In the age of sustainable living, rain/freeze sensors are more popular than ever. These sensors promote water conservation, cost savings and of course a year round, lush landscape. Homeowners considering purchasing a rain/freeze sensor can choose between wired sensors, wireless sensors and smart irrigation controllers. Both wired and wireless sensors offer simple operability combined with affordability. For those who don’t mind paying a little more, smart controllers offer a broader range of features and options. These all can be purchased at most home improvement stores as well as irrigation supply stores. No matter which one you choose, installation is an easy task that can be tackled by even the novice do-it-yourselfer.
In addition to the standard benefits of rain/freeze sensors, the low cost of wired sensors make them a viable option for the most basic irrigation systems. They require no maintenance and no battery replacement. However, because the sensor is wired, its fixed distance from the irrigation controller limits the number of potential mounting locations. Because such models require you to run the wire between the sensor and the irrigation controller, consideration must be given to the actual routing of the wire. The wire should be routed in a manner that minimizes visibility as well as the potential for damage. The length of wire provided with most rain/freeze sensors ranges between 25 and 30 feet.
Wireless rain sensors have several features which appeal to homeowners. First, they can be placed up to five-hundred feet away from the irrigation controller. Second, the absence of a wire provides greater versatility when it comes to mounting locations, in addition to eliminating the hassle of wire routing. These sensors also provide homeowners with more precision when adjusting rainfall and temperature sensitivity. One drawback of wireless sensors is their higher cost, in some cases double that of their wired counterparts. Second is the battery issue. Although the battery which powers the wireless sensor may not require replacement more than once annually, if the battery prematurely fails, the sensor will not function.
Finally, for the those who demand the latest, cutting edge technology, there are smart irrigation controllers. Generally, these models are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple iOS 8 or greater, and Android 4.4 (KitKat) or later. If you can get past their starting price point of just shy of $100.00, smart controllers offer homeowners the greatest degree of irrigation control and customization. Timer functions can be accessed via wireless network, in-range mobile devices or directly through the control panel. A huge plus of choosing the smart option is that you can change the controller’s settings from anywhere you take your handheld smart devices. The greatest advantage of smart irrigation controllers is that they do not require an external sensor to gauge rainfall and temperature levels. Via WiFi connection, watering schedules automatically adjust based on season, local weather, temperature and humidity.
No matter which of these three options you choose, the water savings will easily offset the product’s cost over the long term. You’ll no longer have to manually adjust watering schedules or turn your irrigation controller on/off during fluctuating weather conditions. Above all, you’ll rest assured knowing that your landscape is receiving the precise amount of water it needs to ensure maximum vitality throughout the year. With realized water savings of up to 50%, you can’t afford to irrigate without one of these devices! ♥♥♥