Jul 12, 2013
Did you just have a flashback to secret Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, from the '60s comedy series? Well, we're talking Smart Controllers here.
While Agent 86 was famous for his technologically advanced gadgets like his inconvenient shoe phone, invisible bulletproof wall, and miniature camera, he did not have access to a Smart Controller, but you do.
"Smart" irrigation controllers maximize outdoor water use efficiency by using climate and site, or soil moisture data as a basis for irrigation scheduling-maintaining, and in many cases enhancing, the health and beauty of landscaping.
The secret is out about smart controllers so there's no need for the "Cone of Silence". Smart irrigation has an extensive history of scientific and field documentation. Golf courses, parks and athletic departments have used climate-based irrigation systems for more than 20 years.
When setting watering schedules there are a few factors that should be taken into consideration such as weather conditions - specifically evapotranspiration (ET) and rainfall. ET is the amount of water lost from the soil through evaporation plus the plant's water loss (transpiration). Both evapotranspiration and transpiration are signaficantly affected by weather conditions.
Smart irrigation controllers work by monitoring and using information about site conditions (such as soil moisture, rain, wind, slope, soil, plant type, and more), and applying the right amount of water to the landscape based on those factors. Once the smart controller is installed and set up, the smart controller automatically takes care of seasonal weather/site specific adjustments, and does not require ongoing monitoring. Even Agent 86 could have operated one, well, almost.
Save water - Smart systems automatically suspend watering during rain, freezing or high wind conditions. Careful scheduling minimizes evaporation and encourages water to soak in, reducing the total amount of water needed. Preventing overwatering actually keeps plants healthier by encouraging stronger roots and discouraging weeds, disease and fungus growth.
Save money - Smart systems can reduce your annual water bill by as much as 30 percent by preventing water waste. Plus, many local water providers offer rebates for purchasing specific smart controllers.
Save time - Once an irrigation installer has programmed your site data into the smart system, the controller adjusts the watering schedule based upon weather conditions and soil moisture without manual intervention.
Add convenience - Smart controllers adapt to seasonal weather changes without requiring reprogramming. And their "set and forget" technology is perfect for complying with any local watering restrictions, as well as for frequent travelers and vacation or second homes.