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Smart irrigation controllers are great at managing the water distribution in your garden or lawn. You can create zones, save watering history, and decide when to water your plants based on factors such as the weather, soil conditions, and type of plant. In this article, we have compiled the best smart irrigation controllers on the market – to help you improve your garden maintenance.

Best Smart Irrigation Controllers
9.5 Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 3rd Generation, Alexa and Apple HomeKit Compatible with Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence Plus and Rain, Freeze and Wind Skip
Top PickSmart Sprinkler Controller with Rain Skip Feature
9.3 Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, Weather aware, Remote access, 12 Zone, Compatible with Alexa
Runner UpSmart Sprinkler Controller with Remote Controller
9.2 WYZE WSPRK1 Smart Controller, Smart Sprinkler Timer with EPA Watersense, 8-Zone WiFi (1 Year of Automatic Weather-Based Watering with Sprinkler Plus Included), Black
Sprinkler Controller with Automatic Weather-Based Watering
9.2 Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart 6-Zone Indoor/Outdoor Sprinkler Controller, Compatible with Alexa, 6 Station
Smart Controller with Weather-Based Software
8.9 Orbit 57985 B-hyve XR Smart 8-Zone Indoor/Outdoor Sprinkler Controller, Compatible with Alexa, Charcoal Gray
Sprinkler Controller That Adjusts to the Weather Automatically
8.9 Smart Irrigation Sprinkler Controller NxEco HWN12-200, Smart Sprinkler Timer with EPA Water Sense, Weather Aware, Remote Access, 12 Zone, Works with Google Home and Alexa
Smart Irrigation Controller with Voice Assistant Compatibility

What Is a Smart Irrigation Controller?

A smart irrigation controller controls the water distribution among the different areas in your garden. This distribution is devised based on several factors: weather, watering history, type of plant, and more. With this in mind, you can program the distribution at any time you desire. The features also depend on the device you are using.

Best Smart Irrigation Controllers

9.5
Top Pick
Smart Sprinkler Controller with Rain Skip Feature

The Rachio 3 is a smart irrigation controller with voice assistant compatibility.

Top Features
  • It is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
  • Using a smart irrigation controller, you can save up to 50% on your monthly water bill.
  • The device comes with a mobile app that is compatible with Android and iOS devices.

This Rachio 3rd generation smart irrigation controller allows you to have full control of your lawn, no matter where you are in the world. Use the mobile app to create schedules and program your sprinklers. You decide when you want the sprinklers to turn on and how long you want them to stay on. It’s important to note that the device will not work without your input. You need to indicate when you want the sprinklers to work.

Rain Skip

What happens if you’ve created a schedule and left the house to go on vacation, but didn’t account for the heavy rainfall that started a few days after your departure? In that case, the rain skip feature allows the controller to respond to rain and turn the sprinklers off. This way, you can avoid overwatering your lawn and save some money on your water bill. 

What we liked
  • The device boasts features such as rain skip, wind skip, and freeze skip. When it detects rain, it automatically turns off, thus preventing overwatering.
  • Use the mobile app to control your sprinkler from anywhere.
  • Program the sprinkler using the mobile app. Create schedules and change them whenever you need to.
What we didn't like
  • Some users have complained that the customer support is quite poor.
9.3
Runner Up
Smart Sprinkler Controller with Remote Controller

The Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller comes with remote access.

Top Features
  • The controller is compatible with Amazon Alexa.
  • The controller can help you create and adjust your watering schedules according to the weather.
  • Monitor your outdoor water use through a computer or mobile app that is compatible with Android and iOS devices.

This Smart Sprinkler Controller by Netro is an excellent choice with a very friendly price tag.  As with most smart irrigation controllers, this one comes with a phone app. Can’t say we were blown away by the app, however, it does the job and allows you to control your sprinklers remotely. 

App Functionality

You can use the app to program your sprinklers to turn on and off whenever you please. With the help of weather alerts, you can make informed decisions about the amount of water your plants and lawn need on any given day. 

On top of that, the app provides tailored recommendations regarding the amount of water needed for different types of plants and soil.

What we liked
  • Minimize your water use with the help of this controller and save up to 50% on your water bill every month.
  • The device is very easy to install. You won’t need any special tools or professional help.
  • All you need to control the device is access to the internet. Control it from anywhere using your phone.
What we didn't like
  • It cannot work in multiple zones at the same time.
9.2
Sprinkler Controller with Automatic Weather-Based Watering

The Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller is a smart sprinkler timer.

Top Features
  • The device comes with one year of Sprinkler Plus that features automatic weather-based watering.
  • Use the Wyze mobile app to turn your sprinklers on and off from anywhere in the world.
  • The app allows you to create detailed schedules for your sprinklers.

This smart sprinkler controller from Wyze has all the necessary features for a sprinkler controller and more. For starters, you can operate your sprinklers using the Wyze app remotely. 

Mobile App

You can use the app to turn the sprinklers on and off manually. You can also create schedules and program your sprinklers to operate at your convenience. 

Sprinkler Plus

Wyze offers a subscription program called Sprinkler Plus. It’s a paid service that comes with benefits such as weather-based watering. 

This feature uses weather data to decide when your plants need to be watered. With this feature, you can avoid overwatering and shave a few bucks off your water bill.

What we liked
  • The automatic weather-based watering feature decides when to water each zone based on weather data, so your plants don’t get overwatered.
  • The installation process is very simple.
  • Choose to get notified every time the sprinklers go on and off.
What we didn't like
  • The app interface is not as intuitive.
  • Some users have complained that the customer support is quite poor.
9.2
Smart Controller with Weather-Based Software

The Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Controller is a sprinkler controller that works indoors and outdoors.

Top Features
  • The sprinkler controller is compatible with Amazon Alexa.
  • You can control your sprinklers from anywhere using your phone or laptop. The B-hyve app is compatible with Android and iOS devices.
  • Use the mobile app to create schedules and set timers for your sprinklers.

This smart irrigation controller by B-hyve allows you to control your sprinklers using a web browser or the B-hyve app. You can use the app to program your sprinklers and create detailed schedules for them. Alternatively, you can allow the device to do all the work for you and create a weather-based program. 

WeatherSense Technology

With WeatherSense technology, your plants and lawn will never be overwatered. The device takes into account the type of soil, amount of sun or shade, and other site conditions to determine how much water a plant needs. You can override any settings manually using your phone or computer from any place in the world.

The device is quite easy to install and operate. Using this device, you can save money on your water bill every month.

What we liked
  • You can let the B-hyve software create a weather-based program for your sprinklers with no input from you.
  • The smart watering feature delivers just the right amount of water to your plants to avoid overwatering and save water.
  • The device is very easy to install and use.
What we didn't like
  • According to some users, the B-hyve app is not as easy to use.
  • Some users have complained that the customer support is quite poor.
8.9
Sprinkler Controller That Adjusts to the Weather Automatically

The Orbit B-hyve XR Sprinkler Controller is an outdoor sprinkler controller in charcoal gray.

Top Features
  • The sprinkler controller is compatible with Amazon Alexa.
  • The device can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • The sprinkler controller from B-hyve is very easy to install and use.

This unit from B-hyve comes in a unique gray design. It’s very easy to control your sprinklers with the help of the B-hyve mobile app. All you have to do is connect your devices and create schedules for your sprinklers. 

You can decide when they will turn on, how long they will stay on for, which areas they will water, and more. To make sure everything is going as planned, you can get notified every time the sprinklers turn on and off.

Weather Adjustment

B-hyve also promises to adjust to the weather conditions automatically to avoid overwatering. While all of that sounds great on paper, many people have complained that their unit simply cannot connect to the internet. That is alarming, to say the least.

What we liked
  • The free B-hyve app allows you to create schedules and program your sprinklers to make sure your plants get enough water when they need it.
  • Get notified every time the sprinklers turn on or off.
  • The controller adjusts to weather changes automatically. This way, you won’t waste water on your plants when it’s raining.
What we didn't like
  • When the controller disconnects from the Wi-Fi, it doesn’t reconnect automatically when it’s within range again. You have to reconnect it manually.
8.9
Smart Irrigation Controller with Voice Assistant Compatibility

This smart irrigation controller allows you to keep an eye on your garden remotely. You can use a mobile app or web browser to access your account. You can also control the water use in your garden through the NxEco Knob.

Top Features
  • The NxEco Smart Irrigation Controller is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
  • You can control your smart irrigation controller using your phone, laptop, or even Alexa.
  • Give access to your NxEco account to people in your family or your gardener without sharing your private password with them.

Share access to your account with other people without giving them your password. NxEco claims that you can save up to 40% on your water bills every year with the help of a smart irrigation controller. Connect your device to Amazon Alexa or Google Home and control it using voice commands.

Decision Factors when choosing the best Smart Irrigation Controller

Zones

One thing that you will see in the title of most smart irrigation controllers is the number of zones it supports. Most devices are 8-zone, but you can find ones that have more or less. For example, some models support 6 zones, 12 zones, and 16 zones. 

To make an informed decision regarding the number of zones, you need to know how many zones you want to divide your area into. If you don’t have a massive and complex yard, you will do just fine with 8 zones.

Installation & Setup

The next thing you should pay attention to is the ease of installation and use. Ideally, the controller should be easy to set up with no extra tools or professional help. It should feature both indoor and outdoor capabilities. 

Finally, it should be easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and intuitive app. If the device is not easy to use, you might be tempted to never use it at all and continue operating your sprinklers manually. 

Before you buy a controller, make sure to go through all the controls with a sales assistant.

Automated Scheduling

One of the more advanced features of smart irrigation controllers is called auto-scheduling. When you’re buying a smart device, what you’re looking for is artificial intelligence. Automation is nice, but it’s way more impressive when the technology can think for you. This is exactly what auto-scheduling does.

Auto-scheduling uses data from weather forecasts and previous periods to determine how much water each zone is going to need. This way, you don’t overwater or underwater your plants and lawn. In the long run, using this feature effectively could result in a decrease in your water bill every month. On top of that, you will have a beautiful garden.

Smart Integration

Smart home devices don’t exist in a vacuum; they all work together to provide a seamless experience from the moment you wake up till the moment you go to bed. Being able to schedule your outdoor water use is nice, but what’s even better is knowing how much water to use in each zone and being able to adjust to the weather without manual interruption.

Integration with Other Smart Devices and Sensors

The first type of integration is integration with other smart devices in your home. For instance, if you have a temperature, humidity, light, and/or motion sensor that monitor the wellbeing of the soil in your garden, you can use that information to help the controller make better decisions. Instead of transferring that information manually, some controllers can be integrated with your sensors and access that information on their own.

Integration with Smart Hubs and Voice Assistants

The same principle works with smart hubs and voice assistants. Being able to connect your smart irrigation controller to Alexa allows you to talk to the controller when your hands are full. You can use it for scheduling, programming, and manually overriding the current settings. 

The Verdict

If you want to take your garden or yard to the next level, there is no better way to do it than using a smart irrigation controller. Have a look at the options mentioned here and get a clear picture of what you’re looking for. Your yard and wallet will thank you!

9.5
Top Pick
Smart Sprinkler Controller with Rain Skip Feature

The Rachio 3 is a smart irrigation controller with voice assistant compatibility.

Top Features
  • It is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit.
  • Using a smart irrigation controller, you can save up to 50% on your monthly water bill.
  • The device comes with a mobile app that is compatible with Android and iOS devices.

Sources

https://rachio.com/

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