Landscape & Irrigation
Automated systems can control more than just an indoor environment. By adding automation to your outdoors you can reduce maintenance costs, help the environment by reducing water and electricity waste, improve security, and add some innovative looks. Systems are available to help with landscaping and irrigation, lighting, and pool and spas.
Mother nature rarely cooperates. Whether this be too little rain in a heat wave or sudden frost from a cold snap, the weather is not something you can control. That's why automated irrigation systems make sense.
Automated sprinkler controls (like this one from Rachio) let you set a watering schedule and forget it. With the associated smartphone app you can monitor your status or quickly stop and start a cycle. It's an easy way to avoid leaving the sprinkler on during a thunderstorm or while you're at work. The Eve irrigation system adds features like moisture and temperature sensing spikes to distribute proper irrigation across different zones. While all these features demonstrate the advantages of irrigation automation, Rainbird adds a reminder that whether professionally or DIY products are used, the correct installation is vital to make sure the system is most effective.
Pool & Spa
Swimming pools and home spas involve many working pieces. Beyond an area of water, these systems incorporate filtration, heat, sanitizing, and lights. Some areas will have special or custom features that need additional attention. The good news is that almost all of these features can be automated with the right systems.
Check out products like the Pentair Screenlogic2 Interface which can remotely monitor pool controls including pH and ORP levels from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. Zodiac's iAqualink 2.0 boasts 24/7 global control including pumps, lights, and even spillovers. It can also control multiple pools from a single app.
Basic motion lights have been around for a long time. Many of you are familiar with the old fashioned sensors that light up whenever the wind blows. Modern lights have gotten a whole lot smarter. Indoor motion lights can be programmed to turn on when people are in the room or indoor rooms become too dark. Click here to read more on indoor lighting and climate control. Outdoor motion lights are both convenient for homeowners, and an important part of home safety.
By illuminating areas such as doorways and driveways, these lights turn on when approached by a person or animal. Many insurance companies will even offer discounts for installation. Outdoor lights offer programmable options, and can be integrated into the rest of your home security system. Click here to read more about automated home security. If you prefer to use a more simple system, try Mr. Beam indoor/outdoor motion activated LEDs. The company offers simple stick-up install and multiple device connectivity.
Decorative Features and Seasonal Lighting
In an effort to customize a home and make it unique, many of us enjoy decorative features like fountains, colored lights, creative landscaping, or seasonal decor. There is rarely a mass produced option to fit each and every decorative choice, which is why we enjoy these creative plug-ins. Basic DIY options like the INSTEON Outdoor On/Off outlet come with outdoor rated and weather resistant housings that can remotely operate in a large range of temperatures. The outlet device is commonly used on fountains and decorative lights.
For a product with a seasonal and festive twist try Mr. Christmas Appy Holidays. This smartphone light controller integrates a plug-n-play device with 20 pre-loaded Christmas carols, to create your own holiday light and music show. For other seasonal uses, motion-activated set-ups are common during Halloween. Simple DIY automation can begin the steps for building and automating a your own haunted house.