10 Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers [2022 Buying Guide]

Joseph Gilpin
By Joseph Gilpin • Last Updated: July 11, 2022

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10 Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers [2022 Buying Guide]

Maintaining a green and lush garden long-term is no joke.

Though it sounds pretty straightforward, following watering schedules manually on top of a busy life can be hectic.

No, you don’t need a gardener.

The best smart sprinkler controllers can get the job done.

It will help you follow smart schedules, save on water bills, and have remote access when you’re on the go.

Quick List: Top 10 Smart Sprinkler Controllers

We have compiled the best smart sprinkler systems out in the market. If you’re in a hurry, here’s a shortlist of our top picks.

The 10 Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers – Full Reviews

Let’s dive deeper into these smart sprinklers as we discuss their features, pros, cons, and overall thoughts about each product.

Best Overall: Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, 12 Zone 

Features

  • Can automatically adjust optimized watering schedules
  • Lifetime Cloud service
  • Connects to WiFi (2.4G)
  • Compatible with iOS (8.3+) and Android(5.0+) devices and web browsers
  • Eco-friendly
  • Abides with watering system and rules in the area
  • It can handle 12 zones!

The best smart sprinkler controller works excellently without breaking the bank. You can expect quality performance with Netro sprinkler controllers!

Various smart home systems that are genuinely high-performing cost a lot. It’s rare to find a sprinkler controller system like Netro that hits the sweet spot.

It has the features that most smart sprinklers have, and we like that it adjusts to your circumstances from your local weather conditions, community water rules, and water usage.

The only con we can see is that the onboard controls are on the Netro app and not using your smartphone. 

But that’s pretty minor since you still have complete control nonetheless.

Pros

  • It helps you save you up to 50% of water usage
  • Easy indoor installation
  • Collects local weather data from your personal weather station
  • Has reliable smart features

Cons

  • The sprinkler system is primarily for indoor use only (adjustments might be needed for outdoor installation)
  • No mobile device control – the app only.

Best Value: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 3rd Generation

Features

  • Can automatically create a watering schedule
  • Weather intelligence to help you know the best way to water that day
  • Control the system remotely using your smartphone
  • Compatible with iOS and Android

But speaking of breaking the bank, there’s a reason why expensive smart sprinkler controllers are worth it.

Let the Rachio 3 smart sprinkler system show you.

It is pretty expensive for a smart sprinkler controller. But it is truly SMART. It has all the features that take off a significant burden and does all the thinking for you.

You no longer have to worry about the weather forecast or manually adjust your schedule – Rachio does everything for you.

If you’re willing to invest in smart home integrations such as this, we can say that it’ll be worth the splurge.

Pros

  • You can easily use voice control (Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, etc.) to activate it.
  • Easy installation
  • Remote control access makes you worry less
  • Can identify the sun exposure, plant, and soil type and adjusts accordingly

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Budget Pick: Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller; Eight Zones 

Features

  • EPA WaterSense to help control the smart watering schedule
  • Weather-Based Watering system
  • Has an algorithm for smart scheduling features

If your lawn isn’t big and you only need assistance with irrigation systems, you don’t have to spend a lot. 

The Wyze smart controller also works for LESS than a hundred bucks!

It may not be as hi-tech as the more expensive smart controllers, but it has many smart features to improve your gardening experience.

Pros

  • Easy DIY installation; less than 20 minutes setup process
  • An affordable controller that works effectively
  • It has an offline mode control
  • It has two smart scheduling features based on the local weather forecast.

Cons

  • Not yet compatible with voice control smart assistants and smart home systems

Orbit 21004 B-Hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer with WiFi Hub 

Features

  • You can control it with a phone app (also compatible with Alexa)
  • Smart watering adjusts to the site conditions
  • EPA certified

If a smart sprinkler isn’t precisely what you need, maybe you’ll find garden hose-based controllers better.

You can easily install this to your faucets or sprinkler heads.

For smaller lawns, this single-zone smart controller is more than enough.

It’s not as tech-savvy as the newer smart watering systems, as it uses a timer to control sprinkler schedules.

You can also input weather data for more accuracy.

Pros

  • It helps you save on water usage and lowers your water bill
  • Straightforward installation
  • Compatible with iOS and Android devices
  • Energy saving

Cons

  • Relatively expensive for a single-zone sprinkler controller
  • Battery life isn’t the best because of the running timer

Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller for Sprinkler or Irrigation System 

Features

  • Compatible with the Eve app and Siri (Apple)
  • Auto shut-off function (offers seven watering periods)
  • Supports Bluetooth and Thread
  • 100% Privacy (no Eve cloud, no registration, no tracking)

Are you a HomeKit user? The Eve Aqua smart sprinkler controller is the best option for you.

Apple users know how hard it is to find a compatible smart cycle system. You can rely on Eve Aqua to keep up with Apple’s smart features!

Pros

  • Does not collect your data; for better peace of mind
  • Easy to install
  • Great smart sprinkler controller for Apple users
  • It can operate even without WiFi

Cons

  • It needs a Homepod Mini to connect to Thread.
  • It might not be compatible with other smart features outside Apple (i.e., Google Assistant)

Rain Bird ST8I-2.0 Smart Indoor WiFi Sprinkler

Features

  • 2.0 WiFi timer-powered sprinkler controller
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple iOS 8 or greater, and Android 4.4 Google Assistant
  • Adjusts water supply based on season, temperature, and weather conditions
  • It has a Rain Bird app for remote access

You can’t go wrong with Rain Bird if you’re looking for compatibility. It’s a classic sprinkler controller but now with improved features.

Rain Bird has been producing smart sprinkler controllers for a while now, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re doing.

Our only concern with this particular model is the complicated WiFi setup.

Some find it difficult to connect, and some still need to purchase separate WiFi devices to work. But once it’s up, it works well.

Pros

  • Straightforward to use
  • It can help you save 20% on your water usage bill
  • Compatible with many of the best smart devices
  • Notifies you about your garden condition even if you’re not around

Cons

  • Setting up may be a little complicated for the non-tech savvy.

Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller; 6 Zones 

Features

  • Fully Automatic – EPA WaterSense certified
  • Lifetime Cloud Service – Connects to WiFi (2.4G)
  • Compatible with iOS (8.3+) and Android(5.0+) devices and web browsers
  • Eco-friendly
  • Abides with watering system and rules in the area
  • It can handle six zones!

We’re back with another Netro, but only with six zones this time. 

It’s for those with a smaller to medium-sized garden (or a test garden) who want to try the best smart sprinkler.

It’s pretty much the same with our best smart sprinkler controller pick, but with a narrower scope.

If you have a SMALLER LAWN, you can opt for this, which works just as well.

Pros

  • It helps you save on your water bill and control your water supply
  • Easy to install
  • One of the best smart sprinklers out in the market

Cons

  • Primarily an indoor smart sprinkler controller.

Hunter Sprinkler Irrigation XC600i X-Core 6-Station Indoor Controller 

Features

  • It has a user-friendly indoor controller
  • Three (3) flexible programs; four (4) start times each
  • It runs up to four (4) hours
  • Has local weather sensors to control the water supply

Speaking of six (6) zones, you can also explore this sprinkler controller from Hunter. It’s one of those with high-quality performances.

Despite not being as advanced, this smart controller works as well as the others. It also has smart features that make irrigation so much easier.

We also highly commend the quality of Hunter smart controllers.

Pros

  • High performing
  • Easy to install and take care of
  • The automatic short circuit control
  • Collects weather data to control your watering schedules

Cons

  • Not for outdoor installation
  • Less smart features than the other smart sprinkler controllers

Aeon Matrix Smart Sprinkler Controller 8 Zone with HD Security Camera

Features

  • Eight (8) zones’ capacity
  • It has a weather enclosure to protect the device outdoors
  • Controllable using the Yardian app
  • It has a security camera and motion sensor
  • Deals with weather data to control the in-ground irrigation system

If you want sprinkler heads and controllers that can work both indoors and outdoors, the Aeon Matrix sprinkler controller is for you.

When we say smart, this sprinkler controller from Aeon embodies the definition of a smart sprinkler. It has modern features conveniently accessible using a smartphone!

Although you have to get used to the motion sensor since it can be easily triggered, it’s best to adjust the sensitivity settings if you live in a busier neighbourhood.

Pros

  • Easy DIY installation (15 mins. only)
  • Seamless operation using a smartphone
  • Features an additional security thanks to the camera and motion sensor

Cons

  • The motion sensor can be a bit sensitive.

Rain Machine Touch HD-12, Cloud Independent Smart WiFi Irrigation Controller

Features

  • EPA WaterSense Certified
  • It has a smart watering schedule and water-saving features
  • It’s not Cloud-dependent
  • Has access to weather data
  • Touch screen interface

Last but not least, we have this Rain Machine smart sprinkler controller for the best granular control.

It’s no underground sprinkler system, though, as it is mainly an indoor control.

We appreciate a touch-screen sprinkler controller.

The ease of use is crucial in a smart sprinkler, and we love that you can integrate so many smart systems with this.

Pros

  • It still works offline (no WiFi, no problem!)
  • Can be integrated with Alexa, Google Home, Nest, WINK, and SmartThings via IFTTT
  • Offers granular control as a sprinkler controller

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not for the non-techy people

Advantages of Having a Smart Sprinkler Controller

Everything has pros and cons, but if the former outweighs the latter, that’s ideal!

So with how great these smart watering systems work, we say, GO FOR IT!

Why? Because of these ADVANTAGES:

Saves Money

Although a sprinkler controller can be expensive upfront (especially if you have an in-ground sprinkler system), it lessens your cost in the long run.

One problem with manual irrigation is that we can’t control water usage correctly. We go overboard and can’t keep up with the changing weather.

With a smart sprinkler controller, it makes all of the necessary adjustments for you. You only need to click buttons, and you’re good.

You DON’T always need to pay someone to do these simple watering chores. It can be expensive to pay their fee on top of food, transportation, and other charges.

Makes Your Lawn Better

If you’re like most people, you forget to water your lawn regularly. That can be a problem since it’s what your grass needs to be lush and green.

Having a smart sprinkler controller work systemically and on schedule for you will help maintain a healthier garden.

A Chore to Cross Off Your List

On top of many chores, errands, and responsibilities, watering our lawn can be the least of our priorities.

It can feel burdensome as a chore! You can cross this off your list with a smart sprinkler controller.

Reduces Stress and Mental Burden

Following these advantages, it can positively impact your mental space. Since you don’t have much to worry about, it clears your head.

Plus, having a good-looking lawn will make you feel better.

Time and Energy Saving

And of course, all these are plus points towards EFFICIENCY.

Anything that can save you time and energy to spend on other essential things is always worth it in our books.

How to Buy a Smart Sprinkler Controller

Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Smart Sprinkler Controller

So, how do you choose the best smart sprinkler controller for you? Here are some factors to consider.

Weather Accuracy

An effective smart sprinkler controller should accurately determine the weather conditions. It is the key to the correct water usage for irrigation.

It’s impossible to be spot on all the time, but it’s crucial to get it right during significant weather changes.

This is possible with good technology and settings.

Remote Access and Compatibility

The point of a smart sprinkler is the CONVENIENCE of controlling it even if you’re not around.

You can be out and about or go on vacations and still get to take care of your lawn. You DON’T have to pay someone to watch your garden frequently.

If remote access is what you’re after, look for sprinkler controllers that you can control from your smartphone or an app.

Data Collection and Privacy

The fantastic thing about hi-tech sprinklers is that they can collect information from you and offer terrific services.

We want this, but with the right balance.

It’s essential to check the security level of a sprinkler. Some devices are too smart that they can breach privacy boundaries.

Smart Features

The self-scheduling, water control, and motion sensors are all considered smart features. These are the hi-tech controls that more modern units have.

We prefer smart controllers because of the CONVENIENCE, so it is kind of essential for us to include them in our list.

However, if you’re not after the techy stuff, you can always rely on the old-school models that work equally well with timers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s go over some questions you might have to ensure you have a smooth and stress-free user experience with these controllers.

How Do I Maintain a Smart Sprinkler Controller?

A regular maintenance check is always vital. Do not ignore your sprinklers. Even though they’re smart, they still need some care!

Have a routine inspection on the following:

  • Check and clean the sprinkler heads for any blockage
  • Check the surrounding area of the sprinkler head to see if the grass is still healthy; adjust if needed
  • Flush the entire system with water now and then
  • Optimize the settings from time to time
  • Update the system as much as possible
  • Call a professional if needed

How Long Do Sprinkler Controllers Last?

Depending on how you take care of it, these sprinklers can last up to five to ten (5-10) years.

It all boils down to your usage, the quality of the controller, and external conditions.

Is It Easy to Replace a Sprinkler Controller?

Yes, it is generally straightforward.

Many of these devices are branded as “easy to install” and DIY because you don’t need a professional to set them up. It still depends on your tech knowledge, though.

But for the most part, you only need simple tools and a few rewiring for the hardware, then some clicking around for the software.

A user’s manual will be your best friend.

Is a Sprinkler Controller System Worth It?

It highly depends on how you use it.

We think more extensive lawns benefit more because they save you the time and energy to maintain heavy garden care.

Smaller lawns or a mini garden might not require a smart system if you can do it yourself. However, it’s all a matter of cost-benefit.

Regardless of the size, if the smart sprinkler controller can help you save time, energy, and money, then it’s totally worth it.

A Recap of the Top Picks

Here’s a summary of our TOP THREE (3) WINNERS!

Don’t get us wrong! We vouch for everything we mentioned, but we must highlight some of our best performers.

Best Budget Pick

Wyze WSPRK1 Smart Controller 

We’re impressed with its advanced features for a smart sprinkler in the affordable range.

It may not be as hi-tech, and it’s not yet compatible with other smart systems, but it gets the job done – and quite well at that.

🔥 Best Value

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone 3rd Generation 

Expensive is often worth it if the quality features prove to live up to its premium price. Most Rachio 3 users are impressed with the performance.

Plus, we love that it’s a 16-zone controller. It can reach wide lawn spaces, so you don’t have to tire yourself out to water every spot.

Best Overall

Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, 12 Zone

But of course, the best overall is the sprinkler controller that hits the middle ground. It’s not over the top expensive, but it works as well as the premium ones.

The Netro sprinkler controller is packed with features that will make the gardening life so much EASIER.

Conclusion

Did you find the best one for you?

A sprinkler controller can be an additional expense from the get-go, but it’s also a worthy investment for long-term benefits. It may be a good idea if you have the bucks to spare.

Good luck!

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