Best Smart Sprinkler Controller Reviews & Buying Guide 2017

After reading these reviews you would probably throw away your old sprinkler controllers!

Wanna know why?

Because the best sprinkler controllers 2017 have got brains where the old ones are so foolishly faithful that they even shower in the rain.

To cope up with the real smart life in 2017, you need the best smart sprinkler system. Every gadget in your home, every part is gradually being integrated into your phone. Now, everything can be controlled with your phone. The automated garden watering systems have not been left behind.

Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2017

Here are the smartest sprinkler controllers that our experts have marked as the best ones available for you. This list is the brief introduction to the products …

ImageProduct NameScore
  Rachio 2nd GenerationRachio 2nd Generation94
 Rainmachine Touch HD-12Rainmachine Touch HD-12 92
 SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled

SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled

 89
 Orbit 57950 B-hyve (WiFi)Orbit 57950 B-hyve (WiFi) 85
Hydrawise Smart IrrigationHydrawise Smart Irrigation83

Now that you are introduced with the models check out the following reviews that have been prepared on the basis of ConsumerHubs Algorithm.

1. Rachio 2nd Generation – Best Smart Sprinkler Controller [Recommended]

If we are told to pick the best, we would certainly go with the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation. This is the most polished system that is available in the market. The product seemed to us as the most complete one.

Rachio best smart sprinkler controller

Surely the Rachio team has put everything in this smart sprinkler system. The most amazing thing about this smart controller is not its hardware rather the way the Rachio 2nd generation Smart Sprinkler works and its software. Once you plug it in, you would forget the box exists there and you won’t have to touch the device again.

From that point it’s all in your smart phone. The app is just great. You can individually name the sprinklers and control them. It’s so interactive that you can even assign photos with different sprinklers.

Once you install the system after inputting some answers, ( these questions concerning the types of plants, soils and etc that you have to face on your boot up are important actually as depending on them the device designs and guides its algorithm) the system automatically detects the nearest weather station and collects data from it. The Rachio  Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation is best at communicating with you. It notifies you when it waters and inside the app you can get all sorts of information piled up there. There are many charts and graphs in the app where information about water consumption to every required detail about watering the garden are shown.

Now, you can control multiple devices with a single app and you can control the Rachio  Controller, 16 Zone 2nd Generation from anywhere anyhow you want. It really amazed us.

It gives opportunities for developers to redesign everything about the control and user interface. More than that it’s certified by EPA WaterSense under what you can even get the device for free ( in most of the counties 50% less) What we have listed here are only a fraction of its capabilities. It’s the greatest smart sprinkler system.

The Pros:

  • The best operating smart sprinkler
  • The mobile app is really responsive and informative
  • Room for a lot of customization
  • Reads weather well
  • Everything can be controlled through the app

The Cons:

  • No display on the device
  • The hardware looks cheap and not weatherproof

2. RainMachine Touch HD – Most Interactive Smart Sprinkler Controller

The best contender of our previous smart sprinkler system is this beautiful RainMachine Touch HD- 12. Although we will not directly claim it to be the second best rather, it’s the hard core contender of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler. Now, the best thing about this smart sprinkler system is that it has a HD display on board and the display is enough to control the whole controller.

RainMachine touch HD 12 best smart sprinkler controller

The presence of the display does not mean that the app is not handy. The app that comes with the RainMachine Touch HD- 12 is the most intuitive one. You can do every customization you want with this app. It also gives you tons of information connected with weather and water report.

The RainMachine Touch HD- 12 uses the data of multiple weather sources. Moreover it directly shares NOAA satellite weather report on every six hours. You have to pin point your location when you boot up the sprinkler control system for the first time. After observing the controller in action for a few days we have found that it’s more than accurate in sensing weather.

RainMachine Touch HD- 12 can be optimized by the developers as it comes with the API option. Apparently it’s an easy to operate so that anyone can use it. It also gives you opportunity to redesign everything according to your need. Another great thing is that it has a WPA Water sense certificate.

If you are looking for the most complete smart sprinkler control system then you should go with this baby. It’s also recommended for those who do not like to keep smart cell phones with them. We know that the price tag with this thing is a big one but utilize the certificate, who knows! You may get this controller for free.

The Pros:

  • Comes with a 6.5” High definition display
  • Best weather sensor
  • Beautiful and intuitive mobile app
  • Connects with a dedicated satellite
  • Privacy protection

The Cons:

  • Not an American product. ( Not a big deal actually )
  • App malfunctions while sprinklers are running. ( Hey, developers do your magic here)

3. SkyDrop – The Most Gorgeous & Affordable Controller

The SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled Smart Sprinkler Controller is the most beautiful smart sprinkler system on the market. The device is not only the most beautiful thing in the package. This unit also comes with the most beautiful  controller app.

SkyDrop best smart sprinkler controller

Basically it shares all the properties of those over 200 $ models and stands as a real deal breaker for them. On top of that it’s also WPA certified what means that you can get it for free if your county allows that or you can get a 50% price return after you install it.

Now, the way the SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled Controller’s hardware and software is designed is really unique. There is a dial on board which comes with a beautiful blue and green light. It adds a beautiful and elegant touch to the whole unit. If you place the controller somewhere in the open it will certainly attract the guests.

There is also a on board display on the controller which makes it very attractive and allows you to control the unit without your Smartphone. It is a real smart system as you have to input everything, the type of the plants, the type of the soil and many more things like that and then the SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled  Controller matches those information with its algorithm what already has pre inputted data of your local soil structure. The amount of freedom of controlling your sprinklers that this app gives is amazing.

Now, in the race with the other  controllers it lacks in some places. There is no room for developing but the app is indeed a complete one. The other problem with this smart system is that it does not tell you from where it’s fetching the weather data.

We think that it’s the best starter pack for someone who is thinking of shifting to a smart sprinkle controller and doesn’t want a system that is complex and hard to operate. The price of this controller seemed quite reasonable.

The Pros:

  • Beautiful
  • Easy to operate
  • Great app
  • Comes with WPA Water Sense certificate

The Cons:

  • Not optimizable
  • Less accurate weather reading

4. Orbit 57950 B-hyve – Automatic & Smart Sprinkler Controller

Orbit is a popular manufacturer of automated sprinkler system and the Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System Controller is their first step into the smart sprinkling system. Do you get our tone? It’s a sprinkler controller which is in a primitive stage.

Orbit 57950 B-hyve best smart sprinkler contoller

It’s a sprinkler system which is more like those non smart ones but the introduction of the wifi connection and the Smartphone app has brought it in the same stage of smart sprinkler systems.

There are also good things about this smart sprinkler system. It comes in a nice weather proof box. Its EPA water sense certified and top of that it senses weather and the rain sensors can be equipped with it. So, it does what a smart sprinkler should do, doesn’t water during the rain and waters much during dry days.

Now, the most awkward thing about the Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System Controller is its app. It’s filled with bugs. It’s not responsive, hard to connect with the device, doesn’t give enough data and there are many more issues like this. As we have stated before that, it’s smart sprinkler system which is still in the primitive stage. The system has true potential of becoming a great smart sprinkler system within budget but the app is the main hindrance behind it.

It almost gave us the feel that Orbit did not do their home work well and manufactured and marketed a pre-mature product. However, it comes with a display ( Not colorful, let alone touch ) and you can do almost everything with the panel.

The Pros:

  • The hardware has a control panel and display in it
  • Senses weather
  • Rain sensor optimizable
  • Does what an smart sprinkler system should do

The Cons:

  • Buggy app
  • Far less features than many other models

5. Hydrawise – Control Your Irrigation over the internet!

When it comes to the list of smart sprinkler controlling system, the name Hydrawise Smart Irrigation Controller can’t be left behind. It’s an smart sprinkler controlling system that has all the features that make a controlling system great.

Hydrawise best smart sprinkler controller

The device has a beautiful touch screen and a web based Smartphone access. Depending on the weather data that it fetches from the internet ( you can also select your nearest weather station if you want ) the system controls the sprinklers. Now, it also gives you information about how much water it has watered and how much water it has saved. You can control your irrigation from anywhere in the world if you want.

You can also attach a flow meter in the water supply line and connect it with Hydrawise Smart Irrigation Controller, this way you will get more accurate information how much water have passed through the sprinklers. It also notifies you if you have a broken pipe.

It’s a good under 200 $ smart irrigation system that you can buy. It is ideal for those who want a simple but effective smart sprinkler system.

The Pros:

  • Comes with both control on the device and smart phone
  • Allows you to add two sensors
  • Reasonably priced

The Cons:

  • More features should be added
  • Sometimes it may be hard to connect.

Why Should I Buy a Smart Sprinkler System?

The smart sprinkler system is a better substitute of the automatic sprinkler systems. What you have seen so far has become backdated. There are two types of revolutions that have been introduced in modern machines and devices or appliances. One was the automatic, every device; every machine was being automated, Just like automatic cars, automatic soap dispenser, cat feeder and what not.

But for last couple of years the things that have been automatic are getting their brain, they are more connective, they are learning to interact better with you and with the internet. Day by day the control of every appliances, devices and machines are connecting with your phone.

With that trend of smart life you can now control your sprinklers in your lawn, garden or backyard with your IOS or android device. And by control, we mean complete control like controlling your sprinklers individually.

This controlling can be done thousands of miles away. If this is not enough to convince you to buy a smart sprinkler system then there is more.

The newest sprinkler controllers can receive weather forecast and they can make their own planning of watering the garden. Like the automatic ones they won’t be watering the garden during rain. Also they have their own algorithm to water the garden. These algorithms are depended by the type of plants you have in different sections of your garden, what type of soil you have there and on the geographical information of the area. Let’s not dig in too deep. Let’s just say that they are smart, in some cases smarter than you.

The smart sprinkler apps do not only allow you to control the sprinklers, they also enlighten you with tons of information. Now, you are smart sprinklers are something that you will be bringing home with more than 200 dollars. You would certainly expect results from them. From how much water they used, to how much water they saved and they much will use on the next day, they show everything on the app.

The biggest benefit of them is that, after you connect a  controller with your sprinkler system, boot it up, feed it all the necessary information, you can just forget everything. From that your point your garden watering will automatically be taken care of. Oh Wait! We almost forgot. You can not only control a single controller but up to six of them with your Smartphone depending on the models.

For reasons like these you should certainly get a smart sprinkler controller.

What is a smart sprinkler Controller?

Today, the  sprinkler controllers have become smarter than ever. They take away all the pain of watering your lawn or garden. They are just as intelligent as you are and they communicate with the internet and your phone as well. This review of ConsumerHubs is going to be on the best smart sprinkler controllers that you can buy in 2017. Let’s begin by introducing you to the concepts of smart sprinkler controllers.

Smart sprinklers are just the smarter version of that automatic sprinkler controller that you have in your home. Almost everyone who has a home with a lawn or a garden in front, have a controller that automatically turns the sprinklers, waters the garden according to the command and turns them off when watering is done.

The  controllers are more than automatic water gardening systems what have drastically outdated them. Let us give you a small example. You have an automatic sprinkler system installed in your home. You have set it up to water the garden twice a day say for fifteen minutes.

Now, you wake up one morning and see that it’s raining and to your utter surprise (wait! you may already have the experience) you see that your sprinklers are running. You rush to turn it off and forget to turn it back on (you surely have made the mistake). But things would have been different ( a whole lot different ) if you have the smart sprinkler system.

How do the smart sprinkler systems work?

The smarter sprinkler controller fellows know when it’s raining, know when it’s going to rain or snow, know when it last rained and ultimately know the weather better than you ( some even gives you weather forecast ) The smart sprinkler systems gather the data on weather from the internet and from your nearest weather stations. Then they adjust the sprinklers accordingly.

This is just an example. They can do tons of things. The most interesting thing about them is that you can entirely (or only) control them with your Smartphone and they keep you updated on the garden watering. Who doesn’t have a Smartphone these days?

We have already discussed too much about the smart sprinkler systems. Hopefully there will be more, but before that let’s introduce you to the best smart sprinkler systems that are available on the market.

Types of Smart Sprinkler Controllers –

Making a classification of such a cutting edge product is not an easy thing as they can’t be properly be classified by depending on a fixed standard. As far we know the  controllers, we have seen two types of them.

  • The Smartphone Based Controllers:

This type of controllers is based on Smartphones. Some manufacturers have depended so much on the Smartphones that they haven’t felt the necessity of adding a control panel on the hardware. This systems are based on wifi network and the Smartphone app. The apps are great and allows complete control over the smart controllers. In these models you can change the settings and optimize the sprinkler controller very fast. The controller also keeps you updated through the app. These are better than the other type that we are about to discuss.

  • The Web Based Controllers:

These controllers are mostly cloud web biased. To control the sprinkler controller you need to log in to a website and from there you can adjust everything. The system keeps you updated there. It’s not that much interactive as the Smartphone based systems but you can more or less do the same things with them too. These controllers do not need the Smartphone, you just need something from where you can access the internet and it’s all there.

Features to Look for …

This point is quite important. The modern sprinkler controllers come with tons of features. Some points within them are really important. The features that we will enlist here will enhance your smart sprinkler controller experience. Here is a list of them.

  • WPA Certificate: Make sure the controller that you are about to buy is WPA certified. With the certificate you can rebate on the price. Who knows! You may get the unit for free or at least a fifty percent return on the price.
  • Intuitive App: The hardware is not the only part of the smart controller. The app is important. You should check the app before buying the controller. A responsive and informative app will allow you complete control over the sprinklers and will give you tons of information.
  • Weather Forecast Accuracy: The controller that you are to buy should read the weather accurately. The best advanced sprinkler controllers should fetch weather reports from the nearest local weather station. The accurate your controller’s weather pickup, the better water management it will provide.
  • Customization Features: The best controllers allow you to customize the controlling and the software of the smartest sprinkler controllers. You can decorate things in your own manner and also you can optimize them with the ITTT and do some geeky things with them. The developers options are another reason many people buy the controllers.
  • Security: The security of the advanced sprinkler controllers is important. Otherwise people can hack into your system and mess with your sprinklers. You would not want that to happen, would you?
  • Weather Sealed Box: The unit should come in a weather protected box or you should at least be sold separately.

The Pros:

  • These controllers really make your life simple.
  • One phone app, many opportunities
  • Customizable application and system
  • Weather sensible

The Cons:

  • You may lost the personal touch of gardening
  • If the wifi network is down then it creates problem
  • The controller can be hacked !

Benefits of Using Smart Sprinkler Controls:

Smart sprinkler controls are a huge package of benefits. They aren’t cheap and the money you spend behind them really pays off with the features and benefits that they provide. Here, we will enlist some benefits that come with the smart sprinkle controllers.

  • Peace of Mind –

The smart sprinkler controlling machines can really give you a lot of peace of mind. What you need do is set up the controller properly and it will do the job of watering your plans until their last breath. You will know it is there, you will know it’s working, you will know it will talk to you through push notifications. Now, that’s smartly achieved peace of mind.

  • Can be Bought for Free –

Yes, this is the only pricy product that you can get for free! Yes, For Free!! Check for the WPA certificate on the product and if your county allows, you may get a 100% cash back for the installation of this smart sprinkler system. ( Note: all the counties do not return a 100%, but most of them give around 50%, that’s just great )

  • Saves Water –

One of the main goals of the smart sprinkler managers is that they are designed to minimize the use of water. The importance of saving water is well known by you. You also know the danger of it. If you are a environmentalist or care for the environment then these controllers are ideal for you. On average they can save up to 50% of water that you were just wasting in watering your plants.

  • No Rushing to the Unit –

As the latest smart sprinkler controllers can optimize themselves with the weather, they know when it’s raining or they just know what the humidity situation of the weather and the soil is. That’s just great you know. You won’t have to rush to turn the controller off when it’s raining, if you want you can do it with your phone.

  • Extensive Controls –

With the smart controllers you can do things with your sprinklers that was impossible to do before. The greatest thing is that all the sprinklers can now be controlled individually. You can set how much water they will consume and which direction they will water and all that. You can set their timer more accurately. We were really amazed to see the amount of control this smart product gives.

  • Install and Forget –

Once you install the smart sprinkler system, you can just forget. Just keep it connected with the wifi network and with your phone and it will take care of everything.

  • Let’s you Know Things –

The smart sprinklers let you know what they are doing, what they will do and how much they have done. It’s all there on the beautiful mobile applications.

  • Customize According To Your Needs –

They are called smart for no reason. You can make the sprinkler controllers even smarter by customizing it on your own way. You can develop a new kinda app if you want. Program new kind of controls, make new charts to show the information you seek. You can optimize it with the ITTT and do many amazing thing with your smart sprinkler controlling unit.

How to Install and use the Smart Sprinkler Controllers?

The installation of these controllers are the most important thing. After that everything is super easy. Now, here we will discuss about the installation and the use of the smart sprinkler managers in a general sense.

Your controller’s installation process may be different from our step by step installation and operation process. We won’t be talking about the installation of sprinkler systems. That’s entirely up to you and you may already have that existing in your garden or lawn.

Now, the first step for you is to go through the instruction manual and know how you would install it and use it. If you are not an instruction manual follower kidna fellow then here are steps, shortened before you.

  • The first step is to remove the old automatic sprinkler controller. Now, they were really big and complex, there should be lot of wires, be careful while unmounting them.
  • While you are unmounting your old system make sure to mark the wires for different zones. You can use tapes of different colors to mark them or you can just write numbers on them. Whatever you do, you just have to remember which wire is for which zone.
  • Now, unbox your new controller unit and the next step is to mount it. The mounting screws should come in the box (some models even come with screw drivers also) You should position the holder (or the controller unit what does not come with a holder) and drill the screws in the wall.
  • Now, open the cover and place the holes in the zone holes. Do it accordingly. Put the right zone wire in the right zone hole. In some models the wires should insert from the back. Now, close the cover and plug the controller in the power outlet. See if there is a on-off button.
  • Once turned on the device should boot up automatically and find the wifi network by itself. Check, if the wifi connection does not get restricted.
  • Now, it should be acquainted with your phone’s wi fi network. Download the app of the controller and Turn on your phones wi fi and it will automatically detect it.
  • Enter the security code if you have to.
  • Now, you need to select everything on the app. Pin point your location, select they plant types, soil type and you may need to insert photos and at last select your nearest weather station. In some models you may have to find your home in the satellite map.
  • Once you are done, you can select when the sprinklers will run, for how long they will run and how much water they will use, you can select the zones differently and adjust them. Don’t forget to name the zones also.
  • Now, once everything is done the controller will give a test run and check if all the zones are working appropriately.

This is basically it. As they are smart sprinkler optimizer, from now on they will automatically run the watering cycles and may bring changes to the cycle depending on the weather conditions. Don’t worry they will keep you updated on the apps. This is the true definition of being smart.

Smart Sprinkler Controller Buying Guide:

These questions will help you to buy the best advanced sprinkler controller machines available. Here are the questions.

  • How much are you willing to spend behind the controller? (There are units available from 100 $ to 250 $. The best ones are all above 200$)
  • Would you like to rebate on the price? (Then go with the WPA certified product)
  • How much area are you willing to cover with the sprinklers? (see next question)
  • How many sprinkler zones are there in your garden and lawn? (There are products available for 8 zones to 12 zones)
  • Do you want the one that you can control with the Smartphone app or the one which is internet based? (both systems are available for you)
  • Are you familiar with programming? (see next question)
  • Would you like to customize your app and remap the whole watering system? (Then you should go with the controller that allows API)
  • Is there a weather station nearby? (if not then go with the controller that directly connects with the dedicated GPS)
  • Would you like to control multiple units with a single Smartphone? (like the unit on your house, your parents house or your grandparents, some manufacturers allow you to do that)
  • Are you going to place the unit indoor or outdoor? (if the answer is outdoor then you should buy a unit that is weather protected)

These are the questions that you need to ask yourself if you have made up your mind in buying a smart sprinkler controller.

FAQs …

Here are the most frequently asked questions by the smart sprinkler controller consumers.

Q – How can I be benefitted by the WPA Water Sense Certificate?

To get the fullest benefit out of your certificate you should fulfill some criteria on amount of land watering zones. Then you can apply for a rebate, against that rebate an expert will come to pay a visit of your property. Then after he says whether you are eligible or not, you can install the smart controller and give him a call. Then he will came and return you a percentage ( or the full cash back ) of the money that you spent behind the controller. To know more follow the link that comes at last of this article.

Q – Do the Smart System Save Water?

Yes, they do. They work on a complex algorithm and interacts with the weather forecast. The combinations of these two features result in lower water consumption than the automatic sprinkler controller.

Q – What if I don’t use a Smartphone?

Don’t worry; you would still be able to use the smart sprinkle controller as some models come with on board control panel of dials, buttons or touch screens. You would be able to control the controller with them.

Conclusion:

Well consumers, now you should be enlightened about the smart  controllers. There are more in the next tabs for you. Now that you are introduced with the top available models of the smart sprinkler systems you can choose your pick from them. We have compiled only the best of the best sprinkler controllers for you. If you think of buying any other model then please be extra careful.

Content Source:

We did not find much information about the  controllers. However we will give you the link of WPA where you can know more about the water sense certificate.

This was everything that we had to present before you. Thank you for staying with ConsumerHubs. We hope that after going through all these you would be able to buy the best smart sprinkler controller of 2017.

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