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Irrigation Controllers and Sprinkler Timers for Today's Irrigation Systems

If valves are the heart of an irrigation system, then the irrigation controller is the brain. Sometimes referred to as an irrigation timer, today's irrigation controllers can do so much more than turn sprinklers on and off.

The latest advancement in irrigation controllers is WiFi controllers. Over the last several years, many irrigation manufacturers have come to market with a “Smart” Controller, meaning contractors and homeowners can now connect to their irrigation systems remotely. In the residential space, this connection is primarily through a WiFi network, with some manufacturers offering Cellular or 900Mhz Radio connections as an option. For contractors, this means they can save time by remotely managing irrigation systems versus being on-site to make system changes or troubleshoot problems. Rain Bird's LNK module attaches to ESP-Me and ESP-TM2 WiFi ready controllers. Hunter's line of Hydrawise controllers ranges from the small HC to the 54 station HCC, as well as a faceplate that can change a standard Pro-C controller to WiFi-enabled. Toro's SMRT Logic expands beyond irrigation systems and controls outdoor landscape lighting as well.

Smart irrigation controllers use local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules, instead of irrigating using a controller with a clock and preset time-schedule. Smart irrigation controllers turn off the system during rain events and can connect to add-ons such as wind and soil sensors. Horizon features residential controllers such as Toro's Evolution, Hunter's X-Core, Rain Bird's ESP-Me, Weathermatic's SmartLink, and the Tucor RKD.

Horizon also sells standard indoor and outdoor irrigation controllers with simple programming and installation. Many controllers now offer modular configuration allowing flexibility in design and reduction in inventory investment. Rather than buying a controller based on the number of stations, you can buy one base unit and add more stations as needed. All major manufacturers offer this standard style of controller.

When electricity is an issue, battery-operated controllers are a quick and easy solution. Improved designs feature Bluetooth technology so you can manage the timer from your smartphone without ever opening a valve box. Hunter's NodeBT and Rain Bird's TBOS-BT are both great examples of battery-operated controllers.

Contact Horizon for help selecting the best irrigation controller and irrigation supplies for your setup today.