The best smart garden devices and outdoor gadgets for summer 2023
Robotic lawn mowers, smart sprinklers, lights and weather stations
We talk a lot at GearBrain about smart home devices like lights, thermostats, locks, and speakers. But with summer starting and the weather finally improving, it's time to think about making the garden smart too.
Although the smart garden market isn't as large as it is for indoor tech (and not everyone has outdoor space of their own), some exciting and intelligent products aim to save you time and money. These devices range from a weeding robot that works like Roombas for your garden to Alexa-controlled sprinkler systems, smart outdoor lights, and even a social network exclusively for sharing photos of your garden.
Here are some essentials you'll need to make your garden as smart as your home this summer.
Are you tired of weeding your garden every week? If so, we have the perfect smart device for your garden. It's the new Tertill Weeding Robot, and it is from the inventor of the Roomba Vacuuming Robot. Tertill works just like your robot vacuum but in. your garden. It automatically weeds your vegetable garden better than if you did it by hand. But the best part of this robot is it works on solar power—no need to recharge or replace batteries. Just make sure you install the plant and row guards before starting the robot. This will make sure your plants or vegetables don't get whacked.
Today, you can pick up a Tertill Weeding Robot for $225.
If you've already got a Roomba or similar for your carpets and floors, you'll want a robotic mower for the lawn. The are fairly expensive, with entry-level models starting at around $800 and more premium mowers with extra power and a longer battery life extending beyond the $2,000 mark.
LUBA Robot Mower
How about a robot lawn mower that can go up steep inclines? Let me introduce to you the LUBA AWD Series – a state-of-the-art mower that uses cutting-edge technology to deliver a picture-perfect lawn with a hands-free operation. The LUBA Robot Mower is the first and only perimeter wire-free lawn mower that can handle up to 5000m and 75% slope. This mower also features quick setup, all-wheel drive, milt-zone management, smart app control, and obstacle avoidance. It can map and navigate in cm-level accuracy using an app, maintain a stable route - even in areas with weak satellite signals – and traverse uneven terrain without getting stuck, delivering a picture-perfect lawn with a hands-free experience.
The LUBA AWD Series is available in 3 models and can handle from 1000m² to 5000m². The cost of LUBA Robot Mower starts at £1999 (or $2799.)
The Robomow RX20 is a robotic mower intended for smaller 20 yardsRobomow
For $800, there is the Robomow RX20. This mower is designed for small yards of up to 1/20th of an acre or 2,180 square feet. It can handle inclines of up to 8.5 degrees and has a cutting width of seven inches. The RX20 has Alexa support, so you can connect it to your home network and ask the voice assistant to control the mower. There is also a smartphone app for controlling the Robomow.
An integrated rain sensor ensures the mower returns to its sheltered charging dock when rain is detected and stays until the weather improves.
Husqvarna Automower 415X Robotic Lawn Mower
A mid-range option to consider would be a robot vacuum from Husqvarna. Husqvarna sells a wide range of robotic lawnmowers for consumers and professionals alike. At the top of their consumer range, Husqvarna has the Automower 435X AWD, which costs $5,200 and can mow a 0.9-acre piece of land for up to 100 minutes per charge. A mid-range option is the Husqvarna Automower 415X Robotic Lawn Mower, designed for yards up to 0.4 of an acre. It has a 2-inch cutting width and comes with a compact design and built-in GPS navigation, which will be helpful in tracking your mower if someone tries to steal it from your lawn. The mower is perfect for small yards up to 0.4 acres and can be controlled using a smartphone or voice control using Google Assistant and Alexa integrations. The Automower 415X with 4G costs $1,999.99 and is available on Amazon.
Since we spend a lot of time outside during the summer, you must ensure you have protection against mosquitos. Thanks to Thermacell, a leading brand in mosquito repellents, every smart home should consider getting Liv, the first wide-range built-in smart mosquito repellent system on the market. The Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System creates an installed, large area of mosquito protection customized for your outdoor space. This smart system is all you need to enjoy season-long mosquito protection year after year: no batteries and no sticky & smelly sprays on your skin.Thermacell Liv Smart Mosquito Repellent System costs $799 and is available on the company website.
Automated garden sprinklers can save you moneyRachio
While robotic lawnmowers are mostly fun (and expensive) gadgets, a smart sprinkler system will save you money and help prevent water wastage.
Tell the system what type of soil each area of your garden has, how much shade it receives, and which plants are growing there, and it will deliver the right amount of water at the right time. Tested by GearBrain, the Rachio can be controlled manually through its smartphone app, and of course, there is Alexa support for when you want to water with voice commands.
These sensors dig into the soil of your indoor or outdoor plants and send data like temperature, light levels, humidity, and soil nutrient levels to your smartphone via Bluetooth, helping you keep an eye on your soil.
Smartphone-connected smart soil monitorWanfei
This four-in-one plant care sensor from Wanfei monitors the soil's light, temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels. The divide connects to a companion smartphone app with Bluetooth, which has a database of over 6,000 plants to help provide you with the right information.
The free app is available for iOS and Android, and the sensor is designed to work both inside and outdoors. A CR2032 coin-style battery powers it.
Any greenhouse owners will know how important it is to see the temperature and humidity. Several smart home sensors can help here, but we have gone with a model from SensorPush for this article.
SensorPush temperature and humidity sensorSensorPush
This compact wireless device is the flagship of the SensorPush range, which measures temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure. It is water resistant and pairs with the company's smartphone app, available for iOS and Android. Data presented in the app also includes dew point and your-pressure deficit (VPD) conditions over time. Data is collected at one-minute intervals and can be transmitted up to 325 feet line-of-sight. The device measures 40mm x 40mm.
Any keen garden will know the importance of watching the weather. Temperature, wind, and rainfall significantly affect your plants and how they grow, so installing your own weather station — which is more straightforward than it sounds — can be a great idea.
The conveniently named Weather Station by Netatmo keeps tabs on indoor and outdoor environments at once. It can be added to your existing Netatmo equipment — such as the company's security camera and air quality monitor. The weather station sends real-time updates to your smartphone, such as when it's time to air out your home or when it's raining in the garden.
Alexa integration means asking the Amazon assistant about the current outdoor temperature. The outdoor sensor measures temperature (plus a 'feels like' rating), humidity, and pressure and is completely waterproof. The indoor sensor measures temperature, humidity, CO2, and sound levels.
Alternatively, the Ambient Weather WS-2902 with Alexa is a piece of professional-grade equipment that measures wind speed and direction, rainfall, outdoor temperature and humidity, solar radiation and UV light, plus temperature, humidity, and pressure. The system can also calculate the dew point, wind chill, and heat index using this data.
This system can be integrated into a range of If This, Then, That (IFTTT) applets, triggering other smart home devices into action when the metrics reach predefined figures, and there is Alexa control for asking for a comprehensive weather report.
Smart lights are among the simplest but most effective ways of making your home smarter, and now there are options for illuminating your garden, patio, and driveway too.
Philips Hue is among the best smart lights for your home, with millions of colors, several different fittings, LED light strips, and many unique features. And, since the summer of 2018, Hue has extended into the garden with various weatherproof outdoor smart lights.
The range is waterproof and includes LED light strips, spotlights for casting light on your flowerbeds, and several lights that can be mounted to walls and fences. Extension cables are also available to make it easier to extend powered light right across your garden.
Alexa and Google Assistant can control the lights work, and the range includes individual bulbs for $30, wall-mounted lights for $50, and illuminated bollards for $130. A starter pack, which includes three outdoor lights and the Hue Hub for connecting to your router, costs $280.
Remember, you must connect these wirelessly to the Philips Hue Bridge. You can control any outdoor Hue lights if you already have one plugged into your router.
SunBriteTV sells a range of television explicitly designed to be used outside. The company's Veranda range is designed to work outside (so it is weather-resistant) but in full shade, while the mid-range Signature screens can be viewed in partial shade, such as on the wall of an outdoor entertainment space. The flagship Pro range is up to three times brighter than regular television, waterproof, and designed to be seen clearly even in full sunlight.
Prices range from $1,500 for the 43-inch Veranda to $5,745 for the 55-inch Pro model, then up to $10,000 for a 75-inch version of the Pro screen.
In 2020-Samsung they announced its range of outdoor televisions called the Terrace. These are available with screen sizes of 55, 65, and 75 inches, have QLED panels and 4K resolution with HDR, and have an IP55 weather resistance rating. They also have the all-important anti-reflective coating and a high peak brightness of over 2,000 nits to make them viewable in bright sunlight. However, these televisions are not cheap, with prices going up to $6,500 for the largest model.
Another new player in the smart outdoor TV market is Furrion. Their portfolio of premium outdoor televisions: the Aurora Partial Sun 4K Smart LED Outdoor TV, the Aurora Full Shade Smart 4K LED Outdoor TV, and the all-new Aurora Full Sun 4K Smart LED Outdoor TV. (See our full review of Full Sun TV here.). All TVs now run on the WebOS smart platform, including the new RangeXtend external antennas for stronger Wi-Fi signal, and both the Full Sun and Partial Sun TVs come with XtremeShield IK08-rated tempered glass screens for protection against impacts and scratches.
Sizes range from 43" to 75", and prices range from $1,399 up to $2,899. Furrion smart outdoor TVs are available on Amazon and Best Buy too.
A simple, none-HD projector can be bought for under $80Apeman
Although these aren't designed specifically for the garden, projects make a great - and often cost-effective - alternative to investing in an outdoor TV. They cover various prices, from under $100 to over $1,000, and are easy to set up in the backyard for a movie night under the stars.
Samsung also introduced their new outdoor point-and-play projector called The Freestyle. It comes with a 180-degree design to allow you to point, play and enjoy a considerable screen experience on any surface inside or outside your smart home. The Freestyle costs $899.99 and is available on Amazon, Best Buy, and Samsung sites.
Sonos outdoor speakers Sonos
Sticking with the entertainment theme, there is also a wide range of weatherproof speakers for installing in your garden, above the patio, or around the pool area. These range in price from well under $100 to over $500, but all work similarly. Being passive speakers, they don't require a connection to a wall outlet and instead need wiring to an amplifier or sound system in the usual way.
Sonos launched its outdoor speakers in 2019, with a price tag of $799 for a pair. This sounds expensive, and indeed it is – especially when they require the Sonos Amp, which is to be installed inside the home and is priced at $649. $1,500 is a lot of cash for paid outdoor speakers, but we can see the appeal if you have the budget and an existing Sonos system.
For those living in apartments or without access to a garden, there are still ways to bring some smart horticulture into your life.
Click & Grow has a wide range of smart indoor planters. This option is designed to hold herbs like basil and keep plants alive all year round, no matter the lighting conditions.
All you have to do is drop the pre-seeded plant capsule into place, fill the reservoir with water, plug the planter into a wall outlet, and let it grow. The farmer will light and water your plants as required, and a particular type of soil with so-called 'nano-tech' is said to accelerate growth.
A pricier but larger option is this AeroGarden by Miracle-Gro, which has space for nine planters at once. A touchscreen control panel tells you when to add more water and nutrients to the planter, and for the green-fingered among you, the default light and water settings can be altered to your preferences.
This is the Instagram of gardening4D Media Limited
Finally, how about an app built specifically for gardeners to show off their plants, herbs, and lawns? That's where GardenTags come in, which acts like an Instagram for horticulture. The free app includes Instagram-style social networking, while a premium subscription includes video tutorials, a reminders system for garden tasks, and advice on getting the most out of your yard.
These smart devices are good to have and can add value to your smart home if you need help. In looking for additional outdoor smart devices, don't forget to check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility product find engine. It can help you find, buy and connect any smart device, including compatible products, and work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices.