Smart Sprinklers: The Rise of Automated Gardening

Three years ago, Nest Labs announced the upcoming launch of their Learning Thermostat, and pretty much everyone in the home automation industry asked “why?” After all, the foundation of home automation has always been security. Besides, considering that automated thermostats had already been around for over a century, naysayers couldn’t help but wonder what could be done that hadn’t already been accomplished a thousand times before…

Then the Nest Learning Thermostat hit the market, and everyone had their answer: simplicity. By working smart technology into an improved thermostat design and enabling wireless control via mobile smart devices, Nest showed the world just how easy things can be when innovative thinkers take a second look at the technologies that everyone else has long since stopped noticing.

IT’S ABOUT CONTROL

 

Smart Home

Smart home automation is a way for homeowners to take direct control of their home systems while also improving performance. For example, smart thermostats do this by automatically learning the preferences and schedules of its operator, and by adjusting itself accordingly. It’s a revolutionary idea, and one that could also save homeowners hundreds of dollars a year by increasing climate control efficiency. But why stop with thermostats? Aren’t there other areas that could benefit from this type of advanced technology? Of course there are, and not all of them are found inside the home.

Let’s take a moment and consider the lawn.

Home lawns have been around since the early 19th century, but it wasn’t until the introduction of municipal water systems that homeowners could keep their lawns green even when the weather wasn’t cooperating. First with hoses, and later with special sprinkler attachments, and finally with timer-based sprinkler systems, the dream of green and healthy lawns across the world finally became a reality. But at what cost?

 

A PRECIOUS RESOURCE

 

Dry Barren Ground

For the average American home, approximately 30% of daily water use goes towards lawn and garden upkeep. Of that 30%, as much as half ends up going to waste, due to inefficiency. Nationwide up to 4.5 billion gallons  of water is wasted per day through inefficient watering methods.  The end result is that most American homeowners spend over a thousand dollars annually in water costs. At the same time, wasted water has a negative impact on the environment. The treatment and transportation of water accounts for roughly 13% of the total energy used in the United States, and with the ongoing threat of global climate change, the availability of useable water is decreasing throughout the world. Given these facts, it’s obvious that conserving water is now more important than ever before.

 

SKYDROP™TO THE RESCUE

This is where the skydrop Sprinkler Controller comes into play. The skydrop Controller was first publicly unveiled at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and has since won the 2014 Utah Innovation Award for Outdoor and Consumer Products.  It’s designed to allow homeowners to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their irrigation methods, by always providing just the right amount of water everyday. So, if an unexpected rainstorm moves in and begins to saturate your lawn with free water from the skies, you won’t have to worry about your sprinklers turning on and adding to the deluge. On the other hand, if you’re hit by a dry spell, the system will know to make sure and provide enough water to keep everything healthy.

 

HOW IT’S DONE

 

 

This is all made possible thanks to the cloud-based controller’s ability to wirelessly sync to the internet to keep track of local weather reports in real time, giving it an advantage over conventional sprinkler systems, which rely on preset schedules, and need to be manually deactivated if the homeowner doesn’t want to keep them running during wet weather. The skydrop Controller also makes it easy to keep up with changing seasonal water requirements. And for those who would rather have more direct control over their sprinklers, the skydrop Sprinkler Controller can also be accessed remotely via computer or mobile smart device. Perhaps best of all is the fact that the system is absurdly simple to operate, so don’t feel as though you’ll need any special training in order to install and use it.

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

 

Healthy Lawn

So, with all of this technology working to help you manage the flow of your sprinkler system, what’s the end result? Increased simplicity and control, reduced negative environmental impact, and quite a bit more money left over in your pocket.

A lot has changed since the first sprinklers were introduced to the world, so why should we have to keep using inefficient and overly-complex systems?  The skydrop Sprinkler Controller is one such innovation that homeowners can really make use of, and once you get a taste of how simple it is to save water while still maintaining a perfect lawn and garden, you can bet that you’ll be wondering how you ever managed to get by without it.

 

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