New App Can Control Smart Lawn Sprinklers

Although many Pacific Palisades residents have switched to low-water or xeriscape landscaping, some water is still needed to establish the plants. Many other residents have sprinkler systems that have to be turned off and on—and quite often people forget to turn them off during a rain shower or afterwards.

Last fall a reader tipped the News off to a smart sprinkler system, Rachio, which can be controlled through a cellphone app.

First, the app calibrates soil, vegetation, slope, sun exposure and sprinkler-head types, to allow a customer to adapt watering to his/her yard. Then a customer chooses a local weather station to get the most accurate and up-to-date data.

Once the yard type and the local weather is set, a customer can control the watering system on an Android, iOS or laptop app. For people who travel, this long-distance convenience gives ultimate control. Or a resident can give the app to a landscaper.

According to Alphabets Streets resident Lou Kamer, “Installing is really simple. Just take the old controller down and hold your phone up to a sensor on the Rachio so it reads your wifi. Then it asks you about your plants, nozzles and figures out how much to water.

“It automatically adjusts the schedule based on really complicated mathematical computations,” Kamer said, adding that it cost $50 after a city rebate, but a person can check and see when the system last ran, set rain delays and adjust schedules. “It works with our security cameras so if they pick up a coyote, it will turn on the sprinklers.”


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