Smart home automation to enjoy outdoors also in winter

smart light

Like so many other strange and even alien things in the rest of Europe, Swedes have a word to describe their love of going outside and enjoying the great outdoors: It is a term that has its roots in the 19th century, when, as the BBC recounts, the poet Henrik Ibsen coined it to describe that drive to enjoy the mountains.

Although being correct, this is a concept that applies throughout the Nordic region, from Denmark to Finland. Ibsen, in fact, was Norwegian. The culture of sports or simply of life in nature  is an indelible part of the national character of these countries,  being perhaps even more marked in the Finnish case, which in the 21st century maintains a certain wild and even border essence.

But how is it possible to enjoy the outdoors with decidedly frigid winters and in regions where the hours of sunlight can be counted on the fingers of one hand? The answer is simple;  organizing life in a totally disciplined way. And when necessary, turning to technology;  In Spain, and in general throughout the Mediterranean, despite the fact that winters are much shorter and more bearable, technology also makes it easier to experience them to the fullest outside the home.

Smart home automation

Start the summer with the end of the snow

Indeed, although we value the charm of the season, we immediately miss the delicious outdoor evening evenings   of summer and even spring and autumn. Having a relatively mild climate compared to the Nordic countries has shaped a character that especially appreciates life on the streets, which is not always easy to practice when the outside temperature is in the single digits.

Of course, as soon as it starts to rise above 8 ºC, there is no shortage of brave people who relocate their outdoor furniture and make the most of that outdoor expansion of their home. And, with a good outdoor lighting system, extending the time outside the four walls of the house by making nightlife in the garden, porch or terrace is even more tempting. This is where home automation and smart lighting technologies like the Philips Hue system break in.

Thanks to this technology, it is possible to control the operation of home lights remotely. We can interact with them through voice assistants or simply using a mobile application. This is doubly practical in our latitudes, where the concept of does not exist, but we like to throw the body into the air like anyone else.

In this way, we can configure the lighting from the mobile phone just as we do with the heating if we have a smart thermostat (another home automation section with a strong presence in the Nordic countries for obvious reasons). Also activate and deactivate the lights while we sleep or when we are away from home, and create routines.

For example, through IFTTT recipes, we have the opportunity to program the bulbs to automatically adjust at sunset, adjusting their intensity, color temperature and hue according to our preferences.

Different environments without complex facilities

Different environments without complex facilities

The combination of smart devices in a connected ecosystem triggers the possibilities that are presented to us to create different atmospheres in the outdoor areas of our house, take advantage of all those underused corners in winter and, of course, be more efficient. We can start with a basic lighting kit to grow around it.

Relying on motion and daylight sensors together with an app that allows us to program actions and manage everything, customizing zones and creating environments are very simple. Compatibility at this point is keys so that connected devices understand each other automatically and start working smoothly. The wider it is, the better. In the case of Philips Hue, it is compatible with Logitech Harmony, XFINITY Home, Samsung Smart Things, Apple Home Kit, the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and IFTT, among others.

From there, you just have to use your imagination. If you are lucky enough to have a single-family home, receive your guests with an amazing experience of full-color lights that will turn on as soon as they detect your presence. Give yourself time to breathe fresh air listening to music in your favorite corner of the terrace while the lighting in that area accompanies the melody. Enjoy a long Saturday afternoon on the porch uninterrupted as it is getting dark.

Some tricks that make life happy

smart light

Of course, creating differentiated environments outside a single-family home is another way to encourage outdoor nightlife. The use of moisture-resistant LED strips allows you to narrow down areas, while IFTTT recipes make it possible to color a certain space at a specific time  or automatically turn on the lights when  you return from work .

It is also possible to create more welcoming environments outside using little tricks. A pergola as a diffusion element can extend the visual warmth of an outdoor wall light over a larger surface. In addition, smart lighting moving parts will give us flexibility in selective lighting.

Be that as it may, the idea is to make us feel as comfortable outside the home as inside. Even if our neighbor is not a moose or we have in mind to strand in a sauna; a cup of hot cocoa and a good book can be excellent company. As much as an unexpected visit;