One of the simplest ways to revitalize your lawn or garden for warmer weather is with a smart sprinkler controller, which provides contemporary convenience for fully automating your in-ground irrigation system. Based on the local weather, a smart controller works with your existing sprinkler system to automatically water the lawn according to its needs each time. You have even more gardening options thanks to additional features like voice control with well-known smart assistants like Alexa and Google and remote access via the device’s companion app.
Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers 2023
Smart sprinkler controllers are a must-have for any gardener who wants to save water while maintaining the appearance of their garden. These controllers are programmed to adjust the watering schedule based on weather, temperature, and humidity, ensuring that your plants receive the appropriate water at the proper time.
One of the best features of smart sprinkler controllers is the ability to control them remotely via a mobile app or web-based interface. This means you can change the watering schedule or turn off the system from the comfort of your home.
Best smart sprinkler controllers also include a number of features that make them even easier to use. Some systems include weather forecasting, allowing you to adjust your watering schedule based on the weather. Others include soil moisture sensors that detect when your plants require water and adjust the watering schedule accordingly.
Another advantage of smart sprinkler controllers is that they can reduce your water bill. These systems are designed to use water more efficiently, so you won’t waste water or over-water your plants. This can result in substantial savings over time.
This article will cover the best smart sprinkler controllers available, their features, and how to pick the best one for your garden. Continue reading to learn how smart sprinkler controllers can save you time, money, and water while keeping your garden looking great.
Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
- Easy Installation
- Smart Home Integration
- 8 Zone Controller Style
- Plastic Material
Our current top pick, the second-generation Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, is very user-friendly and doesn’t require much installation skill.
The model we examined allows for management over 8 zones, also known as “stations,” although another model can support up to double that number. The connections with Nest, Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, and Apple HomeKit will be welcomed by fans of smart homes. Even more IFTTT recipes are available to further customize your sprinkler.
Despite having a complex layout, the Rachio app is simple to use. You may create a custom schedule by uploading images and providing information about things like soils and sunlight. You can also have the Rachio app generate one based on the information you provided.
We selected the Flexible Daily schedule option when we let Rachio 3 decide the watering schedule. This option uses open weather data to calculate the soil moisture based on the answers you provided. Additional features include Smart Cycle, which divides watering hours into shorter, more frequent cycles to avoid a runoff, and Weather Intelligence, which offers the option to immediately skip a session if rain or strong wind is forecast. You can choose to sync the Rachio 3 with a personal weather station, such as the Netatmo, for more precise data.
The Rachio 3 has the most functionality and is also the most user-friendly. The Rachio 3 will appeal to serious garden hobbyists because of its refined, smart scheduling and powerful automation features.
Orbit Smart Sprinkler Controller
- Easy to Install
- Affordable Controller for a Single Hose/Sprinkler
- Monitor Water Usage with an App
- WeatherSense Certified
To benefit from the convenience of a smart sprinkler controller, you don’t need to spend a lot of money. The Orbit 21004 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler is intended to be used in conjunction with a standard hose. While it only manages a single hose, you can add an Orbit controller to each head of your external faucet and a multiple-faucet sillcock for additional watering options.
This reasonably priced controller is also WeatherSense certified, so it will adapt watering to the local weather conditions at the time and collect data regarding watering regulations. Additionally, you can adjust the program to account for site characteristics, including whether your yard slopes and soil and grass types. Keep an eye on your water usage on a smart device and get notifications.
- Intuitive Weather Features
- Easy Setup Process
- Extra Station for Master Valve
- 24 Volts Voltages
Netro Sprite is a fully automatic Wi-Fi-enabled smart sprinkler controller that is one of the best smart sprinkler controllers. Unlike most others, the Sprite does not require you to dedicate one of the included six or twelve stations (control zones) to a master valve. Because using one of your stations for the master valve reduces the number of stations available for watering, we appreciate the addition of an extra station for this purpose. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant, allowing you to manage your sprinkler system hands-free.
The Sprite collects local weather data from sources like Weather Underground, NOAA, and The Weather Channel, like the majority of the controllers we tested, and requests details about your lawn (such as soil type, plant kind, and amount of light and shade) as you go through the app setup. It is a clever little controller that will design a bespoke schedule based on previous rain and projected precipitation using the yard data and local meteorological information. The self-learning capabilities of the EPA WaterSense certified controller provide a personalized watering schedule for your yard while considering regional watering limits and regulations.
The Netro Sprite setup process is easy to understand. The app guides the majority of the setup, and both the Android and iOS apps operated brilliantly both remotely and over Wi-Fi (a 2.4 GHz connection was necessary).
LinkTap G2 Smart Sprinkler Controller
- Easy to Install
- In-Hose Water Controller
- Alerts Users to Problems
- Adjusts Watering Based on Weather Data
If using a conventional garden hose to water, consider the multipurpose LinkTap G2 Smart Sprinkler Controller, which modifies watering schedules based on weather information. If an issue arises, such as a unit falling, a water shutoff, or a broken valve enabling water to flood out, it will notify you. You can set up the app to send an email notice to a relative or neighbor when you’re out of town.
You can see 90 days’ worth of water usage, and the setup is made simple with the user-friendly app. To calculate how much money is saved by watering, input the per-gallon rate from your water bills.
B-Hyve XR Smart Sprinkler Timer
- Rated for Outdoor Use
- Works with Alexa
- 110 Volts Voltage
- 4 Pounds Weight
Because of its built-in waterproof case, the Orbit B-Hyve XR has a useful app that optimizes performance and is one of the only controllers in our guide that can control a wired, multi-zone sprinkler system while being exposed to the elements. Furthermore, while this isn’t a measurable feature, this thing just looks serious.
The app’s home screen displays your current scheduled programs and buttons for setting a rain delay (which temporarily pauses watering for a set amount of time) and immediately starting a manual watering session. The B-Hyve also has WeatherSense Technology, which means that the controller will adjust your watering schedule based on the weather in your area. If your town gets a lot of rain, the B-Hyve will automatically turn off any zones that were running and instinctively recalculate how much water your grass will need in the future.
Aside from Alexa compatibility, perhaps the best feature of the B-Hyve is that none of its stellar features are hidden behind a paid subscription plan. Automatic rain delays, smart scheduling, and other features are all included out of the box.
RainMachine Pro-16 Touch Irrigation Controller
- 16-Zone Control
- Large Color Touch-Screen Display
- WaterSense Certified
- Gathers Weather Data
The RainMachine Pro-16 Cloud Independent Irrigation Controller is an easy-to-use controller with a responsive touch-screen display that allows you to view water usage and set a schedule right from the unit as well as from your smart device. Simply open the RainMachine controller’s cover to see the upcoming watering schedule based on the weather forecast in your area.
The 16-zone RainMachine is WaterSense certified, so you can be confident that you’re conserving as much water as possible while still allowing your lawn to stay lush and green. The controller is Alexa-compatible and can collect weather data from national weather stations or even your own private weather station and save it locally.
Wyze Sprinkler Controller
- Simple Setup
- Hands-Off Functionality
- Fully Customizable
- 6 Ounces Weight
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller is packed with customizable and user-friendly features that water your lawn efficiently, keeping it green while saving you money. We used the Wyze Sprinkler Controller for nearly a year before writing our review, and after nearly 365 days of hands-on experience, we believe it is one of the best smart sprinkler controllers you can buy if you want to automate your lawn care.
In the Wyze app, controls for each of the eight watering zones can be configured. This is where you may choose to automatically operate the sprinklers only when necessary or set fixed watering schedules (based on local weather data). Wyze can also be programmed to forgo watering in response to weather conditions, including temperature, wind speed, rainfall, and saturation levels. The water automation functions performed well during each of our testing.
The drawback is that a Wyze Sprinkler Plus subscription is required to access some of these capabilities, such as smart schedules and weather skips. The plan costs $10 per year, which is a modest fee to pay for automatic watering but is nevertheless an additional factor to consider.
We once had a situation where the controller mysteriously lost power, but Wyze included a failsafe that keeps the sprinklers running according to the last schedule that was recorded before things went dark. This makes it simple to keep tabs on your yard, even if there is a Wi-Fi or power outage.
Another drawback to being aware of is that the controller is not weatherproof, necessitating the purchase of a Wyze Sprinkler Controller Outdoor Box or the placement of the controller indoors to protect it from the elements.
With the exception of its poor waterproofing and utter lack of any form of interface with smart assistants, the Wyze Sprinkler Controller stands out as the best part to automate your in-ground sprinkler system on a budget.
In conclusion, smart sprinkler controllers are an excellent investment for home gardeners. They provide convenience, efficiency, and cost savings by allowing you to customize and schedule watering times, monitor weather conditions, and avoid overwatering. They also aid in water conservation and the reduction of water bills. You’ll never have to worry about watering your garden while you’re away with the ability to control your sprinklers remotely via a smartphone app or voice commands. Overall, smart sprinkler controllers are a wise investment for any home gardener looking to improve their watering routine and elevate their gardening to the next level. We hope this article on the best smart sprinkler controllers will surely help you to find the best one based on your needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are smart sprinkler controllers?
Smart sprinkler controllers are devices that can be connected to a home’s irrigation system to control the watering schedule and duration of sprinklers. They can be controlled and programmed through a smartphone app or voice commands.
How do smart sprinkler controllers work?
Smart sprinkler controllers connect to a home’s irrigation system and can be controlled through a smartphone app or voice commands. They allow users to customize and schedule watering times, monitor weather conditions and avoid overwatering.
Can smart sprinkler controllers save water?
Yes, smart sprinkler controllers can save water by allowing you to customize and schedule watering times, monitor weather conditions, and avoid overwatering. They also help to conserve water and reduce water bills.
Can smart sprinkler controllers be controlled remotely?
Yes, smart sprinkler controllers can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app or voice commands. This allows you to control your sprinklers even when you are away from home.
Do smart sprinkler controllers require a separate water meter?
It depends on the smart sprinkler controller and the specific model. Some models require a separate water meter to monitor water usage, while others do not.
Can smart sprinkler controllers be integrated with other smart home devices?
Yes, some smart sprinkler controllers can be integrated with other smart home devices, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing you to control your sprinklers with voice commands.