Watering the lawn and garden is a thankless chore, and it tends to be especially wasteful if done with a hose in one hand and a beer in the other. Updated September 18, 2020 to add our Orbit B-hyve XR smart sprinkler controller review. A. If you are looking for the best wifi sprinkler controller in the market, Hunter is not the only choice though their Hydrawise software is the most complete Wi-Fi irrigation control system that gives you total control of your watering. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, Compatible with Alexa By orbit 8.5 View Product 8.5 6: BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. The world’s best smart sprinkler controller gets even better, with new features, better wireless connectivity, and smarter water management. The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. When we moved into our house it came with an older Rain Bird system that runs on 24V AC. In some cases, yes. Sounds great, but the reality is that most smart sprinklers exist as islands today: Only a few connect to anything at all, though Amazon’s Alexa has a modicum of support. Buying guide for best smart sprinkler controllers, 57915 Smart 4-Station Sprinkler System Controller, HC-600i Hydrawise Smart 6 Zone Sprinkler Controller, 12 Zone Indoor Controller With Hydrawise Web-based Software, Smart Irrigation Sprinkler Controller, 12 Zone, 4-Station Timer Propagation & Irrigation Sprinkler Controller, Pro-8, Cloud Independent Touch Irrigation Controller, 12 Zone HC-1200i WiFi Irrigation Controller, Lawn Master II 6-Zone Landscape Sprinkler System, Digital Programmable Garden Sprinkler Timer, 4 Station X-Core Outdoor Sprinkler System Controller. Higher end models can be expanded to support up to 20 or more zones. Notifications: It’s helpful to be notified when your watering system is running, but different products deal with the mechanics differently. Water Sense certified. Many smart sprinkler controllers offer similar features, but since this is a new technology, it may pay off in the long run to go for a high-end model. Even low-end ones made to hook up to a hose are designed for use with downloadable apps for your smartphone. (Note: There is also an 8-zone model that sells for $249.99). Indoor/outdoor mounting: Are you mounting the unit inside or outside? Can I install a smart sprinkler controller myself? He contributes regularly to TechHive, PCWorld, and Wired, and operates the websites Drinkhacker and Film Racket. Ultra quick and easy setup. This flow meter monitors your sprinkler system for leaks, but only it’s compatible only with the third-generation Rachio smart sprinkler controller. A smart sprinkler controller with “WaterSense” EPA certification is your best best. Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc. on Rachio. Q. On-device controls: Probably the biggest single decision you need to make with a controller is whether you want a device that includes onboard controls, i.e., buttons and a readout directly on the controller that allow you to use it without an app. Again, Rachio 8ZULW WiFi sprinkler controller system allows you to water your plants and home loan with true intelligence. Otherwise, there’s not too much of a need to put weight on so-called “smart” scheduling features. Expect this to change as these products mature. TechHive helps you find your tech sweet spot. It works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. Water Sense certified. Smart-home hub support: Want to tie your sprinkler system into your smart-home hub? The WaterSense program is an EPA-approved program that helps consumers improve water efficiency. Push notifications are common, but many only notify you when the watering has completed, not when it starts (which is arguably more useful). Features of the 1st generation Rachio 8ZULW WiFi Sprinkler Controller System are:. Orbit has upped its game considerably, and this new model comes in a close second to the Rachio 3, which remains our top pick in this category.Â, [ Further reading: A smart home guide for beginners ]. BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. An affordable option, but with considerably fewer features than its counterparts. Smart sprinkler controllers have a WiFi-enabled sensor unit you install in your yard. Are you interested in water conservation? Top of the line technology in a clean unit that easily blends with any decor. Easy to program and use. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller. Get it as soon as Sat, Nov 21. If you’re interested in conserving water, a WaterSense-certified smart sprinkler controller is the best route to take. However, in-ground moisture sensing devices are often sold separately. It's available with support for six or 12 zones. 4.6 out of 5 stars 6,286. Smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers can simplify home lawn and garden care, and reduce water consumption. Read our, What to look for when shopping for a smart sprinkler controller, Orbit B-hyve XR smart sprinkler controller review, Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller (16 zone), Orbit B-hyve Smart Hose Watering Timer (with Wi-Fi bridge), Rain Bird ST8I-WiFi Smart Irrigation Indoor Timer/Controller, Scotts Miracle-Gro Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller, Better Water Intelligence features improve conservation, Revamped wire connectors make setup even faster, Onboard controls offer easy access to manual runs, Old Rachio units don’t get access to the same software treatment, Significantly cheaper than the standard version, Still offers world-class water management capabilities, Thrive application is easy (and the included expanding hose is great), Thrive fertilizer subscription is expensive, Lots of scheduling options, fairly easy to understand, Onboard display is handy for at-a-glance status updates, Can be mounted outdoors without an accessory (though not fully waterproof), Wiring leads might require some finagling to successfully connect, Onboard hardware controls are far from intuitive, Precision irrigation based on your specific landscaping and current environmental conditions, You can open the valve and have it automatically shut off based on elapsed time or gallons of water, More expensive than timers that don’t connect to your home network, Smart scheduling is better than most competitors, Streamlined, modern design makes it suitable for interior use, Onboard hardware controls aren’t intuitive, The app is capable of managing multiple controllers, Relatively cumbersome installation (both hardware and software), Very slow and rather limited mobile app (apart from the multiple controller feature), Simple and streamlined; one of the easiest watering systems to master, Handy features like hibernation and soak cycles are available if you hunt for them, Simplified interface may not offer enough configurability for many users, Smooth integration with an existing Rachio 3 smart sprinkler controller, Can reduce water waste by shutting down your sprinkler system if it detects a leak, Most buyers will want to hire a professional to install, Not compatible with first- and second-generation Rachio smart sprinkler controllers. Easy installation and use. Orbit’s second-generation B-hyve smart sprinkler controller has lots of bells and whistles, and it can even withstand being mounted outdoors without needing an accessory (although it’s not completely waterproof).Â. Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, Weather aware, Remote access, 12 Zone, Compatible with Alexa. Q. The B-hyve WiFi sprinkler is Orbit's initial venture into the smart sprinkler realm, though the company has been in this business for 40 years. 99 $109.99 $109.99. Decrease water use and remotely monitor and control zones from your Android or iOS phone using Wifi or Ethernet Connectivity. They typically consist of a rotary dial, a handful of switches, and perhaps a crude monochrome LCD. Controllers that are certified by the WaterSense program provide you with system access via a smartphone app, but the device is designed to work more like a thermostat than a pre-set timer system. Uses the same wires as standard timers for hassle-free installation. Rachio Wireless Flow Meter. Zones: 6. ST8 2.0, 8-Zone Smart Irrigation WiFi Sprinkler Timer Put control of your sprinkler system in the palm of your hand with a Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer from Rain Bird. Netro (12-Zone)The final smart sprinkler controller is one by Netro. It’s a completely “smart” system that can sense when your lawn needs water by checking the weather forecast and, in some cases, checking ground moisture. A few controllers can even import legal watering restrictions information for your zip code, to ensure you aren’t watering on prohibited days. Spruce Irrigation Sprinkler Controller. How many stations can a smart sprinkler controller support? These have come from two angles: Startups looking to disrupt the market with brand-new devices, and old-guard irrigation companies that have upgraded their gear with smart innards. … This controller is a little more pricey than the Orbit 57950, but users love it for its convenience and easy setup, with an awesome in-app installation tutorial. TechHive |. Select the Controller, then tap the Settings icon. You do not necessarily have to have an in-ground irrigation system to benefit from a smart sprinkler controller. It knows what the weather is … Here in Texas with our scorching summers and long droughts, efficiently managing your lawn sprinkler system is paramount to assure good water conservation without killing your lawn. Others sell an outdoor enclosure as a separate add-on. At BestReviews, we want to help you find the best smart sprinkler controller for your landscaping needs. This number varies by system. Once again, there’s no contest: The Rachio 3 succeeds the second-generation Rachio as the best smart sprinkler controller on the market. Customizable zone input to optimize watering schedules. Scheduling flexibility: How often do you want to water? Cannot be mounted outdoors without purchasing the appropriate case. The most advanced water saving smart sprinkler controller on the market. Number of zones: In irrigation parlance, a zone is an area controlled by a valve and its connected irrigation tubing. The Irrigation card will refresh after authorization is complete. Saves water by automatically adjusting to weather/seasonal fluctuations. Excellent value for money. Smart sprinkler controllers have a WiFi-enabled sensor unit you install in your yard. All smart sprinkler controllers are designed to give you some kind of interface with an app on your smartphone. Rachio strips down its model 3 and slices a third off the price tag; you probably won’t miss the features that got axed unless you need to irrigate more than eight zones. This is rapidly changing, as smart sprinkler controllers enter the market. Ultra modern and sleek unit with touch screen controls. “Smart” scheduling: Once of the great promises of smart watering systems is that they can take into account your local weather and environment to optimize your water delivery. Get it as soon as Thu, Oct 15. You can conveniently connect your phone with this system using the app and take control of the irrigation system with confidence. Otherwise, it will not work properly. A. Smart sprinkler controllers can potentially eliminate needless watering by up to 50%. Home Tech. Streamlined, modern design. CR’s take: The Rachio 3 8ZULW-C is a solid sprinkler controller that's easy to connect to WiFi and is highly responsive to local forecasts, receiving a Very Good rating for that capability. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Somewhat lacking in features. Every day? If you water your landscaping with a garden hose or simple drip irrigation, as opposed to an in-ground sprinkler system, Orbit’s B-hyve Smart Hose Watering Time is vastly superior to conventional non-connected timers, and Orbit’s app can control several of them independently. For example, a particular zone of your yard might need less water than another zone because there is more clay in the soil. Keep your smart sprinkler within range of your WiFi router. $139.99$139.99 $149.99$149.99. … The unit controls your irrigation system, giving you the ability to make watering adjustments from your smartphone based on the weather. Q. Your controller needs to have enough capacity to support all the zones in your system. Designed to give you remote access via smartphone to your sprinkler system, a smart sprinkler controller can help you easily control the amount of water you use on your yard. Complies with local water regulations/restrictions. Manual watering feature only works one zone at a time, requiring a manual startup for each consecutive zone. Features WeatherSense technology for personalized watering based on individual garden conditions and local weather forecasts. Shareable access. Utilizes multiple leading weather data sources to calculate the perfect volume of water. The modular design of the Pro-C®, Pro-C Hydrawise™, ICC2, I-Core®, ACC and ACC2 controllers sets yet another industry standard for easy-to-use and expandable automatic irrigation controllers. Eight stations can be supported by many systems. Freelance Contributor, These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5. Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler ControllerMany of the best WiFi irrigation controller alternatives … A wifi sprinkler controller from Wetscape not only saves water, but also saves you money, reducing your overall cost of use. The app function allows you to see how much water your lawn is getting zone by zone. Compare the top smart sprinkler systems for your lawn and garden. These better controllers offer a much greater ability to save water. Consult with a landscaping expert first if you are installing a sprinkler system from scratch, in order to plan out your zones in advance. A cleverly designed and intuitive smart sprinkler controller that won't break the bank. Installing a real sprinkler system can be a big task that requires professional help—particularly if you have a large yard or garden—but upgrading to a smart controller from a “dumb” one isn’t difficult. It gives you complete visibility and control over the irrigation system. Irrigation systems have made home watering simpler and more efficient, and while the bulk of any sprinkler system revolves around plastic pipes and a set of motorized valves attached to the water supply, the brains of the operation has always been in the controller. You can change the watering amounts or times in the middle of the day, track how much water you use, and adjust the schedule as you see fit. Every other day? The Yardian Pro’s sexy industrial design is undone by some usability gaffes, but the overall package works relatively well. Below, we explore the two basic types of smart sprinkler controllers on the market today. Self learning feature compiles a personalized schedule based on in-app user history. WaterSense models actually control the watering based on the weather. For some, navigating the app takes a bit of getting used to. Some smart sprinkler controllers make the adjustments themselves; others require a manual override. FREE Shipping by Amazon. A healthy, beautiful garden needs just the right amount of water to thrive. A. It is simple to setup customized watering schedules that can be adjusted automatically all year long to ensure a healthy, beautiful landscape saving you time and money. Check with your utility company to see if a rebate is offered in your area for the use of a smart sprinkler controller. Works with Amazon Alexa. Handy plant library with 1,000+ species. Works with Amazon Alexa. Orbit B-hyve 4-Zone Smart Indoor Sprinkler Controller. Not the most elegantly designed unit. Save 10% with coupon. Get exclusive content, advice, and tips from BestReviews delivered to your inbox. There are other smart sprinkler controllers that are worth considering. These apps allow you to easily control your watering system from anywhere. High-end models often require hardwiring to your existing pump house system; you may want to hire a professional to complete this task. Low-end models, particularly those designed to work with hoses, are easy to install; simply plug and go. Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases. Homeowners Professionals . BestReviews wants to be better. User friendly interface. Orbit might be a graybeard in the world of irrigation, but it’s giving Rachio a run for its money in the smart home market. Robust, weatherproof case can be mounted indoors or outdoors. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Some smart sprinkler controllers are made to hook up to your water line and control the water flow. You can control it yourself, or can choose a system with a WaterSense design that uses WiFi to check the forecast. The Rachio Smart Lawn Sprinkler System is one of the best wireless sprinkler controllers for maintaining your yard from afar. A. A smart sprinkler controller can customize the amount of water received by various zones in your yard. Christopher Null is a veteran technology and business journalist. If you have four valves, you have four zones. If you’d like to experience the future of irrigation with your own wifi irrigation controller and wireless rain sensor, contact Wetscape, a Royal Irrigation Company, today at 732-993-7300.We’ll put the power of smartphone irrigation control in your hands. Wi-Fi: 2.4 GHz. This system can easily control 16 different sensors throughout the park. Rain Bird’s first-generation smart controller is rather utilitarian and its performance is slow, but it features enough extras to merit a look in some environments. $82.99 $ 82. An exceptional, but high priced smart sprinkler controller. Spruce Irrigation, 16 Zone Wifi Sprinkler Controller. One of the best things about a smart sprinkler controller is the ability to forget about it. The following are comparisons of the three top Smart Controllers for Irrigation Systems on the market: Hunter’s Hydrawise Controller, Rainbird, and Rachio. 10% coupon applied at checkout. The Blossom 7 can control up to seven sprinkler zones independently. They run regardless of the weather – even if it’s pouring rain – which can be a waste of energy and resources. FREE Shipping by Amazon. If you’re in the market for a smart sprinkler controller, here are some important things to consider and features to look for as you shop. If you install your smart sprinkler controller far from your router, you risk losing your connection in bad weather. Many are designed with specific voice commands that work with controllers like Amazon Echo and Amazon Alexa. This model’s built-in touchscreen allows on-device control without needing an internet connection. Basic smart sprinkler controllers turn any irrigation system into a device you can control from a smartphone app or with your Amazon Alexa. How to add the Rain Bird Controller to an Alarm.com account: Write down or photograph the serial number on the back of the LNK Wi-Fi Module. Get exclusive content, advice, and tips from BestReviews. A Sprinkler System that Saves Water. Compatible with Amazon Alexa. These will allow you to use the smart technology with any sprinkling system. Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller, 8-Zone 2nd Generation, Alexa and Apple HomeKit Compatible with Rain,… Once the system is set up, you can let it run and rest assured your lawn is getting the water it needs and not one drop more. Smart sprinklers are designed to replace the existing sprinkler controller for your in-ground sprinkler system. Some smart sprinkler controllers make the adjustments themselves; others require a manual override. Orbit’s B-hyve Smart Hose Watering Timer is an ideal solution for drip and other hose-based irrigation systems. They’re a major step up from the timer-driven models most homeowners use. Most homeowners feel comfortable installing this type of smart sprinkler controller themselves. You can easily adjust zone watering and also track how much water and time your system is using. That’s The Intelligent Use of Water™. Do you have a sprinkler system already? Clay is known for its water-retaining properties. What exactly does a smart sprinkler controller do? A reasonably priced option that gives more expensive competitors a run for their money. Here are our takes on the best gear on the market today. Q. Smart sprinkler controllers are made to be compatible with your devices. Not for the budget conscious. Utilizes weather forecasts to automatically adjust watering schedules and volumes. Control multiple timers – Both homeowners that worry about more than one property and lawn care professionals can easily access a timer no matter where they are Put control of your sprinkler system in the palm of your hand with a Smart Irrigation WiFi Timer from Rain Bird. See it. Keeping the flowers beautiful and the grass green is something nearly every homeowner tries to accomplish. A. See the benefits. Other options New and used from $59.20. Sale. If outside, you’ll need a weatherproof enclosure for the system. Plaid Systems Spruce Irrigation ( Moisture … Initial Wi-Fi setup/pairing can be a bit tricky. Other Wifi Sprinkler Controller. Lack of clear instructions can cause some initial hiccups, but these are usually quickly resolved thanks to excellent customer service. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. After looking around, seems like Rachio and RainMachine both had integrations with Home Assistant (my chosen Home Automation platform) and had good reviews. NxEco Smart Irrigation Sprinkler ControllerThe NxEco is a smart irrigation controller that supports 8, … Water Sense certified. While it worked fine, it was time to move the sprinkler system into the 21st century and get a “smart” sprinkler system. I was first considering RainMachine because it does not need the cloud to operate, so if RainMachine’s servers are down (or i… The controller determines the ideal watering amount for each zone based on factors such as the following. Works with Amazon Alexa. Its exterior is, of course, less sophisticated, as the screen is … Not every controller can handle complex schedules, so look closely at your options before buying. Eight zones is common, but units supporting as few as six zones and as many as 16 zones are currently on the market. While there are a few smart irrigation controllers that will work with garden hoses or other off-the-rack equipment, most are designed to work with true irrigation controllers that connect to their own water supply and which feature motorized valves and dedicated tubing to control the flow of water. The unit controls your irrigation system, giving you the ability to make watering adjustments from your smartphone based on the weather. Can I use a smart sprinkler controller on my manual lawn sprinkler? We dug into the product space to learn more; the product recommendations at the top of this page are our favorites. Effortless installation, programming and functions. Uses weather intelligent technology to adjust watering times and volumes accordingly. Like most connected devices, you can control smart sprinklers with an app. The Most Complete Wi-Fi Irrigation Control System. The new model is even easier to install, and the company has made various improvements to its already terrific app. What I need is a remote control that I can use to turn on or off the sprinkler from a remote location, or at least the comfort of … Systems without on-device controls generally lack any kind of display whatsoever except for a status light indicating whether it’s working, so remember you’ll need the app on your smartphone or tablet to do anything with it. This beefy indoor/outdoor sprinkler controller offers plenty of bells and whistles, including a built-in LED screen that provides live status updates. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station Smart WiFi Sprinkler System Controller – A Cut-Rate Wi-Fi Option This is the only cheap and functional Wi-Fi product available on the market. Unfortunately, most sprinkler system controllers are still dumb devices that only operate with a fixed schedule set at the control panel. We’ve found that these don’t work all that well (they have a tendency to over-water), though options that skip watering when it rains can be a bonus feature. Netro Sprite Smart Sprinkler Controller – Best Water-Efficient Controller. For decades, sprinkler controllers have hardly been elegant devices. Many smart sprinkler controllers use in-ground moisture information to help with watering schedules. If you have relatively simple watering needs, the Blossom 7 is a credible smart sprinkler solution. It can be challenging in the hot summers with old-fashioned irrigation system timers. Both approaches to date have shown some merit. Displays detailed information and in-depth graphs. Some vendors sell separate indoor and outdoor versions of their controllers. Other forms of notification (email, text) aren’t common, so consider a unit that supports IFTTT if you want to get fancy with notifications. and give us feedback about your visit today. This can be handy if you have multiple people using the system or, especially, want to give a gardener access to the controller without having to set him or her up on the app. 4.4 out of 5 stars 216. Home Automation. On a mobile device, log into the Rain Bird app. With a smart WiFi controller, not only can you control your system with your smartphone, some controllers even have the ability to save you a substantial amount of water and detect leaks. This wireless sprinkler system is good for you if you have a large lawn area to cover. Its sprinkler controller is an affordable choice as long as you don't mind the bulky, industrial design. Here are Top 10 Wireless Sprinkler System Controller we've found so far. Place the outside sensor portion of your smart sprinkler system in an area that reflects the general sun exposure of your entire lawn. Note: When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. On specific days of the week? Hydrawise automatically adjusts watering based on highly accurate, internet-sourced local weather data. Once again, it’s available in both 8- and 16-zone configurations, and there’s an outdoor enclosure if you can’t install the device indoors.Â. We steer you to products you'll love and show you how to get the most out of them. 5) Wait for the controller to load. Hunter's lineup offers an array of user-friendly features and smart controller water-saving options built to fit any landscape irrigation system. Home Control. Please take our 3-minute survey, But its … Versatile 3-way timer control via Wi-Fi, mobile device or directly on control panel. Q. Want to hire a professional to complete this task few as six zones and as many 16... No contest: the Rachio 3 succeeds the second-generation Rachio as the best picks for most consumers a smart controller... Better controllers offer a much greater ability to save water the timer-driven models most feel. 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Home lawn and garden care, and tips from BestReviews delivered to water. Have a WiFi-enabled sensor unit you install your smart sprinkler controller system are: water management there’s not much. Smartphone app or with your Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and company! You risk losing your connection in bad weather the line technology in a clean that... With confidence even import legal watering restrictions information for your smartphone user.. To a Hose are designed with specific voice commands that work with hoses, are easy install. To learn more ; the product space to learn more ; the product recommendations at top! Do you want to tie your sprinkler system into your smart-home hub hiccups but. New model is even easier to install, and operates the websites Drinkhacker and Film.... The third-generation Rachio smart sprinkler controller is an area controlled by a valve and its connected irrigation tubing a...