Orange County residents are all about indoor-outdoor living. Go to any high-end neighborhood in the OC and you’ll see things like gourmet outdoor kitchens, patios with furniture pieces that are as comfortable as any living room couch, and pools and spas that are designed for relaxing and hanging out. Now that summer is upon us, people are starting to plan for more outdoor gatherings with friends and family, and with that comes thoughts of upgrading their outdoor areas.
As an Orange County AV company that has been in business for more than 30 years, we’ve been involved in many custom home builds and have helped homeowners update their current residences to include customized AV technology. We’ve found that homeowners don’t always consider their outdoor spaces when they start the process of having their home’s AV system designed. However, there is a lot you can do with AV to enhance an outdoor space. Whether you enjoy throwing large parties with booming audio and a lighting system that rivals a nightclub, hosting more subdued gatherings, or just relaxing with your own family in your outdoor area, you’ll want an outdoor AV system that sets the mood and helps everyone have a great experience, no matter the occasion.
Outdoor Speakers for Orange County Homes
Any great outdoor setup should include a high-quality sound system. Outdoor speakers are quite different from the speakers you’re used to seeing indoors. They are much sturdier, but can still put out the same amazing sound quality you’re used to hearing inside. In the past, outdoor speakers needed to be placed under patio covers, but there are now speaker options for every part of your outdoor area, such as near the pool, on an uncovered rooftop deck, or situated within your landscaping. Outdoor speakers have weathertight enclosures that allow them to withstand the elements like rain, heat, cold, and even insects. If you live near the ocean, you’ll want to go with marine-quality speakers that are salt spray tested. You can even opt for speakers that look like rocks or other landscape features so they blend into your landscaping design and are virtually invisible.
When you use landscape speakers in combination with the wall-mounted or in-wall speakers in your patio area, you are able to get the surround sound experience that rivals the experience you are used to getting indoors.
Distributed Audio That Extends Outside
If you’re familiar with distributed audio, you know how it can give you a consistent sound experience as you go from room to room in your home. However, that audio can also continue when you go outside. In Orange County, where the weather is beautiful pretty much year round, it is not uncommon to have an indoor-outdoor party where you throw open the patio doors and guests are able to wander from the living room to the patio to the pool area throughout the party. With distributed audio that extends to your outdoor space, the sound experience will be seamless for you and your guests—wherever they choose to congregate.
The Ultimate Outdoor Movie Experience
If you’re of a certain age, you might remember attaching a sheet to the side of your house and projecting a movie onto it on a warm summer evening. Or maybe in more recent years you’ve rented a large screen for a backyard movie viewing experience. There’s just something about watching a movie outside!
If watching movies outdoors is something you particularly enjoy doing, you can have a permanent projector screen installed in your backyard. There are options that include a screen that pops up from a protective housing for movie viewing, and then descends back into it when not in use to protect the screen from the elements, keeping it virtually hidden within your landscape.
Outdoor Televisions That Are Made to Last
Maybe you don’t want to go with a large projector screen, but you still enjoy watching movies, television shows, or sporting events outside. Today’s outdoor televisions are better than ever! They are made to withstand the elements and last for many years, while still having the sleek design you’re looking for in a television screen. The picture quality in outdoor televisions is also much improved over earlier versions. You can get a bright, crystal-clear picture that looks great in any lighting—even full sun.
Imagine hosting a party that revolves around a major sporting event (the Super Bowl, Indianapolis 500, a Major golf tournament, etc.). You can have the event playing on a television screen in your living room as well as on your patio so people can sit and watch where they feel most comfortable. And if you find yourself as the host frequently going from indoors to out—say, if you’re grilling outdoors, as well as cooking in the kitchen, or just if you’re wanting to engage with all of your guests—you don’t have to miss any of the action on TV. In addition, if you have guests that aren’t into sports, you can have an indoor television playing something else, while the sports enthusiasts gather outside around your patio TV. Another option is to mount an outdoor television near your spa and watch TV or movies in ultimate comfort.
Since your DVD or Blu Ray player and receiver will be located indoors, you’ll want to get a universal remote that can control them through walls so you don’t have to leave the outdoor gathering to change things up on your television screen. You might also want to consider a weatherproof remote if it will stay outside, or a waterproof one if you plan to use it while in your pool or spa.
Custom Outdoor Lighting for Orange County Homes
Lighting is another key element in a great outdoor setup. There are so many great options when it comes to outdoor lighting—everything from landscape lighting to patio lighting, from step and path lights to string lights (also know as market lights). There’s not much else that can set the mood for an outdoor gathering like a well-thought-out lighting scheme.
When you involve a company like Good Sounds in your lighting design, we can integrate your lighting with the AV systems in your home, so you can control all of it from one location, like a tablet or wall-mounted touchpanel. From your control device, you can also set lighting “scenes”. This allows you to completely change all of your outdoor lighting with the touch of one button. You simply set up the lighting scene, name it, and save it to your control device. When you want to implement it, just push the button. You can have multiple scenes programmed into your device—one for a high-energy dance party, one for a more mellow al fresco dinner, one for a pool party, and one for an outdoor movie night, just to give you a few ideas. You can even have lighting installed that changes color with the touch of a button.
Other Outdoor Elements to Consider
When it comes to the overall design of your outdoor area, you are really only limited by your imagination. There are many other elements you can add to enhance your space and create a truly unique outdoor entertaining area.
If you have patio doors that you like to keep open so you and your guests can freely go from indoors to outdoors, you may want to consider adding an air curtain. An air curtain (sometimes called an air door) is a fan that is mounted across the top of your patio door frame. It blows air downward to keep bugs and dust from entering your home while the doors are open. It can also help maintain the indoor temperature if it’s hotter or colder outdoors than it is inside.
Another great element to consider for your outdoor space is a monitor that shows you what’s going on in other parts of the house. You can connect the monitor to a camera at your front gate or your front door, so you know when guests arrive. Or, if you have small children, you can monitor them in their bedrooms after they go to bed, while still enjoying time outdoors with your guests late into the evening.
Full Integration of All of Your Home’s Systems
What truly sets a customized AV system apart is integration. Integration means that all elements—from audio to video to lighting and more—can work together to create the perfect atmosphere. We talked earlier about lighting scenes. You can also create scenes that include other elements in combination with your lighting. For example, you can integrate your “outdoor dinner party” lighting scene with a certain playlist on Spotify, or turn on your pool and spa lights, your water features, and your air curtain with the touch of one button for a pool party. You can even integrate the systems inside and out.
Like we said before, the options really are limitless. You just need to work with an experienced AV company in Orange County that knows how to give you everything you want in a system that’s easy to operate. You don’t have to be tech savvy to use the systems we install. We specialize in systems that pretty much anyone can operate. If you can use a smartphone or tablet, you can operate one of our fully integrated systems.
At Good Sounds, we’ve been working with homeowners in Orange County for many years to give them smart homes of their dreams. Don’t neglect your outside area—especially if you’re someone who enjoys spending time outdoors with friends and family. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your home the one you’ve always wanted—inside and out! We look forward to hearing from you!