Does the backyard seem an odd place for technology? These days it’s easy to improve, beautify, or otherwise make life easier in your yard.
Once upon a time, solar-powered outdoor stake lights were the height of backyard lighting technology. Now, there are many more options that make lighting a pathway for safety, or outlining a garden for effect very easy. Philips Hue has expanded its popular line of Wi-Fi controlled indoor smart lightning to the outdoors. If you want to read a full review of the Philips Hue spotlights and bollard lights that’s here, and there’s also a new addition to the lineup— flexible Philips Hue outdoor LED light strips. These can be used to line the edge of a deck, mark a curving garden boundary, or light up the area under or behind furniture for ambient, colour-changing, smartphone controlled lighting.
Of course, these outdoor lights are made to withstand the weather. Philips says they are “made for wet environments” and they’re “fully weatherproof” and the specs say they’ll function in temperatures from -20°C – 45°C (-4°F-113°F) so they should withstand Canadian winters including cold, snow and rain.
Ever wished you could have a robot to cut your lawn, freeing up your time for more fun pursuits? The Husqvarna Automower is just like a Roomba for your lawn!
The Automower can be set on an electronic schedule, so it will keep your lawn trim all season long. This robo-mower doesn’t go out once per week and slice down the lawn by two inches, instead it mulches the lawn by cutting very small amounts each day; the lawn will appear as though it just stops growing. The robot is fully autonomous, and will find its way around your yard mulching grass until it needs to return to its base station for a recharge.
Surprisingly, this mower is perfectly silent when it runs, and compared to the ear-splitting grind of a traditional electric or gas mower, you will not ever notice this one at work.
The Husqvarna Automower has anti-theft protection built in. Plus, the mower won’t hurt anyone, human or animal, that comes into contact with it. For starters, the mulching blades are small, so they likely wouldn’t even make contact with flesh. If they did, they have a foldaway spring which prevents them from cutting when they hit a hard object.
You can watch our review of the Automower here:
Fire pits are nice, but they can be messy and smoky—and cooking on one? Forget it. Thank goodness someone re-invented the fire pit! BioLite, makers of a wide range of camping and outdoor gear that’s often usually tech-enabled have now released their new BioLite FirePit.
This compact, portable metal box has collapsible legs so you can pack it down so it’s perfect for your trunk for a day at the beach, or the picnic area.
BioLite FirePit has a removable grill top so you can cook on it, or just use it to have a small but roaring fire. You can burn either wood or charcoal in the BioLite FirePit.
Naturally, the BioLite FirePit has technology built in: on the side is a 10,400mAh PowerPack which also houses a fan. This fan helps to power up your flames, and it’s controlled with your phone via Bluetooth, so you can make adjustments to the fire from your smartphone. When your phone starts to die, you can plug it into the power pack and recharge it on the spot. Talk about useful!
Wired meat thermometers are generally a hot mess. Today, wireless is the way to go. Meater is a small wireless, rechargeable Bluetooth meat thermometer. It connects to an app and allows you to monitor whatever you might be cooking, check the internal temperature of your food, and optimize either your grilling or oven roasting.
The nice wooden box Meater comes in doubles as a charging station, and with just one AAA battery you should get 100 charges. The back of the case is magnetic, letting you stick it to the fridge or BBQ lid for handy storage.
With a few key gadgets, it’s easy to get the connected backyard of your dreams.