After two years of living here, we finally got our lawn looking close to what we have hoped for. The challenge is, of course, the fact that the summer heat is only going to get stronger over the next two months. Thankfully, B-hyve offers their B-hyve Hose Faucet Timer. It is smart, convenient and it even works with Alexa!
The company offers some different “smart” products. They describe this one saying that, with it, you can:
Convert your hose faucet into smart watering that can be controlled via Wi-Fi from anywhere in the world. With a sleek design and weatherproof housing, B-hyve lets you control a standard hose faucet from your smartphone. Simple to set up, simple to operate, simple to save.
The system I received comes with two main parts. There is the B-hyve hub which plugs into a standard interior outlet to create a WiFi network for watering and the hose faucet timer that can control one exterior faucet.
To get started, you will need to download the free B-hyve app. It is available in both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store. It becomes the brains of the system and lets you control or automate an assortment of different watering modes.
THE B-HYVE APP: With the B-hyve app and hub, you can control your faucet from anywhere in the world. But that’s not all. As a part of the B-hyve family, your faucet becomes smarter than you ever imagined. Real-time weather updates create the perfect watering schedule, implement rain delays, and give you detailed reports on performance and savings.
Once the app is on your phone or tablet, you will want to take your time following the prompts it provides.
First, you create an account. From there, there is a step-by-step process of connecting the hub to your WiFi network.
When that is done you go through the process of connecting the hub to the hose faucet timer. The timer uses four AA batteries which are not included with the product. One hub can control some different products from the company and allows you to create a watering system that can keep your lawn and shrubs green even in the hottest of summers.
The process took me a few minutes and was not without its challenges. While the step-by-step process is described quite clearly within the app, for some reason pairing the hub to my network and the faucet controller to the hub failed the first few times I tried. Fortunately, it was easy to unplug the hub and start the process over. After a bit of trial and error, I had everything connected.
The next step was to decide where best to use the hose faucet timer. Our backyard has two main areas that require watering.
There is a row of plants we put in last year, and there are two small areas of lawn, one behind the house and one along the side. Both of these need to be watered from the same faucet. I could, and likely will purchase additional faucet hose timers but, for the purpose of this review, I decided to add a bit of manual functionality into it.
It is also worth noting that the B-hyve creates a mesh network. That means multiple devices will connect to one another and extend the WiFi network thereby increasing the range.
I connected the faucet hose timer to the faucet but, before doing so, wrapped the faucet in a bit of Teflon tape. I figured this would be a good way of avoiding leaks.
I then attached a manual splitter to the male end of the faucet hose timer. It allows one faucet to water two areas at the same time or, if I prefer, one at a time. I used Teflon tape here as well since I want to make sure there is a good seal between everything. I attached two hoses to the splitter. One goes to the landscaping while the other covers the lawn areas.
I turned on the water and opened both valves on the splitter. No water flowed. I then went into the app and manual set the faucet hose timer to begin watering. I heard a faint sound as the valve in the timer opened, and the water began to flow. When I tapped the screen again, there was another soft click and the water stopped.
So far… so good.
Before I did anything else, I decided to connect the system to my Amazon Alexa. After all, what is the point of having a smart watering system if you don’t make it as smart as possible?
Setting things up was simple. I went into the Alexa app on my iPad, navigated to the “Skills” section, found the Orbit B-hyve skill and linked the accounts. Now I was able to tell Alexa to start watering and, like magic, the water began flowing again. Being able to manually tell the faucet to start watering is a huge convenience compared to what I ended up doing during the heat wave last week. That saw me having to go outside every twenty minutes and move the sprinklers from place to place. Now, I’ll be able to simply tell Alexa to turn the water on or off from anywhere in my home. Actually, that’s not exactly true.
Since the B-hyve system is connected to my WiFi, I can control it from anywhere.
WATER FROM ANYWHERE: The B-hyve Wi-Fi Hub allows you to control your timer from anywhere with a cell or internet connection. So whether you’re in the garage, the comfort of your bed, at work, or half way around the world, you can monitor and control your watering as if you were right next to the timer.
That’s great to know since it allows me to keep things green even when I am traveling. It also lets me water late at night when it is coolest without the need to be running around and getting attacked by mosquitoes at midnight.
And there is more.
The app has a section called “Calendar.” When you pull that up, it presents you not only with a daily calendar but includes the expected forecast for the next few weeks. The graphics let you know when your lawn might need to be watered and, if you so choose, access the Smart Watering functionality. (More on that in a bit.)
The app also offers the ability to program a schedule of watering. This too can be accomplished with a few taps of the screen and, of course, can be adjusted as needed.
If you have multiple faucets, you can set each one up to work independently in the “Zones” tab. Since I currently am using just one faucet, the app only shows a single Zone. As previously mentioned, I think that will change in the coming weeks.
Finally, the app lets you access the Smart Weathersense functionality of the system. B-hyve explains the technology this way:
Smart WeatherSense receives local weather data and automatically adjusts your controller to deliver the right amount of water to your plants. It does the work – allowing you to sit back and enjoy the results.
How awesome is it that you can not only control your watering from anywhere, but you can let the tech take care of it for you so you can simply enjoy the summer!?!
- WeatherSense: Automatic watering adjustments based on your local weather and landscape profile.
- Updates and Notifications: Make changes from anywhere, receive instant timer updates, weather updates, and other notifications.
- B-hyve Network Meshing: Each B-hyve extends the signal from your Wi-Fi network to your entire system increasing the total range.
- App Compatibility: iOS 8 and higher or Android – 4.3 and higher.
- Smart Home Compatibility: Amazon Alexa
- Size and Weight: Length 3.75 Width 9.375 Height 8.625 Weight 3.7lbs
- Power Requirements: Two AA Batteries (not included)
- Bluetooth 4.0.
- WiFi control with Hub
- EPA/Watersense Approval
- Waterproof Rating: IP34
- Warranty: 2 Years
- Faucet Threading: Standard female (inlet) and male (outlet) ¾”.
- Valve Flow Ratings: 10-100 PSI, minimum of 2.5 Gallons Per Hour
- WiFi: 2.4Ghz with a range of up to 200 feet
- Power Requirements: 110V Standard Outlet
- Max Connected Units: 64
I’m impressed by this system and am glad to have it as the summer heat continues. It took longer than I hoped to set up but I suspect that was user-error. Once it was up and running, it does exactly what it promises. With the B-hyve faucet, you can control the flow of water from anywhere, tell Alexa to start the process, set up a fixed schedule or let the smart watering feature do its thing. Besides, the app keeps a record of when you watered and for how long so you can keep an eye on things. That kind of flexibility and information is important if you want to keep your landscaping looking great without the need to spend thousands on a professionally installed system. In fact, a week ago I told Raina I wanted to look into installing such a system next year but, as I am completing this review, I think I can get a system that is even more flexible for far, far less. I’m sold and I suspect you will be too. The B-hyve Smart-Hose Faucet Timer with WiFi Hub is currently just over $61 on Amazon. Additional faucets without the WiFi hub are $45. The reviews you will find there are rather mixed but, after the initial setup issues, I haven’t had a problem. Of course, I will update this if I do encounter issues but, for now, I highly recommend this. Check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the B-hyve Smart-Hose Faucet Timer with WiFi Hub
What I Like: App walks you through setup; Can be controlled manually from the app, by voice via Alexa, via a schedule or by using the smart watering feature; Creates a mesh network for WiFi compatibility; Can be expanded significantly; No need to have a professional installer come
What Needs Improvement: I encountered some initial setup issues