Technology

The Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers of 2022

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What to Look for in a Smart Sprinkler Controller in 2022

A smart sprinkler controller makes it easy for you to manage your lawn. They’re capable of far more than just turning on or off your sprinklers with the press of a button, with controllers having a variety of features you can take advantage of.

Convenience and ease of use are the first factors you’ll want to consider. You want a sprinkler controller that’s easy to set up and control. You shouldn’t have to spend hours reading the manual or rearranging your yard just to get it to work. The best controllers will be user-friendly and intuitive.

Just as importantly, look for controllers that allow you to access its features in a way that’s best for you. This includes from your phone or another mobile device, a touch screen, an online interface, or voice control. If you want voice control, make sure the sprinkler controller is compatible with your voice assistant. You’ll also want to see if it integrates into your smart home ecosystem if you have one.

You should also be able to set schedules for your sprinklers to turn on and off. Some sprinklers can automatically adjust their schedules based on the weather, which is an impressive feature. They will use weather forecast services to accurately predict when your lawn needs watering and then adjust accordingly. Your smart sprinkler controller should also be able to track your water usage to help you stay on top of your consumption.

Not only do these features save on your water bill, but it also saves a lot of time and effort in turning your sprinkler schedules on and off manually based on the weather. Just getting rid of that frustration from many normal sprinkler controllers can be worth the upgrade to a smart one.

Now that you know what to look for, let’s take a look at the best smart sprinkler controllers available.

Rachio 3 box on pink background
Rachio

Pros

  • Easy installation precise weather forecasting
  • Large number of useful features
  • Precise weather forecasting

If you’re looking for a highly functional controller that could cut your water bill in half, then installing the Rachio 3 16-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller is your best bet. It’s a bit expensive at $230, but the amount you’ll save on your water bill will make this worth every penny.

One of the controller’s best features is forecasting the local weather very precisely by using over 300,000 weather stations. This allows it to carefully monitor and automatically water your lawn without waste. When it rains, the Rachio 3 will not run unless more water is needed, and you can set customizable schedules based on your specific needs.

You can control all of the above and more from the app on iPhone and Android devices, including setting up the schedules, turning the sprinklers on and off, and observing water usage. Even with an abundance of smart features, the Rachio 3’s 16-zone design gives you more control to manage each section of your lawn perfectly.

The installation process is easy if you follow the setup instructions—you can get it done within 30 minutes. Just remember to connect the device to your Wi-Fi so you can control it remotely. You may need to get a Wi-Fi extender if your router’s range doesn’t make it to the controller, but it’s worth the extra investment given the Rachio 3’s features.

Once everything’s good to go, you can use Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, or HomeKit to control the Rachio easily.

Best Smart Sprinkler Controller Overall

Best Budget Smart Sprinkler Controller: Wyze WSPRK1

Wyze sprinkler controller on yellow background
Wyze

Pros

  • One of the cheapest but highly functional options
  • Two scheduling features
  • Advanced zone control (up to eight)
  • Unique offline mode

Cons

  • Not compatible with smart assistants currently

For those on a tighter budget, the Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Sprinkler Controller is a great option. This affordable controller only costs $50 but is capable of plenty of the features you’d want from a device like this.

The WSPRK1 has an eight-zone design, which is enough sprinkler customization for most homes. If you have a large lawn to manage, you may have to get two controllers, however. You can access all the controller’s features with ease on the Wyze app for iPhone and Android, and you can do so from anywhere.

You’re given two scheduling options with the WSPRK1. The first is manually creating schedules to water your lawn on specific days and times. The other is Smart Scheduling, which uses local weather data to automatically decide when to water each of your zones. Weather reading isn’t a common feature for budget sprinkler controllers, so this is a nice surprise.

In addition, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the Wyze WSPRK1 does a fantastic job of helping you manage your irrigation. It knows not to run when the weather’s off, such as on a very windy or cold day. There’s even a handy offline mode that instructs the controller to run for the next two weeks based on the previously saved schedule.

You can install this little controller in under 20 minutes following the setup instructions in the app. Although it currently isn’t compatible with any voice assistants, you can still control it from anywhere as long as it’s connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Note: In March 2022, Bitdefender revealed security flaws in Wyze cameras that went unfixed for three years after being reported to the company. Wyze has patched the vulnerabilities (except on the V1 Cam), but Wyze’s lack of communication raises serious questions about its commitment to security. Our sister site Review Geek has a deeper look at everything you need to know.

Orbit B-Hyve controller being attached to hose

Pros

  • Great value when buying multiple controllers lockable
  • Comes with a lockable and weather-resistant cabinet
  • Network meshing for stable connection
  • Works with other B-hyve devices

Cons

  • Timers consume battery life quickly
  • Expensive

Need a hose-based controller for your home? You can install the Orbit B-hyve Hose Faucet Timer to instantly turn your faucets into EPA Certified smart sprinkler controllers.

These controllers are more expensive for a single zone as they provide exceptional functionality to your hose faucets. It’s $67 for a single controller, $100 for two, or $180 for four. They come in a weather-resistant cabinet that you can mount and lock up for security.

Get as many controllers as you need as you’ll have no problem using them in your yard. This is thanks to the B-hyve network meshing, which strengthens the signals of each controller to provide a stable connection to your Wi-Fi network.

To install the controller, twist it in your outdoor faucets, then follow the setup instructions on the B-hyze app on iPhone or Android devices. You can then control each hose from the app whenever and however you’d like.

For example, you can set manual timers for each controller or automatically create them using the built-in WeatherSense technology that tracks live weather feeds. Or, you precisely track your water usage by volume and time using the built-in flow meter.

The Orbit B-hyve works with other B-hyve devices, which means you can also use them with a separate, dedicated sprinkler controller, if you prefer.

Best Hose-Based Smart Sprinkler Controller

Orbit B-hyve Hose Faucet Timer

With these, you can instantly turn your outdoor faucets into smart sprinkler controllers! They work with other B-hyve devices.

RainMachine Touch ID on grey background
RainMachine

Pros

  • Compatible with many voice assistants
  • Uses many reliable weather forecast services
  • Offers deep and granular control over irrigation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • For indoor use only

The RainMachine Touch HD-16 is a $270 indoor smart sprinkler controller that provides you with everything you need on an easy-to-use and convenient touch screen.

The HD-16 is intended for indoor use as it’s not weatherproof, so keep that in mind for installation. When installed, the controller collects data from the internet for real-time weather updates. This allows the device to make smart adjustments which can save substantial amounts of water. The real-time monitoring also allows the HD-16 to automatically create smart schedules.

All your personal data is stored locally, so the controller functions perfectly fine without Wi-Fi. It gives you free and direct access to location-based weather forecasts including NOAA, MetNo, Wunderground, and other national and personal weather stations. These provide you with deep and granular control over your irrigation.

You can use the user-friendly touch-screen to control the HD-16, or from your iOS or Android device instead. Alternatively, you can use voice assistants including Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Nest, SmartThings with IFTTT, and Google Assistant.

There’s a 12-zone option that costs $10 less than the 16-zone model. We believe spending that little extra for an additional four zones may be worth the investment—you never know when you’ll need it.

Best Smart Sprinkler Controller for HomeKit: Eve Aqua

Eve Aqua on hose
Eve

Pros

  • Best integration for HomeKit,Siri enabled
  • Many useful features
  • Siri enabled and supports Thread
  • Inexpensive option

Cons

  • Eve app not available for Android

Need the perfect controller for your Apple HomeKit ecosystem? Look no further with the $100 Eve Aqua Smart Sprinkler Controller.

This controller integrates seamlessly with HomeKit, and you can quickly set it up within minutes. When installed, you can control the device with the voice assistant or Siri. Or, download the Eve app to access and remotely control all the Aqua Sprinker Controller’s features—but it’s only available for iOS. There’s also an onboard button as a traditional method.

The controller’s Bluetooth compatible, and it also supports Thread. However, you’ll need a HomePod Mini to act as a border router to connect to the Thread network. Luckily, you can use the controller without a bridge or gateway, as everything you need is in the box.

There are plenty of convenient features, such as child-lock to prevent accidental changes to the controls. You can create schedules that’ll run regardless of being connected to the internet. An auto shut-off feature prevents your sprinklers from over-watering, and you can track your water usage over time. Your privacy’s also respected as there’s no cloud service, registration required, or external tracking.

Best Smart Sprinkler Controller for HomeKit



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