Rachio does a beautiful job communicating with many different services, and allows for communication with Nest as well. It offers an excellent plug and play replacement for existing irrigation controllers, and because of this, I bought it. While it is true that I can achieve the functionality that I am after using IFTTT or just playing with my Rachio scheduling, the suggestions on this thread are intended to offer more value add to Rachio – making it better at what it is designed to be. Controlling landscape lighting is a common feature on higher end controllers, and because Rachio is a higher end controller, I think (as many of the commenters do as well) that the feature should be added.
I do not believe anyone on this thread is suggesting that replacing the Rachio with a Nest, Wemo, Z-Wave or Blink System would be a better alternative. I happen to own additional systems (Lowes Iris® and a Z-Wave controller) for controlling my home, and none of them do as good of a job as an irrigation controller.
In sum, my suggestion for a feature is as follows:
- Create a zone type called “Lighting.”
- Allow for sunrise/sunset times for start and stop for zones (if I choose sunset as start, allow sunset or x hours/minutes for stop).
- Allow other zones to run concurrently with the Lighting type zone(s). I realize there may be a limitation on the number of zones the 24v controller can activate at once – but at least one lighting and one other zone should be able to run concurrently.
Of course the suggestion is contingent upon an individual installing an appropriate low-voltage relay to turn on the lighting transformers, but all irrigation systems which control landscape lighting require this in some form or other.