Ultra modern and sleek unit with touch screen controls. Utilizes multiple leading weather data sources to calculate the perfect volume of water. Water Sense certified. Displays detailed information and in-depth graphs. Ultra quick and easy setup. User friendly interface. Works with Amazon Alexa.
An exceptional, but high priced smart sprinkler controller. Not for the budget conscious.
Features WeatherSense technology for personalized watering based on individual garden conditions and local weather forecasts. Water Sense certified. Robust, weatherproof case can be mounted indoors or outdoors. Easy installation and use. Works with Amazon Alexa.
Initial Wi-Fi setup/pairing can be a bit tricky. Not the most elegantly designed unit.
Uses weather intelligent technology to adjust watering times and volumes accordingly. Water Sense certified. Customizable zone input to optimize watering schedules. Streamlined, modern design. Effortless installation, programming and functions. Works with Amazon Alexa.
Cannot be mounted outdoors without purchasing the appropriate case. For some, navigating the app takes a bit of getting used to.
Saves water by automatically adjusting to weather/seasonal fluctuations. Uses the same wires as standard timers for hassle-free installation. Easy to program and use. Shareable access. Versatile 3-way timer control via Wi-Fi, mobile device or directly on control panel.
Somewhat lacking in features. Manual watering feature only works one zone at a time, requiring a manual startup for each consecutive zone.
Complies with local water regulations/restrictions. Utilizes weather forecasts to automatically adjust watering schedules and volumes. Self learning feature compiles a personalized schedule based on in-app user history. Handy plant library with 1,000+ species. Compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Lack of clear instructions can cause some initial hiccups, but these are usually quickly resolved thanks to excellent customer service.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Keeping the flowers beautiful and the grass green is something nearly every homeowner tries to accomplish. It can be challenging in the hot summers with old-fashioned irrigation system timers. They run regardless of the weather – even if it’s pouring rain – which can be a waste of energy and resources.
Designed to give you remote access via smartphone to your sprinkler system, a smart sprinkler controller can help you easily control the amount of water you use on your yard. At BestReviews, we want to help you find the best smart sprinkler controller for your landscaping needs. We dug into the product space to learn more; the product recommendations at the top of this page are our favorites.
If you’re in the market for a smart sprinkler controller, here are some important things to consider and features to look for as you shop.
All smart sprinkler controllers are designed to give you some kind of interface with an app on your smartphone. These apps allow you to easily control your watering system from anywhere. You can change the watering amounts or times in the middle of the day, track how much water you use, and adjust the schedule as you see fit.
Below, we explore the two basic types of smart sprinkler controllers on the market today.
Basic smart sprinkler controllers turn any irrigation system into a device you can control from a smartphone app or with your Amazon Alexa. They’re a major step up from the timer-driven models most homeowners use. You can easily adjust zone watering and also track how much water and time your system is using.
The WaterSense program is an EPA-approved program that helps consumers improve water efficiency. If you’re interested in conserving water, a WaterSense-certified smart sprinkler controller is the best route to take.
Controllers that are certified by the WaterSense program provide you with system access via a smartphone app, but the device is designed to work more like a thermostat than a pre-set timer system. It’s a completely “smart” system that can sense when your lawn needs water by checking the weather forecast and, in some cases, checking ground moisture.
Check with your utility company to see if a rebate is offered in your area for the use of a smart sprinkler controller.
A smart sprinkler controller can customize the amount of water received by various zones in your yard. The controller determines the ideal watering amount for each zone based on factors such as the following.
Slope of the terrain
Type of plants
For example, a particular zone of your yard might need less water than another zone because there is more clay in the soil. Clay is known for its water-retaining properties.
Many smart sprinkler controllers use in-ground moisture information to help with watering schedules. However, in-ground moisture sensing devices are often sold separately.
Smart sprinkler controllers are made to be compatible with your devices. Many are designed with specific voice commands that work with controllers like Amazon Echo and Amazon Alexa. Even low-end ones made to hook up to a hose are designed for use with downloadable apps for your smartphone.
The app function allows you to see how much water your lawn is getting zone by zone. You can control it yourself, or can choose a system with a WaterSense design that uses WiFi to check the forecast.
If you install your smart sprinkler controller far from your router, you risk losing your connection in bad weather.
Many smart sprinkler controllers offer similar features, but since this is a new technology, it may pay off in the long run to go for a high-end model. These better controllers offer a much greater ability to save water.
Place the outside sensor portion of your smart sprinkler system in an area that reflects the general sun exposure of your entire lawn.
Keep your smart sprinkler within range of your WiFi router. Otherwise, it will not work properly.
Are you interested in water conservation? A smart sprinkler controller with “WaterSense” EPA certification is your best best. WaterSense models actually control the watering based on the weather.
Q. What exactly does a smart sprinkler controller do?
A. Smart sprinkler controllers have a WiFi-enabled sensor unit you install in your yard. The unit controls your irrigation system, giving you the ability to make watering adjustments from your smartphone based on the weather. Some smart sprinkler controllers make the adjustments themselves; others require a manual override.
Q. Can I use a smart sprinkler controller on my manual lawn sprinkler?
A. In some cases, yes. You do not necessarily have to have an in-ground irrigation system to benefit from a smart sprinkler controller. Some smart sprinkler controllers are made to hook up to your water line and control the water flow. These will allow you to use the smart technology with any sprinkling system.
Q. Can I install a smart sprinkler controller myself?
A. High-end models often require hardwiring to your existing pump house system; you may want to hire a professional to complete this task. Low-end models, particularly those designed to work with hoses, are easy to install; simply plug and go. Most homeowners feel comfortable installing this type of smart sprinkler controller themselves.
Q. How many stations can a smart sprinkler controller support?
A. This number varies by system. Eight stations can be supported by many systems. Higher end models can be expanded to support up to 20 or more zones.