Home Wine Industry Spotlights Smart Irrigation Company Powered by Innovative, High-Tech Entrepreneurs

Smart Irrigation Company Powered by Innovative, High-Tech Entrepreneurs

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Henry Halimi had certainly earned his retirement.

Having achieved an impressive education in mathematics and mechanical engineering, and successful exits from multiple startups in his 45 years as a serial entrepreneur, Halimi had just sold Flo Technologies to Moen the plumbing-supply giant. Halimi co-founded Flo with his son Gabriel.

Halimi owns multiple water technology patents and has sold millions of units through his inventions and innovative products, so going back to work didn’t really need to be high on his priority list.

Lumo team install proprietary smart valve in a Sonoma County vineyard

But, when Lumo CEO Devon Wright knocked on his door and asked Halimi to join him and company CTO John Hinnegan at their new agtech company focused on water sustainability through improved irrigation efficiency, Halimi didn’t hesitate.

“I come from a second-generation water family from the old country,” Halimi recounts. “As a kid, pumps, valves and pipes were a part of my upbringing. I am very passionate about water conservation and reducing our carbon footprint. My whole life I’ve been dedicated to making water usage more efficient, more accessible for users in residential, commercial and industrial installations. Agriculture is my grand finale.”

Halimi, now Head of Research and Development at Lumo, could not have chosen a more perfect endeavor to match his talents and expertise.

Given climate change and the reality that agriculture uses an estimated 70 percent of all the freshwater available through irrigation, Lumo’s wireless, cloud-managed water valve network offers growers a cutting-edge solution through its ability to optimize water usage, improve crop quality and reduce overhead costs in the same efficient package.

Halimi points out that the state-of-the-art system he helped to develop is based on the concept of accountability.

“Lumo’s technology incorporates a flow sensor, powerful microcontroller and valve in an all-in-one unit that can be activated and controlled wirelessly,” Halimi explains. “The system is battery powered and solar assisted with easy to operate cloud software to manage schedules and audit irrigation events. The system detects any anomalies like damaged pipes or underperforming watering points and can make decisions for the user once target flow rates are established.”

Lumo’s irrigation management software, aka The Ops Center

All the electronic controls are contained within the dome section of the unit and can be operated with a single switch. Growers finally have a modern and intuitive irrigation system that provides ease of use, conservation, and accountability through a robust and automated technology.

“Lumo’s ability to use real-time data to intervene on the growers behalf is incredibly valuable,” emphasizes Bennett Fitzgibbon, Lumo’s VP of Marketing. “For one of our customers, we recently triggered an automatic shut-off of the irrigation system based on suspicious flow data. Upon further investigation we identified a catastrophic leak which could have depleted the water source by hundreds of thousands of gallons and caused significant damage to the pump if gone undetected.”

Fitzgibbon notes that events like these are not uncommon for growers.

In addition to Halimi, the entrepreneurs behind Lumo’s innovation are steeped in high-tech expertise.

CEO Devon Wright built and sold the company Turnstyle to Yelp, where he ran a 250 person GTM team. CTO John Hinnegan created and sold Thinknear to Telenav and was an engineering leader at both Amazon and Google.

According to Halimi, such experience is essential to help agriculture meet the challenges of the future through modernization and automation.

“My job has been taking traditional products, making them work better and getting them out of the dark ages,” Halimi says. “From the Lumo standpoint, our goal is to create accountability and make life easier for a challenging industry in a changing environment. Conservation is the by-product.

“We’re doing our part for the largest user of water in the world.”

For more information go to lumo.ag.

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