Smart Irrigation Controllers

raingod14July 24, 2014

I wanted to start a discussion around smart irrigation controllers that allow home owners to automate irrigation. Which systems have you heard of or have you thought about switching to? Are there any specific reasons/benefits for replacing a current controller for a smart irrigation controller? Excited to hear about your thoughts on this new technology entering the home and garden market.

Best,
Zack

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Benjammann

Im on the waiting list for one of dees...

http://www.skydrop.com/

Here is a link that might be useful: Skydrop

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 2:18PM
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dondd

I consider a "smart" controller a device that irrigates by zip codes, and allows remote control by smartphone and web browser. Other people might consider "smart" to be better measurement and use of rainfall and temp measured by the controller.

I plan to buy OpenSprinkler, because of how it connects to my home automation system, and it's active user group (look at the forum). The variety of web based system under $300 is surprising. It's hard to keep track of all the players.

Personally, I don't see the need for a complicated interface on the controller itself anymore. I want it on my phone and laptop.

People with a large water bill would undoubtedly benefit from changing out their old controller to one of the new predictive units that use local meteorological info. The questions is "which one". All the companies have access to the same data, so who has built the best model to run your system?

Anyone considering these system should look at how far the nearest Weather Underground station is from their house. Vendors trying to use the most local data possible is going to use this data.

It's also possible to spend $600-700 on a Davis weather station and connect it to Weather Underground. If you then chose a controller vendor that uses WU, your own local data would be combined with forecast models to run your system.

We live in interesting, and complicated times. As a gardener, I plan on continuing to make my own irrigation decisions. I just want a system that can do it easily from anywhere, and can do complicated programs on hot days.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 9:43AM
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raingod14

Thanks for the feedback everyone! It's interesting to hear what people are thinking about in terms of intelligent irrigation. I have to agree that, in these times, "smart" means a controller that can allow the user to water from anywhere, anytime. While also incorporating an intuitive and easy to use software with this hardware to allow users to water more efficiently and when it's best for their lawn and themselves. Thus solving the headache caused by old controllers.

Personally I am on the waitlist for Lono another well priced controller ($199), and many of the zone configurations and capabilities are (in my opinion) better then some of the other players out there (20 zones, daisychaining, ect.).

I think it is also important to use a local weather station that is trustworthy (or as close as it gets with meteorological data/predictions). Along with a service like forcast.io that will be used with many of these controllers for weather and forecast data. To get even smarter about your local weather there is also a home monitor and tracking device for weather like Bloomsky (currently being funded on Kickstarter). This can be synced to interface with these smart irrigation controllers to make build a better watering schedule that is location (zipcode) based.

Please keep the conversation going, I am very interested in hearing from people and their opinions on smart irrigation!

Here is a link that might be useful: Lono

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 11:47AM
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christi74

I am waiting for Eve. i think it fits everything that a smart irrigation controller should - weather, moisture sensors, phone connection. And the fact that it schedules itself is a real plus!

http://www.eveirrigation.com

Here is a link that might be useful: Eve

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:06PM
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