Updated: May 23, 2018 10:47 am
Get a healthy, beautiful lawn and reduce outdoor water waste by using the best smart sprinkler controller system for your home. 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.
What are the benefits of a smart sprinkler controller?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, on average, more than 30 percent of water used by households is used for the outdoors, such as 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.
Now that you know the benefits of using a smart sprinker, you may not know which one to choose. There are so many available. 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.
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How to Choose a Smart Sprinkler Controller
When it’s time to buy a smart sprinkler controller, consider your needs, your budget, and the technology and devices you currently use. The goal is to find a sprinkler that will integrate seamlessly with what you currently own and feel at ease using. 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.
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.
Finally, you’ll want to think about installation when you are 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
1. Best Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller
Easily one of the best on the market, the Rachio Smart Sprinkler controller has 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, can be paired with this second-generation smart sprinkler controller.
Capable of covering eight or 16 zones, Rachio’s 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, it also keeps up with real-time weather forecasts to prevent water waste. The best smart sprinkler controllers will pay for themselves. You 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. Installation for this state-of-the-art system can cost an additional $200.
Where to buy:
$249.99 $199.11, Amazon
4. Best Smart Sprinkler Controller Under $100
Covering nine zones, the JoyPlus Smart Sprinkler Controller will easily water any size yard, lawn, or garden. You can also control all nine valves with one setting, or any number of individual settings. So, if you need to water your garden differently from the rest of your yard, the JoyPlus Smart Sprinkler Controller enables you to do so. It also enables you to control your sprinkler system from anywhere in the world. With the JoyPlus app, you can control your sprinklers by using your favorite phone or tablet.
Also, the JoyPlus Smart Sprinkler Controller 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.
If this weren’t already enough, you can also pick up the JoyPlus Smart Sprinkler Controller at a very affordable price. However, a low price tag can come with some drawbacks. The biggest issue is the guide that comes with the JoyPlus Smart Sprinkler Controller is almost illegible. Figuring out how your sprinkler controller works may be very challenging.
Where to buy: $99.99, Amazon
5. Best Smart Sprinkler Controller for Most People
Its touch screen alone makes the RainMachine Touch HD-12 the best of the best smart sprinkler controllers on the market. The touchscreen allows you 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 UI also gives a convenient weather forecast directly within the app, so you don’t have to look elsewhere to know the day’s weather forecast. If you want to set things and forget them, you can also use the touchscreen on the smart sprinkler controller to set them at the beginning of the week.
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 want you want. The only issue you may have is attempting to water a very large yard or farm. In that case, you may want to opt for something that can handle larger plots of land.
Where to buy:
$259.00 $219.00, Amazon