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The best smart home products to buy this summer – CNET

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The phrase “smart home” usually conjures images of stuff that goes inside a house — an Alexa smart speaker, a Nest thermostat, a Samsung refrigerator. But more and more we’re seeing products and even apps that can help beyond your front door. You can use a lot of this tech year-round, like a doorbell or an LED spotlight. Others are seasonal.

Let’s take a look at seven categories of outdoor smart home products you can buy this summer.

Irrigation systems

Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controller

Rachio

Smart gardening used to be focused on standalone plant sensors. Buy a Parrot Flower Power or an Oso Technologies PlantLink, stick it in a pot — or directly in your yard — and wait for it to tell you when to water your plant. These small devices were fairly limited, especially for folks interested in monitoring larger gardens.

Enter: Connected irrigation systems. From Rachio’s latest smart sprinkler set up to CNET’s homemade drip irrigation system, which we’ve used in the past to grow lettuce, jalapenos and Carolina Reapers, these systems help you track a larger space remotely.

6 reasons you need a smart sprinkler.

Security cameras

Netgear Arlo Go Mobile HD security camera

Chris Monroe/CNET

Outdoor cameras aren’t new, but the variety of options have increased a ton in recent years. Where it was once limited to a standard camera, we’re now seeing cameras built-in to outdoor light fixtures, smart doorbells and even battery-powered cameras.

We’re most excited about the new LTE cameras that work over a cellular network, which effectively monitor garden pests outside Wi-Fi range.

The best outdoor security cameras of 2020.

Extend your Wi-Fi range

Netgear Orbi Outdoor

Chris Monroe/CNET

A wireless access point, also called an extender, is a great way to get your Wi-Fi network outside, if you don’t want an LTE camera or simply want to get internet out in the garden.

An outdoor extender, like the Netgear Orbi Outdoor, can easily handle this. Read our in-depth look at how to cover your yard in Wi-Fi here and more about Wi-Fi extenders we like.

Netgear Orbi Outdoor review.

Outdoor lights

Ring lighting

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

We’ve covered indoor lighting extensively, but smart outdoor lighting is a relatively new space. Sure, you can control an outdoor light with an indoor wired Lutron switch, but what about smart LEDs that combat the elements?

There’s good news on that front — companies are beginning to introduce more outdoor-rated LEDs and fixtures, including this Ring outdoor light.

The best smart lights of 2020.

Garage door openers

Chamberlain Smart Garage Hub

Colin West McDonald/CNET

Yes, a garage isn’t technically “outside,” but it covers that space between your driveway and your home. For a lot of us, it’s where we store the lawn mower and the garden tools. Smart garage door openers let you open and close your garage doors using an app or a voice command. They even send reminders to your phone to let you know when you’ve left the door open.

The best smart garage door controllers for 2020.

Weather-tracking tech

BloomSky Sky2

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can track the weather in your area with a quick Google search any time, but smart weather stations are more customized. The BloomSky Sky2 Weather Camera Station tracks temperature, wind speed and rain and air pressure right in your backyard. Whether you’re a weather geek or want to monitor the latest forecast to determine when best to plant, water and harvest plants in your garden, products like this might be a smart investment.

BloomSky Sky2 review.

Waterproof Bluetooth speakers

Tribit MaxSound Plus

Sarah Tew/CNET

Whether you’re working in the yard or enjoying an evening cocktail on the porch, waterproof Bluetooth speakers bring your favorite music or podcasts to you.

We especially like the affordable Tribit MaxSound Plus. This $56 battery-powered speaker is supposed to last for up to 20 hours on a single charge. And, bonus, it can survive rain storms and splashes from the pool because it’s waterproof.

Tribit MaxSound Plus review.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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