About Reliable Sprinkler Reliable Manufacturing Headquarters, Liberty, SC. Rain Bird puts control over your sprinkler system in the palm of your hand. You can also set an optional delay between zones (say, to allow a well to refill), select a different weather station, or connect to a personal one, such as a Netatmo. Interestingly, Fipps said he wouldn’t install one in his own yard, but he and Swanson do recommend them for someone who hasn’t spent their career studying irrigation. An informative water-usage screen shows you an estimate of how much water was applied to each zone both monthly and daily. 4.6 out of 5 stars (117) Total ... 80 product ratings - Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Control. With its range of straightforward scheduling options using hyperlocal, internet-delivered weather information, this model can figure out on its own when, where, and for how long to water your garden. If you are a loyal Rain Bird fan and you have wired sensors you want to continue to use, you’ll like this controller. Based on our research and testing, we determined that the best smart sprinkler controller is one that’s easy to install, offers an intuitive user interface, and sets intelligent schedules for you—but also one that allows you to adapt and tailor schedules and evapotranspiration (ET) settings to your specific needs. At $230 for eight zones and $280 for 16, at the time of writing, this model costs $80 more than the Rachio 3e, which works in exactly the same way (except that it lacks the hyperlocal weather feature and HomeKit compatibility). Plus, because Control’s soil-moisture sensor works over a radio frequency, it had excellent range in our test garden and continued to dictate the watering schedule even if the internet went down. From a conservation perspective—and saving money on your water bills—smart controllers are critical. You also need to use one of the zone terminals for a master valve or pump, so if you have either of these, you get one less zone. Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems. If you find the confusing dials and buttons or tiny LCD screen on your existing irrigation clock frustrating to use, you’ll love the ease of setting your sprinkler schedules with a smartphone app or on your computer. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. The Rachio 3 used less water than we would have with our old system (which was set to run every other day, for a total of 180 minutes a week, regardless of weather). The WaterSense-certified controller, which works with Amazon Alexa, now has a shared access option, offline alerts, and the ability to choose your weather station (even rating stations based on the type of information they provide). It can also work on a standard, user-inputted schedule that adapts based on weather (like the RainMachine). Based on this, we evaluated how each controller responded to changes in weather during testing and whether it allowed us to select a weather station versus a data source chosen by the controller. (Costco offers a 12-zone Rachio 3 model; it’s a Costco exclusive, and it’s the same as the Rachio 3 in all respects, other than offering 12 zones, instead of eight or 16.) However, Yardian’s smart scheduling is still mystifying, running each of our zones for only four minutes every day. If every home in the US that had a sprinkler system followed suit, that could save 120 billion gallons each year, not to mention $435 million in water costs. There’s less of a learning curve when you’re setting up the RainMachine than there is with the Rachio 3, as you create a schedule just like you would with a standard irrigation clock. I’ve spent many hours testing smart-home products—including smart thermostats, smart garage-door controllers, and smart smoke alarms—for Wirecutter. And adding any more schedules is fiddly. Gro integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but it doesn’t let you choose a weather station and has no water-use history. How to use water sprinkler timer. We selected the best smart-home devices to work with your Alexa speaker, based on our extensive testing and real-world use. It provides necessary … Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. After three seasons of testing more than a dozen models, we think the Rachio 3 is the best smart sprinkler controller for most people. As a workaround, we used RainMachine’s IFTTT integration to alert us when the device went offline; this did work. Also, the app doesn’t have notifications. The RainMachine Touch HD-12 is a better choice if you want full on-device controls, have an unreliable internet connection, or don’t want to rely on the cloud. Introducing the new ST8-WiFi Smart Irrigation Timer. This model’s built-in touchscreen allows on-device control without needing an internet connection. It takes a unique approach by watering entirely autonomously—you don’t need to set any schedules at all. Press it to water an individual zone, or all zones simultaneously, for up to 10 minutes; to cancel watering; or to turn the system on or off. Conserve from Sprinkl is a connected irrigation rain sensor that retrofits to your existing irrigation controller, giving it some basic smarts by adding smartphone control and some weather intelligence. Once everything is set up, the main screen gives you very clear notice of what state your system is in, which is something we really liked. There's a problem loading this menu right now. A feature we like is Adaptive Frequency, which skips a schedule if RainMachine’s algorithms determine it needs to water for only a few minutes and then adds those minutes to the next watering. We specialize in automatic sprinkler systems, landscape lighting, and controller repairs. You can tie the $60 sensors to a Zone Group, to adapt the watering based on real-time soil moisture, but the zones must be set up identically. It doesn’t alert you as to why it’s not watering, so it’s easy to think this controller is broken, and we had lots of issues with consistent operation in our tests. Although our top pick works with third-party wired soil-moisture sensors, some of the models we tested offer compatible wireless soil-moisture sensors. Paired with a smart-home hub such as SmartThings, the Rachio 3 can act as a security tool (turning the sprinklers on if an outdoor camera senses motion in a given zone) or a measure of added convenience (shutting the sprinklers off when the front door opens). The modular design of the Pro-C®, Pro-C Hydrawise™, ICC2, I … The Rachio 3 is expensive. On days when the Rachio 3 scheduled a watering, the system ran anywhere from 43 minutes to nearly four hours in the early morning hours, stopping as requested before sunrise. This model’s built-in touchscreen allows on-device control without needing an internet connection. I’ve been a writer and editor for 20 years and have spent the past decade trying to live a greener lifestyle (and writing about it). And we also tested BlueSpray, which might suit very specific needs, such as if someone has a golf course in their backyard. We’ve added details on the new Wyze Sprinkler Controller to What to look forward to. We also have integrations with most of the popular smart home platforms which require user authentication. They use an internet connection to get weather data and for remote control, so you need to have a good Wi-Fi signal where your device is installed. And I’ve lived in homes with underground sprinkler systems for 16 years, giving me plenty of hands-on time with electronic controllers. The ability to function if the internet connection goes down. We determined that the happy medium here is a controller that does the heavy lifting for you during setup, but that also lets you go in and manually adjust the ET parameters in settings, if you find the controller is not working as you wish. But its watering method and forecasting are less precise than the Rachio 3’s. It also has a built-in plant library with more than 1,000 common species, so your … Orbit also has a 12-zone smart controller that is weatherproof and has full on-device controls. Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Irrigation Controller (eight zones) is large and bulky, and comes with a weatherproof enclosure. Name, email, and address which is used for weather-related features. Another issue with accurate ET calculation is how much specific data the controller has about your yard. Its Weather Intelligence Plus (WIP) service produces a hyperlocal forecast based on local weather reports, satellite, radar, and atmospheric flight data, as well as other climate sources, and in our testing it proved to be very effective. See it. The first professional grade Rain Bird sprinkler system designed for homeowner installation, it provides everything you need to keep your lawn green season after season while saving water. If you’re in the yard with your iPhone or Apple Watch, a quick “Hey Siri, stop watering” will shut down your system. There is the option to choose your own weather station and view basic watering history, but there are no water-use reports. The Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor Irrigation Controller (available for eight zones) is the least expensive smart controller you can buy, yet it offers many of the same features as our top picks, including smart scheduling, a nice app, and an innovative, slim design. Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of fire protection products, specializing in fire sprinklers, valves, and system … Some of the most reviewed sprinkler timers are the Orbit B-hyve 12-Zone Indoor/Outdoor Smart Sprinkler Controller, Works with Amazon Alexa with 1,143 reviews and the Rain Bird 6-Station Indoor Simple-To … The Spruce Irrigation Controller 2nd Gen (16 zones) is WaterSense-certified, has basic on-device controls, and is simple to set up because it automatically creates a schedule. The Orbit B-hyve Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller (12 zones) looks like a traditional irrigation clock—big, heavy, and bulky. Since we first started testing Yardian devices, the company has improved its hardware and software substantially. It works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa but no smart hubs. He was very knowledgeable and always showed up on time. However, you still can’t choose a weather station (it uses darksky.net) or allow shared access. The Google Nest Protect is easy to silence and has other handy features. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. on Rachio. The automatic sprinkler systems for the buildings indicated on the drawings shall be designed in accordance with NFPA 13, this specification and all … (The Gardena system is also not WaterSense-certified and works only with soil sensors. Most smart controllers connect to smart-home systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and a few also work with Apple HomeKit, and Wink and SmartThings hubs. The home screen shows the controller status, the forecast, the last run and the next run, and a graphic of how much water has been used versus saved (an estimate). However, Fipps said that if you don’t use a smart controller, you would need some other method of knowing how much water you should apply to keep your garden healthy. We like the option of using the extensive (if not comprehensive) onboard controls (in lieu of the app), and that it works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit, among others. And without a separate rain sensor, it doesn’t have a rain delay. It will, however, suggest optimal run times, which Weather Adaptive Watering mode adjusts each day. The printed circuit board serves three distinct functions. The app sends timely and consistent notifications to your smartphone and email, the most useful being a warning that the sprinklers are about to turn on, sent a few seconds before they do; this saved us from unexpectedly soaking some party guests. The Tailwind iQ3 is our pick for most everyone. We turned on all of the offered smart features, including Smart Cycle, a cycle-and-soak feature that splits watering into multiple shorter cycles to prevent runoff, and Weather Intelligence, which includes climate skip (watering times skipped based on recent, past, and future weather conditions), rain skip (which skips watering before or after rain), and freeze skip (which prevents watering when a ground freeze is expected, so your plants don’t freeze). He was extremely thorough and meticulous during installation. (The app also has a tab for Rachio’s new lawn-care subscription service, Thrive. The controller is fully automatic and adjusts the sprinkler settings based on weather data and the time of day. A hidden LED on the top of the unit shows which zone you are watering and shows a “D” when it’s in a rain delay—a nice touch that none of the other devices with basic on-device controls have. Although we really liked this set-it-and-forget-it approach, it does require a fair amount of blind trust, since you can’t tweak or change the autonomous schedule at all. We also tested the company’s soil-moisture sensors, but two of the three failed (the third was eaten by our lawnmower). The Pro doesn’t have a camera, and it can be installed only indoors. We also looked at any software or hardware updates on devices in the Competition. (For a deeper dive on the science behind these sprinklers, see How smart sprinklers work). For optimal irrigation management always convenient, as far as possible, have automatic irrigation control systems. Still, the RainMachine is an excellent device. Orbit B-hyve 12-Zone Indoor/Outdoor Smart Sprinkler Controller, Works with Amazon Alexa (1165) Model# 57950 $ 96 81. Wireless soil-moisture sensors we’ve tested previously have been unreliable and expensive—often dropping off the network, rendering them useless. And we definitely felt a tinge of eco-smugness when we saw our neighbor’s sprinklers going off just before a rainstorm. After setup, the Rachio 3 offers two options for watering schedules: You can create a standard time-based schedule or have the unit generate a schedule for you. First name, last name, password, email address, and residential address. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. The app also tells you when it’s offline; this is key because with a device that’s so easy to set and forget, if it lost power, you might not know until your garden suffered damage. 1. ft. of the most advanced robotic automation in the Fire Protection Industry to serve our customers. So do smart controllers work? The EPA is actively working on a requirement for controllers that rely on a soil-moisture sensor, so we may see more of these integrated into smart controllers in the future and will reassess at that point. The half-acre test yard is equipped with a six-zone underground sprinkler system, and it features sandy soil, a variety of sprinkler heads, and different types of vegetation (grass, trees, shrubs, vegetable garden). We think Sprinkl shows promise, and so we will keep testing Control long-term to see if those planned updates make it a pick. Scotts offers compatible soil-moisture sensors, but they weren’t available for our review. You can also turn on features such as zone delay and Cycle and Soak, and prevent the device from watering if rain exceeds a certain depth. Here are the results, to help you determine whether you’re comfortable with purchasing these devices. Available in eight- or 16-zone models, the WaterSense-certified Rachio 3 is our top pick because it was the most accurate controller in our testing. It does lack some alerts, though, and its app isn’t as good as the Rachio 3’s. Orbit 4-Zone Indoor Easy Dial Timer ... remote control … The Rachio 3 is the most flexible and comprehensive device we tested, offering the best balance of setting it and forgetting it and maximum control when you want it. We had the most fun with the IFTTT integration: We set up an applet that turned on the sprinklers for five minutes in the zone we named “chickens” whenever the temperature exceeded 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Installing the Rachio 3 was straightforward using our system’s existing wires and three mounting screws. They have been testing and researching weather-based irrigation controllers for more than a decade. Unlike all of the other models we tested, the RainMachine doesn’t need to connect to the cloud to function, and it depends on the internet only for weather updates. All of the controllers responded appropriately to rainfall, but the authors speculate that adding a rain sensor could help prevent controllers from possibly overwatering. Put Amazon's Alexa to work for you with these great smart-home devices. For users with remote service enabled, the mapping between email and device ID is stored in an AWS database with limited access and AWS authentication access. RainMachine API can be accessed by third parties if the owner/user of RainMachine gives permission (for example IFTTT, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit). The only other way to get this type of accurate hyperlocal forecasting is by buying and installing a personal weather station; these range in price from $150 to several thousand dollars and require careful maintenance to remain accurate, according to experts we spoke with. Their software algorithms use this data, combined with predicted and actual rainfall and information you input about your yard (soil type, vegetation type, slope, shade, types of sprinkler heads) to create and adjust watering schedules tailored to your garden’s needs. (Since we began this guide, Rachio has launched four different models, only one of which is HomeKit-compatible.). As with all of the devices we tested, except for the RainMachine, the Rachio 3 requires an internet connection for changing schedules or controlling the system remotely. But we have not tested this since it’s a paid upgrade and not essential to the operation of the device.). An irrigation controller is not something you should upgrade every year, and even though the additional functionality of, say, HomeKit isn’t essential to the device’s operation, it’s still frustrating for users who don’t want to upgrade. I write about smart-home technology and sustainable living for Dwell Magazine, US News & World Report, The Ambient, and Mother Earth News, among others. However, though HomeKit integration has been promised, it has yet to materialize. The downside is that your sprinklers might still run in the rain if the RainMachine thinks they need to. During our testing, the RainMachine would regularly drop offline, which is something that rarely happened to the Rachio 3, despite their being connected to the same network. For 40+ years, Fire Control Systems remains a trusted provider of fire safety equipment, services and instruction in the Southeast. It is WaterSense-labeled, and its software and app are the same as those for our budget pick. It includes an optional delay for wells and pumps, can run up to three zones concurrently, has useful analytics comparing runtime with the actual weather, and an activity log. And you can’t choose a weather station. It’s WaterSense-certified and has a compatible solar-powered soil-moisture sensor that also records temperature (this was not available for testing). Our test yard is not a controlled lab site, and though we enjoy the convenience and features of smart controllers, for a scientific perspective we turned to Guy Fipps and Charles Swanson, of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. These measure soil-moisture content and relay those conditions to the controller to give the ET algorithms more-precise data. RainMachine has almost as many smart-home integrations as Rachio, including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings (using a device handler), and IFTTT (If This Then That), and it has an API for control on a local network. And even though it’s important to keep an eye on your landscape to make sure it’s getting what it needs, we think the smartest smart sprinkler controller is one that lets you set it and forget it, independently doing the work of supplying just the right amount of water to your yard. There are no on-device controls, and this device works only with Amazon Alexa and Siri Shortcuts. And I combed through Environmental Protection Agency research and reports on weather-based sprinkler controllers and their impact on water conservation. We really like B-hyve’s simple on-device control—its designers packed a lot of functionality into a single LED-lit button. Certain models might have an internal temperature sensor. The sprinkling control system comprises a programming system that is provided for the purpose of establishing at least one sprinkling area of the sprinkler … Rainmachine HD uses one of the zone terminals as the connection for a master valve, so if you have one, you get only 11 or 15 zones. They are much easier to program—some will do it all for you—and can reduce water use by using real-time weather data to decide if and when to water your yard. The Wyze Sprinkler Controller will retail for just $50, and is currently available for preorder. The schedule calendar is confusing, providing only a rain cloud to indicate that the device is not going to water, as opposed to the detailed forecasts that the Rachio 3 and others offer. Smart sprinkler controllers determine when and for how long to water your yard by applying local weather conditions—ideally rainfall accumulation, solar radiation, wind, relative humidity, and temperature—to a science called evapotranspiration (ET), which is the sum of evaporation and plant water use. Almost all newly built commercial or industrial buildings require automatic fire sprinkler systems for life safety, the protection of the property, the safety of the firefighters, and to minimize business interruption. Our top pick, the Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro, is small and attractive, and can be used in multiple ways. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a properly installed fire sprinkler system can reduce property damages due to a fire by 69%, and has lowered the rate of fire deaths by 83%. Inside the Rachio Thrive kit, you’ll find a revolution in yard care. Spruce Irrigation, 16 Zone Wifi Sprinkler Controller. If you live in an area that has high water prices and/or water shortages—40 out of 50 states have at least one region that’s expected to face a water shortage in the next decade—a smart sprinkler controller could be a valuable addition to your home and community. 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On your water bills—smart controllers are critical Rachio 3 was straightforward using our system ’ s settings the... Installing the Rachio 3 too complicated to use it consistently pick for most everyone LED-lit.! Guide, Rachio has a compatible solar-powered soil-moisture sensor that also records temperature ( for... It ’ s smart scheduling at the expense of predictability, this choice offers the highest potential water savings enclosures! Daily, which is HomeKit-compatible. ) since we first started testing Yardian devices, yet it remains simple use... Out of 5 stars ( 117 ) Total... 80 product ratings Orbit. Accurate ET calculation is how much specific data the controller uses, it... No warning when watering is about to begin in multiple ways s also the smallest device we,! Fire sprinkler and backflow prevention systems controller ( 12 zones ) is large and bulky new model, with user! 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