May 18, 2011
| by Steven Castle
We write a lot about being “green” with energy efficiency, but being green also means conserving water, which is a major issue in parts of the country and the world.
So how do you water your lawn or plants only when they really need them?
One way is Cyber-Rain, an Internet-based smart sprinkler controller system that reduces landscape water usage by 30 percent to 70 percent by automatically adjusting for local weather conditions.
The company has announced XCI Cloud, a green home automation tool that allows owners and managers of residential and commercial properties to manage an unlimited number of controllers through any Internet-connected computer. Users can monitor and control watering, as well as access critical data in an easy-to-read format, from any location. Cyber-Rain also offers a free iPhone app that lets customers control their watering from their hand-held devices.
Most sprinkler control systems in use today rely on timers that need to be manually adjusted. As a result, hundreds of millions of gallons of water are wasted every year because plants get watered when they don’t need to. Cyber-Rain says its customers have saved nearly 120 million gallons of water using our system. Cyber-Rain qualifies for many water-efficiency rebates.
“What we are providing is smart Irrigation in the palm of your hand,” says Cyber-Rain CEO Diana Schulz. “XCI Cloud gives property owners and managers a graphical tool that lets them manage watering from any Internet-connected computer in the world…and even through an iPhone app. Users can create efficient watering schedules – that are customized to their landscape – through an intuitive interface that is easy to use. One of the biggest innovations of XCI Cloud is a comprehensive dashboard-based reporting capability that lets users know how much water (and money) they are saving. We track usage not only by property, but also by zone, which allows property managers and owners to maximize their watering efficiency. We also provide users comprehensive reporting on everything from valve diagnostics to detailed logs of all irrigation activity.”
Residential Cyber-Rain systems start at about $500.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates