Continuing the exploration of Smart Sprinkler controllers: The goal is to save water, time and money but not have a dead lawn or landscaping.
There are many Smart Sprinkler controllers, and many definitions of what makes a sprinkler controller ‘smart’. For instance, simply attaching a moisture sensor or rain sensor may qualify for some definitions of a Smart Sprinkler Controller. However, I would like to think we can do better than simply attaching static sensors. Therefore, I will limit my evaluation to those controllers that get weather data wirelessly and allow for control via mobile phone and computer, as well as allow for more intelligent watering by inputting landscaping and/or sprinkler information. After all, I would like to think that better decision could be made rather than just automating the same binary decision of watering or not watering. The final requirement is for the smart controller to adhere to the watering limitations of my water provider. With these in mind, I return to the extensive list of Water Sense Smart Sprinkler Controllers. Since most, if not all, of these controllers involve using the service associated with the controller (other than RainMachine which has a hybrid option), it seems as though there should be some consideration of the stability of the company. After all, it would be unfortunate to make the investment in time and money to acquire and setup the controller, only to have it revert back to a normal controller or worse stop working all together due to the company providing the service going out of business. Several of the companies are private, which limits the amount of due diligence that can be performed, so instead I will use longevity and multiple product offerings as a proxy for stability. This is, of course, flawed. But the best that can be done without extensive effort. This only eliminates one that I thought looked intriguing, Skydrop.
by Rob Rutledge