Smart Irrigation Systems: Making Sense of All Your Options
Over the last few years, the irrigation world has grasped new technology and developed new ways of operating and monitoring our irrigation systems.
I thought I would bring you up to speed with the innovation currently available.
When new technology first hits the market, it’s usually quite expensive. You may remember the first flat-screen televisions and the exorbitant prices charged for a product that is now considered reasonably affordable.
Irrigation technology is no different. With so many companies now competing for market share, Smart technology watering systems are quite affordable and integrate many time and water-saving features.
With regards to controllers, the features are quite exhaustive these days including…
- A built-in multi-meter that can check currents to valves and report faults back to the user on a particular station.
- Run-in watering programs allow a new lawn to be watered 3 times per day when it is “knitting-in” in the first two weeks, then it reverts to normal watering automatically.
- Contractors default setting can save all controller information and restore them in case they’re lost.
- Expandable controllers that come fitted with a 4-station module but can be fitted with more modules to increase the stations capacity to 16 or more, in 3 or 4 station increments, depending on which brand you choose.
- Another handy feature is the seasonal percentage which allows the user to keep the same run time in the controller, but just change the percentage of watering each month. For instance, January 110% and June 5%.
There are also many components that can be fitted to the controller enabling it to become smarter, including…
- Wi-Fi modules that allow the irrigation system to become operable from a remote location and able to report faults and other information back to the user via a smartphone or computer.
- Bluetooth-battery operated units allow the user to run the system from their phone instead of getting down on your knees and opening the valve box to face the spiders
- Sensors for water flow coupled with Smart technology allow your system to learn what the normal use of water is, so if there is a break in any line it can shut the system down and alert the user to the fault.
- Rain sensors and weather stations prevent overwatering when a rain event has occurred by either terminating the watering or reducing the duration of runtime.
- Moisture sensors can also be a valuable tool to prevent plants from drying out or getting too wet.
Whatever your comfortable with, whether it is a very simple-to-use system that just gets the job done without confusion, or a fully expanded Wi-Fi remote system, there are plenty of options on the table.
Unsure? Overwhelmed? Would you like to find a solution?
Book a consultation and inspection with me and we can discuss your specific needs. I’ll help you design a system that’s right for you.