The 10 Best Smart Sprinkler Systems

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This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Smart sprinkler systems don't merely provide a more streamlined method for watering a garden, they help you save on utility bills, too. Designed with advanced scheduling capabilities and WiFi connectivity, many of these controllers will allow you to divide your property into zones, monitor watering activities remotely, and incorporate the local conditions and weather forecast into your planning. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Rachio 3

2. Netro Remote

3. Aeon Matrix Yardian

Editor's Notes

April 20, 2019:

Replaced the RainMachine HD-12 with its upgraded touchscreen cousin. Not only is the newer model sleeker and more intuitive, but it's also capable of continuing to work even without a Wi-Fi signal. Similarly, the Sprinkl Conserve was replaced by the Sprinkl SR-400, which is a superior device pretty much across the board.

The Rachio 2nd Gen was swapped out in favor of the new Rachio 3, which takes into account a truly astounding amount of data. That said, the 2nd Gen is still a fantastic option, and is at least as good as most of the other options listed here; it's just hard to justify not springing an extra few bucks for an updated, advanced, newer-generation model.

Added the Orbit B-hyve 57915 as a budget option for users primarily interested in savings. However, buyers should be aware that its low cost is the primary advantage it has over the competition, so if the prices of other units begin to fall, don't be surprised to see the B-hyve replaced on this list in short order. We recommend paying a little extra for the company's higher-end model, the 57950, as it allows you to program more zones while also offering superior security.

4. RainMachine Touch HD-12

5. Sprinkl SR-400

6. Orbit B-hyve 57950

7. Rain Bird ST8I-2.0

8. NxEco Water Sense

9. Orbit B-hyve 57915

10. Hunter Hydrawise HC-600i

A Map For Your Water Flow

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.

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.

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

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.

Information gathered by this station could augment the data preset according to regional rain averages and produce a more efficient system.

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.

Quincy Miller
Last updated by Quincy Miller

After getting his bachelor’s from the University of Texas, Quincy Miller moved out to Los Angeles, where he soon found work as a copywriter and researcher, specializing in health and wellness topics for a major online media brand. Quincy is also knowledgeable about home improvement, as he’s had extensive experience with everything from insulation to power tools to emergency room trips, sometimes in that order. Sharing a home with three dogs and a couple of cats has forced Quincy to learn as much as he can about pet supplies, animal nutrition and, most importantly, the best ways to tackle the mountains of fur that accumulate in every corner of your home.

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