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 lazing about 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’ll also be able to de-stress, get a great nap in, 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 advances in battery storage, connectivity, and waterproofing, your problems have been solved. It’s time to make your backyard that perfect oasis you can escape to when work’s over for the day. We’ve got some great picks to help make things exactly the way you want and automate things along the way.

philips hue light strip outdoors in the color purple.

Terry Walsh/

Philips Hue Outdoor lights

Add color to your garden

Pros

  • 16 million colors with adjustable output to 900 lumens

  • Weatherproof operation in all conditions

  • Freestanding or screw-clip mounting options

  • Simple installation with extension kit available for longer runs

  • Support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons

  • Strips can’t be cut to size

  • Drab silicone cladding

Outdoor lighting is a key first step in creating the perfect backyard ambiance. Added lighting can keep you safer from hidden hazards you might trip on and also from prowlers. Best of all, it can really make a statement. Imagine your yard lit up in colors, allowing you to keep the party going long after sunset.

Philips Hue Outdoor Light Strips are a great choice here. You can use them to line the walkway, make a border for a flowerbed, or hang them from the side of your building. They come with mounting clips for placing them along railings or posts. These lights have an IP67 rating, meaning they can endure pretty much any kind 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 the lights with the Hue app. The lights are dimmable, have a diffused lighting effect, and can change color.

philips hue smart lightstrip

Philips Hue Outdoor lights

Add color to your garden

bose soundlink flex bluetooth speaker in blue.

Bose SoundLink Flex

Waterproof sound for rugged pursuits

Pros

  • Small, portable

  • Great sound

  • Floats

In the past, outdoor speakers meant either carrying your boombox around or running a lot of speaker wire to a location that was safe from rain. These days, we have wireless connectivity and waterproof devices. You can take your tunes anywhere and even customize the sound and point it where you want. There are a couple of solid options for wireless outdoor speakers.

The Bose Soundlink Flex offers high-quality sound from a relatively small