What is a smart sprinkler?
  • Category:
    Home Energy Savings
  • Published:
    June 15, 2022

What Is a Smart Sprinkler?

What is a smart sprinkler and how do smart sprinklers work? Here is where you can find all the details on keeping your garden lush without it being a time-consuming chore. And even better, a smart sprinkler system will be more efficient with water and will optimize the timing and amount of moisture delivered to different plants in your yard. Your landscape will be healthier with less work and less water.

What are smart sprinklers and how do they work?

A smart sprinkler system is a smart gardening device that includes an irrigation set-up that is linked to your smart home system. While you can set operating times for a traditional sprinkler, beyond when it turns on and off, you have little control.

One of the important differences in answer to the question, what is a smart sprinkler, is that some have sensors for measuring ground moisture, others link to outside data sources, and still others learn your watering patterns. With all of this data, a smart sprinkler system will adapt and optimize around the best time to water a garden and how much water to deliver to your lawn and garden. Unlike a traditional sprinkler, you control it and monitor water through your phone, tablet, laptop or smart home system, all connected to your home WiFi.

Weather-based vs. soil moisture-based irrigation controllers

Different models of smart sprinkler systems offer varying features. Some come with a smart sprinkler controller that links to outside data sources, such as weather apps, to optimize when to water your yard. You don’t want to water your lawn when a thunderstorm is predicted. In addition to this weather-based approach, you can find sprinkler systems that use sensors to read the level of moisture in the soil, using a soil moisture-based approach to optimizing when to run. Some models use a mix of both.

5 benefits of smart irrigation systems

After understanding how smart sprinklers work, the next question is: Are smart sprinklers worth it? Consider these benefits in deciding if a smart sprinkler system is a good choice for your home.

1. Conserve water

Making the best use of resources is a great reason to adopt technologies that make your home more efficient. In times of drought or in areas where water is scarce, it is especially important to know how to reduce your home’s water usage in the summer. Following water conservation tips is a great start.

Switching out a traditional sprinkler with a timer for a weather- or soil moisture-based smart sprinkler system can take your ability to conserve water to another level. The EPA estimates the average home can save almost 7,600 gallons of water a year by using a smart sprinkler, without sacrificing a healthy, green yard.

Do smart sprinklers save money?

Smart sprinkler systems will shave money off your water bill by optimizing how you use water in your yard. If every home in the US added and properly used a smart sprinkler, the EPA estimates the savings would top $2.5 billion a year. You might also enjoy an extra economic boost if your utility offers rebates on devices that conserve water

2. Control your sprinklers remotely

Being able to control your sprinklers when you are not in your home is one of the top benefits that make smart sprinklers worth it. You don’t have to go outside to manually drag a hose around your yard. You can be at work or on vacation and tap your device and start watering. You can set up one schedule for the zone covering your lawn, another for flower beds, and still another for vegetables.

3. Improve the health of your home’s landscape

Too much water or too little can impair plant growth or promote the growth of mold and insect infestations. Water delivers more than just moisture to plants; it is also important in delivering nutrients from the soil up through the roots.

In addition to the quantity of water you provide, timing matters, too. Watering at the wrong time can affect plant health. Smart sprinklers optimize how much water plants get and when, preventing overwatering and waste. Seasons and weather play a role and are inputs that smart sprinklers use to improve the health of your landscape.

4. Protect your lawn and garden from wildlife

You can deter animals from getting on your property with the strategic use of smart sprinklers. Protecting your home from animals can be accomplished by a sudden deluge of water to scare off some of them. Others will avoid your yard, finding the sprinklers unpleasant. You can connect your smart sprinkler system with smart motion sensors and set it to go off automatically when movement is detected. Learn more in our motion sensor guide.

5. Increase your property value

Investing in smart home upgrades, such as a smart irrigation system, can make your home more desirable. Buyers increasingly value the benefits of a smart home, which can potentially increase property value. Offering smart home upgrades can help you sell your house by making it stand out and stand above other homes in your neighborhood.

Benefits of smart irrigation systems.

What to consider when choosing a smart sprinkler for your home

Smart home sprinklers are available across price points, depending on functions and features.

  • Efficiency. To make comparing options easier, the EPA has created a WaterSense certification standard. Smart sprinklers with this certification operate more efficiently and use less water than non-certified sprinklers.
  • Features. Simple smart sprinkler systems offer fewer whistles and bells. High-end systems have more sensors and data connections, with software that can learn patterns and adapt watering to various inputs.
  • Capability. You can find a smart sprinkler system that covers your whole yard or choose a smart sprinkler controller with “zones” to deliver water in a schedule ideal for your lawn and others that better suit flower and vegetable gardens.
  • Information. If you are an avid gardener, a smart sprinkler system equipped with the right app can give you vital information about moisture, soil condition and nutrients.
  • Compatibility. Make sure the model you choose works with your smart home assistant and other devices, such as motion detectors. You can create a watering schedule that becomes one of the essential routines for smart-home assistants that keeps your home running efficiently.

Are smart sprinklers worth it?

When considering whether smart sprinklers are worth it for your home, weigh your needs and habits with the benefits. Water is essential to life, so using it with respect and care makes sense.

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