker system and even has a separate tweeter to extend the sound range. Like the Soundlink Flex, it’s IP67 rated, so it can withstand the elements, and the battery should last 12 hours before needing a recharge. It also offers simple controls on the device itself and an app for fine-tuning the sound. It is available in a number of fun colors and patterns.

Jbl flip 6

JBL Flip 6

popular and effective

Ring spot cam wired review version 1550277301 wall offset

Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

Ring Spotlight Camera

Add light and security

Advantages

  • Robust, compact and weatherproof

  • Built-in floodlight, siren and motion detection

  • Simplified installation

  • The Ring Controller app offers many features

The inconvenients

  • Video recording requires subscription

  • Delays when changing motion zones

It’s always a good idea to have an extra eye on your home. This is where security cameras can help.

Ring has a great range of outdoor cameras, whether you have a place to hardwire them or need a battery-powered model. They feature two-way audio, advanced motion detection and a wide field of view to make sure the whole yard is in frame. The app allows you to view the camera live or review captured footage. They are also compatible with Amazon Alexa.

Ring spotlight camera

Ring Spotlight Camera

Add light and security

Weber genesis smart grill review

Weber Genesis II 3-Burner Gas Grill

All the power of grilling, plus technological intelligence!

Advantages

  • nice design

  • Sustainable construction

  • Easy to light

  • Built-in smart technology

  • AC or Power Bank option for smart module

  • Lots of storage

  • The extra burner is practical

The inconvenients

  • Cost?

  • Learning curve with the Weber app

  • Assembly takes time

The party doesn’t jump until the grill is on, and smart grills are all the rage. They are adaptable and will help ensure your food is perfect every time. You can use the app to connect to probes on the grill and monitor cooking temperatures throughout the day.

The Weber Genesis Smart Grill has built-in probes that connect wirelessly to their app, allowing you to monitor the temperature of what you’re grilling. The app also walks you through the recipe step-by-step, from preparation to serving, and notifies you when it’s time to remove food from the grill. There is an optional grill light that illuminates the cooking area and the front knobs.

Weber genesis ii 3-burner gas grill

Weber Genesis II 3-Burner Gas Grill

All the power of grilling, plus technological intelligence!

Rachio 3 smart irrigation controller

Use less water on your lawn during the summer

Advantages

  • Effortless control

  • Easy to schedule/schedule

  • Works with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit™, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT, and more.

The inconvenients

  • Already need a complete irrigation system

  • May not be compatible with all systems

Rachio has made managing your irrigation system almost effortless. Install the sprinkler control box, then connect to your smartphone or other device to set the schedule and see how much water your lawn is getting. It also checks the local weather to determine if there has been rain. If so, the schedule will need to be changed to avoid overwatering. The system will also adjust the amount of water the sprinklers use based on what you are watering (bushes, vegetable garden, grass, etc.).

Rachio 3 smart irrigation controller

Rachio 3 smart irrigation controller

Use less water on your lawn during the summer

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