5 Tips for the Ultimate Outdoor Entertainment System

outdoor entertainment - pool lighting

Outdoor entertainment systems are increasingly popular as people look for new ways to enjoy their gardens. As outdoor living spaces quickly become an extension to our homes, there is now a wide range of technology solutions built to bring you the best outdoor entertainment.

With a high-tech outdoor AV system, you can create an amazing outdoor entertainment experience that will make your back garden feel like a private theatre. Our outdoor AV systems are perfect for when you bring all your party guests over for a BBQ, dip in the pool or matchday entertainment. Add music, video and a lighting control system to make the perfect outdoor space for family and friends. 

Whether it’s movie night or a birthday bash, we’ve got 5 tips for creating the ultimate outdoor entertainment system…

1. Outdoor TV and video

Outdoor TV systems are perfect for large decks or backyard spaces and come in some impressive sizes. They create amazing outdoor cinema experiences or the perfect setup for watching the euros in the garden.

But setting up an outdoor TV system isn’t quite as easy as popping your cinema room TV out in the garden! Be sure to use a purpose-made TV screen that can deal with the elements, including simple daylight.

 

Outdoor TV on a moveable, rotating stand makes the perfect setup for watching from the lawn or patio.

This dynamic setup is perfect for watching from the lawn or patio.

2. Suitable audio for your outdoor entertainment system

Audio is a key component for outdoor entertainment systems so make sure you start with the right equipment. Outdoor speakers need protection from rain and other weather elements so make sure they have waterproofing features and UV resistance.

Where there is no access to outdoor power sockets, powerful but compact Bluetooth wireless speakers can do the job nicely (Wi-Fi speakers like the SONOS Move are good options), however, we’d always recommend a wired system for best results. 

Choosing an appropriate audio system will also depend on what you want to use it for. From general background music at family barbecues to hosting live bands or DJs in your grand outdoor space. For the former, use a landscape speaker system (lots of small speakers). Make sure there is enough space between each speaker (approximately 4-5m, apart) so that sound can travel in any direction. For the latter, complement landscape speakers with a high-powered sound reinforcement system with in-ground subwoofers.

Brown outdoor speaker nestled into shrubbery and plants to disguise itself

This outdoor speaker blends seamlessly into the garden greenery

You’ll want to be mindful of your surroundings, though. If you have neighbours close by, it’s a careful balance between making sure your speakers are loud enough to be heard over the din of garden conversation vs. not blasting music out so loud that your neighbours begin to despise you! 

 

Top tip: position the speakers so that they’re firing toward the entertaining area as this reduces noise spilling outside and into neighbouring areas.

 

And bear in mind the following when choosing an outdoor audio setup:

  • Go for coverage, not loudness, making sure your speakers offer excellent sound quality
  • Blend the speakers into the landscape by choosing models that resemble rocks and other garden objects so as not to ruin aesthetics 
  • Install fixed garden speakers – a more permanent solution that allows for a whole garden space to be filled with evenly spread audio

3. Outdoor lighting

Deciding on lighting is one of those perennial garden dilemmas. Do you want to be able to see what’s going on, or just create an ambiance? 

When choosing outdoor lighting, think about where people will move around the space and how they’ll need light near them at different times during the day. For example, string lights are perfect to be put up in trees to create ambiance and a beautiful aesthetic. Whereas ground lamps with bendable legs offer flexibility so they can be positioned over tables or other outdoor furniture like seating areas.

Large garden with pool and edging planters - outdoor lighting fitted in both

We kitted out this pool with underwater lighting and hid spotlights in the edging planters.

Lighting is crucial in your outdoor space as it totally transforms the atmosphere once darkness hits. Carefully consider the mood you’re after – a chilled, relaxed vibe or a party haven? If the answer is both, choose dynamic lighting with different settings that you can choose depending on your event.

4. Appropriate cabling

Outdoor cabling is an essential consideration before installing anything in the garden. It’s no good if you’ve just invested in new tech for your backyard only to find out there isn’t enough power! Consider where cables will run and where they will need external power.

Outdoor wiring can be a challenge, so make sure that any outdoor TV or video equipment comes with a built-in cable management system. It will save you time, effort and keep your cables neat. 

For safety, keep as much of this equipment inside as possible and if you do need to run cabling outside, be sure to use outdoor-rated cable and connectors. Run all outdoor cabling through a conduit and use armorued cabling.

Outdoor speaker with no cabling showing - hidden under the pebbles.

We went one step further and buried the armoured cabling under the pebbles.

5. Internet connection and controls

WiFi connection is perhaps the most important aspect of any outdoor entertainment system.

You’ll need it to access your control system, to bring all of your technology together in one simple interface. Not to mention music streaming services and so many other platforms that all rely on the internet. 

Linking your outdoor entertainment technology to a portal like Control4 means you’ll be able to manage your sound, lighting and visual systems from one device. You can even pre-set moods and timers to automate lighting changes, music styles and more.

Generally, WiFi will be poor outside if you are relying on external access points because signals will need to go through solid walls. For that reason, when it comes to physically connecting your equipment, you have a couple of options:

  1. Hardwiring – this allows for a more seamless control system with no interference from any other devices nearby.
  2. Wireless – if hardwiring isn’t possible, make sure to choose long-range units that boast reliable connectivity for outside use.

At Trusted Technology, we recommend hardwiring as much as possible as this is sure to bring the best results; guaranteed connectivity and impeccable quality. 

So, why install an outdoor entertainment system?

An outdoor AV system should make your garden more enjoyable than ever before. It should transform your outdoor space into the ultimate garden entertainment area. A livable, usable space, perfect for hosting friends and family.

Since the dawn of Covid-19, we’ve had a huge increase in outdoor projects as families invest more into their homes and gardens. Installing an external entertainment system is a great investment in your home, not only because it adds value to your property but, more importantly, it brings amazing experiences for you and your family.

Outdoor entertainment systems can be expensive to set up and maintain, but they are worth their weight in gold. 

Our engineers, electricians and designers will spec out the perfect system for your outdoor technology, including garden design and landscaping design to ensure your technology sits in a beautiful space. Our engineers, electricians and designers will spec out the perfect system for your outdoor technology, including garden design and landscaping design to ensure your technology sits in a beautiful space.

Not only will you enjoy your outdoor space more with a sound system, video projection and lighting that sets the mood for every occasion, but our industry-leading aftercare also means peace of mind as you relax outdoors knowing that everything is working properly. 

Gaining high-quality, premium results from your technology installation is what we live for. We start all of our projects with an initial consultation to spec out your dream system – give us a call to get started on yours!

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