Internet Sprinkler Controller
LawnCheck is a weather-smart irrigation scheduler that works in combination with the EtherRain Sprinkler Controller to control and manage your irrigation from a server located in the cloud. This Internet sprinkler controller technology provides a breakthrough basket of benefits that few other sprinkler control systems can offer, and after taking cost into account, the LawnCheck Internet Sprinkler contol system offers one of the best values in weather-aware irrigation control available today.
LawnCheck offers these primary benefits:
- Sophisticated irrigation control
- Ubiquitous Access
- Cost Savings
- Time Savings
- Less Worry
These benefits are derived directly from LawnCheck's Internet cloud-based sprinkler controller architecture. You can get more details about these benefits here.
What is an Internet Sprinkler/Irrigation Controller?
It seems simple but many new products on the market today claim to offer Internet Sprinkler Irrigation control without delivering the full package of benefits. That's because they aren't really Internet Sprinkler controllers. Here's what an Internet Sprinkler controller is:
An Internet Sprinkler Controller provides all of the irrigation decision making for your installation from a central server in the cloud. Controllers that don't offer this form of irrigation decision making are not Internet sprinkler controllers. Products that claim to offer Internet based irrigation control usually only offer network accessibliltiy and so offer only a small portion of the benefits that a true Internet Sprinkler Irrigation System offers.
What are the benefits Provided by Internet Sprinkler control?
True Internet sprinkler controllers offer:
- Weather based irrigation control - reduces irrigation during periods of rain and cool weather
- Irrigation control based on weather forecast - halt irrigation today if it's going to rain tomorrow
- Easy Setup - powerful, simple and flexible scheduling and easy access. No 30 page manual!
- Time savings - easy to learn due to sophisticated user interface and less maintenance
- Less Maintenance - No clock to set; No battery to replace;
- Ubiquitous access - access from any browser including your smart phone
- Higher Reliability - simpler local controller is less prone to failure
- Better information - Email notifications, Email alerts, and comprehensive logs.
- Extremely Easy Setup - No special DNS configuration; no special router configuration
- Reduced operating cost - low hardware costs with no need for a local PC
LawnCheck offers all of these benefits when combined with an EtherRain sprinkler controller.
How do Simple Network/Wifi Sprinkler Controllers Fall Short?
Simple network accessible controllers perform all of their timing within a local box just like the old fashioned controllers from the 1960s. They require a battery and you have to set their time. Usually these local timers don't match the scheduling sophistication and easy-to-use user interface (UI) that LawnCheck offers because their local processors aren't powerful enough to both schedule and hold a sophisticated user interface. The local timers that do offer sophisticated scheduling or user interface are much more costly and require high power levels, and are more prone to reliablity issues especially in hot summer environments.
Because these controllers are local they are harder to access from the Internet, requiring router modifications or special DNS setups. The products with built-in Wi-Fi generally have limited WiFi range and are hard to configure or impose SSID restrictions. These controllers are also more costly to repair or replace in the event of a surge failure. In addition many of the more sophisticated network accessible controllers still require a steep operational learning curve because they can employ proprietary touch interfaces like tiny touch screens and buttons.
Finally, these network accessable boxes are standalone systems offering a hard to remember IP address for access. They don't provide any notification, logging or alerting upon failure and they generally are not controllable by integrating with a home control system. Lastly, you'll have to manage the time of these standalone systems and change the backup batteries periodically. This type of controller falls short of the advantages that LawnCheck offers in many areas and can end up being more of a management headache than the traditional non-networked simple sprinkler controllers.
How does LawnCheck Excel?
Because LawnCheck's central server consists of a cloud based premium quad-core server it has the power to offer an easy-to-use interface with powerful irrigation scheduling features that can save you money on your water bill. LawnCheck's intelligence is in the cloud so your local valve control interface does not need to employ sophisicated and costly electronics and sensors.
The EtherRain controller with which LawnCheck communicates with is inexpensive, easy-to-configure, and doesn't require any maintenance. There is no battery to change and no clock to set. There is no need to worry about daylight saving time changes. Contrast this with a simple network accessible system you have to worry about all of these minor issues to ensure your irrigation is set correctly.
LawnCheck runs on the most advanced Linux cloud server available.
Our LawnCheck server has been operational for over 8 years with 99.95% uptime. It offers scheduling for EtherRain controllers that are located worldwide. The communications interface between LawnCheck and EtherRain was designed specifically for reliability in a congested networking environment, to ensure your irrigation commands get delivered and run on-time. Also, as part of this system LawnCheck only delivers one irrigation command to the EtherRain controller for the whole cycle, and once your EtherRain controller receives this command it executes the cycle itself, locally, with no further intervention required from LawnCheck.
The main point of reliability for LawnCheck is your Internet service. If your Internet service is reliable then LawnCheck offers a compelling set of benefits to you for controlling your irrigation.
Is an Internet Sprinkler Controller Right for Your Application?
There are many different irrigation control systems avaiable on the market today. Each system meets the certian requirements for a particular application. The Internet irrigation architecture is a relative newcomer to the irrigation industry and makes particularly good sense when your Internet service provider is reliable. Today because of the billions of dollars of investment in the various Internet networks more than 90% of all resididential Internet connections exceed the level of reliability needed for reliable Internet controlled irrigation/sprinkler control.
Learn how to get started with LawnCheck.