As useful as timer-based irrigation systems are, the truth is that they’re rather inflexible and can be wasteful, spraying your garden when rain is due. The Stihl GCI 100 aims to bring some smarts to your garden, aiming to reduce water usage by up to 50%.
Designed to sit your garden, the GCI 100 can control up to 16 irrigation zones, letting it control everything from the smallest to the largest of outside space. Working with existing irrigation control valves, the GCI 100 simply replaces any existing timing or control system that you have.
App-based control, via the GCI 100’s Wi-Fi connection, gives direct control over each zone, including programming run times. While this gives control from anywhere in the world, the GCI 100 is designed to be smart, carefully controlling the amount of water used.
Zones can be controlled individually, letting you change the amount of water that each gets, keeping lawns more saturated, and herb beds slightly dryer, for example. By taking a weather forecast feed, the GCI 100 can check the upcoming conditions and adjust the pre-set watering times automatically.
Stihl has said that the GCI 100 will integrate with other smart devices. With the Stihl iMow robot lawnmower you can see in its schedule when the GCI 100 is set to water the lawn, helping you avoid those times so that you don’t mow and water at the same time.
Stihl soil moisture sensors can be used to ensure that your plants are getting properly watered. And, for more local weather and reactions, the Netatmo Weather Station can be used to monitor the local climate.
For further smart device integration, there’ll be an IFTTT channel. This will let you do things such as turn on irrigation via a Flic button or hub.
Via a relay, you’ll be able to control external lights through the GCI 100, turning lights on using a schedule, a light sensor or manually. Amazon Alexa integration will let you control the GCI 100 using your voice, manually turning on water or lights.
Related: Amazon Alexa guide
The GCI 100 is due to launch in Spring 2019. The expected price in Germany is €249, although UK pricing has not yet been announced.