For a while HomeKit has been offering support for sprinklers, faucets and other accessories with water supply. The Eve Aqua is a good example. This allows you to remotely control the watering of your garden. We have tested the Eve Aqua and in this review you can read about our experiences.
Eve Aqua: automate your garden sprinkler
Many people are busy preparing the garden for summer. But it does not stop there, because if you want the plants to look good, you will also have to spray regularly. The Eve Aqua ( approx. 100 euros ) is meant to stop thinking about that either. You create a watering schedule or start the water supply via the Home app or with a Siri command. How ideal is that? You can read it in this Eve Aqua review.
Why is this useful?
We have a roof terrace and two balconies at home, which is too small to install an extensive Gardena system. Fortunately, there are also simpler solutions: you can install a (possibly pivoting) sprinkler that keeps your favorite plants wet. The only thing you have to regulate is the water supply. The Eve Aqua takes care of that for you. Since my garden doesn’t look as lush as Eve’s, I used the manufacturer’s product photos.
It is a fairly unique device, because there are not so many water controllers with HomeKit. Since Apple in iOS 11 the HomeKit -support for faucets and sprinklers made possible manufacturers have already started. The Eve Aqua is an electronic water shut-off valve that you can open to keep your garden or lawn wet.
Eve Aqua design
The Eve Aqua consists of a sturdy black and silver-colored block that you attach to the tap. To use the accessory you need a tap (preferably outdoors) with a screw connection. If it doesn’t fit, you can see if you can use an attachment. You can slide open the housing to place two AA batteries. There is also a button on the front that allows you to manually start the Aqua. When you press this, you can clearly hear the sound of gears opening and closing the valve. You can also use the button to reset the accessory by pressing and holding the button for 10 seconds.
The fact that the housing is so sturdy has to do with the fact that the Aqua must be used outdoors and because it probably also has a fair amount of water pressure on it during use. Because of the electronics it contains and because it is a pretty pricey accessory, it seems wise to bring the Eve Aqua indoors in the winter. It also only has a rating of IPX4 and is therefore not extremely water resistant. I wouldn’t be so quick to hang the Eve Aqua in places where it could be stolen. To prevent children from playing with it, you can set a child lock so that the button on the outside can no longer be used.
The Eve Aqua can be connected in two ways: via the Eve app or the Home app. We used the Home app by scanning the code on the side of the product. You can also use the Eve app: the Aqua automatically recognizes it when you have inserted the batteries . You give the Aqua a name and assign it to a room, in our case ‘Roof terrace’.
Below you can see the linking in the Home app:
You have more options via the Eve app:
After installing the firmware update, we can also create schematics:
Attach to the tap
You then have to attach the Aqua to the tap and connect a suitable hose or sprinkler. How you approach this is your own choice. If you have an outdoor shower, you could also place the most important plants under this shower during the holidays, which you then switch on once a day for a few minutes. You can also use a sprinkler with a swing mechanism to water a larger surface (for example a lawn). Eve keeps you informed of the amount of water used.
We needed a special attachment to attach the Aqua to our tap. The tap must of course always be open if you want to operate the Aqua remotely. During our test, this did not result in any leaks, but if your tap is located indoors, it is good to see if water damage can occur if the Aqua accidentally comes loose.
Opening and closing the valve is accompanied by a lot of noise. We noted this as a downside, but it won’t be an immediate problem for most people. You often only use this accessory once a day and it doesn’t take more than five seconds.
Eve’s photos show the Aqua in combination with different types of taps.
It couldn’t be easier. Just like a smart door lock, the Aqua has only two positions: open or closed. In the Home app, flip the switch or give a voice command. Via the Home app you can also set how long the water should spray: 5, 10, 15 minutes and more, always in 5-minute steps. You can make it even simpler by setting a schedule. However, this is only possible via the Eve app, not via the Home app.
When we first took the Aqua out of the packaging, it was not yet possible to create an autonomous schedule. After installing firmware update 1.2.5 it worked.
What would make the Aqua even more convenient is if the local weather situation is taken into account. Has there been a heavy rain shower? Then it is not necessary to have the Eve Aqua sprayed. It would be nice if you could make these kinds of IF-THEN-ELSE automations in HomeKit , but that only works through external apps and services. You could use a moisture sensor for this.
We like the stats that you can view via the Eve app, such as when you last sprayed and when the valve was open or closed. You can also see how much water has been used. On a separate tab you can see an estimate of the water consumption per week and per month. This is not an exact science. The Aqua does not measure the actual throughput, but calculates it based on your settings.
Disadvantage: Limited Bluetooth range
Since this is an Eve product, we immediately encounter a significant drawback: this manufacturer prefers to run connections via Bluetooth. If you want to control your sprinkler outdoors, the HomeKit hub (an Apple TV , HomePod or iPad) will therefore have to be at a short distance. This is not always the case when used in the garden. If the crane is in a shed at the end of the garden, the distance quickly becomes too great. In our case, it also causes problems: our HomeKit hub is on the second floor because of a HomeKit door lock and the roof terrace is all the way on the fifth floor. That distance is too great for Bluetooth. Fortunately, the service works when we get home.
The schedules are stored locally in the Eve Aqua itself, so watering will continue when there is no wireless connection. The batteries last an entire summer season, so you don’t have to worry about that.
An alternative is the Gardena Smart System , because the Smart Water Control component ( approximately € 180 ) is also suitable for HomeKit. However, it is a lot more expensive.
Another alternative is the Orbit B-Hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer, which is sold in the US (eg via Amazon). It works via Wi-Fi, IFTTT and Amazon Alexa and can send you notifications. But unfortunately this one does not work with HomeKit and is a product mainly aimed at the United States. The Orbit B-Hyve is therefore more difficult to obtain if you live in Europe. The Rachio 3 and the Blossom Smart Watering Controller are also mainly intended for the US. The Eve Aqua, on the other hand, is made by a European company and can be found at common stores.
- Good quality, robust design
- Easy to install and commission
- Water your garden at any time, even when you are on vacation
- Works well with the Home app and Eve Home app
- Easy to operate
- Provides estimate of water consumption, both before and afterwards
- You can use almost any type of sprinkler or garden hose thanks to the universal connection
- Fits many faucets, but not every one
- No possibility to make spraying dependent on the weather situation
- Limited range due to use of Bluetooth
- Noise from mechanical gears is quite loud
Conclusion Eve Aqua review
The Eve Aqua is a great solution if you want to water your garden remotely. You just hang it on the tap and you can connect it to your existing sprinkler system or garden hose. Normally an underground sprinkler system with sprinklers and remote control costs hundreds of euros and it doesn’t even work with HomeKit. This is an inexpensive solution to solve a common problem: the fact that your plants wither over time because you simply don’t have the time or desire to keep them wet. It would be even better if the Aqua made watering dependent on rainfall and other weather conditions. It is a fairly unique product, because there are hardly any alternatives to be found. The fact that it is made by Eve is a plus for us, because this manufacturer always makes high-quality products.