The 4 best smart sprinkler controllers
Installing a smart sprinkler system for your garden is an easy way to cross one more thing off your weekly to-do list. The best smart sprinkler controllers have enough zones for your garden, access to local weather forecasts, and can be controlled with an app as well as smart home assistants.
Most smart sprinkler systems have multiple garden zones, which can be independently programmed to give your plants the right amount of water. According to Nicole Chernyakhovsky, owner of Landscaping of larkspur, this is important because “the water requirements of grasses, trees and shrubs differ from those of flower and vegetable gardens. Soil type, yard slope, sun exposure, and nozzle head types also impact your water needs.
To accommodate all of these scenarios and help your plants thrive, you will need an area for each area in your garden. Four-zone sprinkler controllers are generally suitable for small gardens with only grass and flower beds, while large gardens with a greater variety of plants may require up to 16 zones.
To give your plants the perfect amount of water, whatever the weather, you will also need a smart sprinkler system that has access to local forecasts. Chernyakhovsky advises, “You can set your sprinklers to suspend watering in high winds, rains, low temperatures or even depending on yesterday’s rainfall. »Some sprinkler systems use the nearest weather stations to get a forecast, while others connect to sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)).
While smart sprinkler systems have many features, the best models are compatible with applications that make them easy to use, even when you are away from home. Many systems have their own free apps that you can use to set schedules, control sprinklers, record water usage data, and more. For even easier control, you may want to integrate your sprinkler system with your smart home assistant, so check your system for compatibility before purchasing.
Check out this list of the best smart sprinkler systems to simplify and improve your garden maintenance.
1. The best overall
- Zones: 8 (also available in 16 zones)
- Smart Assistant Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings
This top-rated smart sprinkler controller is available in eight and 16 zones, making it the perfect choice for medium to large size courses. It can connect to over 300,000 weather stations for hyper-local and accurate forecasts, which will help prevent overwatering. With the Rachio app, you can turn sprinklers on and off, set schedules, track water usage, and more. You can also connect this controller to a variety of smart hubs, including Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit. This controller comes with a 6-foot power cord, mounting hardware, and a quick start guide, so you can set it up right out of the box. If you don’t have a good Wi-Fi signal near your sprinkler controller, you can switch to kit supplied with a Wi-Fi repeater to make sure your sprinkler will always have a good connection.
One fan praised: “It’s worth every penny! Ditch that old sprinkler system ASAP. You control it directly from your phone. It makes everything organized and convenient. This tracks the weather forecast and monitors rainy days and freezing temperatures. You can create as many programs as you want or just turn on a station for the minutes you prefer. It also has a map of your garden, so you can be really organized and pinpoint specific locations. It is very easy to install.
- Available options: 4
- Sizes available: 5
2. The economic choice
- Zones: 8 (also available in 4 zones)
- Smart Assistant Compatibility: Amazon Alexa
You can keep your lawn well watered without breaking the bank with this inexpensive smart sprinkler controller. Available in four and eight zone options, this is a great choice for small to medium sized lawns. You can control it with an iOS or Android app or on a web browser, and it stores your set the schedule, so that it can continue to work even if your Wi-Fi is not. This controller is EPA WaterSense approved, which means it is water efficient and more environmentally friendly. It works with both master valve and pump relay configurations, however, the housing is not water resistant so it should be kept indoors or in a waterproof coating. It has a smart watering feature that works with the local weather forecast to prevent overwatering.
One fan praised: “We bought one for the front yard on a trial basis […] We were happy enough with our trial to order a second controller for the backyard. I like it to automatically delay depending on the weather. I get a confirmation notification on my phone and Apple Watch that the watering is complete. I checked our cameras to make sure the yard was watered, and everything is fine! Installation and configuration were very easy.
- Sizes available: 2
- Available options: 5
3. The system with an integrated security camera
- Zones: 8
- Smart Assistant Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and IFTTT
If you are considering smart sprinklers and smart cameras, get the best of both with this intelligent irrigation controller with integrated camera. The HD camera is equipped with night vision and you can set alerts to notify you when there is movement in your garden or garage. The camera not only helps you keep an eye on your property, but can also be used with sprinklers to scare away unwanted animals, which can be set to operate automatically. This sprinkler uses real-time forecasts to adapt to rain, frost and more, and it can also monitor local water restrictions to keep you up to date with the latest guidelines.
One fan praised: “I thought about putting a camera in my garage. A friend mentioned Yardian to me once, and I was pleasantly surprised to know that with Yardian I can upgrade my existing watering controller to a WiFi / smart version with a camera in one device! After some research on the web, I decided to buy Yardian […] I really like Yardian and highly recommend it. It is truly a “smart” device that requires no effort to set up and maintain. ”
4. The system with a touch screen
- Zones: 16 (also available in 12 zones)
- Smart Assistant Compatibility: Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, WINK, SmartThings via IFTTT and Apple HomeKit
Sometimes it’s easier to be able to tune your sprinklers directly from your smart controller interface in addition to using an app, that’s how it works. smart touchscreen sprinkler system works. The 6.5 inch touchscreen can be used to turn on sprinklers, schedule schedules, check forecasts, etc., and it also has an ultra-bright display, so you can use it at night or in a dark garage. You can control this sprinkler with the iOS or Android app, or via voice control with a variety of smart home assistants. To get the most accurate forecast, this system uses multiple weather sources, including NOAA, and downloads the forecast every six hours so it’s always up to date. If you want to save water, this sprinkler is also a good option as it is EPA WaterSense certified.
One fan praised: “If you have sprinklers, you are doing yourself and the environment a disservice by not having a Rain Machine! It waters the right amount, each time, depending on the (very) local weather. This is my second rain machine (I added more zones so I needed the “16”) and last year (2020) during a summer in New York I saved over 80,000 gallons of water, instead of “just acres of property) Worth every penny and I plugged it in myself (and I’m not that handy)”
Nicole Chernyakhovsky, owner of Landscaping of larkspur