VIKI and the urban garden. How to manage a green balcony in the city

We continue the series “VIKI in real life” and this time we present a garden in Cluj-Napoca, located on the terrace of an apartment, managed entirely by the automatic irrigation system implemented in VIKI.

We wrote a lot about what VIKI can do, about the ways it can make our lives easier, about how it protects our house, about how it ensures the desired comfort and much more. But it is important to actually see what a house equipped with the VIKI automation system looks like in everyday life, so we take another look at our customers’ homes. Continue reading “VIKI and the urban garden. How to manage a green balcony in the city” »

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Preparations for summer time – garden automation


We can already see the first buds, announcing spring, so we can start preparing the house and the green areas for summer. The evenings get warmer and longer, it’s time to revive the garden in the balcony or near the house, where we can go to relax.

We talked about the inside green wall and its challenges here. Regarding the green space outside, things are not much different, but the VIKI team highlighted some facts. Continue reading “Preparations for summer time – garden automation” »

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The benefits and challenges of a green wall in a smart home

viki perete verde

While working at our projects of implementing smart homes, we have sometimes encountered challenges related to the maintenance of some green walls, and today we come up with some practical and useful information so that your smart green wall can be programmed, managed and maintained as efficiently as possible.
From the lush gardens on the roofs and the green urban initiatives, the appetite for the metropolitan nature is obviously increasing. Based on the fact that most people in the urban area spend more than 20 hours a day indoors, there is a need to improve the air in these spaces through the “living wall” solution, a successful combination of design and functionality.

A perfect solution to harmonize nature with urban space, the green wall contributes to improving air quality, absorbs carbon dioxide, dust and releases oxygen.
A living interior associated with a smart solution will give vitality and a pleasant look to the interior of the house. Usually, a green wall is equipped with a water tank with filter and, in dark places, it can be equipped with lamps that support photosynthesis of plants in the absence of natural light. The well-made arrangements are transformed into works of art, into vivid paintings with different shades of green or even colored.

It is ideal to choose plants that do not require much sunlight; there are some plants recommended for plant walls, because they are easy to maintain and are not demanding, including: Epipremnum, Aglaonema, Aeschynanthus radicans, Anthurium, Stephanotis floribunda, Feriga Nephrolepis exaltata, Scindapsus, Croton, Cordyline, Dracaena sp. or Spathiphyllum.

Beyond the special appearance that a green wall gives to the space in which it is installed, the technical challenges that appear in the automation of its maintenance are directly proportional to the “fine-living” benefits that it brings.
Commonly and as standard in the field, for irrigation are used programmable sockets, used for watering the plants at predetermined time intervals (days and hours of the week).

viki priza programabila

Finer elements in managing the irrigation of the plants are the irrigation controllers, that also have a rain and humidity sensor. These systems allow the irrigation to stop when the soil is humid enough, and in the case of the outdoor gardens, the system will stop the irrigation when it has rained recently. But what do you do when you have a party in the garden and you don’t want the night irrigation program to ruin your party?

Then comes a smart irrigation system, connected to the VIKI home automation software. Using consumer-controlled timing and timing equipment (for example: Qubino Flush 1D Relay or FIBARO Relay Switch), it is possible to start / stop / inhibit the irrigation of plants depending on how the home and its inhabitants work, without reprogramming the system.

viki qubino relay fibaro

In our latest automation project, we experiment with our own automation solution for the green wall, because the timing of the watering and sequencing the irrigation sessions are essential, considering the over 220 plants that are connected by a system of water tanks and channels.
If too much water is used, the plants at the bottom “drown”. If too little water is put on, the upper ones suffer from “thirst”. During the tests, there were several programs and watering times, starting with 1-2 minutes / day, then every 2 days, finally a watering program was chosen: 20-30 seconds, one day, then a pause for two days. And the fine tuning process is underway.
We conclude from this experience that the ability of the hardware to be programmed and reprogrammed as easily as possible to meet the user-set requirements is essential for the entire irrigation automation process.
The smart green wall takes the advantages of green spaces, brings freshness and transforms urban environments where vegetation has not been a strong point.
VIKI can be your little gardener, so once properly programmed, it will take care of your plants.
By integrating a smart system that deals with the monitoring and maintenance of the green space, you make sure that the plants will have a longer life and these living pictures will give you the spectacle of growing and blooming under your eyes.

viki live wall plants

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