Smart Gardens #3: Sounds Good…

Philipp Schuster
29th August 2013 in Know How

So your Loxone Smart Garden must be coming along nicely by now then. You’ve sorted the lawn and the lighting… It’s lookin’ good! Next up – audio. Sound in the garden might not be at the forefront of your thoughts but think how much more accommodating your outside space would be with some clever speakers and a bit of smart tech out there.

Not convinced? Let’s have a look over just what you can do with some Smart Sound and see if we can’t change your mind…

MULTI-ZONES

With a traditional audio set-up outside, you’d have outside speakers by the back door hooked up to your stereo in the lounge and that’s about it. Not too shabby for smaller gardens, sure. But if you’ve a larger area – or a few different outside sections (patio, garden, pool, summer house, etc.), you could really benefit from a ‘multiroom’ set up. Of course this would also seamlessly integrate with all the music zones inside your house. To do this you can use an audio system like CasaTunes or Sonos with Loxone and enjoy different music in different areas at different levels!

EASY OPERATION

Get Smarter than just operating a hi-fi system system manually. There’s little sense in fully updating your home with the latest in time and energy-saving home technology (complete with brilliant multiroom audio) only to entirely neglect your garden. And once you do, you’ll have a whole range of control options:

Music on button

Hook up your music system to a button or panel of buttons on a wall. Arbitrary commands can be programmed in meaning you’ve any music you like – and volume and on/off control – at the touch of a button!

Music on door contacts

If you’re a real muso and love listening to your favourite tunes wherever and whenever possible, you may want audio to kick in every time you’re outside. So why not set up a default playlist to play just as you open the door (via door contacts) in the evening, say – between 7pm and 10pm? You could also set up a lighting scene to come kick in and the sprinklers to stop so as not to disturb your listening.

Handheld Control

Want to change music? Turn it up? Turn it off altogether? Just like with the Smart Home options inside your home, you can control everything from your iPhone, iPad or smartphone app.

Music by Motion

If you don’t want the whole garden blaring music out, why not set up motion sensors to detect your presence and have that determine which zones are filled with your favourite tunes? It saves energy and you’re a lot less likely to upset your neighbours that way too!

Weather, year & time dependent

Tailor your music to the occasion. Hot outside? Have a 1-wire Temperature Sensor sense the heat and select a Summer playlist (anything by KC & The Sunshine Band will do!). Put your mind to it and you can come up with a thousand different ideas…

Your Smart Garden – à la mode!

1. Party Mode

A few friends coming over? Kick into party mode! Set up a pre-prepared playlist of popular songs to you’re ready to go. Don’t forget you’ve got instant and total control with your apps for skipping unpopular tracks (who thought Mumford & Sons were a good idea for a party anyway, eh?!) and killing the volume if the neighbours complain about the noise. Not that we’re saying you have awful neighbours, of course (sorry if you have!)…

2. Training Mode

Working out? You’ll want some upbeat and lively tunes to gee you up and get you going. No problem.

3. Relax Mode

Chilling out after work? Soak up the day’s last rays of sun in a deck chair to your favourite relaxing artists.

INDIVIDUAL ALARM

Audio, your sprinkler system and your lighting can all be used in tandem to create the ultimate exterior security alarm. Blasted with full volume music, jets of freezing cold water and bright white light and your would-be burglar’s not hanging around for very long…

Have you used your Miniserver to do any cool things with music outside? If so we’d love to hear about it!