Skydrop Waters Smarter, Not Harder

If you have a home, then you probably have a lawn. And if you have a lawn then you probably have an irrigation system. Even with programming and some crude scheduling, these are dumb devices that essentially haven't been changed or seen any real technological updates in years and just run until you remember to tell them to stop. I can’t tell you how many times I wake up to hear my sprinkler system running as it competes with a massive South Carolina rainstorm. Or how I try and remind myself to turn the system off for winter – and back on for summer – but inevitably forget to do it until multiple cycles into the new season. Fortunately, technology in the form of Skydrop is coming to bring some intelligence and Internet control to irrigation controllers.

The Skydrop irrigation system looks to answer the simple question, “Why water if you don’t have to?” It does this by analyzing real-time weather patterns, knowing the soil and slope type, and whether it is a shady or sunny location to know exactly when to and when not to water.

Visually the Skydrop looks really cool, with a ring design that is reminiscent of Nest. (In fact, the company is in plans with multiple integration companies, and expects to announce Nest integration very shortly.) A light around the ring glows green when in standby and lights blue when running. The display shows the next estimated watering time as well as local weather and makes it incredibly easy to check and change watering schedules. Of course, an iOS and Android app and web browser allows you full control from anywhere in the world.

The Skydrop base controller ($299) will handle 8-zone irrigation systems, and the Skydrop Expansion ($50) adds an additional 8-zones and two ports for adding things like flow or rain sensors. The new Skydrop Link ($99) solves Wi-Fi range limitations and offers range measures in miles – yes, miles – and can link an unlimited number of remote zones, perfect for a commercial application like a golf course.

The next time you’re lying in bed listening to both the rain and your sprinklers running, think Skydrop…