If you are among the 75 percent of homeowners who water their lawn and garden with a garden hose or drip system, compared to an in-ground sprinkler system, using a hose timer can help. help your garden thrive while saving you money and reducing your impact on the environment. Orbit makes our favorite hose-based sprinkler controller, the B-Hyve Smart Hose Watering Timer, and has now introduced a second generation of that product.
Like its predecessor, the B-Hyve XD Hose Faucet Timer features a Bluetooth radio that allows you to program and control it with your smartphone. The most important feature of the new model is a display and a user interface that allows you to program and control the timer on the tap, even if you don’t have your smartphone handy.
The B-Hyve XD also has a newer Bluetooth chip on board that increases its range, up to 500 feet of line of sight, according to Orbit, and that range becomes even longer if you add the second-generation B-Hyve Hub that acts as a Bluetooth to Wi-Fi Bridge for one or more of the timers.
The new center will also control first generation timers, so existing users will be able to use a mix of first and second generation products. The old center, however, is not compatible with the new timers, so existing users adding a second generation timer to their network will need to purchase a new hub.
Orbit offers apps for Android and iOS devices, with a “smart watering” feature that takes into account a lot of details about the landscape: the type of soil, the plants you water, whether the garden is mainly in the sun or in the shade. , the slope of the area where you have placed your sprinklers, and more.
However, the new products are not compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem and do not have Thread radios on board (you may want to consider the Eve Aqua hose-based irrigation timer if you are looking for HomeKit and Thread compatibility. What The product is for iOS only; there is no android app available for it). The B-Hyve XD runs on a pair of AA batteries, while the hub plugs into an AC outlet.
The second-generation timer is priced at $ 35 and the hub is $ 30; both are available now. Orbit says it will also introduce new models with two and three ports sometime in the third quarter. Each port can be programmed independently, so you can water disparate areas of your lawn and / or garden with a single hose. Prices for multiport versions have not been published.