By Joe SwettPublished On: February 17th, 2020Comments Off on Smart Sprinkler Controller: The Smart Way to Care for Your Lawn42.9 min read
Research shows that the smart home market is expected to grow by 17% per year, reaching a value of $58.68 billion by the end of 2020.
At a growing rate, homeowners across the country are embracing doorbells, security systems, thermostats and more, all powered by intelligent systems that are more sophisticated and hands-off than ever before.
What if that same AI-powered technology could transform your backyard?
With a smart sprinkler controller, it can.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at how these systems work and what you can expect when you hire a state-certified irrigation contractor to install one on your property.
Benefits of Smart Sprinkler Systems
With so much emphasis on the inside of your home, you might not have given much thought to how smart technology can benefit your exterior.
Yet, the reality is that these systems can provide a multitude of benefits, from cost savings to convenience. Let’s take a look at a few of the top reasons to invest in one today.
1. Advanced Water Sensoring
Depending on the type of smart sprinkler system you choose, some will automatically adjust your watering schedule to accommodate for various environmental conditions. These models gauge your water use according to the following features:
The daily weather
The type of plants or grasses you’re watering
The type of soil in your yard
The degree of slope in your yard
These intuitive systems understand the forecast and adjust accordingly. They can sense when it’s about to rain, shine, or myriad weather conditions in between. They can also conform to seasonal changes with ease.
The result? You don’t spend time and money watering when you don’t have to. Research from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reveals that 70% of the world’s freshwater withdrawals go toward irrigation uses. Moreover, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 50% of that water is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff catalyzed by inefficient irrigation systems.
A smart sprinkler system can help limit the amount of water that your home uses for irrigation, and makes the best use of the water it does use. This helps homeowners save money and ultimately, leads to more a more effective watering approach.
2. Earlier Issue Identification
In years past, you’d have to receive a sky-high water bill in the mail before you realized there might be an underground leak in your yard. Now, smart sprinkler systems are linked to flow meters that can send alerts or turn off irrigation as soon as they detect a leak or broken pipe.
This way, you can get to the root of the problem as quickly as possible, before it escalates into a costly mess.
Moving forward, it’s expected that more top-tier irrigation companies like ours will leverage these smart controllers to monitor and control homeowners’ irrigation systems, delivering optimal watering levels, beneficial cost savings, and timely repairs.
3. A More Beautiful Lawn
Are you concerned that your lawn won’t be as beautiful as your neighbor’s if you control water usage through a smart sprinkler system? In fact, the opposite is more likely to hold true.
Most often, landscape loss occurs as a result of overwatering, not underwatering. Modern irrigation systems feature the best smart sprinkler controller that delivers the correct amount of water to your plants and lawn, helping them reach the levels they need to thrive.
In addition to adjusting for soil type, you can also find models that will follow cycle-and-soak irrigation methods. This allows water to soak more deeply into the soil and reduce runoff.
4. Smartphone Control
If you’ve ever had to rush home to turn off your sprinkler system (or wake up in the middle of the night), you know what a pain that can be. That’s why smartphone control is one of the top benefits of a smart irrigation system.
Similar to the way most connected devices work, most of these systems integrate with a mobile app that makes on-the-go adjustments a breeze. From your preferred device, you can:
Set up watering schedules
View your watering calendar
Turn your sprinklers on and off
Advanced systems, such as the Hunter Hydrawise Cloud Software, utilize predictive watering adjustments to deliver major cost savings, enhanced reporting, and in-depth data to help you get the most out of your installation. Detailed controller logs help you understand your system’s entire history, from wiring issues and flow meter alerts to pre-planned watering events.
Using Hydrawise, controllers can adjust their watering schedules based on the following conditions, among others:
Probability of rainfall
Wind and humidity levels
5. Enhanced Hardscape Surfaces
Do you have decorative fountains in your backyard? What about a fire pit, rock wall or stone patio? These features are known as hardscape elements, and they play a major role in your overall landscaping aesthetic.
Smart sprinklers help you water just where your plants are, helping you avoid overspraying and hitting such installations. Conversely, a less effective irrigation system can erode your expensive hardscaping over time, leading to cracks and erosion.
Controllers and Other Smart Sprinkler Accessories
In addition to the sprinkler controllers themselves, there are also a few other key components that comprise an effective smart irrigation system. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.
Smart sprinkler controllers come equipped with different levels of features, including wireless connectivity and advanced user programming controls. As mentioned, WiFi connectivity allows users to monitor and manage the device from anywhere, offering convenient hands-off control.
The primary reason to install a smart sprinkler system at your home or office is to maximize the benefits of every drop of water you use. This is where smart water sensors come into play.
Modern sensors have the ability to measure the ground’s moisture levels, total precipitation and more. Then, they can adjust watering schedules to prevent overwatering and keep your bill as lean as possible. Some are even intelligent enough to shut down the systems completely in frosty conditions.
The valves on a smart sprinkler system are designed to regulate and control the flow of water as it travels from the pump or tank into the irrigation system itself. When they’re equipped with smart technology, they can help ensure that water comes out at a volume and speed that’s appropriate for the application.
High-Tech Sprinkler Heads
Many smart irrigation systems include digital sprinkler heads that provide more uniform watering. These are ideal additions to your lawn, shrubs and flower beds. You can select from a range of sprinkler head designs, including:
Lush lawns are the result of making watering decisions based on the individual ecological needs of your yard. Advanced smart timers make this intuitive control possible. During your research, you’ll find that there are many different kinds of timers available, including underground timers and advanced, hose-end timers.
No smart sprinkler installation would be complete without integrating all-important filters into your system. While your installer can confirm which models are compatible with the system you select, there are two main types of filters to choose from: drip filters or T-style filters. Keep in mind that the higher the mesh size, the more efficient filtration you’ll achieve.
Choosing an Irrigation Specialist
While you do your due diligence and search for the most affordable, effective irrigation specialists in your area, keep in mind that not all teams are created equal.
Look for one like ours that has the experience, skills, and qualifications to provide a 100% coverage guarantee. You should also seek out companies that can provide an in-person follow-up consultation within 30 days of installation to ensure your system is still working at top capacity.
Before signing on the dotted line, also make sure that any irrigation specialist you hire is state-licensed, fully insured, and capable of providing industry-leading warranties to enhance your peace of mind.
Find the Smart Sprinkler Controller You Need
Are you ready for your home to become the talk of the neighborhood, for all the right reasons?
If so, it’s time to invest in a smart sprinkler controller. These dynamic new systems are designed to transform the way you water, maintain and ultimately enjoy your lawn.
When you’re ready to learn more, we’d love to help.
We are Tampa Bay’s top irrigation specialists, delivering premium lawn solutions to residential and commercial property owners across the region. From custom sprinkler heads to annual maintenance plans, we provide the resources necessary to keep your yard in top-condition year-round.
Contact us today to learn more and let’s embrace the future of lawncare together.
Former U.S. Coast Guard and Tampa-native Joseph Swett is the owner of Sunrise Irrigation, a Palm Harbor-based company that has been providing sprinkler and irrigation services in the Tampa Bay Area, Florida, for more than 20 years. A RainBird-trained landscape specialist, Mr. Swett is dedicated to helping Florida homes and businesses implement effective irrigation technologies and transition towards smart water conservation. In his spare time, Joe sponsors and plays in two men’s softball leagues, but also enjoys surfing and going fishing with his family.