Think of a smart sprinkler controller as the smart thermostat for your lawn or garden. It does the work for you by automatically managing your watering schedule, without requiring any effort on your part. By intelligently optimizing your in-ground irrigation system, it can adjust to weather conditions, making it easier for you to maintain a healthy landscape while also reducing water usage.
Having tested over a dozen models for four seasons, we still recommend the Rachio 3 for most individuals. It boasts the most accurate real-time weather condition adjustments and can integrate with the most smart devices, all while remaining user-friendly.
Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller — Best smart sprinkler controller
- Enhanced Water Intelligence functions aid in conservation efforts
- Updated wire connectors streamline the setup process
- Convenient onboard controls provide easy access to manual watering options
- Device emits a high-pitched squeal
- Previous models of the Rachio do not receive the same software upgrades
- High price point
At a cost of $239.99 upon release, the top-performing smart sprinkler controller in the world has only gotten better. With improved wireless connectivity, new features, and intelligent water management, it’s an impressive choice. It’s worth noting that there is also an 8-zone model available at a lower price point.
Orbit B-Hyve 57950
In Consumer Reports’ assessment, the Orbit B-Hyve 57950 resembles a typical sprinkler controller but packs intelligent features. It receives an Excellent rating in terms of convenience, thanks to its user-friendly controls and weatherproof design. Additionally, connecting it to the internet is simple. Its weather responsiveness is not as exceptional as other similar models since it employs more restricted weather data. Nonetheless, it surpassed several other models in Consumer Reports’ tests. The device includes manual controls with an LED display, as well as app and voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Home/Assistant. The B-Hyve 57950 can manage up to 12 sprinkler zones, and there is also a six-zone option available.
Alternatively, a competitor to the Orbit B-Hyve 57950 is the Rachio 8ZULW-C.
RAINPOINT Sprinkler Timer
Think you need to break the bank to take advantage of a smart sprinkler system? Think again. The RAINPOINT Sprinkler Timer is available for less than $60 and provides exceptional watering control through its smartphone app. Notable features include a real-time irrigation log that displays the date and duration of each cycle. Other benefits include the ability to personalize your watering schedule and postpone sprinkler operation in response to impending weather events, such as rain, wind, or freezing temperatures.
RainMachine Touch HD-16
For those who prefer a modern touch screen interface and more advanced onboard controls when an app is not available, the RainMachine Touch HD is a suitable option. It comes in 12-zone and 16-zone models and uses internal storage to manage your sprinklers, relying less on the internet than other controllers which require constant connectivity for operation. Although its app is not as robust as Rachio’s, the RainMachine Touch HD is still a great option for most people, with sufficient intelligence to do a commendable job. It’s worth noting that other controllers like Rachio may continue running on their schedules even if the internet goes down, but adjustments cannot be made without internet connectivity.
Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller
Many users prefer small and sleek designs, especially for indoor accessories such as a smart sprinkler controller. For this reason, we’ve included the Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller on our list. It boasts an attractive design and compact size, featuring four control buttons for quick access to system controls. The LED-backlit zone status update on the device provides clarity on system performance. This 8-zone smart sprinkler controller is ideal for small to medium-sized backyards.
When you purchase the Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller, you’re eligible for a year’s subscription to the smart weather detection system supported by the controller. The controller has passed the WaterSense standard test, ensuring significant water savings each year. With an easy installation process, you can set up the controller in 20 minutes after unboxing.
The best features of the Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller include support for eight zones, smart features like WiFi connectivity and the Wyze app, and a two-year warranty. However, the intelligent weather detection feature is only available for a limited time.
Although it is the cheapest option for a smart sprinkler system, the Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller’s sleek design and ease of installation make it a compelling choice for those in need of an 8-zone controller.
Best Features To Look For:
Monitoring your Lawn with Wi-Fi Connection: One of the best features of a smart sprinkler system is the ability to control it through Wi-Fi using your smartphone. With this feature, you can monitor your lawn’s status and control it from any remote location, as long as you have the compatible app for your system.
Smart Home Compatibility: Many smart sprinkler systems are also compatible with Smart Home systems, making it even more convenient for those already using Smart Home technology.
Weather Tracking: A must-have feature for any smart sprinkler system is weather tracking. This feature includes sensors that can detect rain or impending rain, preventing overwatering and puddling.
Battery/Electric Powered: The choice between battery or electric-powered controllers depends on personal preference and needs.
Permanent Memory: Permanent memory is another important feature to look for in a smart sprinkler system. It saves your set-up process and preferences in case of power outages or battery replacements.
Multiple Programs: If you have multiple features in your lawn, you’ll want a controller that offers multiple programs. This feature allows you to use different watering frequencies and take care of various plants, gardens, and lawns. It also enables the use of sensors such as rain, freeze, and soil moisture.
Q: How much water can my smart sprinkler controller save?
A: Smart sprinkler controllers can save up to 7600 gallons of water per year.
Q: Do smart sprinkler controllers require a professional setup?
A: They come with a setup manual; however, if you want a hassle-free experience, a professional electrician can help you maintain the product.
Q: How long does a smart sprinkler controller last?
A: The average life of a smart sprinkler controller is 10 to 15 years.