Get a healthy, beautiful lawn and reduce outdoor water waste by using the best smart sprinkler controller system for your home. We all want a beautiful lawn, especially come summertime. But as days get hotter, finding the right water balance can be tricky. This is where a smart sprinkler controller comes in. So what is a smart sprinkler controller and what exactly do they do?
What are the benefits of a smart sprinkler controller?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, households use more than 30 percent of their total water consumption outdoors, through activities like watering and maintaining lawns, plants, and trees. However, up to 50 percent of the water used outdoors is lost due to wind, evaporation, and runoff, which is caused by inefficient irrigation systems. A household with a traditional irrigation system that is set on a timer and runs whether the land needs it or not can waste up to 25,000 gallons of water per year. This type of inefficiency isn’t just a waste of water, it’s a real drain on your wallet. So how can a smart sprinkler controller help?
A smart sprinkler controller tailors watering schedules and run times to meet the specific needs of your home’s landscape. Unlike traditional irrigation methods and systems that work on preset timers, smart sprinklers automatically adjust your water schedule based on the weather, soil conditions, and plant water use on your property, for the perfect amount of watering every time.
How to Choose a Smart Sprinkler Controller
When it’s time to buy a smart sprinkler controller, it’s important to shop with your needs in mind. After all, the goal is to find a sprinkler that will integrate seamlessly with what you currently own and feel at ease using. Here are three tips on how to choose the best smart sprinkler controller for you.
- Keep in mind the tech you already have. For instance, if you have Amazon Echo or other Alexa device, then it makes the most sense to get a smart sprinkler controller that is compatible with Alexa. You’ll also want something that works well with your phones, tablets, and computers. If most of the devices you use are from Apple, then you will want to purchase a sprinkler that syncs best with its products. Smart shopping is essential for smart sprinklers.
- Look for the features you need. Some sprinklers are smarter than others. So, when it’s time to buy, you will need know the different features that are most important to you. Some smart sprinkler controllers read local weather forecasts and shut off automatically if it’s supposed to rain. Other higher-end smart sprinkler controllers can tell whether or not rain is hitting your lawn and will turn it off to avoid waste. Picking a sprinkler with your must-have features is the quickest way to success.
- Don’t forget about installation. This should be a cost you consider when you’re putting your budget together. If you need your smart sprinkler controller installed by a professional, expect your costs to rise. To avoid any pricey mistakes, make sure you learn upfront whether the smart sprinkler controller you choose requires professional installation.
The Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers
Ready to find the best smart sprinkler controller? We did the difficult work for you by narrowing down the best smart sprinkler controllers on the market, uncovering the ones that are easy-to-use, easily integrate with other technology, and meet your needs and budget. Keep scrolling to shop FIRST’s picks for the best smart sprinkler controllers.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
1. Best Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
Where to buy: $199 (Originally $249.99), Amazon
Rachio was founded in 2013 but its Rachio Smart Sprinkler is easily on of the best on the market with features that rival products from other companies that have been in business for years. Whatever technology you have in your house, the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller can pair with it: Alexa, Google Home, Android phones, iPhones, and even the web-based service IFTTT.
Capable of covering eight or 16 zones, this smart sprinkler also provides you with tools to track how much water you’re using. Some people have reported connection issues, but the number of complaints is small. You may experience problems if you are looking to control your sprinklers from outside of the house, but otherwise, the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller does a great job. Not only does Rachio’s sprinkler automatically adjust its timing based on the season, but it also keeps up with real-time weather forecasts to prevent water waste. The best smart sprinkler controllers will pay for themselves and uou can save up to 30 percent on your water bill by using this smart device. One thing to keep in mind is that expert installation is recommended for this product and can cost an additional $200.
Smart Sprinkler Controller Wifi
2. Best Voice-Activated Smart Sprinkler Controller With Easy Installation
Where to buy: $158.99 (Originally $179.99), Amazon
Yardin's Multi-Functional Smart Sprinkler Controller with HD Security Camera is compatible with almost all technology on the market. Whether it’s Alexa or Google Home, Yardin's product will allow you to start your sprinklers with a simple voice command. If you’re more of a mobile user, you can also download Yardin's app on your smartphone and control things with a touch of a button.
The Yardin Smart Sprinkler Controller is one of the best smart sprinkler controllers in terms of weather intelligence. Monitoring forecasts from anywhere and everywhere, the Yardin Smart Sprinkler Controller almost never turns on when it rains. This can help you save a huge amount on your water bill. With eight-zone coverage, one Yardin is enough to cover almost anything you need. Whether it’s a small garden or an entire suburban front lawn, you won’t notice any dry spots.
Another advantage of the Yardin Smart Sprinkler Controller is the company has worked hard to make the installation process as easy as possible, so it doesn’t require professional installation. If you’re looking for something that is savvy and easy to use, then the Yardin Smart Sprinkler Controller is the best smart sprinkler controller for you.
Smart Sprinkler Controller Cheap
3. Best Easy-to-Use Smart Sprinkler Controller
Where to buy: $109.99 (Originally $119.99), Amazon
The Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller is one of the cheapest smart sprinkler controllers available. Wi-Fi connected and fully automatic, the Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller is the definition of simple. If you are looking for a standard, quality smart sprinkler controller, then this is the product for you.
As a simple and easy-to-use product, the Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller allows you to turn your sprinklers on and off. It does not use weather intelligence like the more expensive products; however, the Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller does automatically comply with any laws about water use in your area.
Another factor to keep in mind is that Netro's Smart Sprinkler Controller cannot be used with a PC or Google Home. While it is compatible with most modern smartphones and Amazon’s Alexa, it does not integrate with personal computers or any other voice products.
Smart Sprinkler Controller Google Home
4. Best Smart Sprinkler Controller Under $100
Where to buy: $94.40, Amazon
Covering 12 zones, the Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller will easily water any size yard, lawn, or garden. You can control all 12 valves with one setting or any number of individual settings, meaning you can water your garden differently from the rest of your yard. It also enables you to control your sprinkler system from anywhere in the world with the B-hyve app on your phone or tablet.
Also, the Orbit B-hyve is programmed to skip watering when it rains. It can detect this from local forecasts and the real-world environment. If you are expecting rain and need to be sure your sprinklers won’t go off, you can also change the timer on your sprinkler. This will stop your sprinklers from running during rainfall without requiring you to reprogram them every time.
The base price for an Orbit B-hyve is very affordable, however, you may end up shelling out over $100 with installation.
Smart Sprinkler Controller Alexa
5. Best Smart Sprinkler Controller for Most People
Where to buy: $231.55 (Originally $259), Amazon
The RainMachine Touch HD-12's touch screen alone makes it the best of the best smart sprinkler controllers on the market, as it allows users to make simple adjustments quickly and accurately. With the RainMachine smart sprinkler controller, you can change how much water you want each valve to pump out by simply sliding along a graph. The RainMachine user interface also gives a convenient forecast directly within the app, so you don’t have to look elsewhere to know the day’s weather. Set the smart sprinkler at the beginning of the week so you can forget about it and spend your time focused on more important things.
RainMachine is smart enough to know that weather forecasts aren’t always accurate, so it compounds data from several of the most trusted national weather services as well as a few localized ones to make sure that it gives you an accurate forecast.
In addition to being compatible with iPhones, Androids, and PCs, it can integrate with any home technology, like Alexa, Nest, or IFTTT. The RainMachine Touch HD-12 is a modern smart sprinkler controller for a modern time, and it is a beautiful piece of technology. If you are looking for a controller that is easy to use and cutting edge, then this is the one you you want. The only issue you may have is attempting to water a very large yard or farm. In this case, you may want to opt for something that can handle larger plots of land.