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July 5, 2016

How to make your yard smart

by John_A

Ah, the joy of the yard. Sitting outside watching a movie in the summer is appealing enough, as is the idea of sitting in the car for your own private drive-in cinema.

Smart tech can also ensure your lawn is watered and mowed with no intervention from you though. You can keep cats off the plants automatically, with no more running round shouting “shoo”, but you can also control more stuff more easily.

Open the garage door with your smartphone, or set the lights to go on and off without even touching a switch are just a couple of possibilities. Here are a few gadgets to make your yard smart.

Hozelock Cloud Controller

British gardening brand Hozelock makes products available worldwide. The very latest of these is this unassuming looking timer which attaches to the garden faucet. At the other end you’ll put your lawn watering device or plant watering system.

It also connects wirelessly to the internet via a dongle on your router. This means that you can set it to water the plants at sunrise and sunset – apparently the times the plants like it the most – safe in the knowledge that it’ll adjust the timings automatically as the seasons change.

Even better, you can change the schedule remotely from your phone, or press a button on the controller for a few minutes’ extra water if you need to. Clever, efficient and reliable.

hozelock.com

WORX Landroid robotic mower

WORX

It was only a matter of time after the advent of robotic vacuum cleaners that we should see a robot for the lawn.

This mower can be set to saunter around the garden to keep the grass at a proper length. Instead of a regular mower which you’d probably use a couple of times a month, this machine can cut the grass every day.

It’s quiet enough not to wake you and it can manage slopes, too, of up to 20 degrees.

amazon.com

Optoma HD28DSE projector

Optoma

If you fancy home cinema in the garden, this projector is a good place to start. You need a projector of significant brightness for outdoors, at least 2,000 lumens. This model manages 3,000 lumens so no worries there.

With the right glasses, you can even show 3D movies. You’ll need to invest in something like the Elite Yard Master weatherproof screen (honestly, a sheet won’t do) and some speakers that will work outside.

Of course you’ll also need a decent Blu-ray player like the one below, to have something to watch. Please remember to avoid nights with a full moon, and take care not to annoy the neighbors. 

amazon.com

Sony BDPS3700 streaming Blu-ray Disc Player

Sony

Sony’s player is light and compact enough to be carried out to the garden to plug into the projector. It works with DVDs which it can upscale to almost Full HD resolution.

Blu-ray discs, of course, will look glorious. Of course, you can use it indoors, too, and this player has Wi-Fi built-in so you can stream content from sources such as Neflix and Hulu Plus, as well as play from disc.

You can also play PlayStation 3 games though the TV, even if you don’t have a games console. The first Blu-ray players took an age to spring into life but this one is ready to go in a second or two. 

amazon.com

ScareCrow Motion Activated Animal Deterrent

ScareCrow

Need to keep cats from wandering over your plants? When the ScareCrow senses an animal in your garden, it makes a startling noise and releases a short burst of water, to tremendous effect.

Even if it misses a sprightly feline, it’ll give it enough of a surprise to make it wary of coming back. It works at day and night and protects up to a 1200 square foot area, though do remember to replace the battery every six months. It also works to deter foxes, dogs and other animals, too. 

amazon.com

Open Sesame HNAOS01 garage opener

Open Sesame

Remote controls for the garage door are great, but maybe you don’t have enough of them. One for each of the cars would be nice, and maybe one to keep in the house so you can close the door again when you’re safely inside.

This system is an addition to the one that came with the garage. It’s a small Bluetooth box and a smartphone app so you can use your iPhone or Android handset to control the door.

Have as many remotes as you have cellphones! The device is password-protected so nobody can pair their phone to the system without knowing it (so be sure to change it from the default).

amazon.com

Honeywell ECONOSwitch 7-Day Solar Programmable Light Switch Timer

Honeywell

Program your lights to come on and off exactly as you’d like them with this timer. It’s simple to setup and very flexible with seven programs that can apply to a single day or repeat every day.

It works with LEDs and other bulbs and it is easy to install. You can set it so the lights go on and off at sunset and sunrise, which can save electricity in the long run, of course.

Want to turn the lights on right now? The program swtich also works as a regular on/off switch. Best of all, it automatically builds in daylight savings so you don’t need to reprogram twice a year!

yourhome.honeywell.com

The Honeywell Lyric Water Leak and Freeze Detector is an early warning system that notifies you on your smartphone when a leak is detected or the temperature drops below a temperature of your choice. By catching it early, you may be able to avoid expensive repairs and loss of treasured items. To find out more visit Honeywell.com

This article was created in association with Honeywell.


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