Over the last several years, the industry has seen a noticeable uptick in outdoor technology installs. It’s not surprising. With the permanent increase in remote work, people are spending more time than ever in their homes, and families want all the entertainment and convenience options they enjoy in their living rooms and kitchens to be available outdoors. The U.S. Census Bureau found that 61% of all new homes built in 2020 had backyard patios — a record high rate. As these new homes sell, homeowners will be looking for ways to optimize this outdoor experience.

As customers prepare for a season of backyard entertaining, integrators have a great opportunity to assert themselves as the experts in this area. We have a chance to show homeowners what outdoor entertainment REALLY looks like with the right product mix. No more hauling a non-outdoor rated TV from the living room, shining a low number ANSI rated business projector on a bedsheet, or running countless extension cords. Here are three trends we are seeing defining exceptional outdoor spaces as we head toward summer.

A Super-Sized Viewing Experience

Outdoor rated TVs have come a long way since they were first introduced. In the past, outdoor displays we typically more expensive and smaller than their indoor counterparts. The latter is changing. Manufacturers have now come to the table with displays that offer the size and impact that homeowners are looking for: sizes up to 75 inches are becoming a standard offering. They do still cost more, but they are absolutely worth more. It’s critical that integrators spend time to explain the full suite of advantages that outdoor displays bring to the table. Their components are specially designed to handle the elements, protecting not only the integrity of the equipment and providing important safety considerations. No one wants to call their insurance agent to explain why a TV caught fire in their backyard.

Lighting the Landscape

Chances are, any homeowner that is considering an outdoor system is pretty proud of their yard. Offering tech to spotlight it can be a slam dunk. Much like we see with indoor TVs making their way outdoors, I’m sure everyone has seen a few homeowners try to rig indoor-rated lights for their yard. Take some time to explore the options in the industry – while solar lights can be popular, they are not always as reliable as the lighting systems that integrators can hard wire and set to schedules. Fully connected landscape lighting also offers a nice convenience and security factor – homeowners can check the status of their outdoor lights no matter where they are.

Made in the Shade

The smart shade category is overdue for its moment in the sun: it’s often one of homeowners’ favorite features. We’ve seen HUGE growth in this category, especially in the outdoor environments.  Quick one-touch access to lower a shade, blocking the sun and glare, is a simple luxury that many homeowners are opting for in their outdoor spaces. As you work with homeowner on their ultimate setup, don’t forget to consider where shades can help add ambiance and convenience.   

Delivering an outdoor system that a customer does not have to worry about in a rainstorm or when temps spike provides a new kind of peace of mind. Adoption of technology in the home has been on the rise, and it is fair to assume the interest will transfer to outdoor spaces as the weather warms and homeowners want to host activities outside. Be prepared with a full suite of offerings to maximize the outdoor experience – why stop at outdoor speakers when there is so much more to the outdoor category that can wow and delight clients?

Visit a PowerHouse Alliance member near you to find all the products you need to deliver the best customer experience.