If there’s anything we love more than hot summer days by the poolside, it’s warm autumn evenings on the patio. While northern states may already be pulling out jackets and scarves, warm weather reigns supreme in Oklahoma City well into September and often October. Over the years, we have added to our list of must-haves for an outdoor space. Great furniture, great lighting, and an audio/video system make all the difference when taking your patio from every day to outstanding. Here are a few of tips and tricks from the experts if you’re considering upgrading your patio space into an outdoor home entertainment center.
Your first step in upgrading your patio is to install appropriate lighting throughout your patio and yard. Tony’s Tree Plantation in Oklahoma City has a large selection of outdoor lights, including solar lights, spotlights and pathway lights. While bright, standard-voltage lights can add strong illumination to your patio and deter intruders, these lights are often too bright for entertaining. We recommend installing low-voltage lights or installing a dimmer to your high-voltage lights in order to control the mood of your patio. Installing solar powered lights throughout your yard to illuminate walkways and tripping hazards will also make your yard look warm and inviting.
Back in the day, watching a football game on the patio meant plugging in an extra-long extension cord from inside the house to the patio and carrying your TV out back. In today’s day and age, there are much easier ways to make this project happen.
Steve Brown of Great Choice AV is a local authority on building dream outdoor audio and video entertainment centers. When considering installing a television outdoors, he highly recommends purchasing a television made specifically for outdoor spaces, “Outdoor TV’s have a much brighter picture for several reasons. The sun can cause a regular television’s screen to become washed out, but outdoor TV’s are set to a much higher performance level in terms of brightness and contrast. In addition to this, outdoor televisions have tinted screens to protect the TV from the sun’s glare. Finally, another difference between a regular flat screen TV and an outdoor TV is the audio system. Outdoor televisions are made with higher quality speaker systems to fill up your outdoor patio, kitchen, or pool area with sound.”
While homeowners often use regular flat-screen televisions in their outdoor spaces, it is important to know that the fluctuating temperatures of Oklahoma and humidity will wreak havoc on an indoor TV. Outdoor televisions are specially made to include temperature controlling fans, as well as being water-resistant and designed with anti-glare coatings.
Whether you hire a professional or set up your outdoor TV on your own, pick a shady area of your patio that will add extra protection from the sun’s glare. A popular option is to mount your TV on a full articulating mount, which allows you to adjust it to the best angle depending on the time of day and position of the sun.
Most outdoor television systems come with built-in audio systems, but for a completely optimized outdoor patio, installing an additional audio system is your best bet. Just like your outdoor TV, an audio system specifically created for the outdoors will protect it from temperature fluctuations and the elements.
When installing an outdoor audio system, Great Choice AV has several pieces of advice for homeowners, “There are three levels of outdoor audio systems typically used these days. While most homeowners are satisfied with one or two pairs of surface mounted (waterproof) speakers on their patio, homeowners with swimming pools often like to have a little more fun with the sound by using high-quality “rock-shaped” speakers or installing a “Landscape Series” set up. This set up includes underground subwoofers and satellite speakers resembling garden lights. When properly installed by a professional, this system is equal to the quality of an indoor sound system.”
We are passionate about creating outdoor spaces to live in and love, which is why we are so proud of the patio furniture we sell. However, it takes many different pieces to create the ideal patio escape. Optimizing the digital side of your backyard can transform your backyard from average to outstanding and create a space your whole family will be able to enjoy together.