On the most recent IoT Podcast episode, Ed called into our voicemail hotline looking for a way to add some smarts to an outdoor water spigot. Ed has an outdoor drip irrigation system that he wants to add automation to through the spigot. This would alleviate manually opening and closing the spigot to water plants and could even conserve some water.
Our find for Ed fits the bill and doesn’t cost too much: We recommend the Orbit B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with its included Wi-Fi bridge for around $52. I’m not a fan of bridges, but this one is super small. And the reason the bridge is needed is because the B-hyve has an integrated Bluetooth radio. By using a Wi-Fi bridge, you don’t have to be near the water spigot to control it. Plus, it adds support for voice control using either Amazon or Google’s digital assistants.
Aside from controlling the water flow from a smart phone app or by voice, the B-hyve can monitor water usage as well. And thanks to the Bluetooth to Wi-Fi connection, the device can access live weather data from the internet. This allows it to smartly save water during periods of rain.
While the B-hyve only works on a single spigot, once you have the Wi-Fi bridge, you can install additional units on other spigots for $38, essentially creating a multi-zone system. Yes, there are other smart water sprinkler systems that work with multiple zones: Rachio comes to mind. But the B-hyve system is far less expensive and you only buy devices for as many, or as few, spigots as you need.
To hear Ed’s question in full, as well as our discussion, tune in to the IoT podcast below.