HomeKit accessory maker Eve has updated its irrigation controller Eve Aqua with a new, quieter design and thread compatibilitywhich makes its only weak point disappear.
Home automation arrived not long ago with the intention of making our lives more comfortable, and if we talk about making things easier for us, an irrigation controller is essential for those of us who have a garden or plants at home. However, this category does not shine for the variety of products available, but it is not a major problem because the only HomeKit compatible controller (at least the only one I know of) more than fulfills its mission. The new Eve Aqua arrives with a new design, practically silent and solving what was its big problem, the scope 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 the previous models, you realize that they have little or nothing to do with it. Nevertheless I did not like one of the changes: they have changed the aluminum body for plastic. It is well built, painted to simulate aluminum but it is plastic. The previous one had a more robust and premium look. It is not a big problem either, it is not an accessory that you are going to touch too much, or move it.
But the rest of the changes have been for the better. It is somewhat 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 that we have mentioned, is done through the Eve application (link), a true wonder for HomeKit that can perfectly replace the Home application of your iPhone, because it allows control any HomeKit accessory, whatever the brand.
Just as we highlighted the negative change, we are going to draw attention to the positive change that I liked the most: the thread to connect it to the tap is metallic. Surely you have ever fought with a plastic thread that has ended up being damaged by a bad screwing. Well now that’s not a problem, and that’s a major relief. Screwing is safer, easier and you do it with greater peace of mind.
The controller is made up of two pieces 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 can cost a bit, but it is 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.
Configuration and management
The entire configuration 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 that does not have the slightest complexity even for those who have never done it. You just have to follow the steps indicated on the screen and in less than a minute you will have everything ready to start handling it. Every time I set up a device on Alexa I realize how easy it is to set up on HomeKit.
If for the initial configuration the app you use does not matter, for its operation you can continue using both, but the Eve app will offer you much more options. Casa is a very easy to use app, but the lack of more advanced options for some devices is missing, and this is an example of it. With Casa we can activate or deactivate irrigation, set its duration and see the level of batteries it has left. Well, we can do more things with automations, environments and shortcuts, but we will see 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 within each program we can configure up to 7 different irrigation periods.yes We can establish fixed schedules, or establish irrigation when the sun sets, or when it rises. We will also be able to know an estimate of the water consumed with irrigation. Very few irrigation controllers offer you all of these options.
Something that I miss is the integration with a weather forecasting system that allows the irrigation to vary depending on the expected rain or the rain that has fallen. Eve partially addresses this within 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 the expected rainfall exceeds a limit that you set.
The 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 situations. So you can set the irrigation to activate if you are not at home, because when you are at home you like to do it yourself, or you can create environments that activate several controllers together, or that the lights turn off when the irrigation is activated… you you set the limit
If you have the previous model, one thing that will catch your attention when this new Eve Aqua starts to work is that it doesn’t make any noise. A magnetic system is responsible for controlling the valve that opens and closes to activate or deactivate irrigation. The previous model was quite noisy, something that is not a problem when you place it outside the house, but it can bother you if you put it inside.
thread changes everything
In my analysis of the original model there was a negative point that blurred an otherwise outstanding accessory. By having Bluetooth connectivity to save energy (it works on batteries) the range of the device was limited, and for a product destined in most cases to be in the garden, that was too important a limitation. But this has radically changed in this new model.
HomeKit, Matter and Thread: everything we need to know about the new home automation that arrives
This new Eve Aqua is compatible with Thread, the protocol that is going to change all home automation as we know it until now. No more connectivity problems, 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, because it can be connected to a nearby light bulb, smart plug, or any 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. It’s true that we don’t have more HomeKit-compatible controller options, but we don’t need them either. The new Eve Aqua is available on Amazon for €149.95 (link).
- Publisher Rating
- Rating 4.5 stars
- Eve Aqua
- Review of: louis padilla
- Compact and discreet design
- Ease of handling
- Advanced configuration options