Watering your landscape is crucial to keeping your plants healthy, green, and thriving. Ideally, you want to provide the perfect amount of water to each area of your landscape without going over and wasting a single drop. Many irrigation systems have a controller to help with this, though homeowners often need to ensure they are working as efficiently as possible.
Have you checked your irrigation controller recently?
Most water is spent on landscapes through an irrigation system, and having the correct controller can save you both time and money. Join me as we explore the different kinds of irrigation controllers on the market, and help you decide which one is right for you.
Though less efficient, many homes continue to use traditional irrigation controllers due to their simplicity. There is always an adoption curve when it comes to new technology, and irrigation systems are no exception.
Traditional controllers are often mechanical in nature. They are designed to provide water in increments. The Intermatic T8800 is an example of a conventional controller. It has limited features but is reliable and easy to use.
Programmable controllers are the most commonly used irrigation controllers in homes. They offer more features than traditional controllers without connecting to the wifi. These controllers usually come equipped with LCD screens, buttons, and dials, making it easier to understand how the controller works. They can be set up manually and can control multiple zones. For example, Rain Birds 6-station irrigation timer allows changing the watering amount and frequency to six locations in your landscape.
Many of these styles of controllers are compatible with rain sensors which can automatically shut off your irrigation system when it detects rain. Programmable controllers are in the middle when it comes to features.
If your goal is to use water as efficiently as possible, a smart irrigation controller is the way to go. Units such as the RainMachine Touch HD-12, Rachio 3, and Orbit B-hyve are affordable for homeowners and have been shown to save the most amount of water compared to the other kinds of irrigation controllers. Smart controllers can seem overwhelming to some as they often need to connect to wireless internet and your phone’s Bluetooth. However, after the initial setup, these controllers can function independently. Smart controllers can usually control over 10 separate zones to maximize the efficiency of the water being used.
Unlike programmable irrigation controllers that require a separate rain sensor, smart controllers have access to the weather forecast because they are online. They can automatically adjust the amount of water used based on local weather patterns, saving you water and money while keeping plants healthy and green. If any changes need to be made to your watering schedule, there is a free app that you can download onto your smartphone, giving you complete control of the system even if you are out of town.
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