Hot Take: Smart Irrigation for Sunny Summer Heat

The controlled Rachio smart irrigation system.

We have reached the dog days of August, and I am sure most of our lawns are feeling the pain of the hot summer sun.

Most currently deployed irrigation systems use simple timers to get sprinkler zones running as well as to shut them off. Some of these timer-based systems even tie into today’s home automation and control systems. However, even these rely on timers and/or user interaction to get the flow of necessary water to our grass and plants.

Builders and homeowners need to rethink this whole scenario. We all need to take away the guess work. Am I watering enough? Am I wasting water? Is my irrigation specialist factoring in water?

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We now live in the time of real IoT Connected devices that can self automate. Two brands in particular—Rachio and EVE—have taken out the guess work at an affordable price.

Rachio, for example, factors in local rainfall, location and heat. It also uses an additional “per zone” setting for soil type, lawn grade, type of grass/plant and even the type of sprinkler head. This allows a system like Rachio to determine the amount of water and time per zone based on all these factors.

Take rain as a prime example. If you were to get heavy rain for two days, followed by overcast, your system may not run for several days—creating an instant savings and safety from over-watering.

Did I mention that systems like these even tie into control systems for manual overrides and programming? Your typical irrigation company is a little scared of these systems, considering they do not know what to do once the device hits the Internet. This stresses the importance of a CEDIA home technology professional teaming up with your irrigation company.

Putting together two sides of professional expertise can have your buyers’ lawns looking great and pennies saved in no time.

Joe WhitakerAbout the Author:

Joe Whitaker

JWhitaker Designs, CEDIA Board of Directors, Patented Product Designer

With almost 20 years of experience in home systems installation and product development, Joe Whitaker currently is principal of the integration and consultation firm JWhitaker Designs. He was elected to the CEDIA board of directors in 2013 and is considered one of the foremost authorities on home automation technologies. Joe has been covering smart home technology for publications for over 10 years.

About The Author

Greg Vellante is a staff writer and multimedia specialist at TecHome Builder, as well as a content coordinator for AE Ventures events. He has over a decade of experience writing for various publications on topics that range from cinema to editorials to home technology. His favorite technologies fall into the A/V and home entertainment realm, and he’s keeping a close eye on the rising trends in robotics and virtual/augmented reality. Greg resides in Boston, holds a degree in Media Studies from Emerson College and pursues screenwriting/filmmaking in his free time.

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