There is nothing as rewarding as being in control of your chores, like irrigation systems, at a distance. What better way to achieve this seamlessly than with a modern sprinkler controller. This way you get a smart device that can tailor your irrigation schedules, runtime as well as adjust the schedule based on the current weather, plant water use as well as soil condition.
A smart sprinkler controller is a great device for auto-regulating and conserving water during irrigation or gardening. It can let you control your watering schedules, while remotely managing your irrigation system. Besides, they are all app connected and user-friendly.
Our Top Recommendation for Smart Sprinkler Controllers!
Rachio’s 8ZULW-B 8-Zone 2nd Generation, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit is a smart WiFi lawn sprinkler with an exclusive weather intelligence system that automatically skips unnecessary watering. It skips water during rain, winds, and freezing weather and saves water. With the easy-to-use app, you can control it from anywhere, run sprinklers, view upcoming schedules, and observe your estimated outdoor water usage.
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Top 5: Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers
|Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi||• Experience fast DIY installation|
• Deliver all the water your plants need
• Avoid watering in the rain
|Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller||• Deliver all the water your plants need|
• Avoid watering in the rain
• Experience fast DIY installation
|Hunter HC-600i WiFi Sprinkler Controller||• Simple to use|
• Replace your existing controller with no extra wires
• Get beautiful reports
|Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Indoor WiFi Sprinkler Controller||• Wireless network|
• Access timer functions via
• Super easy to program
|Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller||• Water Restriction|
• Lifetime Cloud Service
• Fully Automatic
#1. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi
Watering has never been easy than with a wifi sprinkler controller. Everything you need to do, be it timing or run time. It is all programmable and manageable via a top quality sprinkler controller. A good example is this top buy, rachio smart sprinkler.
This smart sprinkler controller is one of a kind and is top-rated for it performance level as well as ease of installation and use. You can allow its app to care for your watering needs via your laptop, smartphone or tablet. You can also use a home-connected system or run the zones directly from its onboard controller.
Rachio smart sprinkler can adapt to your own lawn. This means that you can use it to set your own schedules, as well as input some plant details and even state sun exposure. This way it auto-irrigates your lawn at the best moment for it to thrive, nothing less or more.
It is also very easy to install and run. You can do it solo, with no special tools or level of expertise are required to set it up. Nonetheless, in case of any issues, you can always contact the customer support system. They are always available even on the weekends.
Besides, this is one of the most connected sprinkler controller in the current market, as it can work with some of the top smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. This feature makes it highly competitive in its market department.
Affordable to Run
You can easily reduce your water bill by up to 50% while keeping all your irrigation needs and gardening healthy and well cared. Moreover, it is EPA WaterSense Certified. This means that it qualifies for utility discounts of up to 100% off.
This device allows you to start, pause, stop and even skip individual zones remotely. You can even customize your run schedule via your smartphone.
This feature can auto-adjust your irrigation schedule based on the local latest weather forecast. It also features an advanced wind, freezes and rain skips, so no need to worry about wasting water during the rainy season or windy days.
Pros and Cons
- Features push notifications
- Has a flexible mobile app
- Easy installation
- Allows for zone customization
- Its onboard controls are limited
- Cannot run multiple zones simultaneously
#2. Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller
Are you looking for a smart controller that will let you maintain a healthy landscape? The Rachio 3 offers an effortless plug-and-play functionality for beginners. At the same time, this sprinkler controller comes with upgraded settings that satisfy professional horticulturists.
A fascinating feature you will find only in Rachio 3 is the Weather Intelligence Plus. It gives you hyper-local accuracy into the current and projected weather in your area and outside your space. So watering becomes more efficient because of hyperlocal forecasting.
Ideally, you won’t find any other smart sprinkler as precise and durable as the Rachio 3. To generate precise results, it collects data from over 270,000 personal weather stations, national weather stations, radar data, and more.
Furthermore, you will like the basic onboard controls for fast watering. You will also appreciate that this device is compatible with Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa & more. You will be guided through every detail on customizing the frequency and timing of watering at your particular landscape.
With the easy-to-use app, you can control the device from anywhere. In addition, the app will notify you about your upcoming schedules and see the amount of water you have used outdoors. Another impressive feature is that it takes less than 30-minutes to install the sprinkler. You just need to follow up on their in-app installation tutorial to start watering in no time.
Weather Intelligence Plus
The Rachio 3 sprinkler controller has a premium Weather Intelligence Plus feature that allows hyper-local forecasting. It combines data from various sources and provides accurate weather reports.
The application installed within the device is easy to use. You can control it from anywhere, getting notified about your upcoming schedules. It will also indicate your estimated outdoor water usage.
The Rachio 3 is among the best sprinkler controllers in the market. So get ready to experience fast DIY installation. It will take less than 30 minutes to install without any specific tool.
Pros and Cons
- Easy and fast installation
- Exclusive weather installation plus system
- Avoid unnecessary watering with features like wind skip, rain skip & more
- Easy to use mobile app
- Control your device from anywhere
- Get an in-app installation tutorial
- Magnetic cover locks right into place
- Save up to 30-50% on your monthly water bill.
- The app has some complex scheduling options.
#3. Hunter HC-600i WiFi Sprinkler Controller
If you are looking for an indoor hunter irrigation controller, then there is no better choice than this Hydrawise touchscreen model. It can out-smart you when it comes to scheduling and watering your garden or lawn. Besides, this Hydrawise system is expandable for up to 36 zones, making it highly competitive in the current market.
This model is elegant and very easy to use and manage. It just uses your wireless system, Wifi to access any data that is needed, for its operation and maintenance.
As for replacement options, you can replace your existing controller without any extra wires, as this wifi sprinkler controller still uses your wifi network to access the internet directly via your router.
Besides, you can find loads of things that are happening within it and your garden. For instance, you can get reports on how much water you are using for irrigation. In relation, the Hydrawise flow meters allow you to detect broken pipes, spray heads as well as faulty wiring or valves.
This hunter irrigation controller has a user-friendly interface, which allows you to view the water usage. You can also get a report on it. Therefore, if you are looking for a garden watering system, you are on the right track with this coveted model. It does not come cheap but is highly effective and worth every penny.
You can now save up to 50% on your water bill, thanks to this systems ability to tap into the live streaming of weather stations in your local area. This way it only auto-waters when needed and not when it is going to rain.
When it comes to giving reports, this device is a pro. It can tell you when it is going to water next as well as the amount of water you have used or how much rainfall you have had so far.
Ease of Use
It is not hard to set-up ad program this smart sprinkler controller. You can do it all in a day, after carefully going through its user manual. Nonetheless, it is not a technical thing, anyone who knows how to read and follow instructions can manage it solo.
Pros and Cons
- Great customer service
- 2-year LIMITED warranty
- It supports 2.4GHz Wifi
- Smaller than most
- Ideal for indoor use only
- Does not have EPA WaterSense Certification
#4. Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Indoor WiFi Sprinkler Controller
If you are looking to improve your garden watering system, then there is no better way than with a wifi sprinkler controller. This device can ease your irrigation in so many ways that you will find such watering fun and easier to deal with, even on a daily basis.
The choices are often limitless when it comes to these types of modern irrigation controllers. However, that does not mean that you lose hope. We are here for you with this affordable yet functional rainbird controller, for all your irrigation needs.
This rainbird controller is ideal for indoor use, but there is an outdoor version you can check out. Nonetheless, this one here is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Android 4.4 KitKat or later versions as well as Apple iOS 8 or greater. It can cover up to 8 zones.
Consequently, it features a water delay program that can auto-suspend water from 1-14 days. The usual programming can resume automatically once the delay days are over. As for cyclical scheduling option, it occurs every 1-29 days.
Moreover, you can rely on its app notifications to tell you all about the happenings in your yard if you are not around. So make the world greener today with this sprinkler controller. You have nothing to lose. Besides, you will get to save some water in the process. Something that is unachievable with regular traditional irrigation systems.
This device can self-adjust all season based on your local weather, humidity and even temperature, in a bid to prevent over-watering, as seasons change. This can save you loads of water and energy bills.
Customizable Watering App
You can now upload as many photos as you want to this device and name each of the eight zones to make it easier to irrigate. This also means that you can set and manage your irrigation plans for landscapes, grass, sun-exposed places, and even shaded areas.
Exclusive Three-way Control
This sprinkler water controller can be managed in three different ways that is via wifi, at the timer panel or directly through your smartphone. The choice depends on convenience.
Pros and Cons
- Reliable app performance
- Custom programming
- The app can enable notification on activity
- Easy to use app
- It is not EPA or SWAT Certified
- Does not come with a warranty but you can return it within 90 days of use
#5. Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller
There is no better way to control your irrigation water than with this Netro sprinkler controller. It is very easy to install and replace as well as use and maintain. As a result, you will not incur any professional costs when it comes to its installation. Besides, it takes only 15-minutes to install indoors.
Moreover, it has pre-programmed irrigation recommendations you can make use of when it comes to information about different plants, soil types as well as sprinkler types. In relation, its plant library has more than 1000 common species, making it easier to customize your yard irrigation needs.
There are no more water violations with this smart sprinkler controller, as Netro will automatically comply with all your local water conservation rules and regulations. You will get alerts on the water restrictions anytime, as the unit complies with every new water regulation.
In addition, this unit will protect your sprinkler, and yard as well as all the plants in it by not watering under bad temperature as well as night irrigation. You should take note that night watering is often the common cause of damp lawns, which also tend to attract various kinds of dangerous diseases.
So if you want a lusher healthier garden, buy this product. It will auto-create accurate irrigation schedules that can promote speedy and deep root growth as well as reduce water wastage and help draw more oxygen to the roots of the plants.
This device can save you up to 50% of water use thanks to its advanced water-saving tech like historical statistics and weather forecasting.
You can connect this unit to a wifi 2.4G monitor and be able to control your water sprinkler system anywhere in the world. As long as it is from a iOS 8.3+ or an Android 5.0+ device. As for web access, it is coming really soon for this unit.
Paring Sprite with Whisperer
The Netro Whisperer is very important as it often keeps track of temperature, sunlight, and moisture level. Some of the most important factors that determine how your yard should be irrigated. Besides, the Netro Whisperer is solar powered and wireless.
Pros and Cons
- It is fully automatic
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Easy installation and control
- Features self-learning capabilities
- Cannot water multiple zones simultaneously
- Does not support Apple Homekit
Smart Sprinkler Controller Buying Guide – Things to Consider
There are different types as well as models of irrigation controllers in the current market. This makes it hard to make a pick, especially if they are all well marketed as quality and functional. The choice can be overwhelming for one person to handle, but that is why we are here with this smart sprinkler controller review.
You can make use of this section to buy a quality, wifi sprinkler controller for your irrigation needs. Here are the top considerations for buying a smart sprinkler controller.
- Location: This type of irrigation controller can be installed indoors or outdoors depending on make. Indoor ones can be set-up under a shed, in a closet, under a shaded patio, or in the garage. Moreover, indoor models are never weather resistant like their sturdy outdoor counterparts. Besides, indoor controllers are often plugged into a power outlet while the outdoor ones are hard-wired for a power source.
- Number of Programs: This depends on how you want your yard to be irrigated, as more programs offer loads of varied ways in which your garden can be watered.
- Zone Quantity:Zones are sections that are determined by your sprinkler system upon its installation. This way it becomes easier for the system to designate one station to handle a particular zone. Most household property has 2-9 zones while commercial or public yards can be divided up to 48 zones.Therefore, it is important to take note of the number of maximum zones an irrigation or watering controller can accommodate before making your purchase.
- Ease of Installation: You should always consider its installation process, as you may require some tools and even a certain level of expertise. This way you are ready for what is to come, but some models are very easy to install under 15-minutes.
- Real-Time Weather Integration: It is highly important you buy a device that can sync up with local live weather forecasts. This way you get to conserve water by not watering just before the rain. The weather integration system should also consider other environmental conditions, humidity levels as well as temperature.
- Customization Features: This often varies from product to product, so check on it efficiency compared to others. Moreover, the best often allow for adjustments whenever possible, for better irrigation. So check on the most efficient one depending on your needs, before you make a buy.
- Intuitive App: Most of these devices have apps, however, you should make sure it works with your system be it Android or iOS. This way you get to control and monitor the water sprinkler system anywhere and at any time via your tablet or smartphone.
- Wifi System: You should check if there is a way you can hook up a wired network to the water sprinkler. This way you ensure a steady network, as weather conditions can often cause some shakiness to your home wifi.
- EPA WaterSense and SWAT Certification: Certification of a product are very important, depending on your location and the amount of money you want to save on energy and water bills. Therefore, you should always look for a sprinkler controller with EPA WaterSense certification, as they tend to meet all EPA specifications when it comes to water performance and efficiency. Moreover, it also qualifies you to 100% product rebates.
- Water Conservation: The best model of a smart sprinkler controller should always help you save on some energy and water bill. Besides, it is environmentally friendly to conserve water, especially if you live in areas that require you to monitor how you use your water.
- Security: This is also important to keep all the sprinkler hackers away so that they do not mess with your modern irrigation system.
- Warranty: You should strive to get a sprinkler controller with a lifetime or longer warranty, like 2-3 years. Likewise, read on it to know how it covers you in case of any damages or malfunction.
- Price: These units have a wide range of pricing, but it all comes down to your watering needs. Nonetheless, the most expensive ones have more features but that does not mean that the less expensive ones are not effective. It all depends on your purpose for it. Do not let price undermine quality.
Benefits of a Smart Sprinkler Controller
If you are still not convinced of the usefulness of a smart sprinkler controller, then here are some of its top benefits.
- Saves Money: This type of sprinkler controller can save you loads of money, as it auto-adjusts your irrigation only when it is needed and at the right level. As a result, you get to cut costs on energy and water bills but still, manage to have a greener and healthy surrounding.
- Beautiful Landscapes: Since the irrigation is controlled and monitored so well to the point that each zone gets its fair share of water, no under-watering or over-irrigating. These results in better landscapes, as overwatering can contribute to unhealthy plants.
- Convenience: This device can sync your local weather forecast, different environmental conditions like humidity and temperature, in order to automatically schedule and reschedule your irrigation system. For instance, it will not water your yard if the weather prediction states that it will rain.
- Reduces Water Waste: If you schedule the runtime as well as adjust your irrigation schedules and other features. You can go a long way into saving loads of water. Besides, such adjustments often give the plant the amount of water it needs, nothing more or less.
- Less Stressful: You can now relax and unwind slowly at the comfort of your home thanks to a smart sprinkler controller. Its timer and sensors will ensure your yard is well taken care of automatically, without tiring or bothering you at your comfort zone.
- Smarter Homes: Internet connected devices are now the fad, everyone wants to be digitalized from the garden to the kitchen. Within no time, everything in your home is bound to be connected to the internet.
How Smart Sprinkler Controller Works?
Irrigation controllers often work in the same way, with only small differences here and there depending on the manufacturer and model. However, to use any of it, you have to install an underground irrigation system first.
Nonetheless, you should take note that an underground irrigation system often comes with its own controller that you can program to irrigate your yard regularly.
However, when it comes to the smart irrigation controller, all the guesswork is taken off your hands, and everything about it is always automatic. There are also manual options. But why take the time if the system is smart enough to do everything for you.
A smart irrigation controller is often connected to the wifi network of your home. Therefore, it can easily gain access to any data related to your local weather from the internet. This way it auto-adjusts your irrigation schedule with regard to the upcoming weather conditions, be it rain, freezing temperatures, humidity or high heat.
Some wifi sprinkler controllers are known to employ the use of soil monitors, that is spikes that you push in the ground in a bid to check the existing nature of the moisture level of the soil.
Moreover, most of these units will often send you messages, alerts, and notifications if anything on your yard changes like the cancellation of irrigation due to an oncoming rainstorm. There is a lot of information you can get by just setting it up right via its user app.
In addition, you can program how much water goes where within the different zones of your yard. This way you get to water the plants as required without wasting any water on too much irrigation or on plants that do not need it.
You can also do the set-up in terms of vegetation type be it shrubs, vegetables, trees, flowers, and even the lawn. Likewise, you can program with the type of soil be it sand or clay, the amount of shade or sun received as well as your land slope. This can be very effective in determining the runoff degree.
Types of Smart Sprinkler Controller
Smart sprinkler controllers are often designed to give you some sort of user interface via an app on your tablet, laptop or smartphone. The apps often allow for easier control and monitoring of your yard from any part of the world.You can make changes to your sprinkler system anytime, anywhere, track the amount of water you use to irrigate as well as make adjustments where you see fit. Besides, these apps can also auto-adjust and schedule your irrigation system, depending on the unit’s features.
There are mainly two types of smart sprinkler controller in the current market. Here they are:
Moreover, you can adjust and track your irrigation system zone by zone. Likewise, you can know the runtime of your system as well as any other important information concerning your yard/garden.
WaterSense Certified Smart Sprinkler Controller
A WaterSense certification is an Environmental Protection Agency, EPA approved program that can help you improve on water usage. Therefore, if you are interested in conserving your water and reducing the water bill, a WaterSense Certified smart sprinkler controller is the best choice for you. Sprinkler controllers that are WaterSense certified often allow you to access the irrigation system via a smartphone app. However, the design often works like a thermostat than a pre-set timer. Thereby, it can sense when your yard needs watering by just checking the weather or ground moisture.
In conclusion, it is not easy to make a smart buy when it comes to wifi sprinkler controllers. The choices are limitless and all great. However, you have to make sure it fits your gardening or watering needs.
Therefore, if you are looking to buy a wifi sprinkler controller, this review is right by your alley. You can rely on it to make the right pick for your irrigation needs.