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15 brainy gadgets that bring the smart home outside

Not all smart home gadgets are meant to be used indoors. Here are some of our favorites that dare to step outside.

Ryan_Crist2.jpg
Ryan_Crist2.jpg

Ry Crist

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1 of 15 Chris Monroe/CNET

Rachio 2nd Generation Smart Sprinkler

We've tested plenty of smart home gadgets that offer to bring some new intelligence to the outside of your home. Let's start with Rachio, makers of a smart irrigation system that promises to smarten up your sprinklers for automated watering. If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, it's a terrific upgrade.

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2 of 15 Philips

Philips Hue Outdoor Lights

If you're more interested in lighting, keep an eye on Philips Hue. This summer, it's set to introduce a new lineup of outdoor smart lights, including weather-proof bulbs, color-changing path lights, and decorative spotlights.

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Philips Hue Go

If you can't wait a few months, you could go ahead and try out the Philips Hue Go, a portable, battery-powered accent light that would fit in nicely on a porch, or perhaps in a backyard tent.

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4 of 15 James Martin/CNET

Amazon Tap

You could also bring Alexa voice controls outside with the battery-powered Amazon Tap Bluetooth speaker.

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5 of 15 Chris Monroe/CNET

Fabriq Chorus

The Tap isn't your only option for Alexa-activated music on the go -- you could also try out the Fabriq Chorus. It's basically the same product as the Tap, complete with the same Alexa controls, but it comes in a variety of attractive fabric finishes.

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6 of 15 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Ninety7 Vaux

If you're already using Alexa via the Amazon Echo Dot, you could give it an upgrade with the Vaux speaker base from Ninety7. Pop the Dot up top, then take Alexa with you.

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7 of 15 Ry Crist/CNET

Ninety7 Loft

If you're a Google Home user, Ninety7 makes a similar product for that speaker, too. It excelled in our battery tests, offering up to 10 hours of portable music playback, and lasts even longer if you're just keeping it in standby mode.

JBL Link 10
8 of 15 Sarah Tew/CNET

JBL Link 10

If you're looking for an all-in-one Google Assistant smart speaker with outdoor-friendly portability, then the JBL Link 10 is a decent option.

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9 of 15 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Feit HomeBrite LED

Back to lighting: if you just want a simple smart bulb that'll work outdoors, the Feit Homebrite line of Bluetooth smart bulbs includes a weather-proof PAR38 floodlight. That's it on the right.

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10 of 15 Ry Crist/CNET

Sylvania Smart Plus Zigbee LED

Sylvania makes a weather-rated smart floodlight, too. Unlike Feit's Bluetooth bulb, it uses Zigbee to communicate, so you'll need a hub to pair it with.

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11 of 15 Tyler Lizenby/CNET

iDevices Outdoor Switch

If you want to smarten up some Christmas lights, a space heater, or anything with a plug on it really, then consider plugging into the iDevices Outdoor Switch. It pairs with your home network over Wi-Fi so it doesn't need a hub, and it works with Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, letting you turn whatever's plugged into it on and off using voice commands.

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12 of 15 Chris Monroe/CNET

Ring Video Doorbell

For smart security at your front door, consider the Ring Video Doorbell. It sends you a video notification whenever someone's at the door, and keeps an eye out for package thieves, too.

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13 of 15 Ring Floodlight Cam

Ring Floodlight Cam

You could also install the Ring Floodlight Cam outside of your home for motion-activated smart lighting and watchful camera security.

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14 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Nest Hello

Ring isn't alone at your door, by the way. Along with competition from names like Skybell and August, Nest has a new video doorbell of its own, too.

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15 of 15 Chris Monroe/CNET

Nest Outdoor Cam

Nest also sells a standalone, outdoor-friendly version of its camera, too, just in case you want to expand past your doorstep.

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