The 10 Best Smart Sprinkler Systems

Updated May 04, 2018 by Sam Kraft

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We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Smart sprinkler systems don't simply provide a more streamlined method for watering your lawn or garden — they'll help you save on water bills, too. Designed with advanced scheduling capabilities and WiFi connectivity, many of these controllers will allow you to divide your property into zones, monitor your watering activities remotely, and incorporate the local weather forecast into planning. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best smart sprinkler system on Amazon.

10. Sprinkl Conserve

9. Rain Bird ST8I

8. Wiijoo Aware

7. NxEco Pro

6. Netro Remote

5. Spruce Irrigation

4. RainMachine HD-12

3. Rachio 2nd Gen

2. Aeon Matrix Yardian

1. NxEco Water Sense

A Map For Your Water Flow

In case you don't have any sprinkler system installed on your property, and you're researching these controllers as part of an initial purchase, I'd like to take a moment to show you how this stuff gets laid out, so you can better pick the controller that's right for you.

Ideally, these systems are designed to connect and control the flow of water to different watering areas (or zones) which are comprised of a number of water delivery devices (sprinkler heads, drip lines, bubblers, etc.).

With the kinds of advanced systems we're reviewing here today, you can set individual zones to water at different times, for a different duration, on different days. You get the idea.

It's kind of like how your body sweats in certain areas depending on the situation producing the perspiration.

General cardiovascular exercise produces a kind of lawn-wide sprinkle, where every part is getting roughly the same amount of water.

Nervous sweating in just the arm pits and palms is more like a brief burst at one in the afternoon to compensate for the heavy evaporation that's taken place over a hot morning.

It would be nice if we could have the kind of control over our glands that we do over our sprinklers, but that might take the fun out of it in the end–and the surgery would be pretty painful.

Sprinklers And Sling Blades

There's a smart sprinkler system out there with your name on it. Or there was, and somebody else with your name came along and bought it, and they love it.

But now you've got to figure out which one to buy without such an easy help.

Fortunately, you only need to look briefly at your options to narrow down your choice to only a few controllers.

As you'll note in the general comments above, some of these units are easier to install than others, particularly when it comes to running the wires that control your sprinkler function.

If you and Carl from Sling Blade share the same affinity for technical play, regardless of your feelings toward french fried potatoes, you'd be just fine with one of these tough nuts.

However, if you've left your nutcrackers in storage with the Christmas decorations, you might consider a unit more lauded for its ease in setup.

Beyond the simplicity of the setup and the features and quality of the user interface, there isn't a whole heck of a lot to differentiate one controller from another other than price.

Price, however, is an interesting point. Some of these controllers only operate at their fullest when you contract to a monthly term, usually not more than $5.00/month, but, perhaps, enough to make you chafe at the presumption.

Look into whether these companies want to charge you for their full feature set, whether those features are among the things you want, and whether you're willing to pay for them.

Keeping The American Dream Hydrated

While smart sprinklers that incorporate information from the Web into their water management are relatively new to the market, automatic sprinklers of one kind or another have been available since the late 19th century.

Before then, lawns were primarily a luxury of only the upper classes in society, but now the lawn is an integral part of the American dream as we know it.

You've got the family, the house, the white picket fence, and the well-watered lawn that the fence borders.

Now, whether the development of that particular American dream is a product of propaganda amid a conspiracy to build up and eventually subjugate a perceived middle class is not the focus of our page.

What we're primarily interested in is how we went from having to stand around for a half an hour with our gardening hose to having merely to program in a few schedule points and let technology do the rest.

The first bits of technology to automate sprinkler function were basic timers, like you might see indoors to turn your lights on as the sun sets.

Later, sprinkler systems incorporated past data, like a farmer's almanac, into their programming.

The last thing taken into account before these systems received Internet hookups was a local weather station, one that, ideally, would also be connected to the property. Information gathered by this station could augment the data preset according to regional rain averages and produce a more efficient system.

Now that we have the Internet telling our sprinklers what to do, it's only a matter of time before some sneaky hacker finds his way into the NOAA database and drowns all our lawns. Heck, it'd be a fitting punishment for the folks who abuse their sprinklers to water their massive properties.


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Last updated on May 04, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.


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