Wasting water anywhere is a bad thing, but especially here in California, everyone is keen on making sure they do their part to reduce waste, and to reduce their water bill. Also, no one wants to be the receiving end of Californian’s new past-time, drought-shaming. But face it, we all want a green garden or yard, and also want to make sure to reduce our workload as well.
To help reduce water waste, and give control of your lawn to you at the tip of your fingers, Blossom has made a smart sprinkler controller. With the ability to control 12 zones, sense real-time weather, and give your analytics through their app, the Blossom has a strong value proposition.
Disclosure: To show how they can help with the horrible drought conditions here in California, Blossom provided us a Smart Watering Controller unit which we installed at a residence with a large yard and farm-like garden.
First, let’s go over some of the serious reasons why you should buy a smart irrigation controller.
The Blossom controller can account for current weather and what type of environment it is watering in order optimize watering schedules. This smart control saves water, which helps your green conscience and your wallet.
Timed controllers have been on the market for decades, but running out to the garage to turn off your sprinklers when it’s raining is a pain. And what happens when you’re traveling? Blossom can stop your sprinklers automatically when it rains, so you can stay toasty in bed when rain storms come.
Home automation is a serious life-style impact. Removing one more worry from your life increases your ability to enjoy more of what you like. Plus, installing smart home products is proven to improve your home’s value.
So how does their Smart Watering Controller perform? The results of our first hand review are below.
The Blossom is a sleek modern box, but I mounted it in a garage where it will never be seen again.
Installation is fairly straight forward. There are instructions included with the unit that are easy to follow. The only tools you need are a screwdriver, and a perhaps a drill if you are installing on new mounts.
If you do not already have a multi-zone controller for your irrigation, you will need make sure that your sprinklers are first wired for this. So please make sure you follow this first step before considering buying one.
Before removing your old controller, you absolutely need to label all the zone and control wires before disconnecting them. I recommend taking a picture (I didn’t do this!) of the wires in place for future reference. You know… just in case a label or two of yours falls off…
Mounting the Blossom on the wall is straight forward, and so should reconnecting the zone wires. Then, simply plug the unit into power and download the app.
Manually run or schedule each zone from your phone.
The Blossom app has is easy to install for either iOS or Android. The first thing you should do is set up the individual zones for your yard and garden. You can set up to 12 zones, but the home we installed this in only had 4, so it was pretty easy.
You can take take pictures of each zone so you can easily identify them, and you can even tell Blossom’s app what types of vegetation you have in each zone so it can recommend watering schedules. The app is very intuitive, and should take no longer than 20 minutes or so to set up everything just the way you want.
The only features we would like to see is an actual watering history for times that you let Blossom automatically run your schedule, or when weather impacts your schedules. Then you could track performance stats and react a little more closely. Also, there is not integration yet with major hubs like Amazon’s Echo, HomeKit, Nest, Wink, or SmartThings, as well as IFTTT. Having these integrations isn’t a huge loss, but we always like to have the option.
Let Blossom water your cuties when you need them to be.
The Blossom has some very cool technology in it that is very useful. Being able to set up to 12 zones is very helpful for those who have large and diversified yards. In this, zone control performed well. Each zone can be assigned not only a name, but can also be assigned a picture you take so that you can recognize each easily.
With each zone, Blossom can set a watering schedule based on the type of plants you have in that zone. Called Xona Technology, you can even set exposure to sunlight and sprinkler type in each zone. We set these in our test, but we did not observe significant difference in watering schedules between zones. Even between the front yard and the garden, there was not observable difference.
The most promising feature is weather detection. The Blossom can take in local weather via its Wi-Fi connection and cut sprinkler sessions short while it rains. This worked great. We actually got a pretty good rain during our tests and Blossom did cut watering during the storm. One factor that we found needed attention was that Blossom did start resuming watering the day after, even though the soil was significantly moist. If Blossom can come out with a soil moisture detectors to boost the intelligence of their system, it would probably be perfect.
The Blossom is Garden Gnome approved!
If you are looking for an easy way to reduce your workload and smarten your home a bit more, the Blossom is for you. Given that the normal retail price is $199, it’s a reasonable price to pay, especially if you’re building out your smart home already.
- Controls water based on local weather
- Xona Technology can customize schedules per zone type
- Easy installation and control is a smart addition to your home
- Not compatible with any major hub or system (Amazon Echo, Nest, HomeKit, IFTTT, etc)
- Could be a bit smarter if it had soil moisture detectors