How to Build a
Connected Backyard

With the clearer skies and warmer temperatures of summer’s approach, the backyard is the new go-to hangout spot. Now is the time to use smart technology to transform your deck, patio, or lawn into a “connected” backyard for the summer memories yet to be made. All you need is a strong internet connection from Kosciusko Connect and a few smart upgrades to become the hangout hub of the neighborhood.

Get the party going with an outdoor speaker

Whether you’re enjoying some downtime in your backyard or hosting a few friends for a summer get-together, music sets the mood like nothing else. But what smart speaker will do justice to your summer playlist?

Luckily, an array of high-quality, durable options are available:

  • The UE Megaboom 3 is a highly portable Bluetooth speaker that can easily be toted from patio to poolside. Its sound quality is respectable, and its battery lasts for 20 hours. At $150 to $200, it’s one of the more reasonably priced speakers that can endure summer heat and pool splashes.
  • If you have a more spacious backyard and are looking for something more substantial, consider the Polk Atrium 4. For roughly the price of the Megaboom, you’ll get a pair of speakers producing high-quality sounds that can be heard over party chatter and kids playing in the pool.
  • If you really want to amp up the volume, Sonos Move produces unrivaled, stereo-quality sound for up to 10 hours. Its wide soundscape, paired with the speakers’ easy switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi, makes it easy to see why it’s the leader of its class. As an award-winning speaker, this option is an investment of about $400.

Sprinkler rotating in backyard

Keep that landscaping looking lush

No backyard paradise would be complete without beautiful, lush landscaping. But who wants to keep up with the watering? That’s where smart watering apps come in.

One of our favorites? For around $198, the Orbit Smart Sprinkler Controller activates with your sprinkler system with Alexa Gray. This smart watering system adjusts to your backyard’s unique conditions to provide optimal watering with easy programming.

Keeping your paradise cool.

Outdoor spaces can quickly become unusable in the heat of a midsummer day. If you’re tired of crawling behind patio furniture or through bushes to turn on an outdoor fan, check out smart plugs.

One smart plug option to consider is the iHome control iSP100 outdoor smart plug. Pair this $75 water-resistant plug with Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant to turn on your device with a voice command. You can also set it for specific days and times, then never worry again about cooling down your hangout space.

Light up the night.

When the sun goes down, it’s time for outdoor areas to shine. A growing line of smart lighting can highlight your footpaths, flowerbeds, and water features. Some can even turn your outdoor area into a wonderland of color.

One of the most popular choices is Philips Hue lighting, which can be set to change brightness and color. Choose from Tropical Twilight, Arctic Auroro, and others to set your backyard mood. Use Hue’s smartphone app or Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant to control the system.

Young girls watching movie in their backyard

Big screens for movie night

Whether you’re setting up a family movie night or enjoying a YouTube series with friends, outdoor TVs are quickly becoming outdoor must-haves. Weather-resistant models, such as  Sunbrite Weatherproof Televisions, allow you to enjoy the show without worrying about rain, humidity, or the sprinkler system destroying your tech.

These outdoor devices, paired with fast and reliable internet from Kosciusko Connect, will ensure a fun summer in your connected backyard. Check out more of our smart device suggestions to build a connected home:

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Smart Apps to Help Seniors Manage Their Health

Smart Devices for Pet Owners