Best Smart Sprinklers

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 19, 2021
If you need to make your lawn nourished — bring smart sprinklers to your household and root your troubles out, getting the technology you can rely upon! We have reviewed 5 best smart sprinklers to help you make an adequate choice. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Number of stations
Number of programs
Display
Control
Use
Features
Operating temperature
Size
Warranty
 
PROS

The Weather Intelligence™ Plus Technology automatically detects rain, snow or wind and disables automatic watering of lawns and plants - this can significantly reduce water and energy consumption, and therefore save on bills.

CONS

The initial setup process may seem time consuming for some.

OUR VERDICT

If you live in a large private house with an impressive local area, then we recommend choosing this Smart Sprinkler: it is designed to connect up to 16 points of irrigation to evenly distribute them over the entire area of the land.

detailed parameters
Number of stations

16

Number of programs

Unlimited

Display

No

Control

Electronic control, PC: Web browser, Smartphones: Android, iOS

Use

Indoor / Outdoor (outdoor enclosure sold separately)

Features

Weather Intelligence™ Plus (rain, freeze, and wind skips), Compatible with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter, Easy-press connectors for fast wiring

Operating temperature

Minus 4°F to 140°F

Size

9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4”

Warranty

2 years

PROS

This smart sprinkler maintains 12 irrigation zones and offers you to choose from 3 irrigation plans so you can get the most out of it. The fault detection feature will help you diagnose all units and will suggest possible solutions.

CONS
Too bulky size of the controller may somewhat deteriorate exterior look.
OUR VERDICT

The Orbit 57946 is a straightforward and easy to use sprinkler, capable of notably improving the health of your lawn. It can be installed both indoors and outdoors and maintain up to 12 zones making it the best choice for large lawns. Suitable for a warm climate.

detailed parameters
Number of stations
12 (6-station model is available)
Number of programs
3
Display
Monochrome
Control
Electronic control, PC: Web browser, Smartphones: Android, iOS
Use

Indoor/Outdoor

Features
WeatherSense Technology, Fault detection and surge protection function
Operating temperature
32°F - 158°F
Size
11.3" x 10" x 4"
Warranty

2 years

PROS

The kit includes all the needed mounting hardware, which will significantly simplify the fixation of the device on the wall. And thanks to the special enclosure (sold separately) the sprinkler can easily be placed on the street and operated in high humidity conditions.

CONS

Light on front panel is too bright.

OUR VERDICT

The Rachio is one of the most popular smart watering systems, and now the 3-rd generation model is available for sale: it is compatible with almost any smart home system, has an increased Wi-fi reception radius, and the weather detection algorithm has become more intelligent.

detailed parameters
Number of stations

8

Number of programs

Unlimited

Display

No

Control

Electronic control, PC: Web browser, Smartphones: Android, iOS

Use

Indoor/Outdoor (outdoor enclosure sold separately)

Features

Weather Intelligence™ Plus (rain, freeze, and wind skips), Compatible with the Rachio Wireless Flow Meter, Easy-press connectors for fast wiring

Operating temperature

-4°F to 140°F

Size

9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4”

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Built in fault detection eliminates the possibility of unwanted watering as a result of software failures or problems with the Internet connection. Also, the device boasts surge protection, so there is no risk of its failure due to interruptions in the power supply.

CONS

It doesn't have protection for rain or other outdoor elements.

OUR VERDICT

The B-hyve Sprinkler Controller with WeatherSense™ technology will help you keep your home in perfect condition, even if you don’t have much experience growing garden plants. There is a budget version with 4 watering zones.

detailed parameters
Number of stations

8 (4-station model is available)

Number of programs

Unlimited

Display

No

Control

Electronic control, PC: Web browser, Smartphones: Android, iOS

Use

Indoor

Features

WeatherSense technology, Supports Most Rain/Freeze Sensor, Supports Master Valve and Pump Relay setups, Built in fault detection and surge protection

Operating temperature

32°F to 158°F

Size

5.1" x 5.1" x 1.1"

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The Rachio app has a simple and intuitive interface, so it’s easy to deal with device programming (available on iOS 10.3+ and Android 4.4+ devices). Easy-press connectors facilitate the connection / disconnection of irrigation units.

CONS

For a stable connection you need a good Wi-Fi router.

OUR VERDICT

The Rachio R3e Generation is a more affordable version of the R3 model: although the device does not support Flex Daily schedules, the Yard Map feature or HomeKit integration, it still has an intelligent algorithm that will greatly simplify the maintenance of your lawn.

detailed parameters
Number of stations

8 (16-station model is available)

Number of programs

Unlimited

Display

No

Control

Electronic control, PC: Web browser, Smartphones: Android, iOS

Use

Indoor / Outdoor (outdoor enclosure sold separately)

Features

Weather Intelligence™, Easy-press connectors for fast wiring

Operating temperature

- 4°F to 140°F

Size

9.1” x 5.5” x 1.4”

Warranty

2 years

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Rachio 16ZULW-C 3rd Generation

Smart Sprinkler for Large Homes

A quick look through many of the various smart sprinkler systems that are available will quickly reveal one of the biggest faults of most models: they tend to cover only a limited area. For a normal-sized house with a small lawn, this may be fine, but those who have larger homes on spacious plots of land may find that the majority of smart sprinklers just aren't up to the task of handling their lawn care needs. This fact, though, makes the Rachio 3rd Generation Smart 16 Zone Sprinkler Controller the top product that is able to handle the needs of those with large lawns.

The first thing that anyone should notice about this smart sprinkler system is that it natively supports a whopping 16 zones for handling the watering needs of any lawn. Whereas most other systems are much more limited, this one gives you plenty of zones for handling large lawns, especially those with lots of variation in the different grass and plants that are located within it. For instance, this system can easily handle the proper watering schedule and needs of various types of grass, bushes, trees, and even different gardens, giving each zone the specific care that it requires without worries of over- or under-watering.

Review of Rachio 16ZULW-C 3rd Generation Smart, 16 Zone Sprinkler Controller

Watering Efficiency

Those who have lawns large enough to require this smart sprinkler from Rachio will probably already be quite familiar with the high costs associated with keeping the area properly watered and treated. One of the benefits that this particular system brings, though, is maximum efficiency with watering. The system lets you program the exact watering schedule that each zone requires, letting you time the watering precisely. Furthermore, the system utilises the Weather Intelligence Plus Technology, which detects any kind of precipitation including rain, snow, and sleet, and automatically disables watering whenever the weather calls for precipitin. This alone will help save quite a bit of money on the costs of maintaining your lawn.

Installing and operating this system is actually a breeze. Installation of the entire system should take no more than 30 minutes and requires the use of no special tools, while operating the system is easy thanks to its intuitive interface. You can even use the included app to completely control the system from your mobile device, letting you schedule your watering sessions even while away from home. With all of these great features combined together, they help make this smart sprinkler system from Rachio one of the best ones for large lawns.

Rachio 16ZULW-C 3rd Generation Smart, 16 Zone Sprinkler Controller in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $232.13
Stock In stock
ASIN B07CZ5K355

 

Orbit 57946

Three in One

It's high time to get acquainted with the Orbit smart sprinkler. It maintains up to 12 irrigation zones though if your lawn is not that large you might stick to the model servicing 6 zones only, offered by the same manufacturer. Observing the test performed on this controller, we enjoyed an innovative approach to its software package. There are 3 options for different irrigation plans: for example, program A monitors your lawn, program B keeps your flowerbeds wet, and program C waters your garden. This sprinkler system also allows selecting from two alternative control methods: a mechanical control with buttons on the control panel and a remote control from a smart device. It should be mentioned that the working temperatures of the controller range from 32°F to 158°F. We would recommend its use exclusively in a warm climate.

Review of Orbit 57946 Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller

Water Resistancy

We would like to put particular emphasis on the B-hyve technology developed by the manufacturer. It allows you to easily set a wide range of functions. In case you are confused with this technology the package includes a detailed training video on the set-up process. One more feature we particularly liked is a possibility to label individual irrigation zones and even to assign photos to them. Every time you select a watering zone you can see which plants are sprinkled at the moment. The smart sprinkler collects information from various Internet sites to make the watering process as precise and efficient as possible. It is also necessary to mention that you have a free choice to install the Orbit system indoors or outdoors right out-of-the-box. It is equipped with a weatherproof casing resistant to the moisture and can be mounted nearby the lawn. So, you do not need to enter your house to switch the sprinkler. The swing panel lock prevents an unauthorized access to the controller.

In conclusion, it should be said that this device is most appropriate in case you are not able to install the watering controller indoors. An additional advantage is a possibility to connect controller directly to the power switchboard by-passing the wall outlets. You only need to take off the plug.

Orbit 57946 Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller in the use

Some Facts About Orbit

The Orbit Company is the world leader in manufacturing and selling irrigation systems, misting systems and home appliances. It is present in 40 countries from 5 continents. Its production capacities encompass national and international R&D, design works, and cutting-edge technologies for casting and injection molding.

The company management has a clear vision of the production targets striving to exceed client expectations and ensure the ultimate quality of its products at the most favorable price. Orbit does not stop to progress and move forward, they constantly seek perfection and introduce new goods that help their clients save time, water, and money.

The company's objective is to deliver products that would satisfy the pickiest clients and guarantee functionality, long useful life and simplicity.

Detailed review of Orbit 57946 Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $99.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B01D15HOIQ

VIDEO
Orbit B-hyve Wifi Timer How To Setup and Program
 

Rachio 8ZULW-C 3rd Generation

Smart Watering At Its Best

Old school watering systems were always a bit of a pain to use. Yes, many of these old systems let you set the times for watering, but there was always something that would throw a wrench into their efficiency. Whether it be water shortages or inclement weather, all that an old automated watering system could do was turn the sprinklers on and off at a certain time. This often led to a huge waste of water, especially whenever the weather didn't warrant it. Sprinklers have no use in rainy weather, and the old automated systems simply couldn't differentiate the weather.

New high tech watering systems have changed all of that. In fact, the Rachio 8ZULW-C Smart Sprinkler Controller is worlds ahead of where old school systems were, with its ability not only to be smartly programmed, but with its Hyperlocal Weather capabilities, which allows the sprinkler system to automatically adjust its watering schedule based on the weather conditions in your exact location. No longer do you have to worry about your sprinkler system automatically turning on during a thunderstorm, leading to wasted water. This smart sprinkler system can simply detect rainy weather and automatically turn off the sprinklers during it.

Review of Rachio 8ZULW-C 3rd Generation Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa

Mobile Controlled

The high tech capabilities of this smart sprinkler system don't stop with its ability to automatically adjust itself according to the weather. The sprinkler system includes a control panel that lets you set the sprinkler system, but what's more, that isn't even necessary. If you are wanting an easy way to program it, simply download the Rachio app to your smartphone, and you can control every aspect of the sprinkler system through it. In fact, you can control the sprinkler system from anywhere, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to change the programming while you're on vacation. Just run the app and set the schedules as you see fit.

Rachio 8ZULW-C 3rd Generation Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa in the use

Conserve Your Water

Plenty of other features are included in this high tech sprinkler system. The details of the programming let you set variances in different zones, based on the plant type and sun exposure in order to let your lawn and garden look its best. In fact, this ends up leading to great conservation in water, as the ability to adjust to different conditions ensures that your grass and plants are only getting the water they need without wasting any. With these along with many other great features, this smart home watering system is simply one of the best available for any home.

Detailed review of Rachio 8ZULW-C 3rd Generation Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $201.14
Stock In stock
ASIN B07CZ864Y9

 

Orbit B-hyve

Lawn Care On A Budget

One look through the selection of most of the smart sprinkler systems available on the market will quickly show that these devices are generally not cheap. While the cost savings they provide will definitely lessen the overall cost of these devices, the initial purchase still is a bit outside of the affordable range for some people. Enter the Orbit B-hyve 8-Zone Indoor Sprinkler Controller, a smart sprinkler system that is substantially more affordable than most of the other devices out there. With this unit, you're not missing out on any of the advanced features that most of the more expensive units provide, as it comes with a fully integrated smart system that lets you take care of your lawn the way you want. And for those who don't need an 8 zone controller, an even less expensive 4 zone model is also available.

Like we said, just because this unit is very affordable doesn't mean it's missing out on any features. Indeed, this unit has just about every feature that a person would want from such a system. For instance, the integrated WeatherSense technology provides smart watering based on a large number of different variables, including the slope of the zone, the type of soil, and even how much shade or sunlight is being provided to that particular zone. Furthermore, the unit will easily detect precipitation of any kind and automatically cease watering whenever any is detected.

Review of Orbit B-hyve 8-Zone Indoor Sprinkler Controller

Built-In Fault Protection

One of the worries that people often have with a smart sprinkler system is that some kind of a failure somewhere in the system will prevent it from being able to save water, resulting in a loss of the cost savings that these systems can provide. With this unit, though, there is no need to worry about this thanks to the built-in fault protection. If any part of the system goes down, the system will remember your previous settings and continue to operate based on those, so one fault somewhere down the line won't throw the whole system off. This even includes a loss of connectivity with your WiFi system.

Speaking of which, setting up and interacting with the system through your home WiFi network is a cinch. Setup only takes a few minutes, and the system is easily controllable through the B-hyve App, which is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices. You can even use Bluetooth connectivity with the system if you prefer that over the WiFi. If there is a fault to be found with this system, it would be that the main controller isn't protected against the outdoor elements, so you will want to make sure the system is installed somewhere safe. Outside of that, the capabilities provided by this budget smart sprinkler system make it an easy choice for those wishing to save some money.

Orbit B-hyve 8-Zone Indoor Sprinkler Controller in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price $79.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07DJ628XH

 

Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation

Affordable Smart Sprinkler

Rachio is one of the better-known names when it comes to smart sprinklers, which one can probably guess at, even after reading the review here for another Rachio product. Compared to the one that was previously reviewed, this model is similar, yet not the same. This model is more of a budget version, so it is missing some of the more advanced features of the more expensive model, such as the Flex Daily schedules, the Yard Map feature and HomeKit integration. Don't let that fact turn you off from this model, however. Plenty of the other smart features that make Rachio smart sprinkler systems convenient to use are still here, so you are getting plenty of value with this much more affordable smart sprinkler system.

To start with, the Rachio R3e smart sprinkler system gives you the extremely useful Weather Intelligence feature, which uses a smart algorithm for determining when to operate the sprinklers and when to keep them turned off. The device uses weather forecasting to determine when precipitation is expected, and will schedule the postponement of watering during such times. This handy feature means that you won't have to stay glued to the weather forecast in order to determine whether or not the sprinklers need to be operated on any given day; the Rachio R3e will do that for you!

Review of Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller

Intuitive Interface

As is usual with most Rachio smart sprinkler systems, the main control unit does not feature any kind of display for letting you control the unit. That's because one really isn't necessary; you can control all aspects of this sprinkler system through the Rachio app on your Android or iOS mobile device. If you prefer not using a mobile device, you can also access the Rachio controls through a web browser on your computer, so there is no shortage of ways to interact with the device. Whether you are using the mobile app or a web browser, though, the interface is a breeze to use, with all of the options clearly laid out, so you won't get confused when trying to schedule your watering or change any of the settings.

Installing the device is similarly easy. The kit comes with easy press connectors that allow you to easily connect the system to your irrigation units, so you won't have to spend hours using special tools for accomplishing the same task. On top of that, you can also control the unit using Amazon Alexa, giving you instant voice commands to set your watering schedule, and you can even sync the unit up with Rachio Thrive if you are using other Rachio smart lawn care products. Overall, the affordable price tag of this unit will easily pay for itself by how much it will let you save on watering costs, all while being as simple to use as possible.

Rachio 8ZULWC-L R3e Generation Smart, 8 Zone Sprinkler Controller in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price $144.22
Stock In stock
ASIN B084D4MVCN

 

What Is a Smart Sprinkler?

We can see groomed lawns not just in the parks or at the stadiums, but near buildings like hotels, banks, shops, filling stations, and country houses. Many of us like spending time in the backyard, drinking sprightly beverages and enjoying the view of the lawn. But then, what should we do to keep our lawns beautiful and alive, and prevent their drying?

Basically, there are two common ways to water the lawn - manual and using irrigation controllers (smart sprinklers). Manual watering requires fussing with buckets and hoses, which takes a lot of time and effort. Contrarily, irrigation controllers make watering easy and automatic. They pick the data from ground humidity sensors and/or weather forecast centers and provide the needed amount of water not to dry out and not to overwater the lawn. Most sophisticated sprinklers can be controlled via smartphone from any corner of the world and may cover up to 48 watering stations. We have considered smart sprinklers and their key features to help you choose the right model.

You should also mow your lawn to keep it nice. Our best lawn mowers review will help you pick a proper lawn mower for your needs. Also, you might need a good leaf blower for keeping your pathways clean.

What Features to Compare

Performance

Performance is the first characteristic that is worth considering when you choose an irrigation controller. What we mean by this is the number of stations that a smart sprinkler can serve. This number is normally equal to the number of sprinklers controlled. The maximum number an irrigation controller is able to maintain is somewhere about 48 stations, so you need to know the precise size of your lawn to choose a smart sprinkler correctly. Another thing to consider is the number of programs supported. Smart sprinklers may offer manual and automatic programs while some may offer you to customize them according to your lawn conditions. Next, it's important to check an operating temperature range of a sprinkler since it affects the performance of a controller. Thus, if you live in a hot region, make sure to select a model that can work at rather high temperatures.

Control

You should also pay attention to the control features that allow you to comfortably set the controller to manage the stations effectively. The irrigation controllers commonly have electronic or mechanical controls. Some of the most sophisticated models can be equipped with touchscreen displays that provide full control over the irrigation process. Most of the irrigation controllers can also be controlled wirelessly using smartphones and tablets, running on Android or iOS. The control is performed via built-in Wi-Fi modules that synchronize with smartphones through the web. All you need to start using it is to download a special app available on PlayMarket and App Store. The advantage to using this app is that you should be able to adjust the settings and control a smart sprinkler remotely, even if you're on a business trip or vacation.

Features

Irrigation controllers often have extra features added to them. Which features you will need will depend on a few factors. For starters, you should decide what type of controller you need: an indoor or an outdoor one. The advantage of an indoor controller is that you don't need to leave home to activate the irrigation process and can do it remotely from your bedroom. However, there are also downsides. One of them is a rather complex mounting and another one is that it requires pulling the wiring into your house. Outdoor controllers, on the other hand, are easy to install. As a rule, they are placed near the lawn. Designed to be mounted on the street, these models are made of waterproof materials and have lockable doors to prevent unauthorized use.

Other features that can be added to a smart sprinkler include automatic diagnostics of all the system units and connection of additional modules allowing a user to expand irrigation capabilities. Some controllers can serve as such modules. By integrating one into your home automation system, you will be able to control not only your house but also lawn watering, all with one system. Furthermore, a lot of controllers allow for expanding the functionality of a unit by adding weather and moisture sensors, which allow them to determine the optimal amount of water necessary for the lawn according to weather conditions.

Sources:

1. Cabe Atwell Smart Sprinkler Systems Save Water and Save Houses, Sensors. December 2, 2015.

2. William Finucane Create a Smart Sprinkler System to Water Your Garden When the Soil Dries Up, Mad Science.

3. Klint Finley Smart Sprinkler Checks the Weather to Avoid Wasting Water, WIRED. November 24, 2015.

4. Selecting a Smart Irrigation Controller, University of California. June 29, 2010.

5. Irrigation Controller, Wikipedia. May 29, 2015.

6. Smart Irrigation Controllers, SRP.

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