Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers – Newest Buying Guide and Top Reviews
It isn’t a secret that watering your lawn is an annoying task. You will have to invest hours and then when you are done it will rain, usually, it does. So, you have just wasted hours of your life. The alternative is here and it is simply known as a smart sprinkler controller.
They are not the latest addition to the market but they are one of the best and the most desirable ones. Below, we will investigate 5 best models and present you a buyer’s guide with all the details you need to understand. Stay tuned.
Top 5 Smart Sprinkler Controllers
Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa, 8 Zone
Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa, 8 Zone is the smart sprinkler controller we liked the most. It has all we ever wanted and something even more. The first thing we will have to reveal is the fact this is 8 zone unit. As the name suggests, you can set up 8 individual areas to irrigate. A version with 16 zones is also available. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller can replace 99% of existing controllers used today.
The advanced features include full compatibility with Alexa and the ability to save up to 40% of water per month. You get an app and you are able to control the entire unit from anywhere in the world. In addition, the tested model can be installed within 30 minutes and it covers all sprinkle systems available these days. Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is expensive but worthy.
- Compatible with Alexa
- Interesting and practical app
- 30 minutes installation
- Saves up to 40% of water per month
- Poor user manual
Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, Compatible with Alexa
Now we have a smart sprinkler controller that is designed to save even more water, up to 50% per month. The Orbit 57950 B-hyve is well-made, comes with Wi-Fi support and it is compatible with Alexa. Using Alexa, you can control the irrigation via voice. This also allows you to activate the system, check status and more. Installation takes around 30-40 minutes, depending on your skill level.
The unit we tested is suitable for 12 zones or stations. It will automatically adjust the water flow as needed and provide a suitable amount at that very moment. The last but not least, it can be used with older devices running iOS 8 for instance. The price is more than just affordable. Orbit B-hyve 57925 has been one of more popular models on the market.
- Saves 50% of water
- Simple installation
- Works with older devices
- Alexa compatible
- Some features are complicated to use
- Obsolete design
Gro 7 Zone Controller from Scotts – Sprinkler/Irrigation Controller, Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
This is a new model available on the market and it comes with updated firmware. It was significantly upgraded on 19th of March this year. The thing we liked the most is the cool design. It is dark gray with the LEDs at the top. Gro 7 is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa.
This right here might be the best smart sprinkler for those who want to use it with Google Assistant and those who want the simplest installation possible. To use the system, you will have to download an app from App Store or Google Play depending on which platform you use. One, an important advantage is real-time weather data. Thanks to it the unit is more accurate and won’t irrigate the lawns when there are high odds for rain. It is EPA water saving certified.
- Modern design
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- EPA certified
- Firmware update
- Possible connection problems
- Instructions aren’t very helpful
Orbit B-hyve 57915 Smart 4-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, 4-Zone, Gray
The best smart sprinkler system for smaller lawns, as it is known. The unit is capable of being used with 4 or 8 zone lawns and it is an advanced model. This means that it will use the weather forecast in order to determine when the watering should occur. Even more important is the fact it will use the terrain type to optimize irrigation as needed. Terrain information is downloaded via the internet.
Controlling it is easy thanks to the fact you can use any iOS or Android or even web device and you will get simple controls within your disposal. There is manual override control as well. Don’t forget that this is an EPA certified model thanks to its WaterSense technology. The model looks nice and it is the best value for money here. However, it may be small for some users.
- 2 available versions
- Uses only the needed water amount
- Uses weather forecast to determine when to irrigate lawns
- Small for some users
- Isn’t compatible with Alexa
RainMachine Touch HD-12, Cloud Independent Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller, Compatible with Alexa, 12 Zones
If you want a smart sprinkler controller that is based on the latest technology (2019 model) then you need to take a look at this unit. It is upgraded recently, so now it comes with Alexa support and it can be paired with Google Home and countless systems similar to this one. We must add that it uses accurate and the most efficient weather forecast services such as Wunderground, NOAA, METNO and many other, and it can continue to operate without Wi-Fi.
The version we tested is sufficient for 12 zones, but there is an option to get a version for 16 zones. All the data is stored locally on the device itself. Users can get accurate weather forecast within 1.5 km. However, this model is slightly more expensive. Let’s also add that the controller has a massive display with a decent resolution. You can control it from anywhere in the world using the app.
- Can work without Wi-Fi
- Easy to use
- Accurate weather forecast
- Poor customer support
How To Choose The Best Smart Sprinkler Controller
You can get one of the models mentioned above or something like Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller and Rain Bird ST8I-2.0 and get job done. But you should pay close attention to the features, the capabilities and the overall functionality of these gadgets. All of which you will have to look for is mentioned below.
Do you need controls on the controller itself?
The shortest answer we can give is yes, you do need this feature. It basically allows you to control the unit without a phone. You can even use the feature while the phone is charging. The main advantage, however, is in the house where multiple users will use the same system.
Is my unit designed for indoor or outdoor applications?
Obviously, all the irrigation will happen outdoors, but a controller can be designed for indoor usage. Keep in mind that those can be installed outdoors must be waterproof, while those for interior installation don’t. Some manufacturers sell units that are specifically designed for indoor installation only.
How many zones do I need?
You need at least 8 zones for smaller lawns. If you have a bigger one, you will need 16 zones. The average number here is 8 zones and we will use it as the most common and the most popular option. But, always take a closer look at the zones. Most models come in different versions according to the zones they can process.
What types of schedules do I need?
You need complex schedules. It is a goal to set your controller to irrigate the lawn as often as needed, every single day if possible. Some models can be set to irrigate the lawn once a week, while others can be set to complete a task a few times a day. More is always merrier in this case scenario.
What is the weather forecast feature?
This is one of the most advanced features you will need. Basically, the unit will be connected to the internet and it will use providers who will provide an accurate weather forecast. Once done, the controller will make sure that the irrigation is processed only when there is no rain risk. By using this system, you will significantly save more water than you believe.
Which notifications are possible?
Almost all models come with push notifications. You will see the time when the process is completed which is better than to see when it has started. Emails and SMS are possible but very rare and chances are low you will find a model that offers this type of notifications on a tight budget.
Is Alexa compatibility important?
It is and here’s why. This allows you to use voice controls to activate or check the status of your unit. It is definitely more appealing to use than you may believe and will help you never miss irrigation. Almost all models of the modern era are Alexa compatible but just a few are also compatible with Google Assistant.
Rachio 3, Works with Alexa, 8 Zone is a smart sprinkler controller we all liked and it is the highest ranked model here. We gave it 4.8 out of 5 star rating which is the highest possible score and we would like to recommend it for all of you. The reasons for this rank are obvious. It supports 8 zones, it can be used with any smartphone and it is compatible with Alexa. Add 30 minutes installation and you can get a better idea of why it is truly special.
Also, we invite you to read about the best atv sprayers.