Outdoor watering can be a messy but necessary task for both amateur and professional gardening aficionados. Do you give your plants too much water? Too little? When do you find time to take care of all your little green dependents? In addition, more than three-quarters of American households don’t have in-ground sprinklers in their yards, which necessitates manual watering of lawns, gardens or container plants with a hose. There are smarter ways to tackle this task.
Now, the worldwide irrigation manufacturer Orbit is aiming to take the guesswork out of hosing down the garden with a new product, the B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer. The company announced the new product at this year’s CES 2018, along with HomeKit integration for its consumer line of irrigation products.
This nifty new device enables consumers to automate, manage, and optimize the entire watering process. The accompanying app allows the timer to program watering down to the second, which can be important for complex tasks like self-sustaining hydroponics projects or simple ones like filling a bird bath. The device is also controllable by voice with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri and HomeKit platforms. It also has Wi-Fi connectivity, available through a dedicated Wi-Fi hub, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Previously, the B-hyve’s earlier iteration offered smart home functionality through Alexa.
Basically, the timer attaches to any standard outdoor faucet, fitting on before the hose is attached. Small or simple garden watering needs can be met by the timer functions on the app. For more complex gardening projects, users can implement an interesting innovation on the timer. The B-hyve device can use weather data to automatically alter watering times or produce an EPA WaterSense certified schedule; users simply plug in location conditions such as plant types, soil type, sprinkler version, et cetera. This “fully smart” automation can also be applied to multiple B-hyve timers that can then be daisy-chained together for maximum efficiency.
In addition, the app offers real-time monitoring and updates, captures a user’s personal watering history, and enables remote connectivity so weekend gardeners can change their watering preferences on the fly.
“This is a revolutionary product that lets consumers easily manage their watering systems from anywhere, at any time,” Orbit President Stuart Eyring said in a statement. “The B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer is poised to change the way we water and marks yet another important milestone for Orbit as we continue down our path to bring smart yard technology to the masses — all while delivering significant water savings.”
The B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer and Wi-Fi hub are available for $70 via home-improvement retailers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Those with a green thumb and more ambitious plans can also purchase additional B-hyve timers separately for $40.
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