• Jeff Robbins

Garden Q&A: Is A Smart Irrigation Controller Right For You

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

Whether you believe climate change is real or a hoax, no one can deny it has been one strange summer when it comes to the weather.  Nearly one inch of rain in July!  Now that is not something we expect in our part of the country.  With all the unpredictability in the weather it can be difficult (or impossible) to keep your automatic irrigation system scheduled appropriately for the real time weather.  That’s why more and more, we are encouraging our clients to adopt “Smart” irrigation controllers that can automatically adjust irrigation run times and frequencies based on real time weather data.


When it comes to smart controllers, there are two main types.  The first requires the installation of an on-site weather station that collects real time weather data and sends that information to your timer so it can make appropriate adjustments to the scheduling.  The benefit of these systems is that they are compatible with most existing irrigation timers so you do not need to replace the whole timer.  The downside is that you need to install the weather station in an area that receives full sunlight all day every day and that often means placing the stations in highly visible areas.


The second type of smart controller that has recently been emerging is one which connects to a wireless internet signal and uses data from NOAA weather satellites to make the necessary adjustments to your system.  Although these systems generally require you to purchase an entirely new timer, they also provide some significant advantages.   Internet based irrigation controllers allow you to control your system via easy-to-use applications that can be downloaded onto your smart phone.  If you have a professional landscape maintenance service like Revolution caring for your garden, you can grant them access to your controller as well.  Through the app you can view watering history reports, view future scheduled run times, and modify existing schedules based on current conditions.

Right now, homeowners and business who upgrade to smart weather based irrigation controllers may also qualify for rebates from the Metropolitan Water District. Weather you opt for an on-site weather station or an internet based controller, these smart systems can lead to significant savings and improve plant health by providing more appropriate irrigation when your plants need it the most.  Call us today to learn more about which smart controller might be right for you!

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