After a couple weeks of testing and live-fire runs, the Blossom smart sprinkler controller has been a very quiet competitor in the WiFi irrigation realm.
Quiet can be a good thing depending on your perspective. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t want to think about your watering whatsoever, the Blossom will do the thinking for you. You have no choice but to let it run free and trust it’s doing the job right.
Blossom sent me this controller in exchange for an honest review.
From the moment you see the box, the Blossom’s design makes you feel good about this product. It’s the most beautiful WiFi sprinkler controller on the market.
The package design, instruction manual, controller unit and the app are all top notch. Seriously gorgeous inside and out, top to bottom.
The teal branding is consistent all the way through, and you just know there were no corners cut when putting this thing together.
Setting up the Blossom was incredibly easy. The box even included really cool stickers for you to tag your zone wires before you remove them from your old sprinkler controller.
I went without the included Blossom Bridge that extends your WiFi signal over your electrial outlets because my garage is right next to my WiFi router and my WiFi router didn’t have an extra port to accommodate the extender. Even so, my Blossom works fine on plain-Jane WiFi.
The hard plastic felt really rugged and well-made when mounting it to the wall. The controller comes in two pieces, the bracket mounts to the wall and the controller is pushed on to it. I had a tough time popping the controller on to the bracket and needed a minute or so of fumbling. But once it locked in it felt solid.
The hardest part about setting up a WiFi unit is doing the dance of connecting your phone to the controller’s WiFi, then remembering to hop off of the controller’s WiFi and connect back to your home’s WiFi. It sounds confusing and it is confusing, but it’s a necessary evil.
One ding on the Blossom that I found was that it requires you to use an Android or iOS device. If there is a website to activate your unit I couldn’t find it. I think they’re taking a decent gamble that 90% of their consumers have iOS or Android devices, but I’m still surprised that it never explicitly says “iOS or Android device required” anywhere that I’ve seen.
Of course I have an iOS device and used the App Store to download the Blossom app.
It’s a beautiful app, and very simple to use. And this is the main crux of the Blossom. It’s very, very simple. Once you set your location and set up your zones you’re done. You never have to touch the app again and it really doesn’t give you much more info.
You trust that Blossom is going to take the reins and water your plants until the day it dies.
And that’s the biggest problem I have with it. It’s very walled off. I’m a geek and I want to know what’s happening. The two shreds of data that the Blossom app gives you are the next scheduled cycle and the last cycle. It will tell you if the next cycle is cancelled by rain. It tells you how long your last cycle ran.
So you don’t get a laid out, day by day report of what your sprinkler has been doing while you’re away at work. The RainMachine has a fantastic app and web site that give you detailed charts and graphs on water usage and how the RainMachine has adjusted itself to the weather.
So I have some trust issues, that’s clear. But it’s not completely unfounded.
I was home one morning and poked my head out to see how the watering was going. It had rained the day before and water was already running off of my front lawn after a few minutes of watering. Yikes, that wasn’t smart.
I opened the app to cancel the run and it mysteriously said my schedule still had 2 hours of watering left. That seemed odd because I have “smart watering” set to 12 minutes per zone. I only have 4 zones, so it should only take 48 minutes to run a cycle. But I guess Blossom took over and tried to water more than I needed that day? To cap it off, it rained later that day.
I know the forecasting can’t be perfect and there will be weird things that happen, but it really didn’t help my trust in the Blossom. A dumb controller would have been better that day because I would have known it was going to be dumb.
I think for 90% of people, this is not going to be an issue. They’ll install the Blossom, let it run wild and be happy when it gets 90% of it’s watering right and saves them money. I would recommend this to my parents because they care about their lawn, but they don’t care enough to micromanage it.
But for a sprinkler nerd like me, it’s a tough sell. I want an API, I want IFTTT hooks. And I really want to know what’s going on.
The Blossom is currently selling on Amazon for $157.99. That’s a fantastic price for a 12-Zone Smart Sprinkler controller.Check it out on Amazon