Rachio, a startup that produces connected irrigation controllers, recently rolled out a second gen of smart sprinklers. The new model was designed to be both smaller and easier to set up. But the best news is that the new system can be coupled with Alexa virtual assistant within Amazon’s Eco ecosystem of connected devices.
So, basically you can now tell Alexa to water your lawn. While the first generation model also had integrated voice control, the new system also allows you to keep an eye on your lawn through a smartphone app.
According to the manufacturer, the new version of smart sprinklers has a design that is easier to install. Plus, because it requires less space on the wall, there’s more room for wiring the system.
The second generation’s Wi-Fi network is also easier to install because the manufacturer ditched the ‘blink up’ protocol. You can manually manage areas from your box, which is now equipped with LED lights that make it easier to understand what’s going on.
The second gen comes with extra sensor ports. For instance, you could use these extra ports to pair the box with freeze and rain sensors for better functionality. The new model also comes with integrated automatic diagnostics and troubleshooting tool. The new control is also weatherproof and has an integrated hardwire option.
Through the new irrigation system you may remotely water up to 16 different zones through 16 smart sprinklers. The system is about $249.99, while the weather-proof enclosure is sold separately for $29.99. The first generation sold for $249.99, but you could control just eight connected sprinklers through it. The 16-zone one was $299.99.
The Rachio system, however, requires a Wi-Fi router to work. So make sure you have one before trying to set up the Wi-Fi network via the Rachio app. Also make sure that the router’s range comprises every zone and sprinkler you want to connect the irrigation system to.
Although installing the system may seem difficult users said that it is easier to do than a Nest since wires in the smart sprinkler system are of lower voltage and, thus, easier to work with. So, if you have basic expertise with DIY home improvements you should be fine. Just make sure to read the manual and watch the videos.
The app is also easy to install. You will have to provide a Zip code if you want up-to-date weather forecasts for your location. You can set watering duration for each zone and you will also need to provide the app with details on soil, vegetation, amount of shade, and type of sprinkler nozzle.
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