Plant sensors: The most desired smart garden technology

Naomi Aharony of Faraway Furniture

In the northern Hemisphere, the summer is nearly upon us. With that comes the perfect incentive to clean the garden and facilitate a more pleasurable outdoor environment for those all-important summer BBQ’s and gatherings.

Cleaning and maintaining the garden though, does not always present itself as an easy task. It can often end up being tedious and time-consuming. Fortunately, with the development of smart technology specifically for the garden, these products have the real potential to make gardening more efficient and less stressful. Interested in smart garden technology, outdoor furniture specialists recently surveyed 1,524 British homeowners and renters with gardens to identify the smart garden products that most appeal to them.

Faraway Furniture found that a ‘plant sensor’ (71%) is the smart garden device which has most captured the interest of Brits. Perhaps unsurprising, given the depth of data (e.g. soil moisture, fertiliser levels, light intensity etc.) they can transmit on plants and their surroundings to a dedicated app by simply placing it into the soil. Consequently, enabling individuals to acquire the information needed to better look after their plants.

Thereafter, ‘smart sprinklers’ (66%) ranked second. These sprinklers replace the controller of any existing irrigation system and utilise weather reports to create an optimal watering schedule for the garden. Also, beneficially reducing any unnecessary water usage, as they will never run in conjunction with rainy weather conditions.

Respondents placed ‘smart weather station’ (58%) in third spot. A smart weather station can be kept outdoors to relay real-time data to a supported app on aspects such as temperature, humidity, wind speed/direction, soil moisture and CO2 levels.

In fourth came ‘smart outdoor lights’ (53%) – where multiple functions (e.g. brightness, colours, on/off timings) of these smart light units/bulbs can be controlled at any time and place through an app on a smartphone or tablet.

Robot lawnmower – which can cut grass without human assistance within a set boundary established by wires hooked alongside the sides of the lawn – was in fifth position at 47%.

Contrastingly, a ‘weather-resistant Bluetooth speaker disguised as a rock’ (35%) garnered the least enthusiasm among Brits. Slightly above, more took a fancy to a ‘solar LED lights parasol’. With 42% wanting the outdoor umbrella – which uses electricity generated from the solar panel situated at the top of it to charge its control mechanism and therefore, enable functions like the LED lights underneath the canopy.

Additionally, Faraway Furniture sought to find out the main factors which would influence the decision process of Brits to purchase a smart garden product. The results showcased the following:

1) Price of smart garden product – 32%

2) Ease of use/understanding smart garden product features/functions – 26%

3) Build quality of smart garden product (e.g. weather durability etc.) – 20%

4) Range of smart garden product features/functions – 14%

5) Level of post-purchase smart garden product support (e.g. warranty, care tips, parts replacement etc.) – 8%

Naomi Aharony, managing director of Faraway Furniture comments: “Smart technology has already revolutionised the way Brits live in their homes. So, it’s only natural the technology is transitioning to make waves in the outdoor space. The current products available on the market, are nothing short of exciting.”

“Aiming to simplify the effort individuals must go through to sufficiently maintain and improve different parts of their garden. The encouraging takeaway from this research is that Brits already have a good awareness of the current products and are keen to experience them. As more innovative products become available and prices more competitive, the smart garden market will surely thrive”.

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