Ever since the Amazon Echo proliferated in American households, “smart home” devices have become all the rage. The Ring Video doorbell, for example, is one of the best new security developments out there.
Today, I’ve stumbled upon another example of a smart home device – it’s called Orbit, and it’s a “smart” sprinkler. The basic idea is that it uses satellite data to only water your plants when necessary. It knows when it is going to rain and will adjust accordingly. Because of this, it promises to save you up to 50 percent on your outdoor watering bill.
And, to save you even more money, it is on sale today.
Over 700 reviewers have chimed in on the Orbit, most of them noting how easy it is to use and how much it saves them. Here’s an example:
Having an old Rain Bird Analog rotary controller, I was looking to upgrade to a modern WiFi Controller so I would no longer be running down the basement to turn on and off the Rain Delay. I was keeping an eye on a competing product to this, but wasn’t crazy about the competitors’ $200.00 price tag. So when this Orbit Controller came to market with the same features at half the price, it immediately had my attention.
I waited a few months to let some reviews trickle in and once I felt comfortable, I went for it. It is a one piece assembly in a weatherproof box for indoor or outdoor mounting. I opted for the 6 zone controller as currently I only have 3 zones, with plans to add one more zone for a feature garden in front of my house. Ultimately, the decision was made to keep it inside where the old one was, since I had a power outlet right there. The power cord is about 6 feet long so if you need some length, no worries. Installation took all of 5 minutes. Take a photo of the old wires, which was a Green Common, and Red, White, and Blue wires for zones 1, 2, and 3, respectively. I removed the wires from the old controller with a small flathead screwdriver, unplugged the old controller, removed from the wall, and cleaned it up and put it away to keep as a “backup” since it still worked fine. I removed the old plastic anchors and screws from the wall, popped in the new ones and had the Orbit controller hung on the wall. Then I passed the wires through the grommet in the bottom of the case, and connected them to the Common, 1, 2, and 3 terminals. Couldn’t have been any easier.
I didn’t bother to program anything at the controller because the app was so easy. I set up a log-in with my e-mail address, connected it to my WiFi, and then I programmed a manual schedule as I don’t want to use the “Smart Watering” feature. I couldn’t believe how easy and fast it was. Literally, the whole process took MINUTES.
The Alexa compatibility is cool. Definitely a combination of “Wow Factor” and befuddlement from anyone around when I ask “Alexa, ask b-Hyve to water the lawn” and my sprinklers run. Nice touch, but the app control is easy as pie too. Works over a cellular connection too so if you’re not home you can flip your sprinklers on anytime.
The best feature of this controller, however, is its integration with the weather forecast. It automatically schedules rain delays with ZERO input from the user. Want to override the rain delay? Simple click of ONE button when you open the app. I have mine set to run Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3AM (don’t water in the evening, you don’t want root rot, and don’t water when the suns up or it will evaporate!). In the 3 weeks I have had this controller, my sprinklers have only run TWICE because of the weather integration. It looks at how much rain you’ve gotten and is forecast, and does its thing. At this rate, it will pay for itself in one spring/summer with water savings alone. I couldn’t be happier. You can set Notifications in the app to tell you when a Rain Delay is automatically set, when a Watering program has run, and a few other things. Love it! The app has a calendar in it so you can look back and see what days have been watered. You can take a picture of each zone so if you have multiple zones, you wont forget what number is what. You can also go into the app and run any zone you want for any time, great for adjusting or repairing sprinkler heads or chasing birds off the lawn! Run zone 2 for one minute, no problem. Highly recommended.
Also, to top it all off, it was made in the good ole USA.
Have a suggestion for a cool product or great deal that you think Daily Caller readers need to know about? Email the Daily Dealer at [email protected].
The Daily Caller is devoted to showing you things that you’ll like or find interesting. We do have partnerships with affiliates, so The Daily Caller may get a small share of the revenue from any purchase.