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Automated smart sprinkler controller. Saving lots of water by subtracting rainfall from your normal sprinkling schedule!
Michael Lehmann
380 Facebook Friends
Ashburn, Virginia
United States
1 Team Member

This campaign has finished and more information can be found at our WEBSITE


Green Rain takes sprinkler systems out of the 20th Century and utilizes modern technology. The system pulls historical, current and future weather data to determine when to run your sprinklers and for how long.  Current systems don’t take into account rainfall or predict whether it is going to rain shortly after they run.  The complex algorithm built into Green Rain ensures that you are saving the maximum amount of water you can while still being able to brag to your neighbors about having the lushest lawn on the block.

Interest Piqued. Why do I need a sprinkler system smarter than me?

Green Rain will save you time, money, and help the planet, too! I have 5 live prototypes and the data from them shows an average of 35% savings off of their water bills!  Did you know each sprinkler zone can use up to 15 gallons per minute?  The amount of water and money saved is going to be dependent on the number of zones you have and the climate you live in.  The more zones, the more you save!  Also, you will be thrilled when it rains.  

Sounds cool. Who thought this up?

I grew up with a number of physical disabilities and people telling me I could not do things.  Being 26 years old and already sporting a fake hip and a spine held up by titanium, a lot of people would probably side with the nay-sayers.  I’ve earned a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, been a web and systems developer, and now in my career have moved into a position where I am in front of the client and working with more real-world application of products.  

But technology isn’t just my job. My entire house is automated by a system I built and is controlled based on where my phone is.  If my phone gets close to the door, it unlocks.  If I walk into the bedroom, the lights turn on.  My coffee maker turns on when my alarm goes off.  No user interaction is the name of the game.  It made so much sense that our sprinkler systems should do the same.  Smart systems are way cooler than smart people!

How well has this been working?

There are 5 live prototypes who have been gathering data and working really well.  I have worked through a number of issues with keeping WiFi connected and sorted out some issues with the Weather API.

Click here to view a graph of prototype data!

You will notice in the above link that the amount of rain drastically decreases the amount of water used by the sprinklers.  If this person put their sprinklers on a typical schedule, they would run it for 1.5 inches per week.  BUT, with Green Rain installed, you will notice it only ran a full cycle ONCE in the last 3 months!

You got me!  Full details, please!

Green Rain has a number of features that make it invaluable to your lawn:

  • It's built to last.  A Raspberry Pi is the system driving the brains of the system. The IO ports are converted to 24V so they can properly start and stop the sprinkler heads.  The system can be on at all times with very little energy consumption. This system is capped off by a simple Wifi dongle built in. There is also an SD Card holding the brains which makes it very easy for me to  duplicate. All of this is wrapped in an enclosure which can be mounted near your sprinkler controller.

  • It’s smart.  It uses historical weather data, present weather conditions, and future forecasts to read the condition of the lawn and what weather is coming. If the lawn is saturated, or if rain is coming, Green Rain holds off watering. Likewise, if the lawn is thirsty, it turns on to keep the lawn perfectly hydrated.
  • It adapts. It pulls the weather results from yesterday and the prediction for the current day.  In time, it will start to learn which predictions are most accurate.  An 80% chance of rain may mean something completely different in Seattle than it does in Las Vegas. 
  • It communicates. You will get emails notifying you of the lawn’s status and why the sprinklers did or did not run.  

    The Algorithm embedded in Green Rain has been filed for a US Patent

Beautiful. How hard is the set up?

You will need the following to hook it up

  • An existing, installed in-ground sprinkler system
  • WiFi, but if you don’t have it, it does support a wired Ethernet connection to your router
  • A zip code

But from there, setup is super simple

  • Connect Green Rain to your zones and power on the system
  • Search for networks on your tablet or laptop and find the access point “Green Rain”
  • Connect to that access point and navigate your browser to connect to the system
    Green Rain will then guide you through the existing zone schedule and connecting to your home Wifi.

So what’s the plan? What will you do with my money?

I need a little help to move this from a prototype to a final product.  I have all of the coding done and an awesome prototype but it will be hard to distribute 500 units if I am sitting in my spare bedroom building each unit by hand.  This thing looks exactly like you would expect it to having been produced in my home office.  I want to turn this into a smooth-looking injection molded unit that you would be proud to mount on your wall.  The brains of the system are there - the design around it is not.  Unfortunately, that is the expensive part.

Where I want to take this

I would love to see Green Rain in thousands of households.  At that point, we will see a significant water consumption impact made. A couple of ideas...

  • An online login where you can easily view the amount of water and money you are saving.  Share this with your friends and compare to other homes in your region and outside your region.
  • A manufactured board that has the Raspberry Pi, Wifi and Sprinkler board built into one unit.

Enough questions. My promise to you

If setbacks arise, I will work through them. I really believe in this idea and am willing to work tirelessly or recruit whoever I need to jump any hurdles.

The main challenge here will be manufacturing and quality control. Currently, I pay a great amount of attention to make sure each prototype I create is working perfectly. I run a gambit of unit tests and do physical tests where I connect it to test sprinkler heads.

I currently build each one and just mirror the SD card to bring them all to the same state. I am not afraid of producing this on a large scale and think it will be a lot of fun!

Please share my project if you made it this far!  If you don't want to contribute, please let me know why!

To show you my appreciation

$20 - Umbrella to protect you from rogue sprinklers

$30 - Awesome T-Shirt to help spread the word

$225 - Green Rain Sprinkler Controller for up to 8 zones

$250 - Green Rain Controller for up to 16 zones

$500 - Green Rain Controller capable of 48 zones

Find This Campaign On
raised in 1 month
7% funded
No time left
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on December 4, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $3USD
    Receive Email Updates

    Receive product updates via Email. These will include images of new features, where we are in the production cycle, any new funding, etc. Basically anything I think you will be interested in!

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $20USD
    10% Off Coupon Code

    You will receive a 10% off discount code for when this makes it to production. This will be saving you money for when you want to buy this product!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $25USD
    Green Rain Umbrella

    An awesome Green Rain umbrella. Ironic... I know. You will also receive email updates. Never know when a sprinkler will turn on next to you.

    2 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $30USD
    Sprinkler T-Shirt

    Awesome T-Shirt. They are the color "healthy lawn" and have a clever saying on them. Photos are below. Also will be recognized as someone who helped start the idea on our website. You will also get the great benefits of the $3 pledgers.

    13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $33USD
    T-Shirt & Coupon Code!

    Awesome T-Shirt. They are the color "healthy lawn" and have a clever saying on them. Photos are below. Also will be recognized as someone who helped start the idea on our website. You will also receive a $10 coupon code for a Green Rain unit!!!

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2013
  • $40USD
    25% Off Coupon Code

    You will receive a 25% off discount code for a Green Rain unit. At the very least, this will save you $56!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $150USD
    Green Rain - Early Bird

    Offering a low price for my first 300 buyers! This will retail for $225 after Indiegogo, Receive the first version when it ships! This will be a fully-working solution which is ready to take your lawn to school. This for people who have 1-8 sprinkler zones.

    0 out of 300 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $225USD
    Green Rain 1-8 zones

    Receive the first version when it ships! This will be a fully-working solution which is ready to take your lawn to school. You will save an average of $75 per year and Flipper will thank you. This for people who have 1-8 sprinkler zones.

    2 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $250USD
    Green Rain 9-16 zones

    Receive the first version when it ships! This will be a fully-working solution which is ready to take your lawn to school. You will save more than $75 per year and Flipper will thank you. This for people who have 1-16 sprinkler zones.

    0 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $500USD
    Green Rain up to 48 zones

    Golf Course Manager or Property Manager Special. Receive a unit that can control 1 - 48 zones.

    0 out of 500 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $2,000USD
    Personal Delivery

    A Green Rain unit able to connect as many zones as you please. On top of that, I will personally fly out to set it up with you and chat about whatever it is you would like to discuss. Continental US only unless you live somewhere really cool on the beach.

    0 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
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