If you love keeping your lawn green, smart lawn sprinkler systems can be a savior. They bring convenience to the entire process of irrigating your lawn and even better save on the water bills. A good sprinkler controller should help you put the entire process on autopilot. But with so many different brands out there, the process of choosing a great smart sprinkler can be confusing. This article highlights the 6 best smart controllers to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
1. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller – Most Popular Smart Wifi Lawn Sprinkler
The Rachio system provides a sound alternative to ordinary, complicated smart lawn sprinklers. The system maps your garden into separate zones and lets you create a plan for keeping the plants hydrated. One thing you notice during the onboarding process of this system (when you install the Rachio irrigation app and connect it to your controller) is that it’s very thorough. The app asks all sorts of questions related to what plants grow to what zone of your lawn, what type of soil is there, is the ground slowing or not. All this helps the system figure out a better watering routine to keep the lawn looking beautiful.
The Rachio irrigation app and sprinkler controller system is the ease of use. You can set up the system all by your own without any outside help in just 30 minutes. There are no complicated manuals to read – just a simple set of instructions that seem to work fine.
The smart sprinkler controller also works great with Amazon Echo and Google Home smart devices. This way, you can simply issue a voice command on the Echo to activate irrigation. It is also connectible with IFTTT so you can set up an If This Then That recipe.
What’s more, the Rachio smart gardener will automatically skip a scheduled watering when rain is predicted. It monitors local weather and responds appropriately so you minimize your water bills.
Note: You’ll need the weatherproofing casing to protect the controller.
Pricing: $197 – $238
Summary: this is the most popular smart lawn sprinker system in the market right now. It offers decent functionality and tends to work well for a lot of people. It’ll most likely do for you too.
2. RainMachine – Excellent Functionality with a Touchscreen Display
RainMachine is another useful smart sprinkler to keep your lawn green. This device goes a step beyond the Rachio and offers a touchscreen interface via which you can set up your lawn watering. And that’s not all? There’s a mobile app for Android and iOS if you want to control everything via your smartphone. If you’d like a smart electronic gardener that’s convenient with a hi-tech touchscreen display, RainMachine won’t disappoint.
The device displays shows all sorts of relevant information, from environmental conditions such as humidity to the current weather and your irrigation needs. In terms of functionality, this smart sprinkler system gets the upper hand. You get a lot of flexibility for configuring your irrigation. You can disable watering during winter and automate the entire process months ahead. This cloud-dependent smart sprinkler controller system also has open integration so you can integrate with Amazon Alexa, WINK, Nest, and IFTTT.
Pricing: $239 – $279
Summary: if you’re looking for something that works satisfactorily and offers great functionality, the RainMachine smart sprinkler system is just that.
3. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor Wifi Smart Sprinkler – Cheap and Reliable
I still don’t understand why they couldn’t give this smart wifi sprinkler system an easier name (maybe something mouthable like LawnKing). Nonetheless, this is a pretty decent smart sprinkler controller system for anyone who’s on a tight budget.
For a lowly $95 – $118, you get a monochrome-screen wifi sprinkler system for outdoor use. However basic the Orbit 57946 smart sprinkler system looks, it still synchronizes with the weather forecast and allows you to configure all the settings (frequency of irrigation, amount of water, necessary to keep your lawn watered and green. Even better, there’s a water saving mode that allows you to manually configure the water flow threshold. This turns out to be an excellent feature for anyone who’s wary about the water bills getting over the roof.
You can still control this smart sprinkler system from your smartphone via the Android or iOS app. It also works with Amazon Alexa so you can use voice commands. Save on the water bill by skipping watering during rain days and create custom schedules for your lawn.
Pricing: $95 – $118
Summary: If you’re on a budget, this is definitely smart landscape sprinkler controller system to go for.
4. RainMachine Mini 8 – Moderate Smart Lawn Sprinkler System
This is one of the best irrigation controllers that offers the middle ground between cost and quality. It is easy to install and comes with an illuminated touch keypad and bright LED display. You’ll like the simplistic and clean sprinkler irrigation app – very easy to use. The app is designed to take care of the irrigation while optimizing water usage.
Like the other irrigation apps on this list, it is also integrated with real time weather data from the NOAA and other bodies. The controller uses this information to refine the watering schedule. This smart sprinkler controller will also connect to smart devices, and you can monitor the watering from anywhere using your Android or iPhone smartphone. In case you have the Amazon Alexa or NEST IoT gadgets, you can easily integrate.
Summary: The RainMachine Mini is the smaller cousin of the RainMachine HD. It supports just 8 zones so it might be just what you need if you have a smaller lawn. RainMachine offers reliable and accurate performance.
5. RainBird – Tried & Tested Small Lawn Sprinkler
Rain Bird smart irrigation controller is a professional kit with a simple, practical 5-step installation process. The system can be attached to any outdoor faucet.
There’s a heavy duty timer that will help you customize the watering patterns without breaking a sweat. The fairly large screen comes with a simplistic scroll setting for automatic setting. Homeowners can learn all the controllers in no time.
Allows for multiple users to access via the irrigation app and self-adjusts to weather conditions just like the other smart sprinkler systems in this list. You can enable notifications to stay on top of what’s happening in your lawn. There’s also a delay feature where you can stop watering for up to 2 weeks (i.e. when it is raining).
Use the Rain Bird smartphone app on your Android or iOS device to monitor everything. It also works with Amazon Alexa.
Summary: the RainBird smart irrigation timer has been around for quite a while and has been tried and tested. It’s rather simple and supports a total of 8 zones – making it ideal for the smaller landscape. The pricing is also on the lower end so it might be a better option for those who are on a budget.
6. Sky Drop 8 Zone – New, Low-Budget Option
This is one elegant irrigation automation system that uses weather data to take keep your lawn green and flourishing at all times. The Sky drop is an 8-zone device so it might not be a good fit for lawns that are very large.
The only complaint about this sprinkler smart controller is that it automates most things – thus wrestling control out of the user’s hands. It’s still not as established as the other smart sprinkler systems on this list so they might need some time to streamline it.
It is easy to install and works with IoT gadgets. It users important information about your landscape (soil type, sprinkler type, etc.) to automate the irrigation for each zone. It can also be accessed via a smartphone app.
Summary: although fair new to the market, this is indeed the cheapest smart sprinkler controller in the market right now. If you’re really looking to spend less than $100 on your first irrigation automation, this might be your only option.
How much time do you spend watering your lawn? We all want to see that lush green, but gardening can easily become a frustrating task when you are doing the watering work manually. A smart sprinkler controller eliminates the hassle and keeps your lawn beautiful all-year round.
Let us know what smart sprinkler system you choose to use for your lawn in the comments section below…