Irrigation cycles/rain delays/smarter software


#1

When someone wants to water “every other day”, it may really mean, “any day after a day it does not rain.” The way you have delays set up for an “every other day,” if a watering is cancelled to due scheduled rain, it should just push the whole schedule out one day, or give the user options. Lots of ways you could do that (“do you want to shift your schedule by a day or skip this watering?”).

Also, based on the board, you all seem to have a lot to learn about irrigation. You’ve made a great device, I’m very impressed, but I suggest that you all take a look at an irrigation control software that I used to use with my Homeseer software and Rain8 irrigation devices in my last home: http://mcssprinklers.com/ You will see an immensely rich feature set. You could either work with him (I’m telling you that if you opened up the system to talk to Homeseer you’d get a lot more sales), license his software, work with him to expand yours, or just look at the complexity of what he’s done and mimic it. [I am in no way related to this person, just a really happy user of his solution]

I see that you are trying to make this an approachable device for “everyman.” My gut is that most of your customers are geeks like me, and you ought to focus more on home automation junkees. This is not the Nest of irrigation, it is too complex to install on a relative basis, and there are many many more aspects to irrigation than there are to HVAC. Get in front of the requests for complexity and work your way backwards to an entry level/basic set up.

Thanks!


#2

I’m not entirely sure I’d agree, and I’m bored enough to write the essay below (sorry).

I bought the Nest thermostat because my existing thermostat died and I wanted an intelligent thermostat that potentially saved me money. I wanted something that would learn the characteristics of my house and not fire up when I was out, as well as doing other clever things - but primarily I wanted something that would save me cash.

I was essentially weighing the initial cost of purchase of it vs the ongoing cost of cooling and a/c.

With the cost of gas and electricity, it was worth paying the premium over a regular thermostat in order to make those savings automatically.

Sure, I could micromanage a regular thermostat myself and get the savings - at the cost of my time and effort. And probably still not do it incredibly well, because I’m not an HVAC expert.

By the way, if you’ve a regular LCD menu driven thermostat, look up the manual, then go into service mode. There’s a lot more options than you think there are, and unlike irrigation controllers (unless you REALLY screw up), they can potentially cause thousands of dollars of damage. BUT, like irrigation controllers - you’re not dealing with mains electricity, so it is something the vast majority of people can replace without the aid of a professional, especially if most of the complex operations are hidden away.

I bought the Iro because my existing controller died, and I wanted an intelligent sprinkler system that would keep my grass alive, preferably make it greener and nicer, and more preferably still - save me money.

Sure I could micromanage a regular controller myself and get water savings…but I’ve got the opposite of green fingers (and I’ve already proven to myself this is the case).
So, if I wanted a better lawn, I’m either looking at a lawn service, or an intelligent controller where some service, preferably free, is making recommendations for me, based on location, soil, weather and so on.

With both devices, I was primarily attracted to the results - savings, better lawn, etc.

Sure the idea of being able to control it from your phone appeals, and is a god send for maintenance, but that’s almost a fringe benefit.

Now, with the Nest, there were a couple of alternatives, and I went with the well known brand, both for the recognition of it, and subsequent recommendations, and for the ease of install and the knowledge that they’ve been around for a while. I saw it when it was a start up, and wasn’t interested at the time, because it looked like a fad - there were no other products competing with it.

With the Iro, there were, and are quite a few alternatives. Most around the same price point, most start ups, most offering a similar feature set.
The options that have been around longer are the homeseer type options - irrigation caddy, opensprinkler and so on. The really geeky products.

I read the manuals, and they’re clever, but…they’re a great deal of work to install, configure, and maintain. They might give me what I’m looking for, but at the expense of a great deal of work.

That’s not appealing, unless you’re a geek. And a gardening geek, too. I’m the first, but not the last.

The other options are similar. In the end, I went with the Iro because if people in Colorado can’t help my lawn in Colorado, who can? - and it’s cheaper than a yard service, while almost certainly using less water than a service would recommend (when the water saving features are all up and running automatically).

It’s also a simple and easy to install product - and in order to capture the market for people who are ok with a thermostat swap but not with mains voltage, it needs to be on a par with nest. And that’s where I think the market is - people like me, who are looking for a product that will save them money, preferably while doing clever stuff, that they can show off to their friends, that isn’t a complete swine to install and get working.

So far, it’s looking good. Both the product, and my lawn.

@chris‌, how about a poll on why we bought the Iro?


#3

@joeslat‌ and @jimmyjimjim‌ Great posts and great differing points of view. A poll would be great and something we could implement fairly easily. What do you think the question and options should be?


#4

Probably need a poll to ask the questions for the poll…

How about “What features attracted you to the Iro over a regular sprinkler controller?”

  1. Potential water savings
  2. Ease of install
  3. Having automatic recommendations tailored for you.
  4. Automatic rainfall cut off
  5. Weather adjustments automatically.
  6. Internet controlled makes it cool.
  7. Remote zone control makes maintenance easier.
  8. Interwhat?

Anything else you can think of.

We also probably need a poll for :

“What made you choose the Iro over another internet based sprinkler controller?”

  1. Price.
  2. Ease of install.
  3. I found it at home depot / it was in stock online.
  4. Wink integration.
  5. Simplicity
  6. Complexity
  7. Feature set.
  8. Colorado designed.
  9. There are other internet based systems?
    10). Wireless.

etc.

A third poll for what feature would you most like us to concentrate on now?