The Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers for 2023
Integrate smart sprinkler controllers into your smart home and enjoy the convenience of a self-regulating irrigation system.
A smart sprinkler controller, which provides exceptional efficiency for fully automated in-ground irrigation systems, is one of the simplest ways to revitalize your lawn or garden for warmer weather. Using the existing sprinkler system and a smart controller, your lawn will receive the ideal amount of water each time, depending on the local weather. Voice control using well-known smart assistants like Alexa and Google, as well as remote access via the device’s companion app, make it even easier to tend to your lawn or garden.
How We Picked
Since most of these sprinklers are installed outside, you’ll need a smart controller that is weatherproof to be able to stand up to the elements. Not all of them are, so we went for those that are weatherproof.
Access to Smartphones and Range
A decent smart controller should be compatible with both Android and iOS devices. This gives you the freedom to regulate or monitor the controller regardless of where you are. We looked for systems with very easy-to-use apps and seamless connectivity.
Accuracy of Prediction
Smart controllers rely on internet weather data, soil moisture sensors, or home weather stations to predict sprinkling schedules. We chose systems that can accurately process this data to prevent under or overwatering your lawn or garden.
To save you money, we looked for systems that leverage pre-existing infrastructures like the internet that are present and functional at your place of business or residence. We also looked at options that offer decent features without charging a fee for weather data.
Our Top Picks
With its effortless installation, dual-band Wi-Fi, and expressive light bar, it raises the bar for smart watering
It uses dual-band connectivity at 2.4 and 5 GHz.
With the Wyze app, you can manage your irrigation system from anywhere.
Almost Made The Cut
It gives you complete control over your sprinkler system.
Everything We Recommend
Enjoy exclusive weather intelligence plus capabilities like rain skipping, wind skipping, freezing skipping, and others.
Quickly monitor the state of your timer thanks to the three full-color digital displays and a multi-color LED light ring.
Use the Wyze app to manually start and stop watering from any location for absolute control of the amount of water your lawn receives.
Almost Made The Cut
It is extremely simple to program and provides access to timer features from any location in the world.
Who This Is For
Smart sprinkler controllers are useful if you want to put your lawn on autopilot to prevent a brownout. Additionally, for those who want to precisely manage how much water is applied to their lawn and garden, these sprinkler controllers are wonderful.
Is a smart sprinkler controller worth it?
The majority of the smart sprinklers we evaluated allow you to program the sprinkler to water your grass on a specific day and time by creating a watering plan. You have total control over how much water your smart sprinkler uses thanks to this, which can save you money by preventing unnecessary water purchases. Using the device’s companion app, you may easily change the schedule if you decide not to water your lawn on a particular day. The option is useful if you want to make modifications to your current sprinkler schedule while you’re away from home or if you just want the ease of doing it from your couch.
How is it better than a regular sprinkling system
The water flow is not controlled by sprinkler controllers. Like a conventional electronic or manual sprinkler controller, they automate the process of opening and closing individual valves. They are “smart” because they can connect to the internet to get weather information, develop personalized timetables, and notify you. Instead of having gauges that track actual rainfall, these devices feature WiFi connections that enable them to use weather information from the internet to determine when to water plants. Depending on how much rain you get, if the controller anticipates an afternoon storm, watering may be postponed until that morning or perhaps for several days. Some intelligent sprinkler controllers integrate with home weather stations or soil moisture sensors to more precisely measure how much rain falls in your yard, allowing for even more precise watering.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our goal is to assist you in finding the greatest products and making the most of what you already have. There are lots of smart sprinklers in the market at the moment. However, to help you navigate the confusion and locate what you need, our team of product specialists carefully evaluates each product we recommend to help you get the most out of what you purchase.
How We Picked
We scoured the Internet for information on how to use smart sprinkler controllers and read customer reviews from real users; we sought advice from experts; and, of course, we relied on our own accumulated expertise. We looked for systems that enable control of irrigation from both a smartphone and any Internet-connected PC. The effectiveness of smart sprinkler controllers hinges on obtaining the most precise meteorological data available. We choose systems that make use of a vast network of weather stations and the most up-to-date weather data.
With the aid of a smart sprinkler controller system, sprinkling sites should be accessible and manageable without the need for a separate computer. To access the system from anywhere in the world using any Internet-connected computer, it should be able to manage an endless number of sites and controllers. Although the majority of smart irrigation controllers can reduce water consumption costs, in many cases, these reductions are negated by the necessity of paying monthly or annual fees for weather data and/or connectivity costs.
We looked for systems that leverage already-existing communication infrastructures like the Internet that are present and functional at your place of business or residence and do not charge a fee for weather data. The software of the smart sprinkler controller’s evapotranspiration parameters is typically difficult to set up and administer, frequently requiring the user to input up to 20 different parameters to accurately configure the system and deliver the right amount of water to each irrigation zone.
In addition to software that can identify the rest of the necessary information, we looked for systems that are easy to use and apply fundamental data such as plant type, sprinkler type, amount of sun, amount of slope, and soil type to automatically prescribe the best watering schedule. Since some timers are always outside, you’ll need a smart controller that is weatherproof to protect your timer. Not all of them are, so we went for those that are waterproof. Also, the majority of the controllers we evaluated are capable of managing seven to eight zones, and several also provide upgrades that allow for more. Before investing in a new smart sprinkler controller, make sure to verify the number of zones that are present in your system. If you purchase a controller with insufficient zones, it won’t be able to water all of the required areas.
Our Picks For You
Top Pick - Rachio 3 3rd Generation: Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller
Who It’s For
The Rachio 3 will appeal to serious garden hobbyists because of its refined smart scheduling and powerful automation features.
Why It’s Great
Despite having a complex layout, the Rachio app is simple to use. You can create a custom schedule by uploading images and providing information about things like soil and sunlight, and you can also have the Rachio app generate one based on the information you provided. With several complex capabilities and exclusive weather intelligence, Rachio automatically forgoes needless watering. Additionally, with the simple-to-use app, you can manage your watering from anywhere. View scheduled events, run sprinklers, and keep an eye on your expected outdoor water usage. You can control your sprinkler system from anywhere using the Rachio mobile app.
This particular sprinkler could be slightly expensive for starters. Additionally, it comes with very complex layouts that may present a first-time user with installation and setup difficulties.
The Rachio 3 is relatively budget-friendly having in mind the robust features it comes with. You will enjoy the quick DIY installation in under 30 minutes without the use of special tools. Almost all of the current sprinkler controllers are replaced with Rachio smart sprinkler controllers, and the in-app installation guide makes it easy to get connected and start watering right away. Over-the-top features attached to this sprinkler controller include worry-free watering. Rachio monitors the weather so you don't have to, and waters your lawn and garden with the appropriate amount of water.
With the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, your water costs will be reduced and your yard will always look great. Additionally, you will be sure to deliver all the water your plants require with no worries about your plants becoming thirsty. Rachio develops customized smart schedules for your lawn depending on factors such as plant type, soil type, sun exposure, and more.
Expressive light bar
Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence Plus
Rachio Wireless Flow Meter compatibility.
Runner Up - Orbit 57985 B-hyve XR Smart 8-Zone Indoor/Outdoor Sprinkler Controller
Who It’s For
Get this if you are looking for a controller with no subscription service.
Why It’s Great
The Orbit B-Hyve XR is one of the only controllers that can handle a wired, multi-zone sprinkler system while being exposed to the elements, thanks to its integrated waterproof shell. It also features a helpful app that optimizes performance. Additionally, with this sprinkler controller, there are no hidden fees or subscriptions. B-hyve is also EPA WaterSense accredited to conserve water, and your local utility or water company may be able to offer incentives.
The only notable flaw is that only North American electrical outlets are compatible and compliant. However, international versions are available for markets outside of North America.
At a pocket-friendly cost, the Orbit B-Hyve XR is capable of getting the work done thanks to its great features. The app's home screen displays a list of your already scheduled programs along with options that let you commence a manual sprinkling session right away or set up a rain delay. Additionally, the B-Hyve has WeatherSense Technology, which means that the controller will adjust your watering plan according to the forecast for your region. The B-Hyve will instantly stop any zones that may have been running and intuitively recalculate how much watering your grass will require going forward if your town receives heavy rainfall. Aside from the fact that it works with Alexa, the biggest Hyve feature may be the fact that none of its outstanding capabilities require a subscription service. The built-in features include things like intelligent scheduling, automated rain delays, and more. This is why the B-Hyve stands out as one of the best of the bunch, along with an easy-to-use interface, a straightforward install, and a real, weatherproof controller.
Smart WeatherSense® technology
Three full-color digital displays and a multicolor LED light
Long-range Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi
Most Cost-Effective - Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller
Who It’s For
If you want to automate your lawn care but are on a tight budget, the device is among the best smart sprinkler controllers you can buy.
Why It’s Great
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller is packed with adaptable and simple features that effectively water your lawn, keeping the grass green while saving you money. 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 particular weather circumstances, including temperature, wind speed, rainfall, and saturation levels. The water automation functions perform very well.
The drawback is that a Wyze Sprinkler Plus subscription is required to access some of these capabilities, such as smart schedules and weather skips. Except for its poor waterproofing and utter lack of any form of interface with smart assistants, the Wyze Sprinkler Controller stands out as the best option to automate your in-ground sprinkler system on a budget.
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller will save you money due to its magnificent features. Hyper-local weather information is used by the sophisticated Smart Schedule algorithm to decide when to water each zone automatically. You can know that your plants and yard are always being taken care of. Additionally, after installation, Wyze Sprinkler quickly replaces your current controller and generates a schedule for you.
Advanced Smart Schedule algorithm
Almost Made The Cut - Rain Bird ST8O-2.0 Smart Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Irrigation Timer
Almost Made The Cut
Who It’s For
Get this if you are new to smart controllers and want controllers that are easy to install and set up.
Why It’s Great
The ST-8 includes a host of cutting-edge capabilities, including Alexa support, that give it a place at the smart controller table. What's more, it enables automatic modifications that modify your sprinkler schedule according to elements like the season you're in, the local weather, temperature, and humidity right now. Additionally, it is extremely simple to program and provides access to timer features from any location in the world.
The Rain Bird ST-8's Achilles heel, at least in the eyes of some potential consumers, is that it doesn't excel in any one field. It offers all the equipment required to manage your yard with competence. Compared to the other options in this review, it has an ordinary, or rather, boring aesthetic.
A few conventional but crucial capabilities include the capacity to manage up to eight zones separately or collectively, as well as manual control over when and how long you want your sprinklers to run from virtually anywhere on the globe with Wi-Fi. The sprinkler controller won't miss a beat because Rain Bird was considerate enough to add a battery-operated manual backup interface in case you lose power or Wi-Fi. The upgraded Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer from Rain Bird gives you even more control over your sprinkler system, saving you time, water, and money. The ST8I-WIFI timer has been replaced with this updated model, which has several improvements. Improved water usage reporting, bespoke manual watering options, automatic shut-off when rain is predicted, the ability to replicate a zone's program to other zones, the ability to toggle timers on and off via an app, and notice of program modifications are just a few of the upgrades.
Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer
EPA WaterSense certified
Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple iOS 8 or greater, and Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or later.
Automatic Seasonal Adjust
Compatible with most 24 VAC irrigation valves
Care and Maintenance
Different brands and kinds of controllers have different features and controls. Always consult your owner’s handbook for precise instructions, as some use knobs and others are digital with touch screens. Also, the complexity of smart irrigation controls varies. Most homeowners can complete the installation in three hours or less with only basic electrical knowledge. If you choose to hire someone to install the controller, make certain that they are licensed, insured, and bonded.
You’ll also need a weatherproof smart controller if your timer is outside. Not all of them are, so exercise caution or invest in weatherproof housing to protect your controller. Sprinkler heads that are cracked, fractured, or missing entirely can cause water geysers or high water spouts. When the heads are too high, cars and lawnmowers accidentally run over them. Replace these broken heads with ones that are of the same brand and model as the others in the area. When the system is operating, water spurts or pools at the extended riser of the sprinkler indicate the need to be replaced. Digging a hole around a sprinkler head and down to the lateral line and riser is necessary to investigate if the leak appears to originate underground.
Further Reading and Similar Topics
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