Time was you had to pay a neighborhood kid a few bucks to water your lawn with a hose or do it yourself. Eventually, you had the option of setting out sprinklers that only had to be moved periodically – or not at all if you selected a mobile variety. Eventually you could even set the system on a timer. However, now all lawn care can be handled through a smart irrigation system. With a steep up-front cost, though, the smart irrigation system bears considering before purchasing.
About Smart Irrigation Systems
A smart irrigation system consists of in-ground irrigation and a smart controller. The setup is similar to a timed irrigation system concerning the types of sprinkler heads and attendant accessories. However, some smart systems add nutrient injectors to fertilize your lawn during the watering process. Smart irrigation systems utilize pressure-regulating sprinkler heads to control the amount of water going into your soil. What sets these systems apart, though is the smart controller.
Features of Smart Controllers
Both timers and smart controllers allow you to set a timer for your watering. However, digitized controllers utilize sensors to shut off the system when it starts to rain or when the ground already feels saturated enough. The smart controller also hooks up to your computer's Wi-Fi to gather weather data. According to the Irrigation Association, the controller uses this data to construct a schedule for watering your lawn.
Benefits of Smart Irrigation Systems
The most obvious benefit of smart irrigation systems is the time it saves you. In fact, the Irrigation Association estimates using such systems offers an average labor savings of 35%. However, an even bigger benefit is the amount of water saved by the automated shut off features. Results of a study published on the Association's site report the reduction of outdoor water usage by an average of 16%, with the potential to reduce usage by as much as 24%. That's not only environmentally friendly, it's budget friendly as well.
Deciding on a System
Smart irrigation systems may not be right for everyone because they do require a greater up-front cost. The system also has to be close enough to the house for the controller to communicate via Wi-Fi, meaning far-flung yards probably can't benefit from the technology. However, some systems offer zone management, which allows you to tailor the watering schedules depending on different sun exposure and plant types in your yard. If you like crunching data, some systems even provide reports gathered by the controllers.
A smart irrigation system seems a likely investment for mid-sized to large lawns, especially for home owners who want to minimize their water usage.
For more information about lawn maintenance, contact a company such as Outdoor Service Inc.