The Award-Winning ESP-LXIVM Controller Is A Game-Changer
At Rain Bird, we strive to develop the best irrigation products out there. We are proud to announce that one of our newest products, the ESP-LXIVM, won the Irrigation Association’s 2020 New Product Contest in the Landscape Irrigation category. This two-wire controller is the industry’s most advanced high-capacity controller with several new features that make this tool a game-changer for the irrigation industry.
The ESP-LXIVM has four key features that set it apart from other controllers. First, this system introduces an Integrated Valve Module, or IVM, with Smart Valve technology. This allows two-way communication between the controller and the valves. A microcontroller inside each valve provides real-time monitoring and diagnostics, so you can see instantly which valves are in an error state. Maintenance and troubleshooting have never been easier!
Speaking of troubleshooting, did you know that 95% of system errors are caused by wire splices? Typical two-wire systems need 4 splices per module, meaning a property with 100 zones has 400 splices. That’s a lot of opportunity for error! However, with the introduction of the IVM, we’ve cut the splices down to 2 per module, instantly dividing your risk of errors in half. This leads to lower installation and maintenance costs.
While we reduced the number of necessary wire splices, we’ve significantly increased the station capacity for these controllers. With the LXIVM, users can have 60 stations; users of the LXIVM-Pro can have up to 240 stations! We’ve also increased the number of programs you can schedule. While our old controllers typically allow 4 programs, the LXIVM allows 10 and the LXIVM-Pro allows 40. Now, users can cover a larger area with one controller and utilize customized programs for localized needs. No more over- or under-watering different plant varieties!
With all of these features, you might think that the LXIVM will be difficult to use, but it’s actually more user-friendly than many other controllers! We’ve streamlined the interface with fewer dial positions, more programming keys, and dedicated Program Select and Information keys. There’s also a larger backlit display that’s easy to read. If you still need help, we have tutorial videos on the Rain Bird YouTube channel.
The LXIVM, like all Rain Bird products, is a great tool for water conservation. The ability to use more stations and programs lets the user customize areas for their needs. More weather sensors, too, allow for precise watering when and only when the landscape needs it. In addition, this controller makes use of classic Rain Bird features like FloManagerTM and FloWatchTM, and it integrates with Rain Bird’s IQ platform for advanced water management.
Much of the success of the LXIVM can be attributed to dedicated user research and field testing. The team did several rounds of user research around the world and used their learnings to make changes and improvements. Then, they did hands-on field testing with 112 units to make even more refinements, ultimately resulting in the award-winning product available today.
The LXIVM controller is the product of years of work by Amar Thiraviam, the Product Manager, along with a world-class product development team. Amar has been a part of Rain Bird since 2017 and has spent most of his time working on this device! He’s proud to have made a product that not only won an award, but that is so well-received by customers, too.
This isn’t the end of the road for Amar, though — he’s already hard at work on the next advanced irrigation project for Rain Bird! His team is working on using customer feedback and learnings from the LXIVM controller and implementing them into a new design.