The LinkTap G2 is an incredibly smart sprinkler valve for your Smart Home.
In a hurry? Check out the LinkTap G2 review on Amazon
If you’re looking for a smart irrigation controller for your outside taps then look no further than the LinkTap G2. It could be the smartest automated sprinkler controller on the market, and it’s possible you’ve never even heard of it.
You don’t even need to be a smart home fanatic as this sprinkler controller is super easy to set up and install.
LinkTap G2 Review Video
It’s likely that you have heard of the Orbit b-Hyve or the Eve Aqua. The Eve is available on the Apple store, is HomeKit compatible. The Orbit has a well-known range of sprinkler systems which includes a smart wireless sprinkler controller which is the Orbit b-Hyve.
I’m not here to take anything away from those other products but in this review, I hope I can clearly illustrate my reasons for choosing the LinkTap G2 unit for my garden.
I love researching products before I buy or review them. I spend hours on it which is why I always hope Make Life Click is helpful when you are looking at purchasing stuff.
So here are the choices you have on the market now for a smart sprinkler controller:
- Obit b-Hyve
- Eve Aqua
- LinkTap G2
Now, the Rachio is a very popular unit that can handle multiple zones and has excellent remote control features. If I owned my dream home then perhaps I would have chosen it, but I don’t, so I didn’t.
The drawback with the Rachio is that it needs to be powered (at the time of publishing).
My criteria for a smart sprinkler controller (or tap controller) was:
- Must be battery powered – don’t have power near my taps
- Needs to have a decent app to manage the scheduling
- Has to work with Alexa and Google Home – “Alexa, turn on the sprinkler”
- Must have a solid signal whether that is WiFi, Z-Wave or Zigbee
- Have a decent battery life
- Be rechargeable and not have batteries that need changing
- Have a high flow rate
- Know what the weather forecast is and intelligently know when to sprinkle and when not to sprinkle
Bonus features of this smart sprinkler would include:
- Knows how to switch off if it loses WiFi connection and doesn’t get a stop signal
- Measure water usage
The LinkTap sprinkler met almost all those needs. It does have AA batteries but they last up to 2 years and if I put in rechargeable batteries then no fuss.
LinkTap G2 features
Here is a quick up front list of the features of the LinkTap G2 which I will go in to more detail on below. As you can see already the LinkTap meet all my immediate requirements for a smart irrigation controller with few exceptions.
There was one small thing I wanted and that was controlling it from the smart home app features on Alexa. You can control the LinkTap from Alexa or Google Home using verbal controls with the Alexa skill installed but at this time I can’t create a routine with it. If they add that functionality I will be ecstatic.
So here are the features of the LinkTap:
- 6 Watering modes
- Compatible with Google and Alexa for voice-control e.g. “Ask LinkTap to water the garden for 15 minutes”
- Has a very functional smartphone app for Android and iOS
- Measures the water flow in real-time reports on it afterwards too if you want to review usage
- Has smart watering function so you can say “If it has just rained in the last 72 hours and the rainfall exceeded 3mm then don’t water today” or “If it is scheduled to rain in the next 48 hours (you can set this yourself) and there should be 5mm of rain (you can set this level also) then don’t water today.
- Zigbee gateway which provides excellent range and a solid connection
- 256-bit security encryption
- eco Mode – to reduce the water runoff when you are watering and ensure it sinks into your lawn or garden
- 2 year estimated battery life (4 x AA batteries – can’t use rechargeables)
- Fall detection if it falls of the tap (like a basic accelerometer built-in)
- Blockage and leak alerts if your pipes leak or you have a blockage
- Up to 100 watering cycles a day – seems excessive but…why not?
Set Up for the LinkTap
LinkTap says you can connect the system and have it operational in about 2 minutes, and they are not wrong. The longest part of the set up and connection was the time it took for me to walk from the supplied LinkTap Zigbee hub which I connected to my router, which is in my garage, to the tap which was at the opposite side of the house.
There were no buttons to push or connections to make. You simply:
- Download the smartphone app on your iPhone or Android phone
- Create a new account and it will ask you to scan the bottom of the Zigbee Hub
- Plug in the hub to your WiFi router using the supplied ethernet cable
- Put batteries (4 x AA) in the tap controller and turn it on.
- That’s it. Go attach the tap controller to your tap and you’re good to go.
For the smart home gurus – you can’t connect this unit to your smart home hub if you have one that supports Zigbee e.g SmartThings or echo Plus. It’s designed to work with its own supplied hub.
You might not want another hub to plug in to your house, neither did I, but the wireless connection with this reaches so far and is so solid there is no competition between this and a WiFi sprinkler controller – the LinkTap wins hands down and reaches far beyond where my WiFi reaches.
So, set up in 2 minutes. Yes. Perfectly simple and a well done to LinkTap for creating such a great unit.
The Hub has to connect to the internet to manage alerts and send you notifications. This is why it needs to connect to your internet router even though it operates on a Zigbee connection.
LinkTap Smartphone App
The smartphone is very functional and if you like data then it gives you all the data you would need.
You can control multiple tap controllers from the one Hub and smartphone app. So you can buy other tap controllers and manage them all together.
You can also share notifications with other people. In fact, you can set up email alerts for people who don’t have the app.
Why? Well, imagine you are on holiday or at work and your tap controller detects a leak or a blockage. You can have an email alert sent to a family member or neighbour who can go and check your hose controller for you, and you didn’t even know it might have happened!
You can also water real time water usage on the app. This is measured in litres-per-minute.
Smart Weather Awareness (Rain Skip feature)
Like the Orbit b-Hyve (and Rachio) the LinkTap has a great smart weather watering feature. They call it Rain Skip.
You can either set the rules in the past or for the future or both. So you can say:
“If it has rained at my address in the last XX hours and there was a rainfall of more than XX millimetres then don’t water today”
or for the future water schedule it’s the same
“If it is forecast to rain in the next XX hours and the expected rainfall is expected to exceed XX millimetres then don’t rain today”.
The system uses the DarkSky API for it’s forecasting which was bought by Apple due to its excellent forecasting accuracy.
LinkTap Eco Mode – Save Water!
One of my favourite features of the LinkTap wireless irrigation controller is the eco mode.
When you’re watering your yard it is quite common that a lot of water is wasted as it runs off the lawn. The eco mode on the LinkTap allows you to set intervals when it is watering.
So let’s say you have the watering schedule set to run from 8am to 8:15am. You can then set eco mode intervals of 1 minute. So it it will water for a minute and then stop for a minute. This allows the water to be absorbed in to the garden or lawn. Then it starts again for a minute and stops etc.
This is a great way to preserve water while still ensuring your garden gets maximum irrigation.
A side note – the LinkTap can do up to 100 on/off sequences every day.
Automatic Watering Modes
There are 6 core watering modes.
- Instant Mode – this allows you to start and stop on demand. You have to set how long you want it on still – up to 30 minutes.
- Calendar Mode – You get to choose what days in that calendar month will have watering. e.g. The 1st, 5th, 15th and 20th.
- Monthly Mode – This lets you water plants dailt on certain months. e.g if Summer is the only time you water then you can set it to water only during May, June, July.
- Interval Mode – You can choose the interval e.g. water every 4 days, or every 3 days.
- Odd or Even Day Mode – if it’s an odd day then water or if it’s even days then water e.g. 2nd, 4th, 6th etc
- 7-Day Mode – is a way to schedule a weekly schedule which it will follow.
These will also operate respecting any Rain Skip settings you have enabled (smart weather watering).
Testing in real life
So, I’ve used this unit on and off for a while. Every now and again I’ll just ask Alexa “Alexa, ask LinkTap to water the garden for 1 minute” or “Alexa, ask LinkTap to stop watering” just to see if it fails to connect or doesn’t work. This hasn’t happened yet. Everytime it is set to go on, or everytime I ask Alexa to turn the sprinklers on it works.
I rather please with this.
I also like watching the the app when it’s on to see the amount of litres per minute it is letting through. You can use this to monitor your water usage. You can also view water usage reports up to 90 days after use.
WiFi sprinkler controller vs LinkTap Hub
I kind of already covered this in the set up section but I just wanted to reiterate that the range of this thing has been solid and has an impressive reach.
I have the LinkTap Hub unit in the garage with my WiFi router. My WiFi barely reaches the end of the house but the LinkTap G2 has a green solid connection strength and it is out the end of the house through another brick wall.
This to me is one of the most important features of a smart watering system. I have read quite a few negative reviews about the Orbit b-Hyve and Eve Aqua due to them losing connectivity with the WiFi or Bluetooth. For me, I really didn’t want to have any issues that when the unit was meant to stop, it would stop.
More reasons to choose the LinkTap? Well, the fault options are impressive.
1: The tap controller has a basic accelerometer in it so if the angle of the tap controller changes, maybe it falls off the tap, an alert is send to your phone (and other people if you have set up notifications for them). You don’t want your tap running if this was to happen.
2: If it detects a leak or blockage in your irrigation system and hoses it can let you know that also. The flow meter on the unit can detect that based on the average flow through the unit.
3: Valve notifications. If the valve on the tap unit doesn’t open or close properly, you also get another notification so you know.
4: Mains water has been cut off. If the unit detects that there is no water flowing in to the unit it will also send you a alert notification so you know the mains water supply may have been cut off.
These features give me serious peace of mind with the LinkTap and are a major reason I chose it. I have had taps pop the hose connectors off in the past and the tap was just running full speed over night. It was a HUGE waste of water.
Now I don’t need to worry about any of these scenarios. Tap pops off? I get a notification. Tap doesn’t open or close properly? I get a notification. Pipe leak or a blockage? I get a notification.
I’m not sure there is much to add to this review that hasn’t already been said.
The LinkTap G2 gets stellar reviews on Amazon and I can see why. It’s almost a company and device you’ve never heard of but if you ask any of their customers about their smart watering controllers and you’ll get rave reviews.
I am certainly in that group now. I am planning to purchase one more for the tap on the back of my house.
It may not be as sexy as the finish on the Eve Aqua or Orbit b-Hyve but it still looks great and it’s so rock solid it gets a solid ‘definitely buy’ vote from me.
What would I like to see in the future?
There is no manual control on this model so if you need to use the tap you still have to control it with your smartphone or smart speaker. Would be nice to have an override button or something to manually override it.
The second think I’d like is if they could come out with a multiple controller. At the moment this is a single unit but it would be amazing if they come out with tap controllers that can control multiple hoses.
Overall, this is the best smart sprinkler controller in my opinion, no doubt.
Read more reviews for the LinkTap G2 on Amazon
Any Questions? Ask away in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer anything you’re wondering about.
This post was last updated on 2020-07-06 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.