Outdoor Entertainment – New ways to enjoy the outdoors!

Posted on by pcook

Wow…it is nice to hear the birds chirping, the flowers blooming, and the sun shining!  Spring is finally here and summer is not far behind…these are two amazing seasons here in Michigan because we get to make the best of the opportunity to be outdoors and enjoy our lakes, golf courses, beaches, patios, porches, pools and fire pits.  PURE Michigan at its finest!

The wonderful thing about these seasons is that we are seeing more and more amazing decks, fantastic pools, beautiful patios, stunning outdoor kitchens and relaxing porches as clients strive to create spaces that relax, inspire and entertain both family and friends.


So, what are someof the trends in outdoor entertainment that will allow us to enjoy this beautiful time of the year?  Let’s look at a few:

By far, the fastest growing trend in outdoor living is the use of outdoor rated TV’s incorporated into an outdoor kitchen, bar or family room area.  Imagine watching a movie under the real stars or enjoying the NBA finals poolside.  These installations pose special challenges as the TV has to withstand the temperature fluctuations that happen quite frequently here in southwest Michigan while also being able to stand the test of moisture and time.  Other considerations include power, source locations and security.  Fortunately, these TV’s have become much more cost effective in recent years and come in various sizes from 32” all the way up to 70” to allow you to deck out your outdoor living space, whether it is large or small!


Next, we look at the most popular and most requested outdoor entertainment feature which is, of course, Outdoor Music.  There is simply no better way to enjoy your outdoor living space than with relaxing tunes allowing you to enjoy time with family and friends under the stars or jam poolside to the classic rock of your younger years.

The other exciting element to outdoor music is how many speaker options are now available.  Gone are the days of just rock speakers…we can mount them under eaves, in bulkheads, in planters and even create whole musical spaces with landscape speakers that look like lights and yet immerse you in amazing sound!

The next big rage in outdoor living is the expansion of your home’s wireless network.  With smart phones and tablets becoming more and more popular, it becomes even more important to have a wireless network infrastructure that allows you to connect throughout your outdoor living area.


In conclusion, there are many options to add outdoor entertainment to your new home, cottage or lake house…the critical element is connecting with the right electronic systems professional and allowing them to collaborate with you, your contractor, and the various tradespeople at coming up with a great design that looks great, functions well and will provide you with years of enjoyment and fun!



About pcook

Peter C. Cook is President and owner of Automation Design + Entertainment, Inc. of Portage, Michigan. He is a CEDIA Certified Electronic System Designer as well as a CEDIA Level One Installer and THX certified home theater designer. He has over twenty years of experience in the sales, design, installation, project management, and ownership of a custom electronics design and installation business located in southwest Michigan.

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