The “smart home” often conjures up images of stuff that goes inside a house. But increasingly we’re seeing new technologies and products that can help outside your front door — and your backdoor, too. You can use some of these things year-round, like a doorbell or an LED spotlight; while others are seasonal. And there are even apps that can help.
Smart gardening used to be focused on standalone plant sensors. Buy a Parrot Flower Power or an Oso Technologies PlantLink, stick it in a pot — or directly in your yard — and wait for it to tell you when to water your plant. These small devices were fairly limited, especially for folks interested in monitoring larger gardens.
Outdoor cameras aren’t new, but the variety of options have increased a ton in recent years. Where it was once limited to a standard camera, we’re now seeing cameras built-in to outdoor light fixtures, camera and doorbell hybrids and even battery-powered cameras.
We’re most excited about the new LTE cameras that work over a cellular network, which effectively monitor garden pests outside Wi-Fi range.
LEDs and light fixtures
We’ve covered indoor lighting extensively, but smart outdoor lighting is a relatively new space. Sure, you can control an outdoor light with an indoor wired Lutron switch, but what about smart LEDs that combat the elements?
There’s good news on that front — Philips is leading the charge this year with a complete series of outdoor-rated LEDs and fixtures.
You can track the weather in your area with a quick Google search any time, but smart weather stations are more customized. The BloomSky Sky2 Weather Camera Station tracks temperature, wind speed and rain and air pressure right in your backyard. Whether you’re a weather geek or want to monitor the latest forecast to determine when best to plant, water and harvest plants in your garden, products like this might be a smart investment.
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