Since its inception, automatic irrigation controllers have undergone seven major technological upgrades (as shown in the diagram):
Version 1.0 relied on a timer and could only execute pre-set programs.
Version 2.0 attempted to save water by using sensors, but wiring difficulties and sensor limitations prompted the controller to shift toward weather-based technology.
Version 3.0, which is controlled by Wi-Fi & App, greatly improves the convenience of operation, but there is no breakthrough in water-saving until the appearance of Version 4.0 based on weather forecasting technology, which skips wind, rain, and frost, and greatly improves water-saving.
Version 5.0 controllers use weather data from the National Weather Station, somewhat compensating for the inaccuracies of weather forecasts and further improving water conservation. However, due to the limited coverage and density of National Weather Service, and their lack of timeliness, the water-saving effect still needs improvement. This is also the highest level that other smart controllers can currently achieve and a stage that many traditional controllers have been unable to break through.
Version 6.0 controllers integrate weather data from both National and Personal Weather Stations, largely resolving the issue of inaccurate meteorological data. It's noteworthy that despite 99% of products on the market claiming to be 'smart controllers', in reality, their precision falls significantly short of this level.
Version 7.0 is based on an advanced algorithm that utilizes real-time evapotranspiration, monitored 24/7 by the world's most cutting-edge intelligent weather system. This system tracks actual weather data in real-time, including air temperature, wind speed, sunlight intensity, and precipitation, while continuously analyzing and recording the natural evaporation and plant transpiration occurring in the lawn. The evapotranspiration (ET) algorithm uses this information to calculate the soil moisture content and the actual water demand of the lawn, automatically adjusting irrigation duration and frequency based on this data.
Now, let's dive into each version of the controller in detail:
Version 1.0: Clocked-Based Irrigation Controller
Version 2.0: Sensor-Based Irrigation Controller
Any adjustments to the schedule require manual operation on the controller, which is time-consuming and tedious.
The steps for use are easy to forget due to long intervals between uses. For instance, a schedule catered to the summer needs to be changed in autumn could easily be forgotten due to the long interval between the two seasons.
Traditional controllers lack a power-off memory function, and the previously set schedule will be lost after a power outage. It is very inconvenient to reset all schedules after a power outage.
Few controllers support soil moisture sensors, and the wiring and installation process of sensors are complex.
Sensor data readings are not always accurate, especially under complex environmental conditions. For example, if one part of the area is wetter than other parts, a single sensor might not provide an accurate reading for the whole area.
Version 3.0: WiFi & App Control-Based Irrigation Controller
Compared with traditional timers, WiFi-based irrigation controllers only have the added convenience of remote control via mobile phones. However, WiFi controllers do not fundamentally change the principle of water conservation.
Version 4.0: Weather Forecast-Based Irrigation Controller
Compared to Wi-Fi & App irrigation controllers, smart irrigation controllers add the ability to obtain weather forecast data, allowing them to some degree skip irrigation during rainy, windy, or freezing conditions. However, weather forecasts may be inaccurate as the weather data used is based on forecasts from the National Weather Service rather than real-time data. Furthermore, forecast data from the weather station is only available at the city level and cannot obtain data for specific areas or streets.
Version 5.0: National Real-time Weather Stations-Based Irrigation Controller
Compared to forecasted weather data, real-time data from National Weather Service is more accurate and can be adjusted in real-time. Acting as a supplement to forecasted weather data, national weather station data can be used for adjustments post-forecast. For instance, if the forecast predicted today's rainfall to be 30 millimeters, but the actual rainfall was only 10 millimeters, adjustments can be made to future watering schedules.
However, with only about 5,000 weather stations covering an area of over 9.37 million square kilometers in the US, the National Weather Service cannot provide precise weather data for every specific region. In normal regions, there are 2-3 meteorological stations within a 20-30 kilometer radius, while in remote regions, there may be only 1 station within tens or even hundreds of kilometers. This could lead to inaccurate weather data.
Version 6.0: Personal Real-time Weather Stations-Based Irrigation Controller
Irrigation controllers based on personal real-time weather stations largely address the issue of inaccurate weather data. By combining real-time data from personal weather stations and weather forecast data from national weather service, it can monitor and forecast the weather conditions in your area in real-time. It automatically adjusts the frequency of watering, and it skips unnecessary or non-water-conserving irrigation tasks, such as during rainy, windy, or freezing conditions.
Version 7.0: ET (Evapotranspiration)-Based Irrigation Controller
The irrigation controller based on real-time evapotranspiration (ET) algorithms is like having an experienced professional gardener. Since meteorological factors such as air temperature, wind speed, sunlight intensity, and precipitation change daily, the watering requirements for lawns are not always the same. The intelligent ET algorithm monitors actual weather data 24/7, including air temperature, wind speed, sunlight intensity, and precipitation, constantly analyzing and recording natural evaporation and plant transpiration in the lawn. Using this information, it calculates the soil moisture content and the actual water demand for the lawn, and automatically adjusts the watering duration and frequency based on the calculated results, ensuring that your lawn gets the precise amount of water required at the right time.
Other controllers on the current market that claim to use ET technology typically use fixed schedule based on timer technology or outdated static ET data for watering, data that usually remains unchanged for months. They fail to adequately consider the influence of different growth stages and weather changes on the water needs of the lawn, which is unfavorable for lawn growth and causes water and money wastage.
As of now, ImoLaza is the only smart irrigation controller based on real-time evapotranspiration on the market that has achieved the advanced and cutting-edge 7.0 technology stage, highlighting its uniqueness and superiority over other controllers.
After in-depth research with irrigation experts, botanists, meteorologists, and climatologists, the ImoLaza R&D team achieved groundbreaking progress and developed three core technologies: Watering Duration Expert™, Smart Weather Genius™, and Intelligent ET Master™. ImoLaza has integrated these three core technologies into the world's most advanced Version 7.0 ImoLaza sprinkler controller. This controller uses cutting-edge real-time evapotranspiration (ET) algorithms to combine satellite data from the National Weather Service, radar data from Local Weather Departments, and more densely distributed real-time data from 375,000 Personal Weather Stations, providing the most scientific and accurate watering decisions.
ImoLaza is leading a new irrigation revolution with its cutting-edge evapotranspiration irrigation technology. ImoLaza Intelligent Watering Decision Model redefines irrigation, allowing you to effortlessly tailor precise watering schedules for any requirement, while adapting to ever-changing conditions.
By harnessing the power of real-time weather data, our system ensures you'll never waste a drop, avoiding watering during rainfall and promoting optimal resource utilization. With ImoLaza's trailblazing approach, you can unlock unprecedented water-saving efficiency of up to 60%, demonstrating the perfect synergy of advanced technology and sustainable practices.