Smart Sprinklers and Soil Sensors

March 9, 2016

Sprinkler

Home automation isn’t limited to home interiors, or to specific exterior features such as security cameras or lighting. Irrigation systems for lawns and gardens have moved beyond programmable manual timers and into the world of WiFi and application-based control.

For individual interior or exterior plants, there is PlantLink, a soil moisture monitor by Oso Technologies (https://myplantlink.com). The system, which can track up to 64 individual sensors per hub, utilizes a large plant database to analyze soil conditions against specific plant requirements and, if needed, can notify users via text or email if watering is necessary. Also, last November, PlantLink announced that it can now be integrated with GreenIQ (www.greeniq.co), a smart irrigation control hub, allowing for zone-specific irrigation of exterior plants.

In addition to GreenIQ, several other smart irrigation controllers are available to consumers. Connecting to existing lawn and garden irrigation systems, these products replace non-web-enabled programmable timers for greater real-time control of irrigation, and allow consumers to track water usage for their landscaping. Many of these systems have a standard eight-zone monitoring that can be expanded to 16 zones, and one—the Rain Bird ESP-SMTe Series (www.rainbird.com)—can support up to 22 zones. Additional irrigation control systems include:

One of the driving factors for purchases of smart irrigation systems is consumer desire for savings, in both household budgets and in resource conservation. Many of these products advertise up to a 50-percent reduction in water usage, which can be a significant amount on monthly utility bills, and should be a point for sales staff to mention to customers shopping for irrigation systems.

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