There are many different motivations for moving toward a ‘smart irrigation‘ lifestyle. Whether you’re worried about the environment, trying to conserve water, or trying to save money while boasting a beautiful lawn, there is no wrong reason to give a smart irrigation timer a try.
But, like many changing aspects of today’s technology, it’s not uncommon to wonder if these controllers really work. Watering the lawn has always been a fairly rudimentary process. Thankfully, all that is beginning to change.
So, do smart irrigation timers really work? The simple answer is ‘yes.’ You can have an awesome experience with these controllers, and achieve a beautiful landscape in the process. The more complicated answer? The success of your experience will likely depend on the controller you choose. Like any other product, not all timers are created equally.
Let’s take a quick look at some different features you should look for when choosing a smart irrigation timer.
Ease of Use
Obviously, you’re not going to be all that interested in setting up a timer if you can’t figure out how to do it. Or, how to get it to work on a daily basis. Timers that are user-friendly are important, because you’ll use them more frequently. After all, that’s what they’re there for!
Many sprinkler companies have taken note of such things, and have made watering your lawn something you can control in the palm of your hand. One of the best options on the market is the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. It uses a mobile app to offer you complete control over the system. After an initial setup, you can manipulate how much water your land really needs based on things like temperature, soil conditions, and sun exposure.
Programs like the Rachio system and similar ones use their ‘smart’ technology to make watering determinations for you. All you have to do is answer some questions about your lawn and soil zone, and it goes to work to determine the right amount of watering needed. Of course, you’re still in the driver’s seat and can change the controls manually. But, why not let those ‘smart’ resources come into play, and make life just a little easier for you?
It’s important to still remain in control of your sprinkler system, even when it’s supposed to take care of all the work. Not everyone wants to water their lawn every day (and you probably shouldn’t). Unfortunately, not all sprinkler systems are equipped to handle complex scheduling options. Be sure to do your research and determine if the system(s) you’re looking at can handle schedule changes as needed, depending on your specific irrigation zone.
It’s especially important to make sure your system can respond to water restriction limits. The ‘smartest’ of timers won’t water during prohibited times, and you won’t get fined for a machine’s mistake. It’s a win-win.
Though having controls in the palm of your hand through an app is nice, it’s also a good idea to choose a timer that has controls on the device itself, like the Orbit B-Hyve Wifi Sprinkler Timer. While these controllers can be a bit bulkier, it makes it easy for others to take control of your irrigation system as needed. This could be anyone from a family member to your gardener. Conditions change, and your system needs to reflect that. Sometimes, manual changes are necessary, so make sure the option is available.
Choosing the Right Smart Irrigation System
Again, smart irrigation timers not only work well, but they can completely change the way you look at watering your land. They are safe, effective, and offer a great jumping off point to a more environmentally-conscious way of living.
It may sound a bit cliché to suggest that smart irrigation is the ‘way of the future,’ but with things like changing weather conditions and droughts continuously plaguing different parts of the country, it’s our responsibility to put more effort and research into these innovative options. It all starts with choosing the timer that works best to fit your individual needs.