6 Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers
No matter your budget, yard size or watering system, there's a smart sprinkler controller that will help you save water, money and time.
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What to Know About Smart Sprinkler Controllers
Smart sprinkler controllers take the place of your regular sprinkler timer. Their advanced features, managed through an app, make sure your lawn receives the right amount of water whenever it needs it.
There are a few things to look for when shopping for a smart sprinkler controllers. It should have the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense certification to ensure it saves water. If your old controller is outside, find a weatherproof smart sprinkler controller. And be sure the controller works for the number of zones your sprinkler system has.
Easiest to Use Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio 3 ($180) is the easiest controller on the market. Installation is super easy, and you can customize your lawn watering from a basic schedule or more advanced options. The Rachio also automatically makes watering schedules for you, and has onboard controls that you can use instead of the app. It works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, IFTTT and Apple HomeKit. This model can handle eight watering zones; an upgraded model ($240) is good for up to 16 zones.
Most Flexible Smart Sprinkler Controller
The RainMachine Touch HD-12 ($269) is more flexible than other smart sprinkler systems. It can be operated using the app, an on-board touchscreen, through a website dashboard, or with smart assistants such as Alexa, Google Home, and SmartThings with IFTTT. This model is for 12 zones, but there’s also a 16-zone unit for $260. (That’s right — it’s $9 cheaper. Go figure.)
Best Smart Sprinkler Controller on a Budget
The Orbit B-hyve offers the most features for the lowest price. It is super affordable at only $59 for a four-zone controller or $78 for eight zones. Though it lacks a touchscreen and some of the more advanced features of other controllers on this list, it can simplify the use of an in-ground sprinkler system. It automatically adjusts the watering schedule based on local weather and can be used with Google Assistant and Alexa.
Best Hose-Connected Smart Sprinkler Controller
If your “irrigation system” is a sprinkler on the end of a hose, the Orbit 21004 B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer ($67) can still help. Controlled with an app or Alexa, it uses location and weather to prevent over-watering. It combines the best rating with the most features of any hose sprinkler controller on Amazon.
Best Smart Sprinkler Controller for Small Yards
The Orbit 57946 B-hyve ($88) adjusts the watering schedule based on weather, yard slope, shade and soil type. It’s also compatible with Alexa and has the best rating for a six-zone controller on Amazon.
“This thing is great, especially for the price,” wrote an Amazon customer. “Does everything I need and the one button set-and-forget nature of it was a relief. Installed very easily and connected to my home network without any problems…I’ve easily convinced at least two other people to buy one of these. Very much recommended.”
Best All-Around Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e is the highest rated smart sprinkler controller on Amazon, and for good reason. The eight-zone ($130) and 16-zone controllers ($380) come with a bunch of useful features, including smart schedules based on your lawn or plant type, soil type, sun exposure and weather. You can use the app to see if individual sprinkler heads are working. Plus it’s compatible with Alexa.
“I love, love, love complete controllability of the entire system in the palm of my hand,” wrote an Amazon customer. “The smart phone application makes managing the system a breeze anywhere in the world. I can turn on a zone (or manually run an entire schedule) while sitting in my gazebo or on vacation a half world away.”
All prices and links were current as of publication.