If you’re like most people, you fancy the idea of escaping outside to watch a movie, listen to music or play games instead of being confined inside to enjoy these activities. But I’m sure you’re wondering how to do protect your electronics outdoors?
What are outdoor electronics? Do you need outdoor-specific electronics? Does it require protective equipment for your electronics? Are there certain guidelines you should follow for protecting outdoor electronics?
That’s why we have put together this guide on how to protect outdoor electronics to answer your questions so you can enjoy your home entertainment electronics outdoors.
What are outdoor electronics?
There are many electronics that are built to be enjoyed outdoors such as outdoor TVs, AV systems, projectors and remote controllers but there are a couple of important things to keep in mind:
- Electronics designed for the outdoors can be either weatherproof/water resistant or waterproof (there is a big difference between the two)
- Electronics that aren’t designed for the outdoors can still be used outside with the right precautions and protections
Most outdoor TVs and AV systems are built to be water resistant but all electronics are sensitive to moisture. That means that even water resistant electronics need to be properly cared for to make sure you get the longest lifespan possible out of them. But in general, due to the inevitable impact of the elements on outdoor TVs and other electronics, they will have a shorter lifespan than indoor electronics.
How to protect outdoor electronics?
There are many quick and easy things you can do to ensure you are protecting your outdoor electronics. Outdoor TVs and other electronics are usually the most affected by water, sunlight and wind. The best way to keep these electronics safe is by keeping them under a roofed patio or cabana. But there are other ways you can protect them when deciding where you would like to put your electronics.
- If possible, aim outdoor speakers down to prevent water and sunlight damage
- Try to keep any outdoor electronics off the ground and away from sprinklers pools and other water sources
- If practical, cover outdoor electronics during storms
- Keep outdoor electronics out of direct sunlight
- NEVER bring the remote control near pools or water features
Experiencing these electronics outdoors will also be different from what you’re used to inside in your living room or home entertainment center. For outdoor TVs, you’ll want to position them out of direct sunlight, in a shaded area, or under architectural features for best viewing during daytime hours. The Outdoor TVs light output is no match for the sun! .
When setting up your outdoor electronics, you’ll want to keep as much of the wiring and components inside as you can. For anything going outside:
- Take advantage of outdoor conduits to protect your wires and cables from outdoor critters
- Use cables that can be buried underground, known as DB or Direct Burial-rated wire and cable
- Try to separate your electrical and AV cables in case you want to expand your outdoor electronics in the future and reduce the chance of electrical noise
How to use electronics not designed for the outdoors?
If you decide to use electronics that are not designed to be used outdoors and are not water resistant, you have some options to make sure you’re keeping your devices safe from the elements:
- Buy an outdoor TV enclosure: These can be hit or miss when it comes to protecting outdoor TVs. They usually range from $400-$800 and are often only water/weather resistant vs being waterproof. This means you’re going to run into issues with controlling heat and humidity inside of the enclosure.
- Use a soft outdoor TV cover: You can find these for as cheap as $30 and they are made with waterproof material to keep your TV safe from the elements. You will need to make sure they are airtight and to never forget to put the cover on when you’re not watching TV. But these are not a very safe solution for protecting your TV outdoors.
- Buy or build a weatherproof cabinet: Buying a weatherproof cabinet can be pretty unpredictable when it comes to price and if you want to make it, how much you spend is up to you. These cabinets run into some of the same issues as the enclosures such as heat and humidity so depending on where you live, this could become a problem.
We hope that this guide on how to protect outdoor electronics answered any questions you might have had about transitioning to the outdoors for your home entertainment. Be sure to check out some of our outdoor TVs and AV systems when you’re designing your outdoor entertainment space.