Automate watering your garden the smart way
Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers
The top smart sprinkler controllers in 2021 are just the perfect tools that even the most ardent gardeners need to stay on top of their game.
No matter how exuberant you are about cultivating your natural landscape, the truth is that our hectic lifestyles leave little room for such interests. With time and energy at a premium, we need to find high-tech answers for automating common tasks that will obviate the need for human supervision and intervention.
Thanks to the best smart sprinkler controllers in 2021, you can cultivate a natural landscape after all, even if you have a tight schedule to deal with.
- Automate watering your garden the smart way
- 1: Rachio 3 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller
- 2: Netro Sprite
- 3: Orbit B-hyve WiFi Sprinkler Timer
- 4: LinkTap G2S Smart Watering Controller
- 5: Aeon Matrix Yardian Smart Sprinkler Controller
- 6: Scotts Miracle-Gro Smart Watering Controller
- 7: GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub
Here are the leading smart sprinklers that are worth your attention.
1: Rachio 3 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio 3 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller impresses with its wealth of useful features, seamless integration with smart home systems, and simple installation procedure. That being said, it is also one of the most expensive units on the market. But for premium high-performance products, that should not be unusual.
Although you have loads of options, they are very user-friendly and thus not at all overwhelming.
This unit allows you to control 8 zones which are also known as stations. The more advanced unit empowers you to control twice as much.
Smart home aficionados will be happy to note that the Rachio can seamlessly integrate with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Nest.
You can further customize the smart sprinkler using the variety of available IFTTT recipes.
Although the app interface might look sort of busy, it is intuitive and easy to operate. Upon uploading images and providing basic info on sunlight and soil conditions, you can obtain a schedule from the smart app. You can customize one if that is what you prefer.
The Flexible Daily schedule draws upon the details that you provided and also makes use of public weather data. On this basis, it can figure out an optimum schedule for your natural landscape.
Additional options are available for foolproof operation. Thus, the Weather Intelligence tool will shut off the sprinkler in case rain or a storm is underway.
To avoid a runoff, the Smart Cycle can divide the sprinkler schedule into more frequent and shorter sessions.
For best results, you also have the option of syncing the unit with the weather station of your choice, for instance, the Netatmo.
Although the unit is not cheap it is indeed cost-effective since it purveys high value for money. You do get what you pay for and with the Rachio 3, you are rewarded with smart features that work as advertised. The Rachio 3 extends a higher level of customization and automation than most other units – precisely the very reasons why you want a smart sprinkler in the first place.
What’s more, Rachio 3 is easy to use and hence not at all daunting despite the rich profusion of features.
If you are serious about leveraging the best smart solution for your landscape and enjoying maximum convenience through in-depth automation, then you should give thought to the Rachio 3.
2: Netro Sprite
The Netro Sprite is another top contender in the smart sprinkler niche. What makes it so special is how easy it is to install and use right away.
You don’t have to commit any station or control zone to the master valve which is something that most others require. That’s like getting an extra station.
The Netro Sprite is capable of collecting data from local weather data sources like the Weather Channel, NOAA, and the Weather Underground.
You will have to provide basic information like shade, daylight hours, plant type, and soil type while setting up the app. The smart controller will analyze your information together with local weather data to figure out the optimal sprinkling schedule. It will take account of key factors like rain forecasts as well as recent rainfall.
With the Netro Sprite, setup is a cinch. The app guides you throughout the setup so there is very little that can go wrong. Whether it is remote access or WiFi, the unit can work well with both iOS and Android.
However, there are certain caveats to think over. The model is designed for indoor installation. So if your control box is installed outdoors, then you will have to shift wiring and hardware indoors.
Another issue is that the app alone controls the unit. Thus, you cannot program it using your smartphone. Although tech geeks will not like missing out on smartphone control, the app and the intuitive interface work admirably well. So you will get used to it and may not miss this convenience.
3: Orbit B-hyve WiFi Sprinkler Timer
Orbit has been in the sprinkler controller business for the past 4 decades. However, the B-hyve is the brand’s first foray into the competitive smart sprinkler domain.
The smart sprinkler is fairly affordable. You should note though that the industrial design looks rather bulky. However, the chassis is sturdy and rugged enough for intense outdoor conditions. The design is well thought out. For example, you can close the cover on the LCD screen to protect it from the elements.
You can choose a unit that supports 6 or 12 zones.
The B-hyve might look apparently low spec when compared with similar models. However, the design concept is based on favoring simplicity over very high control. As a result, the B-hyve is very simple to install and program. This unit is ideal if you simply want to get started with minimum fuss.
During installation, you will notice that the B-hyve relies on recessed screws for linking wires rather than spring clips that are to be found in other models. After it is all connected, you can program the device using the LCD display. For added functions and features, you can install the app for which will allow you to connect the unit with your home WiFi network for instance.
The B-hyve algorithm will analyze the information that you fed into it like sunlight levels for individual zones, plant types, and soil type. Based on this information, it will create a sprinkling schedule.
You can also add in the zip code for more specific weather data collection.
You also have the option of establishing your own customized plan.
Despite its rather crude looks, the B-hyve can offer many of the same functions and features that are to be found in high-end models. All this for a fraction of the price that high-end models carry.
For the less tech-savvy, the low-end interface may actually be more familiar. If you like old school style button pressing, then you will like programming the B-hyve.
4: LinkTap G2S Smart Watering Controller
The LinkTap G2 and now G2S is the smart sprinkler system that always surprises. We’ve owned this unit for over two years and have two G2 controllers and one Zigbee hub installed. If we had a bigger lawn we’d love to buy more.
While the iPhone app isn’t that intuitive, once you figure it out its and incredibly powerful piece of kit.
It has smart watering so if it has rained, or is going to rain, it can skip watering. If it falls of the tap or there is a leak or blockage, it will alert your phone and can alert your neighbours too. This means it can be dealt with before you flood the street.
There are many watering modes also including interval and more.
The flow rate is excellent and we have incredibly strong water pressure which the on/off
It would be easy to write it all here but it’s so much easier to watch our review video below.
5: Aeon Matrix Yardian Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Aeon Matrix Yardian Smart Sprinkler Controller covers basic as well as advanced features for a good user experience.
The unit is flexible since you can install it both outdoors and indoors. It can work out an optimum sprinkling schedule based on the local weather data and the yard conditions that you entered.
The Yardian lacks a touchscreen. But should that be a cause of concern? Since you can operate and program it seamlessly through your smart device, this should not be problematic. The app works as intended and can connect and operate consistently.
The Yardian is unusual in that it rocks a security camera equipped with a motion sensor. Night vision technology can allow free live streaming video even during nightfall when there is low visibility. This is certainly a useful feature that will pleasantly surprise homeowners.
You just have to take care of one thing though. You should initially select minimum sensitivity for the motion detector since it is triggered easily. Light switches being flipped on and passing car headlights may set off the motion detector so that it starts sending a torrent of alerts. Use minimum sensitivity to avoid this.
The Yardian is even armed with an embedded animal repellent. Thus, if something moves in the designated zone within the Yardian’s field of vision, the sprinkler is activated for 10 seconds. So if you have trouble with foraging wild animals feasting upon your well-tended foliage, then you can use this feature in addition to other countermeasures. Although this feature is not the most reliable, it is nevertheless an extra layer of security that you can use alongside other existing countermeasures.
6: Scotts Miracle-Gro Smart Watering Controller
The Scotts Miracle-Gro Smart Watering Controller is an upgrade over the previous Blossom Smart Watering system. The Miracle-Gro nevertheless has its unique features and functions that distinguish it from its predecessor.
The main draw of Miracle-Gro is its super low price tag. It is far more economical than other popular models and is thus a candidate for those on a strict budget.
The Miracle-Gro is easy to install. Even if you have not marked your sprinkler wires correctly, you can utilize the stickers from the box to label your own wires. After you have connected sprinkler wires appropriately, you can work the smart app on either Android or iOS to get going.
Using the smart app is a breeze. You might feel that the model is not exactly bursting with advanced functions but that is due to the design philosophy which prefers the ease of use over in-depth control. You get a nice blend of simplicity and functionality that is ideal for non-technical folks.
There are a few drawbacks though. The low cost comes at a price. The casing is not rugged enough to withstand extreme outdoor weather conditions. There is no additional power line either. The power brick is also too bulky for comfort.
You have the choice of deciding between interval-day or fixed-day sprinkling plans. You can draw up a custom plan if you like. Or you could use the smart algorithm to plan the watering schedule.
There is also the ‘hibernation’ feature that you can utilize. This feature will prove to be useful if there are time frames during which you will not want to water.
Another issue is that the app does not transmit push messages after the unit is done watering. Many other models send push notifications so that owners can be reassured that the job was done. Although this might seem like an annoyance, the system does work reliably and you can count on it to operate according to schedule.
The minimalist design concept makes the unit too basic to accommodate advanced accessories. Thus, you cannot install individual sensors. If you are really into full automation then you should know that the system can understand just basic Alexa commands.
Although the sprinkler is lacking in several useful functions, it is still a reliable choice if you are on a very tight budget and all you want is a sprinkler that can go on and off with your smartphone. You can remotely operate the sprinkler with your phone no matter where you are. But you will have to sacrifice full automation.
The unit is suitable for the budget-conscious willing to compromise on bells and whistles.
7: GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub
The GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub has an aesthetically pleasing rotund design. However, it is not the most user-friendly in terms of installation. The app can take some time before you get used to it.
However, there are a few pros worth considering. The Hub supports 16 zones which will empower you to implement granular control over your landscape. It is also capable of integrating smoothly with other relevant products. There are also push notifications to inform you when the job is done.
There is a good water-saving feature that will prove useful for water parched areas and the environmentally conscious. You can adjust water consumption according to the months of the year.
You can work the Hub using Android and iOS devices with ease.
You can choose from the top smart sprinkler controllers in 2021 according to your specific preferences, budget, and needs.
As always, if you have any questions just fire them in to the comments below and we’d be more than happy to help out.
This post was last updated on 2021-10-16 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.