Are you the type who enjoys gardening? Does the sight of a well-maintained garden calm your nerves and soothe your soul?
If you’ve answered “yes” to either these questions, then read on as this article might help you out in finding an effortless way to maintain a lush, healthy garden, and save on water usage as well.
In this day and age of smart devices, the smart home isn’t only limited to the indoors. Your garden, for example, can easily be maintained with the use of a smart lawnmower.
Combine it with smart sprinklers that will automatically water your grass and you’ll have a green, well-maintained garden.
What Is A Smart Irrigation (Sprinkler) Controller?
A smart irrigation sprinkler is a device that automatically waters your garden. While you can manually enter your own schedule for when you want it to start watering, the smart irrigation controller also has the ability to automatically schedule itself.
Looking up the latest weather information, local sensors, regional weather forecasts through the internet, the smart irrigation controller then formulates a system on its own. It adjusts when the sprinklers should be turned on and how long should they be turned on for.
The smart irrigation controller also automatically checks the weather forecast and seasonal changes and makes pre-scheduled watering schedule. With these capabilities, you can literally take your mind off watering your plants.
As with smart devices, the great thing about smart irrigation controllers is its remote accessibility. As long as you’re connected to the internet, you can easily access your smart sprinkler to monitor or check your garden via your smartphone or computer.
It gives you total control of your irrigation system anytime, no matter where in the world you may be.
Because it uses up-to-the-minute weather forecast data and uses just the right amount of water for your garden or yard, this device will help save your water consumption up to 50%.
A lower water consumption doesn’t only convert to a smaller water bill, but also helps to conserve water supplies for all. That is why most of the products in the market are EPA certified, and can be converted into rebates depending on where you live.
Installation of the smart irrigation controllers varies from system to system, but most of the products on the market don’t even require tools and are easy to install on your own.
Also, most of the products on the market are also compatible with Alexa, Google and iOS.
IFTTT compatibility adds to the existing features by making the smart sprinkler work with other smart devices. For example, you could potentially rig up your smart sprinkler to start up when your smart porch light is triggered anytime past midnight as an additional burglar or trespasser deterrent.
Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 2nd Generation
With very customizable features to suit the different needs of your yard, plus its zoning system, the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is one of the leading smart sprinklers in the market. Installation and setup is a breeze, and its interface is easy to use as well.
Total access to your sprinkler is possible anytime and anywhere: you can monitor, and adjust, your sprinkler system by using your smartphone or computer. The app interface is easy to navigate as well.
Smart Weather Adaptation
The Rachio Smart Sprinkler automatically adapts to the weather.
While connected to the internet, it is able to check local weather forecasts and adjust its watering schedules to it. So it won’t ever turn on while it’s raining, thus optimizing water usage.
You can tweak different settings in different zones of your yard, information such as what kinds of plants are located where and their different watering needs. One unit can control up to 8 (or 16 zones), depending on the model.
With these particular yard details and advanced algorithms, the Rachio Smart Sprinkler can create customized schedules that accurately meets the specific needs of your yard.
Save Water And Money
The Rachio Smart Sprinkler claims to be able to save up to 50% of water usage, all the while keeping your plants well-watered and healthy. The device is also EPA Watersense Certified, and is eligible for up to 100% rebate, depending on where you live.
Compatibility Across Smart Home Platforms and Devices
Voice control, anyone?
The Rachio Sprinkler can be integrated with Alexa, Siri and Google powered devices, and is compatible with devices such as the Nest Learning Thermostat and more.
Compatibility with IFTTT means that you have more extra functions and more control with its capability of bridging with other devices.
RainMachine Touch HD-12
If you have a bigger yard or have a lot of different types of plants in your garden with different watering needs, then the RainMachine Touch HD is worth considering. Depending on the model, the RainMachine features 12 and 16 different zones.
Touch Screen Display
The RainMachine Touch HD-12 has a 6.5” colored touch screen, which makes it easy and convenient for you to take control of the device and monitoring your garden.
Compatibility Across Smart Home Platforms and Devices
The RainMachine Touch HD-12 is compatible for iOS and Android systems, and can be used with Siri, Google and Alexa powered devices. Not only can you control this device through your smartphone and PC, but it also features voice control as well.
Through SmartThings, you can create “recipes” (additional instructions) on Wink and IFTTT, which adds a whole myriad of possibilities for your RainMachine to work with other devices.
EPA Watersense Certified
As it helps water conservation nationwide, the RainMachine is EPA Watersense Certified, and is eligible for up to 100% rebate of its value—depending on where you live.
You can choose different watering modes for the different needs of your plants. Some programs include the setting different schedules individually on different day, the odd/even mode, Station Delay or Cycle and Soak.
You can even run these programs all at the same time. The RainMachine’s system will sort out issues such as overlapping schedules or concurrent commands to the same valve.
The RainMachine automatically adjusts the amount of water being used to water your garden—more during hot days and less during colder weather. It uses multiple local weather forecasts to intelligently water your garden.
The best part about this feature is the RainMachine connects to NOAA—which employs meteorologists, weather satellites and radars to get the best data on weather available.
Works Even Without an Internet Connection
What sets the RainMachine apart from the rest of the smart sprinklers on the market is its ability to work even without an internet connection. Since it doesn’t rely on cloud storage, data is stored in the device itself.
So should you ever find yourself without an internet connection, the RainMachine automatically switches to the historical weather statistics it has saved, and continues to conserve water.
SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled Smart Sprinkler Controller
Wi-Fi Connected Intelligence
Manage and monitor the sprinkler system in a number of ways: you can use your smartphone, computer or tablet to send commands to the Skydrop sprinkler, or even by sending a text message. Or simply use the controller itself.
The Skydrop works with smart home platforms such as the Amazon Echo devices, Philips Hue and other platforms that work with IFTTT.
You have more ways of controlling the system, such as sending a text message with the word “#start” through IFTTT.
Voice control is also made possible: just say “Alexa, start watering” and the Skydrop will comply.
Utilizing hyper local weather reports, unique algorithms and irrigation science, the Skydrop customizes watering your plants in each different zone, making sure that they get the right amount of water and correct frequency.
All you have to do is just provide the needed information, such as the type of sprinklers you have per zone, and also plant types, amount of light/shade and slope.
EPA Watersense Certified
Skydrop is EPA WaterSense Certified, and can save up to 50% water usage. Depending on where you live, you could get a rebate up to 100% of the device’s retail value. The Skydrop literally pays for itself in no time and helps you save.
Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller
Use your smartphone or tablet to personalize watering schedules for your garden, or manually start the sprinkler. Doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you are connected to the internet.
With the smart watering feature, you can avoid over watering or under watering your plants. And as it updates itself to the latest, up-to-the-minute weather forecasts, your sprinklers will only start watering when they absolutely need to.
Water Conservation and Smaller Bills
The Blossom’s system not only takes good care of your plants, but prevents wasting water as well. All of which saves you good money.
The Blossom 7 covers seven different, customizable zones. Eight, if you include the connector for the Pump Start Relay, as it can be setup as an extra zone if needed.
Installation is a breeze, and requires no digging. It utilizes existing wires and valves.
Interestingly, the Blossom 7 Sprinkler is one of the few smart sprinklers in the market that is for indoor installation only. As routers are usually placed indoors, this may also mean stronger, clearer signals.
Rainmachine vs Rachio vs Skydrop vs Blossom: Conclusion
If you’re wondering which smart sprinkler is the best, the answer is that it would completely depend on your situation. Take a look at your home and garden, and decide according to what it really needs.
If you’re in an area with an unreliable internet connection, then the RainMachine would be your best bet, as it can work even when your internet’s down.
If you are a techie and have a lot of other smart home devices that you want to try integrating with your sprinkler, then the Rachio or Skydrop would be a good choice for you.
On the other hand, if you want something straight forward and simple, then consider going for the Blossom.
Thank you for reading this article! Hopefully you enjoyed it, and found it informative. Feel free to share this article if you liked it, and don’t forget to leave a comment or ask questions in the appropriate section below!