Smart Irrigation Controllers and Weather-based Irrigation Control

Smart controllers are an emerging technology for adjusting irrigation applications based on actual weather and soil conditions. The concept of adjusting irrigation application to meet prevailing climate and weather conditions is as old as irrigated agriculture. The technology to control irrigation application automatically has been included in large-scale commercial systems for some time, but is relatively new to the residential and small commercial sectors. Over the past five years the number of smart controller products on the market has increased dramatically with different manufacturers opting for different control technology solutions. All “smart” irrigation system controllers use weather and site data as a basis for scheduling.

Two fundamental irrigation control technologies have been implemented to manage water use in the current crop of smart controllers – (1) sensor-based control; or (2) signal-based control.