Tuesday, June 6th, 2023

11 Best Smart Sprinkler Controller Of 2022 | Reviews + Buyer’s Guide

Smart Sprinkler Controller

Why use an age-old watering timer when a smart sprinkler controller can make things more convenient and effortless? Now, that’s a good idea, ain’t it?

You may have mulled over it, but we agree that getting the most appropriate one is no easy task. After all, it’s essential to get a system that ensures optimal water distribution without wastage.

At the same time, you don’t want something that does not understand your plants’ needs. That’s why we decided to go the extra mile and look for some of the top options. After a lot of research, we ended up with the 11 best smart sprinkler controllers of 2020.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 

Digital garden timer, hand setup schedules program for garden watering.

  1. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System Controller

The Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System Controller is an excellent device that can keep your lawn or garden well hydrated as per your requirements. As busy homeowners, we often lose track of the watering schedule, which could be problematic for the plants. That’s why we recommend getting this to keep things simple and streamlined.

Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart 6-Zone Indoor/Outdoor Sprinkler...
  • WELCOME TO B-HYVE: Looking to get a smart sprinkler...
  • CONTROL FROM ANYWHERE: The B-hyve app is fully functional...

Why Did We Like It?

First and foremost, we’re very impressed with the B-hyve’s Weather Sense technology, supplying water based on site conditions such as soil type, sun/shade, and elevation. It also takes into account live weather feeds and delivers the right amount of water for your plants.

Furthermore, it’s WiFi-enabled, and as such, you can program the controller through the B-hyve app, using Android, iOS, or web devices. Other than that, you can also link it with Amazon voice assistant Alexa and use verbal commands to operate the device.

Honestly, it doesn’t get easier than this, and given the price, we couldn’t have asked for more. Besides, it’s pretty easy to install, thanks to the swing panels facilitating smooth access to angled wiring terminals.

However, what seals the deal for us is the weather-resistant case, which allows you to set up the system in any indoor or outdoor location. Therefore, you need not worry about weather or water damage, as the locking cabinet keeps all the internal parts sealed.

What Could’ve Been Better?

The smart watering and customized watering schedules cannot function simultaneously. To explain further, you can either set up the controller to work based on weather feed and site conditions or as per your watering program. We would have liked it better if the device could incorporate both and respond accordingly.

  • Functions based on site conditions and weather feed
  • B-hyve app is compatible with Android, iOS, and web devices
  • Swing panels ensure smooth access to angled wiring terminals
  • Weather-resistant case enables indoor and outdoor setup
  • Smart watering and customized scheduling work independently
  1. Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Next up, we have the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, a top-drawer system designed for utmost convenience and functionality. As gardening enthusiasts, it’s essential to get the watering schedule right as you don’t want the water supply to be too much or too little. With this, you no longer have to worry about such inconsistencies.

Rachio 3: 8 Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller (Simple...
  • WORRY-FREE WATERING - Rachio tailors your watering schedule...
  • NO MONTHLY FEES - Rachio comes complete and ready to use,...

Why Did We Like It?

The idea behind using a sprinkler controller is not only about saving time and effort but also reducing water bills. That’s where the Rachio 3 comes into the picture, ensuring efficient water distribution while saving 30-50% on utilities.

For starters, it includes a weather intelligence mechanism that automatically prevents watering during rain, wind, and snow. Furthermore, it ensures hyper local accuracy and calibrates data from weather stations to provide the required amount of water.

Therefore, you can expect superior precision and optimal performance throughout. You can either let the device create a schedule based on plant and soil type, sun exposure, etc., or make your own program with customized time and frequency.

That said, users can access the controller through the Rachio app or connect it to an Alexa device for voice commands. Lastly, it’s a cinch to install and does not require any tools as you can practically snap it into place with the easy-press terminals.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This Rachio device is designed to fit into an outdoor outlet, and in case you don’t have one, you’ll need to buy it separately. This added cost could be a deal-breaker for some users as the controller itself comes with a hefty price tag. So, you might want to consider the total cost before getting this.

  • Automatically skips watering during rain, wind, and snow
  • Ensures hyper local accuracy for adequate water supply
  • Device can be accessed through app or any Alexa device
  • Easy to install controller; does not require any tools
  • Does not come with an outdoor outlet
  1. Rain Bird SST600IN Indoor Sprinkler Controller

The Rain Bird SST600IN Indoor Sprinkler Controller is the ideal option for lawn or garden enthusiasts looking to streamline the watering process. That said, if our previous option seemed a little pricey and you’d rather get something more affordable, this model will surely work out fine.

Rain Bird SST600IN Simple-To-Set Indoor Sprinkler/Irrigation...
  • This timer is so easy to program you won't need the...
  • Simple zone-by-zone settings allow customized watering...

Why Did We Like It?

To begin with, we like how easy to use it is, as the device in itself is quite self-explanatory. So, even if you don’t count yourself as tech-savvy, figuring this out is a piece of cake. Feature-wise, we’re very impressed with the zone-by-zone settings, allowing you to set different schedules for each area.

This way, you can customize water distribution as per the plants’ needs. Furthermore, it includes a one-touch seasonal adjustment function, which increases watering time in hot and dry months and reduces supply in rainy and cold seasons.

Other than that, the rain delay mechanism can suspend watering for up to 72 hours. The best part about it is that you don’t need to manually resume watering as the controller automatically turns on when the delay ends.

However, what makes it genuinely reliable is its long-lasting durability, thanks to the built-in surge protector that minimizes fluctuations. Besides, the sealed case ensures complete protection against dirt, moisture, and insects.

What Could’ve Been Better?

While the controller works as described, there’s room for improvement in the device interface. We would have liked it more if the screen was backlit as that would improve overall visibility. That aside, it’s one of the most practical options keeping things simple and convenient.

  • Zone-by-zone settings for creating customized schedules
  • One-touch seasonal adjustment controls distribution
  • Rain delay mechanism suspends watering for up to 72 hours
  • Sealed case and built-in surge protector ensures durability
  • Screen is difficult to read in low-light situations
  1. Orbit B-hyve 4-Zone Smart Indoor Sprinkler Controller

If the last model was a little too basic for your taste, we suggest checking out the Orbit B-hyve 4-Zone Smart Indoor Sprinkler Controller. Sometimes, your watering schedule can get interrupted while you’re away from home, and hence it’s essential to buy something with remote access. This device can do it all and much more.

Orbit B-hyve 4-Zone Smart Indoor Sprinkler Controller
  • WELCOME TO B-HYVE: Looking to get a smart sprinkler...
  • WI-FI CAPABLE: Fully functional with Android, iOS or web app...

Why Did We Like It?

First off, we’re very impressed with the seamless WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility, enabling glitch-free use from the get-go. All you need to do is download the hyve app on your device, and pair it with the controller for fast and hassle-free scheduling.

Besides, the app works with both Android and iOS devices, which further widens its user base. However, its biggest USP is the built-in Water Sense technology that supplies water to your plants based on elevation, soil type, historical ET, and other relevant parameters. Therefore, with this, you can expect judicious use of resources without wastage.

Furthermore, it’s equipped with fault detection and surge protection mechanisms that ensure smooth operations by eliminating fluctuations. Most importantly, your controller can even work without WiFi connectivity by simply running the app-set programs stored on the device. Lastly, it also comes with a manual override function, enabling instant water access, and change of programs.

What Could’ve Been Better?

We are, for most parts, satisfied with the overall performance of this Orbit 4-zone model. However, the rain delay feature tends to get a bit whacky and is far from impressive. We would have liked it better if the device was more intuitive and water-wise this way. However, if you can ignore this one flaw, it’s still good to go.

  • Ensures seamless WiFi and Bluetooth compatibility
  • WaterSense technology enables proper water distribution
  • Equipped with fault detection and surge protection mechanisms
  • Manual override allows water access and change of programs
  • Rain delay function is not as intuitive
  1. Sprinkl Control – The Smart Sprinkler Hub

The Sprinkl Control is an excellent device that combines convenience and utility in one neat package. Keeping track of multiple watering cycles can turn out into an arduous affair, especially when you have a variety of vegetation with different needs. That’s why we recommend buying this device to make short work of garden chores.

Sprinkl Control - The Smart Sprinkler Hub - 16 Zone WiFi...
  • EASY TO INSTALL. Takes less than 20 minutes to install with...
  • AUTONOMOUS. Turn on autonomous watering mode when paired...

Why Did We Like It?

There are many reasons but let’s start with the basics. For starters, the Smart Sprinkler Hub can cater to 16 zones, which is more extensive than most other options in this price range. Therefore, if you’re looking for something truly advanced and functional, the search ends here.

With this, you can fully automate your watering schedules and adjust and customize programs accordingly. Once you download the app on your Android or Apple device, you can virtually set up individual watering schedules from anywhere.

Furthermore, you can even pair the device with Alexa and control all functions through voice commands. Other than that, it comes with Autonomous Watering technology, which either supplies or restricts watering based on site conditions. Besides, it includes a freeze alert option that turns off the system when the temperature drops.

To further add to your convenience, the controller also sends notifications on your connected device to inform you about changes in settings. All in all, it’s a superb machine that can turn watering into child’s play.

What Could’ve Been Better?

We do not have any complaints regarding its features or performance, but if we had to point out one flaw, it would be the lack of web platform support. Basically, you cannot access the Android or iOS interface on your laptop or tablet, which could be a problem for some users.

  • 16-zone, fully customizable watering system
  • Device works on Android and iOS smartphones and Alexa
  • Autonomous Watering technology supplies or restricts flow
  • Sends push notification to inform about watering changes
  • App cannot be used on laptops or tablets
  1. RainMachine Cloud Independent Irrigation Controller

We’re halfway through our list, and now is a good time to introduce the RainMachine Cloud Independent Irrigation Controller. This is another incredibly efficient device that turns garden or lawn watering into a cakewalk. So, if you’d rather rely on a smart machine to provide your plans with much-needed hydration, get this right away.

RainMachine Touch HD-16, Cloud Independent Smart Wi-Fi...
  • Smart schedule & save water - save water With real-time...
  • Cloud independent - all personal data stored locally. Rain...

Why Did We Like It?

First of all, we’re absolutely stoked about the color touchscreen interface of this 16-zone watering controller. Therefore, you can either make changes and customize the schedules on the system or connect it to any Android or iOS device.

In short, you can view the app dashboard on any screen and even via web browsers and use the provided data to set the programs. Meaning, you will be able to access the device from any corner of the world, and as such, you can rely on it to run on preset schedules when the WiFi is down.

However, what impressed us the most is the wealth of weather data the controller can collect. Basically, it receives forecast information from Metno, NOAA.GOV, Forecast.io, and other stations and uses it to calculate the watering requirements. Lastly, it’s super easy to install, and you can set it up in any indoor space as the illuminated touch keys ensure high visibility throughout.

What Could’ve Been Better?

You must be wondering what could be wrong with this product, especially when we couldn’t stop raving about it a while back. Well, the Rain Machine App offers a lot of information and details, which is probably why it tends to crash at times. In fact, it can get very slow and unresponsive when used on a dated device.

  • 16-zone controller with a color touchscreen interface
  • App can be accessed on any screen and via web browsers
  • Receives real-time forecasts to measure watering needs
  • Runs on preset schedules when Wi-Fi is down
  • Rain Machine app tends to crash at times
  1. Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller

The Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller is an excellent option for users looking for a good range of features within an affordable price range. It may not have all the advanced specs of top-tier products, but it’s still one of the most high-performing devices that keeps your plants nourished and well-hydrated.

Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, Weather aware,...
  • Fully Automatic - EPA WaterSense certified, dynamically...
  • Lifetime Cloud Service - Connects to WiFi(2.4G), monitors...

Why Did We Like It?

First things first, when you install a controller, you expect it to supply the appropriate amount of water to avoid dryness and overwatering. Neither of the conditions is conducive to plant growth as overdrying causes them to wilt, and soggy soil attracts diseases.

With this state-of-the-art smart sprinkler, you no longer have to worry about such instances. Long story short, it fully optimizes your watering scheduling by continually adapting to local conditions and seasonal changes.

Therefore, you can either depend on it to supply water automatically or access the app on your phone to customize settings. Other than that, this controller is designed to follow local water use regulations, enabling users to avoid unintended violations.

But that’s not all; the device is also ‘self-learning’, and as such, it picks up information from your interaction with the app to create personalized schedules. Lastly, it comes preloaded with an extensive plant database, which helps you provide the required hydration for different vegetation.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Well, there’s hardly anything to not like about this automatic model, but we couldn’t help but notice this one glitch while testing it out. Unfortunately, the app does not send you notifications, and this could be an issue for many users. Ideally, we would like to know if there’s a change in the schedule.

  • Adapts to local conditions and seasonal changes
  • Follows local water use regulations to avoid violations
  • Self-learning device creates schedules based on user interaction
  • Comes preloaded with an extensive plant database
  • App does not notify users about changes in schedule
  1. Hunter Hydrawise 12 Zone HC-1200i Irrigation Controller

Getting the irrigation routine on track can be harder than you think, especially if you’re a beginner. You’d want to devise a watering plan that ensures sufficient hydration as well as judicious use of resources. But if that seems a little too complicated, just get the Hunter Hydrawise 12 Zone Irrigation Controller to do the job.

Hunter Hydrawise 12 Zone HC-1200i WiFi Irrigation Controller...
  • Ideal for residential and light commercial applications up...
  • Automatically adjusts irrigation schedules based on local...

Why Did We Like It?

At the outset, we were not too sure about including this model on our list, but once we tested all the different features, there was no going back. For starters, the device depends on local weather data to supply sufficient water and ensure savings on utility bills.

Other than that, it includes Advanced Predictive Watering technology that fine-tunes irrigation needs based on forecast and historical information. Therefore, if you want to fully automate the watering schedule, this 12-zone controller can perfectly meet your needs.

However, what impressed us the most is its time-based watering mechanism, which adjusts the duration without changing frequency. This works great for vegetation that needs watering only on specific days of the week.

As far as functionality goes, the device can be accessed via the Hydrawise app, or you can use the digital touchscreen interface to schedule programs. Lastly, you can log into the app from your phone, tablet, or laptop and customize settings virtually from any corner of the world.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This may not be so much a flaw as a case of misleading advertisement. This Hydrawise model can access multiple weather stations, but by default, it has access to only one. Therefore, if you want to get information from any other station, that will cost extra, as you’ll have to pay a subscription fee.

  • Calibrates local weather data to create watering schedules
  • Time-based watering mechanism waters on specific weekdays
  • Device features a digital, touchscreen interface
  • Users can log into the Hydrawise app on their phone, laptop, etc.
  • Users have to pay subscription fees to access weather stations
  1. Aeon Matrix Yardian Pro Smart Sprinkler Controller

The Aeon Matrix Yardian Pro Smart Sprinkler Controller is the ultimate device for gardening enthusiasts looking to upgrade from analog watering timers. It’s intuitive, water-wise, and user-friendly, pretty much all you expect from such new-generation models. Besides, it’s one of the best mid-range options, providing unparalleled services from the get-go.

Aeon Matrix Yardian Pro Smart Sprinkler Controller with...
  • SAVE WATER, SAVE MONEY – with our Smart Program and Rain...
  • INSTANT BUTTON CONTROL – Yardian Pro works even when your...

Why Did We Like It?

Straight off the bat, we’re very pleased with its fully automated smart programming, helping users to determine specific days and duration to keep the plants hydrated. Moreover, it includes a real-time weather monitor function that suspends watering when rain or wind is likely.

Besides, it comes loaded with a water restriction database, so you don’t get caught on the wrong side of local regulations. That said, what seals the deal for us is its wide compatibility with various smart home devices, including Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit products.

Furthermore, you can use the Yardian app to create, customize, and change programs from an iOS or Android system. Also, you need not worry about internet disruptions, as you can use the instant buttons on the device for the preferred function. Lastly, it features a dual sensor input, allowing users to pair it with a rain or flow sensor for more precise operation.

What Could’ve Been Better?

While we do not have complaints about its performance, we would have liked it better if the controller had an offline mode. So far, the only way to use it without an internet connection is by accessing the button controls on the device. This could potentially be a problem when you’re away from home, and the connection is disrupted.

  • Real-time weather monitor skips watering
  • Compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit
  • Yardian app can be accessed via Android and iOS systems
  • Dual sensor input enables pairing with rain and flow sensor
  • Device does not include an offline mode
  1. baccara Smart IIRI Irrigation Sprinkler System Controller

Not all of us can afford or even need an exclusive and high-end sprinkler controller. But that doesn’t mean you have to make do with sub-par products. That’s where the baccara Smart IIRI Irrigation Sprinkler System Controller comes into the picture, striking the right balance between functional and affordable.

B Baccara Smart IIRI Irrigation Sprinkler System Controller...
  • Smartphone operated Irrigation sprinkler controller with an...
  • The package includes a Smart controller, Valve,...

Why Did We Like It?

For some users transitioning from an analog system to a digital one might not be as smooth sailing. In that case, it’s best to start with an entry-level smart sprinkler, as that’ll ensure a shorter learning curve.

If you can relate to that situation, this smart sprinkler controller is the ideal option. To begin with, the device is available in 4 different valve sizes, so you can find the most suitable model. That said, the automatic electric valve can be controlled via the Irri app, which’s incredibly user-friendly and intuitive.

As such, you can pick from 4 types of programmable irrigation plans and set the most suitable daily cycle among 6 options. This may seem too simple, but for someone who is just starting out, having fewer settings help. Other than that, the device itself is quite easy to install and requires zero maintenance thanks to its robust and waterproof construction.

What Could’ve Been Better?

We are more or less satisfied with the overall performance of this sprinkler controller. However, we would have liked it better if the valve could be operated manually as well. Since the device is meant for external installation and directly connects to an outlet, it’s only natural to expect this design feature.

  • Ideal entry-level device suitable for new users
  • Model is available in 4 different valve sizes
  • 4 programmable plans with 6 daily cycle options
  • Robust and waterproof construction
  • Valve cannot be operated manually
  1. SPW Hunter PHC-600i 6 Zone Controller

Now that we’ve reached the end of our list, we’d like to finish off with the SPW Hunter PHC-600i 6 Zone Controller. This is another mid-range device that reduces the burden of your gardening chores while ensuring adequate water supply to the plants. Plus, it’s user-friendly and performance-driven, so you can expect desirable results.

Hunter Industries Hydrawise Pro-HC 6-Station Indoor Wi-Fi...
  • Wi-Fi Enabled Controller: This durable indoor controller...
  • Multiple Program options: The standard programming option...

Why Did We Like It?

The PHC-600i model may not have all the bells and whistles, but its simplicity and effectiveness beat many competitors with higher specs. For starters, we like the predictive watering function, which adjusts watering based on the weather forecast and site conditions, thereby contributing to a greener landscape.

However, what took us by surprise is the touchscreen controller with complete access to device settings, which is not something you will usually find at this price point. You can either use this interface or download the Hydrawise app on an Android or iOS smartphone to create and adjust schedules.

To ensure uninterrupted operation, the controller continuously monitors the current flowing to the solenoid valves. In case there’s a fluctuation, you’ll receive an alert on your app, conveying information about the faulty valve.

What Could’ve Been Better?

Well, there’s no sugarcoating this, but the device is a pain to install, especially if you don’t have much experience with smart sprinklers. The instructions lack details and are not as easy to follow as you’d expect. We would have preferred something with a simple set up procedure.

  • Adjusts watering based on the weather forecast
  • Touchscreen controller with access to all settings
  • Hydrawise app is compatible with Android and iOS phones
  • Alerts users about current fluctuations in the valves
  • Difficult to set up


Smart Sprinkler Controller Buyer’s Guide

Knowing all about the 11 Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers of 2020 may seem enough information to go ahead and buy one. But you still need to consider a few factors before you can confidently place an order.

That’s why we have put together a brief buyer’s guide to walk you through the essentials. Take a look now.

  1. Weather Sensitivity

Make sure that your device is sensitive to local weather conditions as you’d want it to respond and adjust the watering schedule accordingly. On that note, we’d recommend buying a model with access to local weather stations to receive constant updates.

  1. Compatibility

Compatibility is a key criterion that should guide your purchase decision when buying a smart controller. Ideally, the app should be accessible on major operating systems and across different devices. This, in turn, will ensure complete remote control no matter where you are.

  1. User-friendliness

The app as well as the device interface (if there’s one), should be easy to understand and figure out. Anything that has a lot of details or too many settings can be confusing at times. In any case, it’s best to get something with app instructions and tutorials to guide you through the process.

Automatic sprinkler system watering the lawn. close-up


That’s all from us!

We hope you could find the most suitable option from our all-star selection. But before you purchase any of these options, here’s some advice.

Make sure to get a device that matches your requirements and skill level. After all, you don’t want to buy something too advanced only to underuse it. On that note, we’d like to sign off with a quick recap.

Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System Controller is the best overall, and Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller is the most versatile option. Orbit B-hyve 4-Zone Smart Indoor Sprinkler Controller has the best features, and Rain Bird SST600IN Indoor Sprinkler Controller is the best budget buy.

Till next time!

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