Smart sprinkler controllers are great products to manage your sprinkler system. The big problem is which one to choose for your requirement. To solve this problem, we did our own research by testing several best smart sprinkler controllers. Though they are all different and can fulfil different needs if you want the best out of all, go for the Rachio 3.
Best Smart Sprinkler Controller
1. Rachio 3 – Best For Home Automation
Rachio has introduced one of the best that can be controlled remotely. First of all, it is a way different from the Rachio 2 series. It has a support of 5-GHz Wi-Fi, wireless flow meter and Hyperlocal Weather Intelligent Plus. This device is compatible with both soil and rain sensors. For proper scheduling and controlling, this is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Nest, SmartThings, Google Assistant, IFTTT and more. Within the package, you are going to get the device, charger, screws and an instruction manual.
You can easily operate the sprinkler from the app directly. Also, there is a nice LED light that runs over the top cover. This LED light indicates the specific zone that is being watered or controlled. However, this is the only controller with a flow meter to identify and report any leakages within the system. After detection, it automatically shuts down the water supply and saves gallons of water. Its smart Weather Intelligence Plus technology does a great job in reducing the water cycles after detecting rainfalls. However, this controller is a bit pricey and also do not provide year to date water usage reports.
The Rachio 3 is a complete smart sprinkler controller that supports all the smart systems and has all the necessary feature to automate your sprinkler system. It is also the best wifi sprinkler controller that we tested.
2. Orbit 57950 B-hyve – Best For Apple Devices
Orbit introduced a smart sprinkler controller with 12 station points. This is Wi-Fi sprinkler with locking cabinet. You can control it with easy to use B-hyve app. It supports Weather Sense Technology and is fully EPA Water Sense approved. This Wi-Fi sprinkler timer comes in a weather-resistant case that can be used outdoors as well. The Orbit app is compatible with iOS 8 and higher of iPad, iPhone or iPod. It also supports Android version 4.3 or above. You can also smartly control it with Amazon Alexa.
Well, its 6 station timer also has two slots for common wires, and this one is not having additional slots for additional sensors and zones. In the case of an app, the timer will not work. The timer is shown over the LCD screen. This B-Hyve timer is compatible with both freeze/rain sensors and water pumps. It also tracks history upon the app and provides real-time updates. However, they are charging very reasonable for providing these god features.
The Orbit B-Hyve wifi sprinkler timer controller has the weather sense technology, which makes the automation of sprinkler system more efficient. It also works well in cold conditions. It is probably best for home owners.
3. Netro – Best For Budget Consious Users
It is a Netro with six zones and remote access. It works with a Wi-Fi connection of 2.4 GHz. This controller is EPA water sense approved and comes with water restriction capability to automatically comply with the watering rules. Moreover, this unit comes with a 2-year warranty. It is fully EPA Water Sense approved and automatically adjusts watering schedules in lawns/plants. This controller is compatible with iOS 8.3+ and Android 5.0+. They are also providing water detection, smart controls with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and app compatibility.
Well, this controller doesn’t support rain sensors. Although it has good weather tracking capability. For soil sensing capacity, you can additionally purchase their Netro Whisperer as it is not having an inbuilt soil sensor. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t support flow meters. Also, there is no LCD display over the device where you can manually control the settings. All you have to control is through the app. Except for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it doesn’t support Nest and Wink.
It is one of the best wife smart controller system. Though it does not have weather sensing technology, but it has its own weather tracking system. It is one of the best for Google Assistant. Also we believe it is the best irrigation controller for home.
4. Orbit B-hyve 57915 – Best 4 Zone Unit
This is an Orbit bB-Hyve’s 4 zones. It comes with a weather sense and manual water overriding technology over the timer. This device is EPA Water Sense approved and can sense soil type, sun/shade, and real weather feeds. It is also SWAT certified. It works easily with Wi-Fi and Android or iOS devices. There is a zone status indicator over the timer. You can easily program it from the B-Hyve app. It is also having inbuilt surge protection and fault detection. This controller supports pump relay setups and master valve and works great with Amazon Alexa for voice controls.
There are no complex systems as well as you will get smart scheduling. For each zone, you can set the sprinkler type, soil type, plant type, amount of sunlight, slope, etc. over the app directly. As observed, it gives an exact estimate regarding soil moisture. Well, sometimes the timer does not work properly on the app as on the display of timer itself. Also, the smart watering capacity sometimes gets stuck when the internet connection gets interrupted. After that, you may have to set up the device again.
Among all the sprinkler controllers, it has the best app and settings because it allows you to set different zones depending on the soil type, plant type, sunlight etc. If you are looking for more a controller with more setting, go with Orbit B-hyve 57915.
5. Blossom 7 – Best For User Friendly Control App
It is a seven zone smart sprinkler controller by Blossom. Its PSR (Pump Start Relay) automatically supports eight zones also. It comes with weather sensing and water scheduling technology to consumption of water. With the help of the Blossom app, you can control it from any remote location. It also supports Android or iOS devices. Moreover, it performs an irrigation valve sensing test while installation of wires to check their validity. Overall, the controller is simple, with not many complexities.
Well, there is a kind of complication thing with its setup. You have to control the device from the app and then program it over the device through a Wi-Fi connection. And, the app gives very simple instructions of the last time it had watered the zone, and the next time it is going to water, and that is it. Sometimes, you will get poor water scheduling and weather sensing tech over the app, which may make scratch your head. But, if you want a simple operating sprinkler controller with no extra complexities, then this may be the perfect option.
If you want a simple sprinkler controller, that is simple to set up, and just you want to control the timing of the sprinkler, go for the Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller.
6. Yardian with HD Security Camera- Best Option With Camera
This Smart Sprinkler Controller is a multi-functional product that is manufactured by the Yardian brand. It consists of the high-definition security camera and the product dimension measures to 7.9 x 2.8 x 7.9 inches. It is an Alexa and EPA WaterSense certified product along with the 8-zone WiFi and the weather-proof feature. With the Yardian, one can prove the change by saving up to 50% of the water that is used to irrigate the yard while maintaining the lush and green garden.
The product allows the voice commands thus being ready to work with the Amazon Alexa for controlling each of the zones individually. The watering schedule of the device can be changed either automatically or manually. It can be synchronized with the database of water restrictions for avoiding the fees and fines. The product with all its features can be easily installed within 15 minutes or less. The presence of a master valve in the product can be assigned from any spare zones by using the app of Yardian. The sprinkler is designed for both indoor and outdoor installation where its exterior is built with the UV-stabilized, non-chlorinated, flame-retardant, and non-brominated material that can withstand any kind of weather conditions.
We would recommend Yardin Multi-Functional only if you are looking for the sprinkler controller with a camera. The cameras give you HD quality feed.
7. Gro 7 Zone – Best Option With Real Time Weather
This sprinkler and irrigation controller product are manufactured by the Gro 7 brand that works with the Alexa and Google Assistant for voice assistance. The product is certified with the EPA Water Sense for sprinkling water in every zone. The sprinkler system is automated for convenience in watering. It uses real-time weather data to automatically adjust the schedule of watering. It can control the in-ground sprinklers by connecting with the GroConnect app from the Android or the iOS device.
The products help in saving time, reducing the waste of water, and thus help the plants to thrive. It can easily control the water for up to 7 zones. It is a smart product and features in one-time, easy installation, thus making the lawn and the garden smarter. The smart controller simplifies the life of the user with the ease of water schedule matching with the real-time local weather data. The connectivity of the device with the Android or iOS mobile app makes its easy accessibility for smart users.
If you are looking for sprinkler controller that can use the real weather data to automate the sprinkler system, there is not better sprinkler controller then Gro 7 Zone Controller from Scotts.
Buyer’s Guide- What to Consider?
While buying a Smart Sprinkler timer, a buyer should notice the beneficial and useful features of the device that enables the user for its convenient and easy use. The functionality of the product is also an essential factor that should be kept in mind while buying the product. The pricing factor should also be compatible along with the features and functionalities while selecting a product to purchase.
1. WiFi Connectivity
The feature of WiFi connectivity of the Smart Sprinkler Controller should also be considered so that it can easily connect with the Android or the iOS mobile app for operating it more easily. The smart sprinkler controller can be controlled by the smart Android or iOS mobile apps and can be operated through those apps by optimally scheduling the watering cycle. The WiFi connectivity of the device is segregated for the different zones that can support for the 8 to 10 zones. This feature has been proven through several kinds of network connectivity tests by our testers. Among all the controllers, we found that Rachio 3 has the best WiFi connectivity. One thing we advice, you is to get the best possible Wifi router that can support such home automation and has good range.
It is best used for the garden, and the domestic purposes for sprinkling measured the water but not excess to the small plants of the garden. Being weatherproof, the device is rust and corrosion-free and so can be used at any kind of weather conditions. This Sprinkler and water controller device is also highly used for the irrigation purposes by the professional agriculturists, and it proves to be a beneficial product in irrigating the fields and controlling the flow of water without wasting it. Due to the convenience and quick installation of the product, any kind of user will be able to use it. If you have never used smart controllers, just go through the manual or some YouTube videos will make you familiar.
3. Security Camera
In some brands of the product, the presence of the high- definition security camera along with water controlling feature also helps in the surveillance of each zone of the garden area. The presence of the advanced feature like the security camera helps in keeping track of each zone and even records the watering schedule of each zone. The built-in high definition security camera helps in monitoring the yard day or night. However, it is not important to have cameras. We only advice you to by the system with cameras if you own a commercial entity. However, if you still want it then during our research we found Yardin is the only controller with camera.
4. Master Valve and Wireless Sensor
The product is smart as it contains all the advanced features like the EPA water-sense technology for every zone. The feature of sensing the weather while sprinkling water and matching with the real-time local weather data makes it a highly convenient product for the users. The voice-controlled feature of the device is checked with the Alexa and Google Assistant for voice assistance. The presence of a master valve in the product can be assigned from any spare zones by using the app of Yardian. The Yardin Multi-Functional is able to provide a 24VAC power supply for the wireless sensor receiver while using a spare zone terminal. Makes sure you contact the manufacturer or visit the official website of the product for information on sensors used by the unit.
The Smart Sprinkler Controller is not an expensive product. It is available at quite a reasonable and affordable price in the online platform. But the price completely depends on the features and functionalities of the product. The Sprinkler Controller product with the high-definition security camera is expensive than the general versions of Sprinkler Controller product.
1. Can smart sprinkler controller system be hard wired?
If really want to hard wire the sprinkler controller systems, then answer is yes. But you have to understand any kind of automation is limited if you hard wire it. Best home automation systems use wireless connectivity to make it more efficient. Just look at our list, all the best smart sprinkler controllers are wireless
2. All weather sensing technologies used in sprinkler controllers are accurate?
If you go with big brand like Rachio, Orbit or Netro they all use reliable weather sensing technologies. However, they all use real time weather data from internet or any other source. If this data is not accurate, it might affect the system. But if stick with big brands you won’t face any issues of inaccuracy with weather sensing technologies as they use most reliable sources for data weather.
3. Can accessories like flow meter be added to the sprinkler controllers?
Yes most of the smart controllers are designed to accommodate such accessories. However, we would still advice you to check the compatibility. And if you are specifically looking for adding accessores like flow meter we would advice you to go with Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.
4. Can you install sprinkler control system outside?
Well most of the system are weatherproof, but there will be things like power supply, wiring connection that needs to kept away from any kind of moisture. We advice you to install the sprinkler system inside or at least away from the wet environment. For other connections it uses wireless connectivity. Hence, you won’t have any issues accessing it.
The advantage of the sprinkler controller system is that it operates automatically depending on the weather or any other schedule. Also, you save a lot of water using the sprinklers. However, there are different types of smart sprinkler controllers. Some use weather data, and some provide you with the controller to set the schedule. Depending on the requirement, you have the choose the right sprinkler. Our list of top smart sprinkler controller has types of sprinkler controllers, so choose the one that fits your need.