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Garden & Greenhouse Cover Story – SmartBee™ Wireless Garden Controllers & Sensors

Posted April 3rd, 2015 by Eric Hopper in

 Smartbee Controllers

SmartBee™ Wireless Feature

Let’s face it; we live in a high tech world. Our cell phones and computers have opened a line of communication and information sharing that has completely changed the way we do many of our daily activities. For the most part, these advancements in technology have increased efficiency through many sectors of our existence. Wireless technology has most recently taken our technological evolution to the next level. The benefits of wireless technology have affected many different industries, and now, the indoor horticulture industry is taking advantage of those benefits. One company in particular has been the leader in the production of wireless garden controllers and sensors. That company is Swarm Technologies LLC that does business as SmartBee Controllers. SmartBee™ has recently introduced an array of wireless, multi-network cultivation products that provide a horticulturist with ultimate control over the environment and irrigation system in his or her indoor garden. Horticulturists are often forced to use multiple controllers which rarely work together and many times cause more problems than solutions. This is why SmartBee™ has developed a unique system which encompasses a complete Networked GardenTM. Indoor gardeners now have a turnkey solution to one of the most complicated aspects of enhancing a garden’s overall efficiency. Did I mention it is wireless?

SmartBee™ Software

SmartBee™ Software is modeled after traditional types of control products which allows the grower to easily set up the system without having to learn any new technology. This software was built from the ground up to conform with horticulturist’s current processes and growing methods. The ability to use built-in presets or to customize parameters equates to heightened control over every aspect of the garden. The SmartBee™ Controller’s Graphical User Interface, aka The Dashboard, displays the important irrigation and environmental readings and allows growers access to all of their sensor readings throughout all of their gardens, even if the grower has gardens in multiple locations. The Grow Tools interface displays graph-based grow room analytics and serves as the hub for all of the sensor readings. Growers can get up to the minute sensor levels and even perform comparative analysis against past garden cycles. This gives growers the most comprehensive analysis possible and even allows gardeners to use the settings from their most successful crop as a baseline or as a preset for their garden’s operating parameters. With SmartBee™ Software, indoor horticulturists receive grow room analytics including graphs and comparative analysis, control over lighting, temperature, humidity, and CO2 equipment plus the ability to customize alerts and notifications.

The Hive™ Gateway
Swarm Technologies

The SmartBee™ Hive™ Gateway comes standard with any base system. The Hive™ is the wireless gateway for the various SmartBee™ environmental sensors, power and volumetric water content modules. The Hive™ is the center of the system and is the main portal for all communication between the wireless sensors, the internet, and the gardener’s mobile device. The Hive™ is the system’s link to the internet service and delivers continuous, secure data updates about the garden. The grower can gain access via an authorized account which monitors and controls the modules inside the garden space. The SmartBee™ environmental, irrigation and power control modules should be used in conjunction with the Hive™ Gateway to create an end-to-end smart network. Aside from the Hive’s™ hard-wired power cord (which ensures continuous power), the system is wireless. This is great news for any indoor gardener who has dealt with a tangled mess of wires cluttering his or her indoor garden.

SmartBee™ LTH Sensor

The SmartBee™ LTH (light, temperature, humidity) sensor continuously monitors light, temperature and humidity wirelessly. A reputable feature of the LTH sensor is it includes a pair of solar panels on top of the unit which harvest excess energy from the horticultural lighting and keep the Li-po battery charged. Sensor values can be used to perform actions such as turning on a fan or dehumidifier and/or sending the gardener a text message alert due to high/low temperatures or humidity. The SmartBee™ software is even capable of turning on and off a controllable outlet or light controller based on the reading from the temperature sensor. The SmartBee™ LTH controls both the temperature and humidity throughout the lights-on period as well as the lights-off period. Flexible settings for day and night are essential when trying to optimize a ventilation system. A gardener is also capable of deploying multiple LTH sensors to monitor specific areas of the garden. The control options offered by the LTH are virtually limitless.

SmartBee™ LTH/CO2 Sensor

The SmartBee™ LTH/CO2 sensor has all the great features of the SmartBee™ LTH sensor plus the addition of CO2 monitoring and control. This handy device is designed to allow better access to reading CO2 levels within the plant canopy where CO2 enrichment levels matter most. The SmartBee™ LTH/CO2 works by sampling the air and sending sample data to the Hive™. The Hive™ then activates or deactivates the CO2 equipment as needed based on the gardener’s set-point.

SmartBee™ Stinger Smart Plug™

The SmartBee™ Stinger Smart Plug™ is a wireless controller for anything that can be plugged into an electrical outlet. The StingerTM is a single receptacle power controller. This wireless controller can be controlled from the SmartBee™ Hive™ Gateway or the gardener’s preferred mobile device.

SmartBee™ Stinger Smart Strip™ 4

The SmartBee™ Stinger Smart Plug™ 4 is a wireless controller similar to the StingerTM except that it has four independently controlled outlets. The SmartBee™ Stinger Smart Plug™ 4 allows a gardener to turn on or off each of the individual outlets. In other words, a gardener can have four different devices controlled via the SmartBee™ Hive™ Gateway or preferred mobile device. This device is a great way to wirelessly control humidifiers, exhaust fans, heaters, CO2 equipment and more.

Water Content Sensor Module (WCSM)

Most indoor gardens use timers to control the irrigation schedule. The biggest problem with this scenario is a plant’s irrigation needs are based on duration of time instead of actual water content. The SmartBee™ irrigation controls, like the WCSM, have been specifically designed to reap the benefits of timed feedings while considering the volumetric water content of the actual grow medium. In other words, these high-tech sensors can tell a gardener exactly how much water the plants are using. Once the set points are in place, the Hive™ Gateway gathers and interprets sensor data and waters accordingly. This maximizes the efficiency of a gardener’s existing irrigation system and, in turn, enhances the entire garden’s performance.

Handheld Water Content Meter

The SmartBee™ Handheld Water Content Meter is an independently-operated device designed to assist horticulturists when spot-checking the water content in the growing medium. The monitoring of the water content will help a gardener develop an effective irrigation strategy for his or her particular garden. Both the WCSM and the Handheld Water Content Meter easily insert into a variety of media and provide readings in less than four seconds. In addition to providing quick readings, these water content meters display two important indicators of root zone health: water content and temperature.

Systems Provided By SmartBee™

The folks at SmartBee™ are always creating innovative products to make indoor horticulture as efficient as possible. For horticulturists looking to purchase an environmental control system or for those looking to upgrade to the most logical automated system on the market, SmartBee™ offers two distinct package systems: The SmartBee™ Environmental Base System and the SmartBee™ Environmental Premier System.

The SmartBee™ Environmental Base System

The SmartBee™ Environmental Base System consists of the Hive™ Gateway, the LTH (light, temperature, humidity) sensor, and the Stinger Smart Plug™ 4. This base system gives a grower everything he or she needs to wirelessly automate an indoor garden. With this package, a horticulturist can instantly monitor and control the ventilation and lighting systems from his or her preferred mobile device.

SmartBee™ Environmental Premier System

SmartBee™ Environmental Premier System consists of the Hive™ Gateway, the SmartBee™ LTH/CO2 sensor and the Stinger Smart Plug™ 4. This is the perfect solution for new gardeners looking to get a complete environmental control package. With this package, a horticulturist can immediately start to monitor and control the ventilation, lighting and CO2 enrichment devices from his or her mobile device.

Our technological advancements continue to increase our level of communication and the speed at which we transfer information. Thanks to SmartBee™ the indoor garden is no exception. When a company like SmartBee™ offers better control over the parameters of an indoor garden, it revolutionizes the way things are done. Indoor horticulturists, just like other hobbyists, are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and the return on investment. The line of wireless SmartBee™ products gives indoor horticulturists maximum control which increases the garden’s efficiency and the gardener’s return on investment. For more information visit SmartBeeControllers.com.

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