Central’s Guide to WiFi Irrigation Controllers

Trying to decide which WiFi irrigation controller will work best for you?

There’s no question that WiFi controllers are the future.  As AOL founder Steve Case points out in his book “The Third Wave”:  “The Third Wave of the Internet is coming – the moment where the internet transforms from something we interact with to something that interacts with everything around us.”

Here are some things to consider:

1) What brand / model of controller is most prevalent in your area?

Hunter, Rain Bird and Toro offer paths to upgrade existing controllers to WiFi.

  • Hunter’s HPC panel updates Pro-C controllers made after 2014
  • Rain Bird’s LNK allows ESP-Me (modular) and ESP-TM2 controllers to be made WiFi ready by adding the module. (verify specific dates on ESP-Me older models)
  • Toro Evolution® Series Controller is easily upgradeable to Smart control and wireless, cloud-based connectivity through a proprietary Smart Connect® receiver

If your company or market area has preference for any of these products, you may want to select one or more platforms going forward.

2)  The major manufacturers are keeping up with evolving technology.  For example, both Rain Bird and Hunter have recently added compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa. Hunter has in-app messaging, which Rain Bird is also expected to add. Do-it-yourselfer WiFi controllers don’t seem to be keeping pace.

3)  Think about how to leverage the technology in your business.   WiFi’s not just an intriguing way for your customer to manage his system.  It also provides great opportunities for your service department.

4)  What about security?  Are you comfortable with the stability of the brand that you’re selecting for a WiFi controller?   Will the company have the resources and expertise to keep up with changing technology and the threats from viruses and bots?

Ask your Central representative for a demonstration of WiFi technology and recommendations specific to your business needs.