Crestron & Your Backyard Part 3: Outdoor Audio
Seamlessly distributed audio throughout a home is one of the hallmarks of a well-built Crestron automation system. As we have previously discussed with outdoor video distribution and swimming pool automation, Crestron technology also allows capable integrators to bring this dynamic audio experience throughout your luxury backyard. Today we will be continuing our series on Crestron and your backyard by discussing the ins and outs of effective audio distribution into an outdoor space.
As readers of this blog will surely know, there are a wide variety of audio technologies on the market today boasting of robust sound for spaces of all kinds. However, just like distributed video, bringing a powerful audio system into a backyard or other outdoor space requires more than just a centrally placed speaker, loudly blasting sound across an open yard. This is a popular misconception among homeowners looking to incorporate outdoor audio into their control systems, and the truth is that powerful speakers are actually anathema to a dynamic outdoor audio system.
How It Should Work
The reality is that proper outdoor audio systems should be built around 70 and 100 volt systems, also known as “constant-voltage”, 70 Volt and 100 Volt speaker systems allow for long wire runs using small-gauge wire, and provide the potential for connecting numerous speakers per circuit. This technology allows us to run a single wire and hook up as many speakers to it as our heart desires, as long as we are putting out the proper wattage on the head end. Outdoor subwoofers can also be integrated into the system using the same type of infrastructure. What this speaker system design accomplishes is truly evenly distributed sound throughout the backyard. Speakers and subwoofers are spaced properly throughout the yard and calibrated specifically so that no matter where in outdoor space you are, the sound is equally as amazing.
Pro Tip: Proper outdoor audio systems should be built around 70 and 100 volt systems, also known as “constant-voltage”.
At this point you may be asking, won’t all the speakers and subwoofers required to correctly distribute this sound conflict with the landscaping of a luxury backyard? Well good news, when building out Crestron outdoor audio systems we most often opt to use landscape speakers that can be mounted anywhere you want outside while also being easily disguisable to keep your property looking clean and natural. We also utilize Crestron outdoor subwoofers, which are watertight and planted in the ground, exposing only a few inches of the port tube, which resembles an outdoor mushroom.
None of this is possible of course without the #DoneRightNotEasy crew’s understanding of the correct equipment type and location during the initial design of the system. In the larger outdoor areas we are used to working in, it is sometimes necessary to put in place outdoor splice boxes in order to properly distribute the sound throughout the yard. Much like everything we do, when installing an outdoor audio system it is important to be honest with yourself and your client about their future needs, and therefore understanding that the system must be built in such a way that it can be expanded upon. Both building long wire runs constant-voltage systems and incorporating outdoor audio splice boxes are two ways in which we future proof our client’s outdoor audio systems.
About GMI Automation
GMI Automation is a full service automation company that specializes in simple to operate, reliable automation systems that exceed client expectations. We design, integrate and support systems that are easy to use, with touch screen drag and drop functionality.
Is your backyard in need of a luxury audio upgrade? Contact GMI today and let us show you what we can do!
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