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CNET Smart Home
Smart home garden tech buying guideUnderstand your options and find the connected tool that will unlock your green thumb.
[MUSIC] With Techlight's plant sensors, weather monitors, automatic sprinklers, and robot lawnmowers you can learn about your environment and get some automated help to make it thrive. I've got some automated steps to help you pick the right piece or pieces and help you make a smart outdoor buying decision. Step one, pick the right category for your needs. We've got plant sensors here. These go into the dirt near your flowers, in your garden. They're gonna give you info on your plant's vitals and can send you notifications and care advice, helping you rule out all that accidental negligence that's causing you to kill all of your dang plants. We've got irrigation controllers. These, you're gonna put on your wall, right where you have your existing irrigation controllers, but these are gonna be much smarter than that. We've also got weather monitors. These will do things like monitor the air pressure and the air quality. So, if have a specific love of meteorology, or you wanna closely monitor A specific area of your outdoors or of your home, they can be pretty helpful. Step two, once you've picked your category try out the app. With a lot of them, you're gonna be able to try out the app for free, and take a tour before you have to spend any money on the device. With anything that monitors data, check to see if those charts and graphs are specific enough for what you're looking Step three, look up the specifics. Does this thing measure everything you would want it to measure. Is it weather proof. You'd think everything in these Smart Garden categories would be weather proof but Surprisingly, it's not. Check how it draws its power and how long the batteries last, and also check what kind of signal it has. If your device is a wi-fi device, make sure your router can reach the corner of your yard where you're going to put your plant sensor. If your device is Bluetooth, know that you're going to have to be pretty close to the thing in order to get any readings. If you're using something else, like Zigbee or Z-Wave. Those will have pretty long range, but you're gonna have to hook a hub up to your router like you would on this plant link plant sensor. With the right tech on your side, you can learn about your environment, you have help it thrive, and you can make your smug neighbor jealous when you make your yard be the one that looks better. For more, be sure to check out my full buying guide and all of our other smart home buying guides on CNET.com. [MUSIC]