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Garden home automation: Atmospheric, comfortable and sustainable outdoor living

Domotics in the garden is of course more than just operating the sprinkler system and lighting from the lounger or lounge set.
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Garden home automation:

The garden is simply part of our living environment. And in good weather we even live part of our day in it. Just like indoors, home automation can also make life more pleasant and sustainable in the garden. In this article what the smart garden can mean for the user.

Garden automation

Domotics in the garden is of course more than just operating the sprinkler system and lighting from the lounger or lounge set. It is a totally smart garden concept that supports enjoyment, comfortable operation and sustainability. There are numerous possibilities and projects for this. You can install garden home automation (in parts) yourself or have it installed by a landscaper. Make the garden part of your experience of atmosphere and relaxation plus a jewel for the house. This with an eye for smart, comfortable operation and savings on water and energy.

Another important advantage is that you can leave the garden to home automation with peace of mind. This smartly regulates the irrigation, energy consumption, mowing the lawn or lighting while you are still asleep, a day out or on holiday for several weeks.

The garden as a (wireless) network

The smart garden is also increasingly transitioning from stand-alone applications to an integrated home automation network. This can be both wired and wireless. And operation is increasingly done by smartphone, separate console or tablet.

Garden home automation using Internet Protocol (IP), WiFi or the Internet of Things (IoT) offers a number of major advantages. The individual components are part of a coherent garden architecture to create the right atmosphere, comfortable operation and the economical use of energy and water. You can control these components either in combination or individually, directly or pre-programmed.

Domotics in the garden is of course more than just operating the sprinkler system and lighting from the lounger or lounge set.

Everything that has a built-in IP or wireless connector can be included in the garden network. These include lighting, water management (irrigation, fountains, swimming pools, ponds), image (TV screens, cameras) and sound, monitoring and detection, heat regulation and sun blinds, gas mowers, leaf blowers and even garden robots or wellness. In addition, wireless access to your own home network via WiFi amplifiers. For example, you can simply extend a multi-room or Mesh system to the garden or install a repeater there. Powerline via existing garden outlets also works well. A disadvantage of garden networks is that they can be hijacked by malicious people or fun. So pay close attention to the shielding and security of the garden LAN. This as well as remotely.

Well-known brands for garden networks are TP-link , Devolo, Ubiquiti, EZVIZ, Zyxel, Asus Lyra, Google Nest WiFi , Engenius, Netgear, Gembird and AVM Fritz !. Cable providers such as KPN and Ziggo also support networks in the garden.

Garden home automation: Light zones

Only placing some energy-efficient LED lights in the garden is old-fashioned. Nowadays you do that with smart light zones. These are smart lamp configurations specially put together for the various garden aspects. The lighting adapts completely to the season, the part of the garden that should be brought to life by light, the wishes of the visitor and the natural light present.

Garden home automation:

The garden is divided by the designer into its own mood-enhancing light zones for all seasons and dusk until late at night. A play of color and light that can easily be supplemented with water features and matching audio system. These light zones can be programmed in advance, can be called up wirelessly (smartphone tablet) and / or played completely automatically as a program (your garden light show). The required lighting installation can simply be purchased ready-to-use or put together yourself. You are reasonably cheap at the hardware store and Chinese mail order. Those who have more light notes on their vocals can connect a mini computer to processor-controlled lamp units and program a light project. Or hire a smart lighting architect for the garden.

Well-known brands include Philips Hue for outdoors , Somfy, Belkin WeMo, KlikAanKlikUit , Ecobee for Alexa, Elegato Eve Light for Apple.

Garden home automation: Water management

The smart management of water in the smart garden not only guarantees growth and flowering, but also sustainability (saving water). There are many possibilities. Sensors that monitor the moisture of the soil per plant location. If it becomes too dry, add water. Too wet then do not irrigate or sprinkle. Only turn on fountains and waterfalls when someone is present and watching. This saves on both evaporating water and pump energy. Also nice to combine with the effects from the light zones.

For smart garden watering, you can contact Gardena Smart Water Control , Blossom 8 and GreenIQ. Gardena with the accompanying control app and smart soil sensors brings complete control over the water balance to your garden. This both for the user present with the smartphone in hand, remotely (vacation) and fully automatically. Never again a faded or flooded garden! Blossom uses real-time data and on-site forecasts to adjust watering plans. GreenIQ does this together with the Netatmo Urban Weather Station to measure the weather conditions at your home.

Domotics in the garden is of course more than just operating the sprinkler system and lighting from the lounger or lounge set.

A nice find is the combination of a weather station, camera and irrigation system. For example, the BloomSky, which has a garden camera, weather station and accompanying app. This device measures temperature, humidity, air pressure, UV index, rain and wind. The HD garden camera with fisheye lens gives the user a wide view of the sky with clouds and precipitation. Smart water meters keep an eye on consumption and any leaks. Special flood sensors report (potential) floods and can activate the drainage in time.

Garden home automation: Ponds and swimming pools

They form a separate branch of water management, but do have a number of facets in common. After all, it is about the quality of the water, the temperature, timely topping up and keeping it clean. All of this can be outsourced to smart sensors and executive mechanisms. Cleaning robots are also available. And the Jacuzzis and Whirlpools are a different story. Numerous smart systems for cleaning, maintenance and enjoyment are available. Again, more and more no stand-alone design, but a total configuration of water enjoyment, light, sound (pool speakers) and also TV image, partly in combination with heating and sun blinds / screens.

Domotics in the garden is of course more than just operating the sprinkler system and lighting from the lounger or lounge set.

Well-known brands in this include the Blue Connect, Dolphin robots (also climb the walls). LED lamps from Astel, Brio, Cariiti, Vario-line and Weltico.

Always pay attention to safety at the larger ponds and swimming pools. Can children or pets fall in or get people into trouble? Place sensors / cameras that pay attention to this and cover unused swimming pools (automatically).

Garden home automation: Smart rain barrel

Buying a rain barrel is a smart idea in itself. You save on tap water, get nice soft water for the plants and it is also decorative. Nice and sustainable, but recouping can take a very long time. Can such a rain barrel also be made smart? There are possibilities at the connection to the downspout to regulate the throughput (automatic filling) and prevent contamination (leaf catcher). You can connect the rain barrel to the irrigation system with a smart tap. Sensors check whether the barrel does not overflow (then water to the sewer) or whether it is dry and warn of frost (then the rain barrel can be damaged by ice formation).

Wooden rain barrels are more expensive but often more decorative and more resistant to the effects of UV light.

Garden home automation: Mowing

The robotic lawnmower is slowly but surely advancing. Very suitable for regular maintenance of your garden lawn. And prices have now become attractive. Well-known brands are Gardena, Robomow , Worx Landroid, Wolf, Bosch, Husqvarna (can also be controlled via Apple smartwatches), Makita, Stiga and STHIL. Each grass surface and lawn type has its own matching robotic lawn mower. Get well informed in advance. Furthermore, a robotic lawnmower also requires maintenance. In certain cases, a maintenance contract is recommended.

Important in the choice are: The total grass surface in square meters, slopes and obstacles, the blades and grass height used, combination of an app and / or with programmable total garden management such as Gardena, the required maintenance (spraying with garden hose), the noise ( there are quite silent models), the capacity and charging time of the battery (some models automatically return to the charging station) and of course the safety for humans and animals.

Garden home automation

Despite the built-in navigation and environmental sensors, the robotic mowers still have a detectable separation. Otherwise this machine will soon be in the flower beds, at the neighbors or on the canal. The tensioning of a special wire is standard. This wire sends out a signal which is recognized by the robotic lawnmower, causing it to turn around and continue on its way. You will have to dig a narrow trench along the edge of the grass that is even and deep enough. The cheaper robotic mowers drive around randomly until they reach the wire, after which they randomly continue their way. With the more expensive advanced models, a navigation system continuously determines their position in relation to the field and therefore mows (larger) areas a lot more effectively.

Garden home automation: Sound and image

Garden speakers are quite popular. This both for listening to your own favorite music lists (Spotify, etc.) and for supporting the atmosphere and garden effects in combination with light. You can choose from wired (IP network) or wireless outdoor speakers with built-in battery (also powered by solar cells). Preferably waterproof boxes that can withstand a downpour, swimming pools and ponds. The audio quality varies widely from ordinary leisure boxes to immersive and home cinema. All value for money and the needs of the user. Also pay attention to the design and being able to get rid of the outdoor speakers as a natural object (for example a rocky outcrop). Well-known brands are Bowers & Wilkins, Speakercraft Terrazza, KEF, Bose, Artsound, Focal, Aquasound (around the pool) and Monitor Audio. Note the suspension, volume and scope, freestanding or built-in and whether or not placed under a (patio) roof. When controlling one pair of outdoor speakers, you usually choose an amplifier with built-in streaming options. Sounds good and is comfortable to use. In case of several pairs of outdoor speakers, a multi-room amplifier comes into view.

Garden home automation:

Outside YouTube, Netflix, watching TV or movies is also very common. iPads, tablets, smartphones and robust (camping) screens are plentiful. There are even special garden home theater’s. Wireless with WiFi amplification or bluetooth outlets make it portable. With more cinema, (network) cabling is preferred. Most cable providers already provide outdoor TV viewing. Somfy, among others, offers nice options for web TV in the garden. Splashvision, Taka and Titan offer waterproof TVs that can also withstand frost. A separate category are underwater TVs for the swimming pool.

Garden home automation: Garden heating

Patio heating comes in handy when the temperature drops. With an electric or gas patio heater you simply sit outside for longer. The electric types are easy to control with sensors and app programming. Patio heating really doesn’t look plump these days. Elegant columns, domes, heat strips and radiators blend in well with the patio / garden interior. Well-known brands are Bromic, Hanolux, Fonteyn, the Eurom Golden 2000 Amber Smart Rotary (app and remote control), Vedamco (terrace and party), Sunred, Outtrade, Solomagic and Infresco (smart switches with presence detection).

Garden home automation

Garden home automation: Control sun protection

Controllable sun blinds on the terrace, patio or in the garden and by the pool are easily achievable and affordable. Retractable arm awnings. Sun awnings, external venetian blinds, awnings, screens, pergola and conservatory awnings, veranda, vertical blinds, shade cloths, you name it and it is available electrically and sensor-controlled. The operating options vary from only (partially or fully) fold-out / rollable to turning with the sun. They keep out both direct sunlight and heat radiation. Also sustainable because less cooling is required.

Well-known brands are Warema, Markilux, Pergola, Gumax, Brustor, vidaXL, Nesling, Verano, Soluna, Primrose, Velux, Garden Place, Solero and Tibelly. Also pay attention to the density of the material and permeability to wind. Somfy Connexoon, for example, is a special app for operating such awnings.

Garden home automation:

Garden robots

A robot in the garden is a niche area after the lawn mowers and pool / pond cleaners (so-called skimmers). There are certainly a number of nice options. For example, the Tertill weed-weeding robot, the Kobi mower also removes leaves and snow, serving robots that deliver drinks and food to the garden, the Grillbot cleans the grill of the barbecue, the Farmbot maintains your plants and beds (runs with an arm & rails fixed trajectories), the Solar Breeze NX2 maintains the swimming pool powered by solar cells, the Gardenspace irrigation robot with WiFi, 360-degree camera and solar cells or the Husqvarna robot family. Those who have a large garden can use a drone for maintenance planning and observation.

Security

Securing the garden has roughly three categories: Miscreants / burglars, unwanted animals and emergencies. For the burglars and vandals entrance gates, cameras, motion sensors with lamp or even a drone. Detection and defense signals are sought after with advancing foxes, wolves, marten, etc. There are also guarding and opening facilities for chicken coops and aviaries.

Garden home automation:

Security cameras and warning sensors are useful for the elderly and children in the garden. There is a wide choice of outdoor cameras and detectors. Simply available at the hardware store or have it professionally installed. Furthermore, the drone can also be of importance here.

And further still

Generate sustainable energy in the garden yourself with solar panels, garden windmills or heat recovery systems. Nowadays you can do with solar panels and windmills with dynamo in the garden. See, among other things, the website of energieucentraal.nl about the price and revenues. A garden track is fun and decorative. This can be nicely combined with plants, rocks and water features. Also suitable for driving around with snacks and drinks.

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