Spring is here. See our favorite Bluetooth speakers, outdoor lights and other gadgets for your yard.
The phrase "smart home products" might conjure images of devices that go inside a home -- an Alexa smart speaker, a Nest thermostat or a Samsung refrigerator. But more and more we're seeing app-enabled products that help beyond your front door. You can use a lot of this tech year-round. Others, like smart sprinkler controllers, are seasonal.
Let's take a look at the best home devices for warmer weather. We update this list periodically.
Whether you're working in the yard or enjoying an evening cocktail on the porch, waterproof Bluetooth speakers bring your favorite music or podcasts to you.
We especially like the affordable Tribit MaxSound Plus. This battery-powered speaker is supposed to last for up to 20 hours on a single charge. And, bonus, this smart device can survive rain storms and splashes from the pool because it's waterproof.
We've covered indoor lighting extensively, but smart outdoor lighting is a relatively new space. Sure, you can control an outdoor light with an indoor wired Lutron switch, but what about smart LEDs that combat the elements?
There's good news on the smart light front: companies are beginning to introduce more outdoor smart light LEDs and fixtures, including this Ring outdoor light.
A wireless access point, also called an extender, is a great way to get your Wi-Fi network outside, if you don't want an LTE camera or simply want to get internet out in the garden.
An outdoor extender, like the Netgear Orbi Outdoor, can easily handle this. Read our in-depth look at how to cover your yard in Wi-Fi here and more about Wi-Fi extenders we like.
Yes, a garage isn't technically "outside," but it covers that space between your driveway and your home. For a lot of us, it's where we store the lawn mower and the garden tools. Smart garage door openers let you open and close your garage using an app or a voice command. This smart home device can even send reminders to your phone to let you know when you've left the door open.
Smart gardening used to be focused on standalone plant sensors. Buy a Parrot Flower Power or an Oso Technologies PlantLink, stick it in a pot -- or directly in your yard -- and wait for it to tell you when to water your plant. These small devices were fairly limited, especially for folks interested in monitoring larger gardens.
Enter: Connected irrigation systems. From Rachio's latest smart sprinkler set up to CNET's homemade drip irrigation system, which we've used in the past to grow lettuce, jalapenos and Carolina Reapers, these systems help you track a larger space remotely.
You can track the weather in your area with a quick Google search any time, but smart weather stations are more customized. The BloomSky Sky2 Weather Camera Station tracks temperature, wind speed, rain and air pressure right in your backyard. Whether you're a weather geek or want to monitor the latest forecast to determine when best to plant, water and harvest plants in your garden, device options like this might be a smart investment.