Smart Irrigation Controllers: Bringing Irrigation into the 21st Century
Last week we talked about basic irrigation controllers: how they work, what your basic options are, and what to consider when you are researching them. This week, we’re bringing irrigation into the 21st century. That’s right, we’re talking about smart irrigation controllers. What makes an irrigation controller smart? There are many features that so-called “smart” controllers can have, but many of them have WiFi capabilities, can be observed and operated from your smartphone, and use various methods to help you reduce your water consumption. Here are four features of smart irrigation controllers to consider for your irrigation upgrade.
1. Using Evapotranspiration (ET) Data
Smart irrigation controllers use a handful of methods to reduce water consumption and waste. One set of data that these systems can use is something called evapotranspiration (ET) data. ET data is a quantification of the amount of water that evaporates from heat and is lost during transpiration from plants. This data is used to determine how long a sprinkler’s run time should be. For example, water evaporates and transpires at a slower rate on a cool fall day than on a hot summer day, so a smart controller would look at the ET data and make the run time on a cool day shorter.
2. Using Weather Data
Many smart irrigation controllers also look at other weather data to make decisions about run times and cycles. Systems will either use a physical sensor to register rain and stop watering, or they can access weather reports for your location and stop watering or avoid watering preemptively when rain is forecast.
3. Smartphone Apps
Smartphone apps are another popular feature of smart irrigation controllers. These applications give homeowners an easy-to-use interface that allows them to see watering data, get notifications for rainy weather, and run or shut off their sprinklers remotely. This makes watering your lawn a snap because you don’t have to fiddle with a confusing set of buttons or trudge out to your irrigation controller to water manually or make program changes.
4. Highly Customizable Sensor Programming
Some smart irrigation controllers allow you to customize which sensors can cancel which programs. Smart systems are often used for large commercial areas or by landscapers who manage multiple properties. As such, the total area operated by a single irrigation controller can be quite large. With customizable sensor programming, you can specify that an activated rain sensor in one area will cancel programs in that area without interfering with the sprinkler program in a different area on the same controller.
Choose Sposato Irrigation
Sposato Irrigation is uniquely positioned to offer high-quality, affordable, and reliable irrigation services to homeowners and business owners in Sussex County, Milton, Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Ocean View, Millsboro, Dagsboro, and Ocean City, MD. Thanks to our expertise, innovation and decades of professional experience, we can meet the needs of large properties and small gardens. To learn more about our irrigation installation, LED landscape lighting, and commercial irrigation maintenance services, contact us today. We can be reached at 302-645-4773. Also, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.