Friday , 3 February 2023
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Let the Internet Keep Your Sprinklers From Flooding the Lawn


six in the morning. We’re usually still in bed at that time, so if it’s raining when they sputter into action, somebody’s getting up and getting wet to turn them off. Either that, or our yard ends up turning into a swamp.

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller ($250) helps makes that problem go away. The small box, which you install in place of your old sprinkler controller, uses data from the Internet and connected apps to optimize your irrigation schedule. It consults your local weather forecast, so it knows not to water the lawn when there’s rain expected. It can optimize the watering time and water volume to account for your specific irrigation setup, and the type of plants, slope and soil in up to 16 different irrigation zones. The system makes everything more efficient, helping you save water without under-watering your lawn and landscaping in the process.

And rather than programming and controlling your system from a bunch of buttons and dials on your current controller box, you can control and monitor your irrigation system over Wi-Fi from your phone or computer.

Which leads to at least one enjoyable scenario: The next time that neighborhood dog is sniffing around your lawn, douse him. Later, Scooby.

The Recipes

Filling your home with smart devices that let you use your phone or issue voice commands is just the start. The real power move is making your devices talk to each other. A service called If This Then That (IFTTT) has pre-made recipes that can connect your devices to each other. You can use the service to program your devices to run routines, react to triggers, or pass commands to the other gadgets in your home. The Internet of Things is a string of connections between pieces of hardware, so set them up to control each other.

Never Mess With Mother Nature
It’s going to rain. Al Roker said so. But adjusting the irrigation settings on the controller box is such a drag. Usethis IFTTT recipe to automatically delay your next watering event based on the rain forecast.