Best Smart Irrigation Controller

It’s getting harder and harder to keep a beautiful garden. The hot weather and lack of time is a sure-fire way to kill your plants. Luckily I’m here to show you the best smart irrigation controller.

Best Smart Water Irrigation Controller

Best Smart Irrigation Controller

Rachio 3rd Gen

Rachio offers it’s users the very best smart irrigation features, you really don’t get much better.

Rachio 3

Runner-Up

Plaid Systems

It was a tough Choice, but Plaid Systems are a close runner up, what do you think?  

Plaid Systems

Best Budget Option

Orbit 57950 

Orbit comes with the lowest price tag, it might not have the features, but it still gets the job done.

Orbit 57950

The Buyers Guide To Smart Irrigation Controllers

Not sure what to look for from your smart irrigation system? If so there’s no need to worry, I’ve got you covered. Here are some of the top features to look out.

Take A  look:

Number Of Zones

Due to different areas of the garden requiring different amounts of water, it's important to able to set your yard into zones. If you have a large garden, a higher number of zones is recommended.

Smart Scheduling

This neat little feature allows your smart irrigation controller to do all the hard work for you. The smart controller will set a watering schedule based on the local weather.

Flow Meter

If controlling the amount of water you use is your main concern, then having the ability to add a flow meter should be your number one concern.

Voice-Control

If you're looking for a futuristic feel to your sprinkler, why not see if your irrigation controller is compatible with voice control. This way, you can water your plants without having to move.

Smart Sensors

Not all controllers accept smart sensors, so if you want the very best from your controller, finding one that excepts soil sensors can be very beneficial.

The App

Having a well laid out mobile App makes it easier to control your watering schedule. It allows you to keep track of anything in one place.

The Best Smart Irrigation Controllers

So, now you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to check out some of the best smart irrigation controllers on the market. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly which smart irrigation controller to purchase. Sound good?

Great, let’s get started:

 Rachio 3rd GenPlaid SystemsOrbit 57950Rachio 2nd GenSprinkl Control
Number Of Zones8 Or 16166 Or 128 Or 1616
Voice-ControlYesYesYesYesYes
Smart SchedulingYesYesYesYesYes
Smart SensorsYesYesYesYesYes
Flow Meter ReadyYesYesNoYesYes
AppYesYesYesYesYes
BuyFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best PriceFind Best Price

#1 – Rachio 3rd Gen Smart Sprinkler Controller

With the 3rd generation Rachio you get a choice between eight zone control and sixteen. Which makes this controller great for a small or large garden. 

They also give you the option of adding a weather-proof enclosure. 

If you plan to install the controller outside, this option is highly recommended. 

If you want to mount the smart sprinkler controllers outdoors, then this purchase is for you.

Rachio claims to be able to save you 30-50% of your outside water bill, which is due to their weather intelligence system. 

This will stop the smart sprinkler system from watering in the rain. Other features include wind skip, freeze skip, and so much more.

The Rachio 3rd Gen unit can be controlled from anywhere in the world using the mobile App, which is available on iOS and Android. 

You can also take control of the system using Google Home and Amazon Alexa, which opens up voice activation.

Key Features

  • Alexa compatible
  • Smart scheduling
  • Weather intelligence
  • Compatible with flow meter
  • Smart home integrations
  • Dimensions: 9.1" x 1.4" x 5.6"

What Other People Say

The first thing they wanted to say was how easy it was to install; it took no time at all. Since the start of them using the sprinkler system, their grass was already looking greener than ever. They brought the device because they knew the chances of them remembering to water the grass was slim. They were even able to get a WaterSense rebate for half the purchase price.

Another person said they had upgraded from the second-gen for no other reason than wanting the flow meter. They claimed to have everything set up within 30 minutes. They live in Arizona, which meant the amount of water they need varies, since using the device, they noticed a considerable drop in their water bill.

Final Verdict

The Rachio isn’t cheap, but then again, the 2nd gen unit wasn’t affordable either, but it is one of the best, which makes up for the price. No other irrigation controller offers as many features as Rachio, nor do they other as many smart home integration possibilities.

Overall it’s a great way to control the amount of water your garden is getting. It can also save you money due to the unique features. One of my favorite parts of the Rachio smart sprinkler controller is the detailed water analysis reports.

What We Liked

  • Great water intelligence
  • Onboard controls
  • Very easy to install
  • Weather forecast watering system
  • Performs well with smart home integration

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive

#2 – Plaid Systems Spruce Irrigation

Plaid Systems offer it’s users an easy to install irrigation sprinkler system. 

The system comes with the free to download App, which is available on iOS and Android. 

To maximize your water efficiency, you can add up to 16 soil sensors, which you can match to different zones.

The smart sprinkler system controller gives you multiple scheduling options to fit your watering needs. 

You can generate individual schedules for each zone, which is based on the landscape and the sprinkler’s head. 

You can even set a restriction for what time of day it is or the day of the week it is. 

It will skip events based on the localized weather reports, this means is will skip watering, during cold weather or when it has already rained. 

Plaid Systems are compatible with Amazon, Google, and SmartThings. You can even add wired flow meters.

Key Features

  • 16 Zones
  • Smart scheduling
  • 6.5” x 6.5” x 1.5”
  • Smart home integration
  • Voice-Control
  • Flow-meter ready

What Other People Say

The whole thing was easy to set up, and the controller connected to the WiFi straight away. They simply copied their old controller layout and connected everything to the right slot. From the App, it asked you if you wanted to set up zones, which made it feel easier.

They used the App to turn the zones on and off quickly, which they claim worked instantly. They use the scheduled device created for them based on the information they gave. Since they started using it, they’ve noticed their water bill had dropped.

Final Verdict

It helped save water, which was fantastic if you’re looking to save some extra cash. I enjoyed how easy it was to set up and control. The App made to easy to control the zones and their watering schedule. What was even better was the fact you could control the smart watering system with Alexa and Google Home.

With the added sensors, you can get maximum water efficiency; you can see what each zone is doing and adjust it accordingly. I loved the fact you could set restrictions on what time of day it will water the plants; it saved you scorching them.

What We Liked

  • Great control over zones
  • Easy to Install
  • Weather-Based Scheduling
  • Compatible with SmartThings, Alexa, and Google

What We Didn’t Like

  • Problems with WiFi connection

#3 – Orbit 57950 B-Hyve Indoor/Outdoor

It functions using WiFi and timer control, which can be controlled using the App. 

The B-Hyve App works with iOS, Android, and web devices. 

From the App, it allows you to set schedules and program the timer if you don’t fancy using the App, then it can be controlled using the controller itself.

Orbit smart controller can use weather sense technology, which will water your plants based on the daily weather forecast. 

It takes into account various factors such as the slope, soil type, sun, and live weather feeds, making this controller incredibly smart.

Everything is super easy to install, and the swing panel allows for easy access to the wiring terminals. This is great for people that aren’t confident with their DIY skills.

Orbit claim to be able to save you 50% more water than other brands, which is enough water to pay for itself. You have the choice between six zones or twelve zones to control.

Key Features

  • Weather-Based Software
  • Saves 50% more water
  • Uses B-Hyve App
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Controls 6 or 12 zones
  • Dimensions: 6.2" x 8.7" x 3.2"

What Other People Say

The whole installation process took around 15 minutes after reading the instructions; they felt the whole thing was effortless to use. They set up the controller in an air-conditioned room, so they didn’t have to go into the heat outside.

Another person liked the system, but they did having a learning curve along the way. To get maximum efficiency, they had to give it fine-tune, which they said could be difficult for a novice gardener. But, they did mention if you’re willing to learn, you could get the most from the smart watering system.

Final Verdict

The Orbit 57950 are great smart sprinkler controllers. They allow you to control the water from anywhere in the world using the mobile device. They also give you the option to manage your sprinklers using your Amazon Alexa device.

The weather sense feature creates schedules for you, effectively meaning if it’s already rained, the smart sprinkler will skip the watering process. Overall this is an excellent irrigation controller, which can reduce water usage and still make your plants blossom.

What We Liked

  • Easy to install
  • Weather-based scheduling
  • Works with Alexa
  • Waterproof case

What We Didn’t Like

  • No usage reporting
  • No IFTTT

#4 – Rachio 2nd Gen Smart Sprinkler Controller

The 2nd Gen Rachio smart controller can control up to eight zones or sixteen zones, depending on which style you choose. 

The controller needs a WiFi connection to control the sprinkler; this allows you to make changes to the system from anywhere in the world.

The Rachio app helps you to take care of your garden by setting watering schedules for you using local weather data. 

If that’s not for you, then you can always set the schedule yourself based on the type of plants you have in your garden bed.

If you’re looking for water control, then this device will work well for you. 

It uses a wired flow sensor, so you know exactly how much water is being used.  The device is compatible with several third-party integrations, including SmartThings, Nest, and IFTTT.

Key Features

  • Adjusts based on real-time weather reports
  • Compatible with multiple smart platforms
  • Voice control
  • Wireless flow meter
  • 9.25” x 1.5” x 5.5”
  • Controls eight zones

What Other People Say

One customer said they were a huge advocate of this irrigation controller. They loved being able to log into the App and being able to check and set the sprinkler using their phone. It was also great to see that the controller would automatically adjust to seasons and the local weather report.

They found it surprising that the sprinkler was intuitive enough not to water the plants if it had already rained. They claimed it knew what the weather was doing, and what it was going to do. In the hot summer months is automatically bumped up the water supply, and still saved them money.

Final Verdict

It may not be the cheapest irrigation controller, but it does offer better features than other smart controllers. Installation only takes a few minutes, so you can be up and running in no time. You can fine-tune the device to get better water efficiency, but these require some research.

The best thing about this system is its weather intelligence; it did a great job of rescheduling your watering cycles based on local weather reports. And to make it even better, it works with third-party devices such as Google Home, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.

What We Liked

  • Third-party integrations
  • Great water usage reports
  • Auto-scheduling
  • Easy installations
  • Nice App control

What We Didn’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Can't run Multiple zones at once

#5 – Sprinkl Control 16 Zone

Sprinkl Control 16 Zone
amazon.com Amazon.com $225.00
1 new from $225.00
Buy Now
Last Amazon price update was: August 12, 2020 12:08 pm

Their smart water sprinkler takes around 20 minutes to install, which is nothing when you think about it. 

You can set up watering schedules for the week using the mobile App. The App will keep you informed by sending your notifications about what’s going on in your garden.

When you pair the sprinkler system controller to the moisture sensor, you can switch it to an autonomous watering mode. 

This means Sprinkl will monitor the moisture levels of the lawn or your garden patch and only deliver water as and when it needs to.

It features a skip watering mode; now, you never have to worry about it re-watering plants. 

This is down to the advanced weather sense technology. It uses local weather data to determine what your plants need. You can control up to 16 zones, and add Alexa to the smart sprinkler controllers.

Key Features

  • Easy to install
  • Works with Alexa
  • Controls 16 zones
  • Dimensions: 10" x 2" x 7.5"
  • Weather intelligence
  • Create a watering schedule

What Other People Say

They felt it was a very well designed and thought-out WiFi sprinkler. It was effortless to set up and install, all in all, it took them around 20-30 minutes. They also felt the App was very intuitive; it made setting a watering schedule easy due to the well-thought-out design.

Another customer also couldn’t help but mention how easy it was to manage the WiFi sprinkler. You could perform zone audits, which made it very easy to troubleshoot the valves. They felt the App was well designed and gave you full control of the system.

Final Verdict

The WiFi sprinkler works very well with outdoor watering, which I put down to the software and amazing App. When teamed up with the soil sensor, you get a very intuitive sprinkler system controllers. Installing the device is easy and takes around 20 minutes.

A nice feature was being able to perform zone audits; it allowed you to identify any problems quickly. The water skipping mode was very intuitive and never over watered the plants. Overall it’s not a bad device and is more than capable of all your controller needs.

What We Liked

  • Easy to install
  • Works with Alexa
  • Zone audits

What We Didn’t Like

  • Poor App

But This Is The Best Smart Irrigation Controller 

For me, the Rachio 3 is the best smart controller; that being said, it isn’t cheap. The thing is there aren’t many smart watering controllers that offer quite as many features. 

You could connect it with plenty of smart home systems, and the App was perfectly laid out, making it easy to browse.

Rachio 3

They also claim to be able to save you up to 50% of your outdoor water bill. 

Which if you’re trying to save money while maintaining a beautiful garden is very impressive. Overall the Rachio smart sprinkler controller is perfect for a novice or veteran gardener.

If you like this article, don’t forget to comment below, and while you’re at it, make sure you don’t miss this article on the best self monitored home security system.

Frequently Asked Questions

It has to be the Rachio smart irrigation controllers; it has all the features you need to ensure you’re garden stays looking lush all year round. If that doesn’t stand out then there’s a few more I can pick out for you:

For me, there they four best smart irrigation controllers.

Smart irrigation systems help you to control the amount of water being fed to your plants. They usually include multiple sensors, some of which will help you save money. They run based on the time or your local weather conditions.

Because you’re going to be spending a fair amount of money on a new controller, it’s worth knowing how long the sprinkler controller will last. You can expect the whole unit to last up to 10 years; that being said, if you do not take care of the installation, this time could decrease.

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