Have fun in your ultimate high-tech backyard this summer

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Summer is upon us, and as we all spend more time at home, it's the perfect time to update our outdoor space. Here are some ways you can take your backyard to the next level with helpful high-tech devices.

The foundation for a great yard is healthy green grass. A smart sprinkler controller lets you manage your sprinkler system from anywhere. It can cater to your lawn's specific needs by programming based on plant type and sun exposure.

It can also check the weather to adjust water schedules based on the amount of precipitation. The best perk of a smart sprinkler is that it can conserve water and save you money while keeping your lawn healthy.

Ambiance can bring a backyard to life at night. Use smart outdoor lights to illuminate your space. These specialized lights have weather-proof bulbs that are safe to use outside. You can turn them off and on and change the color using an app on your phone.

Grilling and smoking are popular backyard culinary activities. Consider updating your old grill to a smart grill.

There is a wide variety of high-tech, Wi-Fi-connected grills that allow you to control your cookout from your phone. Each comes with a mobile app so that you can adjust the burner temperature and track your cook time while away from the grill. Some grills can even send reminders to your phone when it's time to flip the meat.

If you aren't ready to swap out your current grill, try a smart Bluetooth grill thermometer. Great barbecue requires precise timing and patience. A smart thermometer helps you achieve perfectly cooked meat while giving you some freedom from the grill during the tedious process.

These thermometers send a wireless remote alert straight to your mobile phone or device so that you don't get distracted and overcook the meat.

The best models are equipped with a long heatproof cable so that you can leave the instant-read cable and probe inside the smoker or grill while cooking. The heatproof cable protects the Bluetooth hardware from high temperatures.

Lastly, we all know summer brings swarms of irritating bugs. Invest in an advanced electric bug zapper light that helps keep away the pests.

Now, all that's left to do is enjoy your new and improved backyard.

Lynn Hall is the general manager of Hargray.

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