HomeKit accessory maker Eve has updated its irrigation controller Eve Aqua with new quieter design and wire compatibilitywhich eliminates its only weak point.
Home automation arrived not so long ago with the intention of making our lives more comfortable, and if we talk about making things easier for ourselves, an irrigation controller is essential for those of us who have a garden or plants at home. However, this category doesn’t shine for the variety of products available, but that’s not a major issue as the only HomeKit-enabled controller (at least the only one I know of) more than does its job. The new Eve Aqua arrives with a new design, practically silent and solving what was its big problem, the extent of its connectivity, thanks to its compatibility with Thread.
The new Eve Aqua completely changes its design. Although the shape remains the same, a cube with rounded corners, the size is much smaller and if you compare the new Eve Aqua with previous models you realize that they have little or nothing to do with that. However I didn’t like one of the changes: they changed the aluminum body to plastic. It is well built, painted to simulate aluminum but it is plastic. The previous one had a more rugged and premium look. It’s not a big deal either, it’s not an accessory that you’re going to touch too much, or move it around.
But the rest of the changes were for the better. It is a little more compact, and just as discreet. The only element to highlight on the outside is the central button to activate manual irrigation.. There is nothing else to touch, all its control, apart from that manual watering we mentioned, is done via the Eve app (link), a real marvel for HomeKit that can perfectly replace the Home app of your iPhone, as it allows you to control any HomeKit accessory, regardless of brand.
Just as we highlighted the negative change, let’s draw attention to the positive change that I appreciated the most: the wire to connect it to the tap is metallic. Surely you have already fought with a plastic thread that ended up being damaged by incorrect screwing. Well now that’s no longer a problem, and that’s a major relief. Screwdriving is safer, easier and you do it with greater peace of mind.
The controller is made up of two parts that can be separated: the front casing and the body that houses everything important. To place the batteries (2xAA) you must separate the two pieces, which the first time you do it may cost a bit, but it’s really simple. Once the batteries are installed, all that remains is to screw the tap and the irrigation rubber to the Eve Aqua, and start the configuration process to add it to our HomeKit network.
Setup and management
The whole setup process can be done with the Casa app or directly in the Eve app. It is the classic process of any HomeKit accessory by scanning the QR code and which does not have the slightest complexity even for those who have never done it. Just follow the on-screen steps and in less than a minute you’ll have everything ready. to start manipulating it. Every time I set up a device on Alexa, I realize how easy it is to set it up on HomeKit.
If for the initial configuration it does not matter which application you use, for its operation you can continue to use both, but the Eve app will give you many more options. Casa is a very easy to use app, but it lacks more advanced options for some devices, and this is one example. With Casa we can activate or deactivate the irrigation, adjust its duration and see the level of batteries it has left. Well, we can do more things with Automations, Environments, and Shortcuts, but we’ll get to that later.
With the Eve app we will find configuration options more similar to those that a “conventional” irrigation controller would offer us, but much more advanced. We can configure up to six different irrigation programs, and in each program we can configure up to 7 different irrigation periods.yes We can establish fixed schedules, or establish irrigation when the sun goes down or when it rises. We will also be able to know an estimate of the water consumed with irrigation. Very few irrigation controllers give you all of these options.
Something I miss is integration with a weather forecasting system that allows irrigation to vary based on expected rain or fallen rain. Eve partially solves this problem in her app with the ability to create shortcuts (the app does them for you, don’t worry if shortcuts aren’t your thing) suspend irrigation if predicted rainfall exceeds a lim it you set.
The ace automations allow you to integrate irrigation with other accessories, so you can configure the irrigation to be activated at certain times of the day or in certain situations. So you can set up irrigation to activate if you’re not home, because when you’re home you like to do it yourself, or you can create environments that activate multiple controllers together, or the lights go out when the irrigation is on… you set the limit
If you have the previous model, one thing that will catch your eye when this new Eve Aqua starts working is that it makes no noise. A magnetic system is responsible for controlling the valve that opens and closes to activate or deactivate irrigation. The previous model was quite loud, which isn’t a problem when you put it outside the house, but it might bother you if you put it inside.
the thread changes everything
In my analysis of the original model, there was one negative point that clouded an otherwise exceptional accessory. By having Bluetooth connectivity to save power (it runs on batteries), the range of the device was limited, and for a product intended in most cases to be in the garden, this was too great a limitation . But that has changed drastically in this new model.
HomeKit, Matter and Thread: everything you need to know about the new home automation that is coming
This new Eve Aqua is compatible with Thread, the protocol that will revolutionize all home automation as we know it until now. No more connectivity issues, since the home automation accessories themselves will act as signal repeatersand the Eve Aqua controller won’t need to connect to your HomePod or Apple TV, as it can be connected to a nearby light bulb, smart plug, or other Thread-enabled accessory.
A new design, practically silent, advanced options to control the irrigation of your plants and compatibility with the Thread protocol are the novelties of a completely renewed product that will make you forget about watering your plants. Granted, we don’t have more HomeKit-enabled controller options, but we don’t need them either. The new Eve Aqua is available on Amazon for $149.95 (link).
- Editor Rating
- 4.5 star rating
- Eve Aqua
- Review of: louis padille
- Compact and discreet design
- Ease of handling
- Advanced configuration options