With all the climate change debate going on, whatever your view, no one can argue that there’s a need to save water, and for homes to use this precious resource in a smarter way.
Enter a range of smart irrigation and sprinkler systems like the Skydrop we’ve covered previously and now the Blossom Smart Sprinkler.
The Blossom uses the weather forecast and your own settings to provide the right amount of water for your lawn or various types of plants,
You can also trigger the sprinklers from your smartphone, for an alfresco soaking and the Blossom can use powerline data to manage the units, in case it needs to be installed out of WiFi range.
With much smarthome technology focused inside the property, this provides a life line to your plants on the outside and can make it easy to water them from anywhere, or just if you are not a particularly attentive gardener.
Key Features – Compelling Specs
- Forecast Automation: The Blossom unit is designed to automatically water your garden, with the right volume of water based on local forecasts from weather stations and satellite information.
- Connectivity: It uses both powerline and WiFi connectivity to ensure a smooth flow of data to the unit, and a conservation friendly flow of water to your lawn or plants.
- Weather Resistant: The Blossom unit is a waterproof box measuring 8.75-inches square by 2.26-inches deep, and cold and heat resistant box that can be mounted indoors or outside.
- Easy App Management: Once installed, it is easy to manage from an iOS or Android device, with a garden broken down into up to 12 zones to best manage the water supply and the health of the horticulture in each area.
- Cloud Based Algorithm: Inside the rather plain grey box, the system uses Blossom’s cloud service to access local weather data. It collates current local weather and forecasts from multiple weather sources to create a watering plan for your plants and garden.
Pros of the Blossom Smart Sprinkler
- Easy to Use: The Blossom system is designed to be easy to use, so there’s no extra interface beyond the smartphone app for Android or iPhone. It can replace your existing old-style sprinkler control, or you can build a new system around it.
- Plenty of Zones: With Blossom’s 12 zones, it can help manage a range of flora and fauna around the garden, from your front to vegetable plots and the back garden with hanging baskets in need of a good soak to those little rock gardens that only want a light misting from time to time.
- Smart App Control: Via the app, you choose how much water each area needs, and the system will deliver the right amount of soaking, taking into account local rainfall and leave the rest up to your sprinklers, hoses and watering systems to deliver the right amount of water, all of which you’ll either already have or will cost extra.
Cons of the Blossom Smart Sprinkler
- Relies on Company Servers: The main issue with the Blossom unit is that it requires the company’s servers to manage and deliver scheduling information. If the servers are down then it defaults to a backup, but that will be increasingly inaccurate as the weather changes. It also means if the company goes out of business, then the scheduling will fail, although they plan to make remote control an option in the near future.
- Still Needs Development: The app, even after several updates, is only up to version 0.4.2, which is barely an alpha version in developer language. It was last updated six months ago, so progress seems slow if the company are planning to make it special and boost its average rating from users.
- Lack of Data and Features in Certain Instances: Users report the system using the sprinklers during rain, a lack of feedback and customization. All of that plus a lack of historical information is really poor news for users, as the app is the only way of interacting with the Blossom system.
- Does Not Support Soak Cycling Yet: Another current issue is that the Blossom doesn’t support soak cycling where water is delivered in quick bursts to prevent runoff over hard ground, such as sun-dried lawns.
- Lack of Flexibility: Overall, it doesn’t seem to offer the flexibility that some gardeners will need, and for those who want to rely on an automated service, it doesn’t seem to master that particularly well either.
Final Recommendation – Ready for Market?
It would be hard to say “don’t buy this” without an extensive period of testing, but there seem to be enough issues to make potential buyers have a serious think about picking the Blossom system over one of the other rivals. In particular, I liked the Rachio IRO a bit better in this comparison.
The concept of basing watering patterns based on the weather seems random at best, particularly considering the highly variable weather.
See here for deals. Some home users may consider picking it up, just to try. However, other systems, while more expensive offer smarter looking control panels rather than leaving it to your smartphone.
If you feel a smart home system should have a cool looking screen, then that counts against the Blossom. But if you’re happy controlling your world from a smartphone, then that may not be an issue.
So, there are plenty of question marks over the Blossom system as a whole, and the developers seem slow to fixing the issues voiced by users. Considering all that, perhaps you should put off buying one until things have improved or there is a clearer view of the contenders on the market.
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