“Smart” VS “Not-so-smart”
The “not-so-smart” or “traditional” irrigation controllers required us to determine how much to water and when. With the “smart” irrigation controllers you simply program in the conditions for each zone. The programming information includes:
- light conditions (full sun, 25% shade, 50% shade, 75% shade, and full shade)
- plant type (grass, annuals, groundcover, shrubs, and trees)
- amount of slope (0°-2°, 3°-4°, 5°-7°, 8°-Up)
- soil type (sand, loamy sand, sandy loam, loam, clay loam, silty clay, and clay)
Another feature is the on-site weather sensor that communicates current weather data on a regular basis back to the controller. The weather station measures rain fall and temperature and compares this information with the programmed historical data based upon the zip code entered. As weather conditions change, the irrigation schedule adjusts accordingly on a daily basis.
When the controller is programmed correctly, you can expect to maintain a healthy landscape while consuming up to 50% less water than “traditional” time-based controllers. One bonus feature of some “smart” controllers is that you can program the controller anywhere you want. The old days of standing out in summer heat and trying to program your controller while having difficulty reading the display are over. All you have to do is install a 9-Volt alkaline battery in the controller and program it from your couch inside your air conditioned home. The pre-programmed information is saved in non-volatile memory for retrieval at a future date.