Why Use a Smart Irrigation Controller?

Why Use a Smart Irrigation Controller?

For the typical homeowner,  70% of water usage is utilized for their landscape and they overwater by 50% or more.  We’ve gone to great lengths to install low flow shower heads, toilets, faucets, etc.. then we waste thousands of gallons per week on our landscape.  How did we get here?

The origination of the dumb controller

The original irrigation controllers were designed to simplify our life.  We arbitrarily set each zone to run 20 minutes, 3 times a week then forget about it.  If one zone looks brown then you might increase the time of that zone (or maybe all the zones) and forget it again.  When water was cheap and plentiful using a bit extra didn’t seem to matter much as long as our grass was green and healthy.

Of course, the amount of water your landscape needs to remain healthy is much more complex than just 20 minutes, three times per week, year round.  Water needs are different based on soil type, plant type, slope, temperature, humidity, rainfall, solar radiation and more.  Only now are we starting to understand how much water can be saved with “smarter” irrigation controllers that take all these variables into consideration.

Smart Irrigation Controllers

Smart irrigation controllers leverage the latest technology to ensure your landscape receives the precise amount of water based on a number of factors including:

  • plant & grass type
  • soil type
  • sprinkler heads
  • temperature
  • humidity
  • rainfall

We believe the most accurate smart controllers combine hyperlocal weather data with site information to calculate watering times based on evapotranspiration or ET, the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and waterbodies. Transpiration accounts for the movement of water within a plant and the subsequent loss of water as vapor through stomata in its leaves.

Sounds simple enough, right? Fortunately, there are several great companies who have taken these complex formulas and made simple, wifi-connected smart controllers for your irrigation system.  Here are a few of our favorites…

Rachio 3

RainMachine Touch HD-12

RainMachine Mini-8


Tired of adjusting your controller throughout the year and guessing how much you need each month?  Now you can let SmartLine handle the adjustments for you based on the on-site weather station and calculated needs of your plant and soil type.  Essentially, this sprinkler controller automatically adjusts itself every day – 365 days per year.