Rain Bird updated its ESP-Me controller with a new look and improved functionality. The new model, the ESP-ME3, builds upon the ESP-Me’s most popular features and enhances its versatility in both residential and light commercial applications.

“Since 2010, the ESP-Me has been one of Rain Bird’s most popular controllers,” said James Harris, Rain Bird product manager. “In 2016, we updated the ESP-Me to make it WiFi compatible. Now, in 2019, we’ve given it an even more significant upgrade to create the ESP-ME3, the one controller contractors will most want to carry and install.”

Like its predecessor, the new ESP-ME3 can expand from 4 to 22 stations through the use of additional plug-in modules. However, unlike the ESP-ME, the ESP-ME3 comes in a single model for both indoor and outdoor use, making it possible for contractors to carry just one controller. The new controller is now also compatible with an optional flow sensor which alerts users to water leaks and can skip irrigation for any affected stations, thereby minimizing potential property damage and water waste.

When the ESP-ME3 is installed with Rain Bird’s optional LNK WiFi module, users can manage irrigation with Rain Bird’s free mobile app. However, the ESP-ME3 offers new app features not available with any of the company’s other residential and light commercial controllers.

“The ESP-ME3 takes our existing WiFi functionality to a new level,” Harris said. “With this controller, users can enjoy faster app speeds; advanced flow sensing; Cycle+Soak programming for more efficient watering on slopes and compacted soils; and improved manual watering options.”

Thanks to a new, larger, backlit display, the ESP-ME3 is easier to read in dark or dimly lit environments. The ESP-ME3 also features a dial-based control panel that aligns with Rain Bird’s other “ESP” controllers, but with fewer dial positions for simpler, faster programming.

“When we began developing the ESP-ME3, our goal was to make it the most versatile controller in its class with features our competitors simply cannot offer,” Harris said. “When contractors, distributors and specifiers look at the ESP-ME3, we want them to view it as a whole solution that answers the needs of more customers than any other residential or light commercial controller on the market.”