Rachio to Control Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting controlled with Rachio, and it has dimming.


What the… this is cool, although it’s a bit over kill using the Rachio to control the lights but, whatever, you do you!

It is very powerful! It is neat because it does not interfere with watering schedules, and each zone can be dimmed independently. I haven’t done this, but I think you could even take the Ring doorbell integration and use motion from the Ring doorbell to trigger yard lights.

Basically you can use it for really basic features or you can get creative.

The Rachio app will control my sprinklers and lighting.

Interesting product. But what exactly does it do? It still needs a transformer for power, and requires another item (like Rachio or other home automation controller) to handle the front end duties…so what function is this actually doing? Just dimming?

Great question. The unit has a ton of features so it is probably not worth me putting them all here, but the main things it will provide on my install is zoning, dimming, the ability to run everything off of my Rachio app, and the ability to have one of the zones controlled with a motion detector.

Sometimes people control their landscape lighting with the little wifi plugs, but this means you are controlling the entire transformer. So if you want zoning you have to have multiple transformers on the property.

As far as front end duties, there are also modes on the controller where the controller internally handles timing. So, when the transformer turns on the zone turns on, and then turns off a set number of hours later. But, for my install I am using Rachio to control.

Am I correct in my reading that you still need a transformer for power? I have a big boy 600+ watt transformer that I use a smart plug tied to my Smarthings HA system and it works fine, but I do like the idea of being able to dim the lights at a certain time of night.

Yes, that is correct. The Letzgo unit goes between the transformer and lights.

Also, some landscape lighting dims well and some does not. With some brands of lights you can put more per zone (or a bigger load) than other brands. Letzgo has a video about this.

Yea, I saw that they have recommended LED bulbs that they say dim better than others they have tested.

I presume it takes one Rachio zone for to turn on the transformer. In either case, how do you control zones, brightness, etc.? Or do you basically program the schedule to run when it powers up? Since only one zone can be ran from Rachio, that would mean the lights would shut down when you start watering, right?

You can use one Rachio zone to control all 3 Letzgo zones, or you can use 3 Rachio zones and control the Letzgo zones individually. (or any other variation)

The landscape lighting transformer stays powered on all of the time. Then the lighting zones are turned on and off with Rachio.

The Letzgo controller turns on a zone with a one minute pulse from Rachio and then turns off the same zone with a second one minute pulse from Rachio. This keeps it from interfering with watering schedules.

When the lighting controller is connected to Rachio, dimming is controlled on the Letzgo unit manually.

Very interesting, I wish they have more than 3 zones instead of having to buy more than one unit.

@ Thomas_Lerman How many zones do you think you would do? I have a 4th zone that is not tied into this unit and instead goes straight to the Letzgo dimmer to control back patio lights.

I put in the wires for five zones, but I have not got lights or anything else yet. Seems more costly than I want to do. I know, the wires were not exactly cheap either.

Got it. Sounds like you are going to have a neat install. Landscape lighting is definitely an investment.

This sounds very interesting! I have just installed the controller and it is one of the best pieces of technology I have ever used!! So easy to install, program and operate!!

I am using Lutron Smart Plugs for my four Landscape Lighting transformers and they work great! I am using Volt Lighting products, as I have found them to be top quality and long lasting!

@DaveD Yes, I also found my Rachio incredibly easy to setup. It’s a solid product.

Yeah, the Lutron plug seems like one of the better wifi plugs for controlling the primary side. Do you mainly have that many transformers because of a large yard and lots of lights or because you were looking for a way of having multiple different wifi-controlled zones?

Mainly because it is a large yard and wanted to cut down on lengthy underground burial cable runs.

Got it. Makes sense!