Creating the ideal system for irrigation that saves water can be a tedious affair.
But with the advent of smart devices, things have changed considerably.
Creating an appropriate schedule can be easier.
All with the help of smart sprinkler controllers. The hardest part is deciding which controller is the right one for you.
There are numerous products and brands available today which provide you with amazing services and features.
But it’s tough combing through everything you need to know to make the right decision.
For that reason we have created this guide. We have done the hard work for you. Below, we have compiled a list of some of the best products available.
We also take a look at the benefits, features and factors consider when selecting your smart sprinkler controller.
Smart Sprinkler Controller Comparison Table
|Product Name||Hose Capacity||Price and Rating|
|Rain Bird SST400IN Simple-To-Set Indoor Sprinkler/Irrigation System Timer/Controller||150 ft||Editors’ Choice$$$|
|Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller||300 ft||$$|
|Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller||300 ft||$|
|Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller||300 ft||$$|
|NxEco Smart Irrigation Sprinkler Controller HWN12-200||175 ft||$|
Our Sprinkler Controller Reviews
Best Smart Sprinkler controllers
Below are some of the best smart sprinkler controllers available on the market today. They include:
Rain Bird SST400IN Simple-To-Set Indoor Sprinkler/Irrigation System Timer/Controller
The Rain Bird SST400IN is an irrigation system you can program with ease. Newbies to sprinkler systems can understand how to set up the timer in just a few minutes. It comes with a zone by zone setting which allows you customize the water schedule for every aspect of your yard. This means you can set it up to water different aspects of the yard during different periods of the day.
You can use the Rain Bird SST400IN in the home, garage or a shed which is waterproof. Adjustment has never been easier with this device. It comes with a one-touch seasonal adjust which lets you enhance the watering time during dry or hot months. You also have the capacity to reduce it during the rainy seasons.
The rain delay feature of this device prevents watering for more than 50 hours. The watering automatically continues when the delay ends. This is ideal for individuals who are away from home a lot.
For protection, it comes alongside a sealed case which safeguards it against grim, insects and moisture. There is also a built-in surge protector which protects your device during a power surge. This ensures durability and allows you use the device for a long time.
On the downside, installation can be quite tedious. This is because it is extremely stressful opening the plastic slots where you need to fit in the wires. Nonetheless, with the numerous useful features, this is still a product that comes highly recommended.
Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller
The Orbit 57950 B-Hyve is a sprinkler controller which is Wi-Fi enabled. You can mount it to a wall or stud and easily connects to any water sprinkler system you have installed. This is a device that works for both outdoor and indoor controlling.
The timer controls and Wi-Fi give you the capacity to control and access the timer anywhere. This can be either on your tablet, smartphone and home network. You can also operate it manually at the controller which is a feature that can come in handy.
The device also comes alongside an enclosure which is weatherproof. This means it can withstand any kind of weather without you having to worry. It is manufactured in the USA using materials of high quality so you can be certain it is quite durable.
On the downside, this product comes with a flimsy plastic cover which can easily break apart if you are not extremely careful. There have also been complaints about the device having problems re-connecting to the Wi-Fi. This is not the case for everyone and it still remains a product that is sure to give you great value for your money spent.
Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio WiFi Smart is the 2nd generation controller produced by Rachio. It comes in the 16 and 8 zone models and if you need to control extra zones, you can add an extra device.
This device allows you regulate the sprinkler from any location using its responsive application. The Rachio WiFi Smartlets you connect to other smart devices in your home. Some of these include Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Nest. All of these come with diverse control options.
It has the capacity to respond to weather conditions and forecasts flawlessly. In comparison to the previous edition, there is a transformation in voice controls and designs.
This model has the ability to make adjustments to the water amount with accuracy. This is to create specific plans suited to the specific requirements of your ground. This aids in minimizing your water bill and also help you save funds.
One of the drawbacks of this model is that the automatic weather condition features can only work with a Wi-Fi connection. It does not also have local control when the Wi-Fi is not running but schedules already programmed would still function effectively.
If you live in a location without any Wi-Fi downtime, you are most likely never going to encounter these hassles. With the features you stand to benefit from this product, it is one that is worth having a look at during your next purchase.
Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Netro Smart Sprinkleris a device that can adjust to the weather changes in your locality. It then optimizes watering schedules automatically. This is a feature that can aid in saving you money in the long run and also reducing your water bills.
With the Netro application, you can create a customized schedule using your instructions. It also complies automatically with the water conservation regulation in your locality. You can monitor the irrigation system from any location and have a detailed image of your water consumption.
The device comes with wireless connectivity which means you can set it up in any area of your home. Its mobile application works on both phones and tablets running on Andriod 5.0+ and iOS 8.3+ flawlessly.
On the downside, this device only gives you 60 Minutes max for every cycle scheduled. This means you would have to instruct it more than once for areas that require lengthier watering. Nonetheless, this device has lots of features that make up for this drawback which makes it one worth purchasing.
NxEco Smart Irrigation Sprinkler Controller HWN12-200
The NxEco Smart Irrigation comes alongside numerous options for control. You can control this device effectively using a web portal, smartphone or the device itself. It can also function with Google home or Amazon Alexa.
With the authorized user function, you can authorize an individual to access the device without having to divulge your password. This is useful for periods you are away from home. If you happen to leave your device at home by chance, you can access all the features and functions of the device itself using the NxEco Knob.
It comes with a rain delay function which you can program to withhold water after it rains. This aids you in saving on water bills and averts water wastage or over-watering.
On the downside, the communication between the unit and app can be slow at times. This can be a bit frustrating for individuals who are in a hurry. The device is not also waterproof so its best set up in enclosed environments.
Regardless of the downsides, this device comes with features certain to meet your requirements and is still a recommended brand.
Help Buying Your Smart Sprinkler Controller
Types of Smart Sprinkler Controller
There are two basic kinds of smart sprinkler controllers sold on the market today. They include:
Wi-Fi Enabled Sprinklers
These kinds of sprinklers come with Wi-Fi functionality. You can control these kinds of sprinklers using Amazon Alex or an application on your smartphone. Monitoring your water usage is easier with these types of controllers.
WaterSense Certified Sprinkler Controllers
The WaterSense program is a program approved by the EPA which aids consumers in boosting efficient use of water. If your interest lies in water conservation, then a smart sprinkler that is WaterSense certified is the best choice.
These controllers offer you a system that you can access using your smartphone application. But the device functions similarly to a thermostat that a scheduled timer system. It is totally smart and checks the forecast to determine if your ground needs water.
There are some devices that come alongside both of these capabilities as well. But they are obviously at an extra cost.
Key Features of a Smart Sprinkler Controller
The following are some of the Key features a Smart Sprinkler Controller should ideally possess before you purchase one.
Ensure you go with a smart sprinkler controller that has the capacity to generate reports. This will help in boosting your water management choices. With this feature, you can view the amount of water you use monthly and compare it to other periods.
It’s best to go with a smart irrigation system that you can install with ease. It should be able to replay a system already in existence without needing excessive infrastructure and wiring to run. It should be easy to schedule and make changes to watering times via the internet or remotely.
Search for a Smart Sprinkler Controller that can detect faults in sprinkler and piping automatically. It should be able to inform you of malfunctions using text messages or email.
This is another crucial feature to consider. Smart Sprinkler Controllers come at various prices. It is best to have a budget in place so you don’t end up purchasing something you would regret later. Obviously, many of the more expensive models come with enhanced qualities and features, you can still get a good device at a reasonable price.
Many Smart Sprinkler Controllers come with scheduling options that are similar. You can decide to go with scheduling dependent on a sensor or the weather. You can also go with a ridged or flexible schedule. You can program start and end times or choose specific periods of the week. You can also choose a controller that handles the water schedule on your behalf.
Compatibility with Devices
Smart Sprinkler Controllers are produced to work alongside your devices. A lot of them come designed with voice commands which function alongside Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo. There are even applications you can download on your device for less pricey alternatives.
Benefits of a Smart Sprinkler Controller
The following are some of the benefits you stand to gain from using a Smart Sprinkler controller. They include:
It Minimizes water wastage
By scheduling run-times of irrigation properly and making adjustments to suit the ground at specific periods, smart controllers can utilize an optimal amount of water. This aids in reducing water wastage in the long run.
Saves you Money
Smart controllers aid in eradicating overwatering. They can also minimize your water usage which in turn reflects on your water bills. There are some areas which also provide you refunds for using a controller that is WaterSense certified.
Smart Sprinkler Controllers aids your landscape in thriving by offering just the right amount of watering. This is without excessive watering or under-watering which both contribute to unhealthy plants and unappealing landscape.
Smart Sprinkler controllers are very convenient. There are some devices which even help you with adjustments and relieve you the stress of having to do anything yourself. Some devices will automatically shut off when it rains during runtime while some follow weather forecasts. This will ensure you can invest your time in other things while the controller does all the work.
Frustrations of Using a Smart Sprinkler Controller
Just like other useful devices, there are also some frustrations involved in using this device.
Some of them include:
Depending on the model you decide to go for, it may be a little expensive for some individuals. Smart Sprinkler Controllers tend to be more expensive to the non-smart counterparts.
Some devices may come with sensors that are not accurate. This could result in under-watering and over-over-watering which could damage your yard if not noticed quickly.
If you connect your controller to a weather station offsite, it might result in the payment of monthly stipends for connection.
Lastly, if you are away from home for any reason and the Smart Sprinkler Controller has an issue, your garden or lawn may go without water for days.
Q. Can my sprinkler controller work with my manual lawn sprinkler?
A: In some situations, Yes. There are smart sprinkler controllers that you can fit to your water line and regulate the flow of water. This will give you the capacity to utilize the smart technology alongside any sprinkling system.
Q. Can I set-up the sprinkler controller myself?
A. This is dependent on the type of sprinkler purchased. More expensive models often need extra wiring and you may need the help of a professional. Other low-end models especially those that are constructed to work with a hose, can easily be installed. Almost anyone without the technical know-how can install this as most are plug and play.
Q. How many zones does a Smart Sprinkler support?
A. This can differ based on the model. Most models support 6-8 zones. More expensive models can offer support for 15 or more zones.
There are lots of Smart Sprinkler Controllers you can select from on the market right now. All of these products come with various features and it might be hard making a choice. The features above ranging from price, ease of installation among others listed above can aid you in getting the best device for your requirements.