If you have older irrigation and lighting systems in your landscape, you know that they’re no longer the most efficient ones out there. Many of them have become costly to run and even costlier to maintain.
Fortunately, with new, smart landscape technology coming out every year, having a well-lit and gorgeous landscape is easier and more economical than ever. These systems provide immediate water and energy savings, often paying for themselves over a period of years.
There are three major smart technologies that we’ve been using more over the years: smart irrigation, smart LED lighting, and Automowers.
Control your water use with smart irrigation
A smart irrigation controller is exactly what it sounds like: a smart way to control your water use. Basically, it’s a controller that can think for itself in a very rudimentary way. At Plants Creative, the controllers we install all require a WiFi connection. Through this connection, you can control them either by a phone app, tablet app, or through a website. It can be automatic or manual depending on your preferences.
These controllers have a number of features…
- They can adjust water use based on your local weather conditions — If it’s raining, less water will be used. If it’s hot and humid, more water will be used! If freezing weather is on the way, it’ll stop watering altogether.
- They give you real-time reports on your water use — Find out how much water is actually being used with the app’s reporting features. Most homeowners find they save up to 50% more water than a conventional system.
- They can be controlled whether you’re at home or away — One controller that we install also offers a “flow meter” that will register the flow of water. Say you’re out of town and there was a major leak in your system — the meter would send you a warning and you’d be able to shut off the system remotely, not wasting any water. The beauty of this is that your landscape can be watered from anywhere in the world!
Set your energy use with smart landscape lighting
Our team has recently started installing smart landscape lighting controllers. In these controllers, a low-voltage transformer — which all of the lighting is connected to — is controlled through a wifi connection. Similar to smart irrigation controllers, it can also be controlled through an app or a website.
There are a few really neat things that this app allows you to do:
- Control what areas are lit and which areas aren’t — Through the app, you can actually set zones of lighting. Certain areas can be turned on while others are turned off.
- Set the mood by dimming the light or changing colors — If your fixtures have dimmable emitters or colored emitters, you can change both the amount of light coming out of each bulb and the color!
- Choose your schedule — Set the timing for when lights turn on and when they turn off.
- Access your lighting system remotely — If you happen to be away from home, you can always control your lighting system.
You can read more about the technique and types of lighting available in a different blog post.
Mow your lawn automatically with an Automower
Lastly, we’ve been starting up our Automower system over the past year. These smart, robotic mowers mow in different patterns throughout the week and charge themselves at a charging station. A boundary wire is installed below the ground around your yard so they don’t leave your property — it’s a lot like an invisible fence for a dog. And, just like lighting and irrigation, you can control them with an app.
Through our Automower program, our property care team will install and manage one of these mowers on your property. You can also check out the blog post we wrote that answers some of the most common questions we get about the mowers.
Whether it’s through irrigation, lighting or Automowers, transitioning to smart technology in your landscape can give you significant savings in both time and money.