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.
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.
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.
You could also bring Alexa voice controls outside with the battery-powered Amazon Tap Bluetooth speaker.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You could also install the Ring Floodlight Cam outside of your home for motion-activated smart lighting and watchful camera security.
Nest also sells a standalone, outdoor-friendly version of its camera, too, just in case you want to expand past your doorstep.