I’ve tried many Smart Home sprinkler systems, and none has the performance or features of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler system.
With a simple setup, including connecting the Rachio to your existing WiFi network, you’ll have your lawn watering for however long you want in as many zones as you choose.
Full disclosure, I’m not an electrician or a plumber. But doing this was as simple as plugging a lamp into a wall. If you have an existing controller, photograph the wire connections before removing. Then follow the Rachio instructions on connecting the existing wires to the new device.
I have it connected in my garage, where I have AC and it reaches my WiFi signal. An optional waterproof enclosure is available for $29.99.
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Everything is done within a user friendly app including setting up your schedule of watering days, which can be a set schedule (odd, even, every third day, etc.) or manually setting them off.
Changing your schedule within the app is the most user friendly interface I’ve seen.
During the setup, the app automatically connected to a local weather station, just a few miles from my house. So not only does the app give me current forecasts for my area, but it uses that to determine the amount of rain in my area and if watering is needed.
The feature that convinced me Rachio was a top notch device was that it breaks up the watering schedule by zone, so zones right next to each other don’t go off consecutively. This maximizes your soil’s absorption rate by not flooding it and spreading out the schedule.
The app shows you how much water you have used along with how much has been saved due to shutting the system down for rain along with the zone breakup.
Depending on the watering area, the Rachio can set up a watering schedule based on your soil, what you want to water, how much sun and the temperature for a particular area.
You also get real-time notifications when zones go off or not due to a rain delay.
One customer review on the Rachio site said, “Water savings paid for the unit in one summer!” After using it for a month, I can believe that.
http://rachio.com $199.99 for a 8 Zone controller, $249.99 for 16 zones
The Samsung FamilyHub refrigerator is referred to as revolutionary on the Samsung site, and it is that and more.
It connects to your existing WiFi, and a touchscreen on the front lets you manage your grocery lists.
Inside are three built-in cameras, which can be viewed from anywhere with the Samsung app on a smartphone.
The cameras take a photo every time the doors open to show you what’s being used and what you’re low on.
The touchscreen also displays a calendar, photos and notes to keep the family updated on everything. With the Groceries by MasterCard app, you connect to your local grocery store to send a list of what you need and avoid the checkout lines, but make sure your local store supports this.
And if you can believe it, the refrigerator also has built-in speakers to stream music and listen to video being watched on the display.
Wireless motion sensor
Elgato’s Eve door and window wireless motion sensor monitors an area to know when it's open or closed.
Within the Eve app you can see statistics to know how often and how long a window or door is open.
The setup is simple and there’s no hub or power supply needed, it works off of a single 1x½ AA replaceable battery. One sensor goes on a door or window, while the other piece goes on a wall, and they are paired via Bluetooth.
Eve smartphone products are certified to work with Apple HomeKit, which integrates them with Siri.
Contact Gregg Ellman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @greggellman.