5 Smart Yard Devices That Let You Sit Back and Enjoy Summer
According to the team at House Method, depending on the type of lawn mower you have, you could spend anywhere from 7 to 47 full days of your life mowing the lawn. And that includes your precious weekends.
There’s good news: We are living in “the future” and that means there is plenty of smart lawn care equipment available to turn your untamed lawn into a lush smart yard. From robot mowers that will dart around your lawn like an outdoor Roomba to smart sprinkler systems that can track the weather forecast and decide whether or not to water, you’ve got smart choices to help keep your lawn looking green and your flowers blooming brightly.
Smart lawn mower
From a fraction of an acre to a rolling expanse of green, there’s a perfect smart mower for your yard. Unlike gasoline-powered models, smart mowers run on rechargeable battery packs so they’re quiet. You can program them to run at any time of day without disturbing your neighbors. They’ll also stay on your property with a perimeter wire. The downside? They’re expensive, and you’ll want to check the mower’s features to see whether you may need to pay more for rain sensors, anti-theft protection and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology for programming and controlling the mower using your smartphone.
If you have a large lawn with a lot of grade changes and obstructions like flowerbeds, trees or decorative elements, you’ll need to choose a robot mower that can handle them. Residential models usually have a working capacity of .2 to 1.25 acres, with heavy-duty versions for larger yards.
One option for smaller yards is the Worx Landroid WR140 M 20V Cordless Robotic Lawn Mower. With lawn coverage of .25 acre, this battery-powered lawn mower will cut continuously for up to 60 minutes with a full 90-minute charge, and it includes a mobile app, rain sensor and anti-theft protocols.
A great option for larger yards is the Husqvarna Automower 435x AWD. It connects via Bluetooth, cellular and GPS and can cut up to .9 acre. Mowing at a quiet 62 decibels, the running time is 100 minutes per 30-minute charge (The charge can be shortened in very low or very high temperatures). If you want to navigate around yard obstructions, you can use the handy remote-steering option.
If you’d like to avoid or stop spraying chemicals but don’t want to spend hours bending and crouching to pull weeds, check out a robot weeder. This smart gizmo can determine the difference between weeds and flowers by checking plant height, with the idea being that most flowers are taller than budding weeds.
The inventor of Roomba, the ubiquitous vacuuming robot, has created a solar-powered, weatherproof weeding robot called Tertill. Tertill prevents weeds from growing in your garden by churning up the surface of the soil. It also cuts down existing weeds.
You can even watch the inventor talk about it.
Smart soil-moisture sensor
Every good gardener knows the difference between happy plants and dead plants can be a missed watering session. Maintaining adequate levels of moisture in the garden helps plants get nutrients from soil. Knowing when to water your plants is important, and a smart moisture sensor can help keep your plants alive and thriving in your smart garden.
Ecowitt’s Soil Moisture Sensor keeps track of the moisture in the ground and lets you know if you’re under watering or overwatering your plants. The sensor connects to an app, which allows you to view graphs that will help you plan your watering schedule.
Smart sprinkler system
When it’s time to water your plants, you can put away the garden hose, the plastic dials and the fiddly old timers. A smart sprinkler controller can help you keep your lawn and garden watered, while also helping you conserve water and plan for weather events. Today’s smart watering devices change the watering game because you can connect to other smart devices like moisture sensors and your home-automation devices like Nest, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit and more.
The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is a must-have for smart lawn care, as it allows you to have control over eight “stations” in your lawn and garden, then water from anywhere by using the Rachio app. You can set up a custom watering schedule based on your needs and the weather forecast, or have the app create a schedule for you based on the information you provide about your lawn care needs.
Smart outdoor lighting
With all the effort you put into your yard during the day, it’s all the more reason to be able to enjoy it at night. (And you don’t want to accidentally trample your begonias.) Solar-powered lights are a good choice, but if you’re looking for more control over your outdoor lighting, smart options are available.
A great option is the Alexa-enabled Ring smart outdoor pathlights. These lights require a Ring Bridge to turn them on and off using the Ring app, the Amazon Alexa app or your Amazon Echo speaker. The lights run on batteries and are motion activated. You can pair all of your lights together so that when one light senses motion, all of the lights turn on, making them easy to use.
As with any smart home device, you’ll need to make sure you can establish and maintain Wi-Fi connectivity. Having a good, reliable internet connection will save you a lot of time and headaches when it comes to home automation. The more smart devices you add inside and outside your home, the more bandwidth you’ll need to run them all. If you can get fiber internet in your area, it’s a great option to keep your smart home running.
Product features may have changed and are subject to change.