Smart home technology is marching forward at an ever-faster rate. Things that were the stuff of science fiction just a decade or two ago, such as switching on the lights with a voice command or answering the doorbell from 100 miles away are now everyday realities.
But how about taking the advantages and convenience of the smart home into the great outdoors? Those who combine their love of tech with a green finger are increasingly looking to companies like Tameson to supply smart tech that will save them time and money, while keeping for the garden supplies at its best.
Smart irrigation using solenoid valves
The key piece of technology that underlies a smart irrigation system is a solenoid valve. This is an electromagnetically controlled valve that starts and stops the supply of any fluid in a system. Solenoid valves are already an important component of some home tech systems, for example in maintaining an even temperature in the home. In irrigation, a water solenoid valve is used to regulate the supply of water to your sprinkler or irrigation system.
What are the benefits?
We all know that watering the garden involves something of a trade off. In the summer months, when your garden is most in need, municipal water supplies can start running short. As a result, spraying gallons onto your lawn, only for it to instantly evaporate into the air can seem a little irresponsible, and can even get you into trouble with the authorities.
A smart irrigation system will water the garden at the optimum time, typically before sunrise, meaning your garden gets the water it needs, and it does not simply evaporate. Of course, an additional benefit is that with a solenoid valve in place, watering the garden responsibly does not mean getting out of bed at 4AM!
However, there is more to smart irrigation than simply switching a lawn sprinkler on at a set time. The addition of a rain sensor means that the system will know when there is rainfall, and whether or not the garden actually needs watering at all.
How does it work?
There are a range of different solenoid valves on the market. Those designed specifically for garden irrigation typically have manual flow control operation, meaning you can adjust the flow rate as required. They also have a manual override, so if you wish to simply switch the irrigation system on or off, you can do so.
Solenoid valves for irrigation typically come equipped with a particle filter, and are usually indirect controlled. These two factors mean that a smart irrigation system needs to be connected to the mains water supply. Most are not suitable to run from, for example, water butts full of drainage water for two reasons. Firstly, they need clean water, or the filters will be constantly clogging up. Secondly, the indirect control requires the supply pressure in order to operate.
Bring your garden into the 21st century
The smart tech age is not restricted to the living room or kitchen. Let technology take the strain in the garden, too, leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the fruit of its labors.