Top critical review
17 people found this helpful
Could have been nice but too little, too late and too expensive.
on September 30, 2015
UPDATE 9/5/16 GreenIQ was ambitious to be one of the first to market with a irrigation controller but they just didn't take the time to examine what works with traditional irrigation controllers and then integrate the features with smart control wifi. They have added features over time but unfortunately it is just a terribly executed effort. Now there are other much more feature robust controllers at far lower prices and far better designed with common sense, customer service and execution.
OLD: Don't buy this product. GreenIQ says wait for their next gen product if you want to get the functionality they advertise.
I was very excited to finally get this product as I have been waiting for a legitimate irrigation control system that would be better than the poor offerings that were on the market. It looked like Rachio and GreenIQ were the main contenders. I went with GreenIQ because it can also conrtol garden lighting whereas the other options didn't have this integration.
The unit was relatively easy to install being my first job in life was an irrigation system installer and my 2nd job was a Nuclear reactor electrician. To get the system setup for wireless use (which will probably be 99% of the installs because I doubt anyone has a cat-5 plug near where their current irrigation timer is installed) you have to hard plug into a network that is near enough to your wifi access point so you can get the inital wireless connection.
Then you go to your install site and wire it into your valve wiring. Instead of including a screw panel connection where you can quickly slide in each control wire and screw in to secure, which is included in even the cheapest $15 irrigation controller, you have a hardwired, unstripped pigtail with very fragile low gauge unstripped wire. So you have to strip the wire and then hardwire them to your control valve wire. Then you realize you probably need to take the extra time to make quick connectors (which are difficult when you have such small gauge wires) because your network needed to be reset or upgraded and your settings change, requiring you to disconnect your greenIQ box and take it back to a computer to wired ethernet and reestablish network connection to then go back and reinstall again.
After getting it hooked up and running the app it turns out that it is not a polished app but just a webview interface. It's not terrible but it's not a great UI/UX either, so it's marginally acceptable but should be better for a $250 product in the new growing smarthings commodity market.
For me the biggest disappointment was to see that I had to order an add-on to be able to control my landscape lighting. They point to a $19 relay to be ordered from their website. PITA but I figured all I would have to do is connect the power wires to the relay and then plug in the control wire. So really $270 to do what it says on the marketing materials. Unfortunately when I got my $19 relay it was just a simple $5 Omron MY2N relay (that you can get from any electronics retailer) with no installation instructions to be found. The only guidance was a simple generic relay schematic, and a warning to only have a qualified electrician to install. So now you need to research the pinouts for the relay order a special socket mount to run your heavy gague power wire and small gauge control wire then assemble the circuit or pay an electrican which adds at least $75 if they only charge for a service call. So actually this unit costs at least $350 or more to work as advertised.
When I made an inquiry to GreenIQ they just said thanks for the feedback, we will consider this for our next gen product. So I guess they are recommending you wait. So until then, IMO, buy something else.