Updated February 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Orbit WiFi Sprinkler that pairs with Alexa
WiFi Sprinkler that pairs with Alexa
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Customer Favorite
Bottom Line

A durable indoor and outdoor system with panel controls and a cover that locks.


Connects to a smartphone application and can be used with Amazon Alexa voice assistant. Automatically delivers the right amount of water, based on weather and terrain conditions. Saves water. Offers delays, timers, and schedules.


Automatic watering may be inconsistent.

Best Bang for the Buck
Netro Remote access Sprinkler Controller
Remote access Sprinkler Controller
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Large Coverage
Bottom Line

An intuitive system with an easy-to-use application that details zone conditions.


Connects to a smartphone application that shows weather and terrain conditions, has scheduling and timers, and keeps track of water usage. Certified to save water and senses how much water is needed. Easy to install. Offers control of 12 zones.


May have issues connecting to WiFi.

Rachio 3rd Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller
3rd Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

An irrigation system that connects to many device platforms and offers 8 zones.


Controlled via a device application and by Amazon, Android, and Apple voice assistants and hubs. Senses when water should be saved during rain, wind, and freezing temperatures. Monitors the weather and water usage and has customizable schedules.


Company support may not be responsive.

Rain Bird ST8O-2.0 Smart Irrigation System
Rain Bird
ST8O-2.0 Smart Irrigation System
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Trusted Brand
Bottom Line

An easy-to-use system that can be controlled remotely on a device or directly on the panel.


Offers timers and schedules that can be set on the device or through a smartphone, voice assistant, or hub. Connects to home WiFi. Automatically delivers the right amount of water based on weather conditions. Certified to save water.


May have issues staying connected to WiFi.

Orbit B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer
B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

A low-profile sprinkler control system that has smart features for saving water.


Controlled via a device application. Applies the correct amount of water based on various conditions it senses, such as live weather reports and soil type. Prevents water waste and monitors how much water has been delivered.


Application may not work well.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best smart irrigation systems

If you’re serious about the health of your lawn, a smart irrigation system might be right for you. Smart irrigation systems utilize a combination of advanced sprinklers and intelligent irrigation controllers to automatically adjust the watering of your lawn to optimal levels. These controllers regulate when and for how long your sprinklers run. When programmed properly, smart irrigation systems can be much more efficient than manual sprinklers.

How are these systems more efficient? For one thing, you can save money. With a smart system, water output automatically adjusts itself based on weather and soil conditions. In turn, this can reduce your water bill. You can also save time with a smart irrigation system. Once the system is set up, you don’t have to spend much time tending to your lawn’s irrigation.

A smart irrigation system is incredibly convenient, as it can adapt to seasonal weather changes with little reprogramming. It’s ideal for complying with any local watering restrictions, and it’s a nice-to-have item for people who frequently travel.

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Routinely check your sprinklers to make sure everything is working properly. Torn lines, faulty nozzles, and clogged heads can damage your landscape and increase your water bill before you know it.

Types of smart irrigation systems

There are two main types of smart irrigation systems: weather-based systems and soil moisture-based systems. The type that’s right for you depends on several factors, including the weather patterns in your area and the landscape of your property.

Weather-based smart irrigation systems

Weather-based smart irrigation systems, also called ET-based systems, rely on outside data or local weather patterns to make adjustments. These systems include weather sensors that monitor conditions such as temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation. This data may be gathered on your property or from a remote site.

These systems take advantage of three different types of technology: signal-based controllers, historic ET controllers, and on-site weather measurement controllers.

  • Signal-based controllers use publicly available meteorological data to dictate watering patterns. The data is sent via a wireless WiFi connection.
  • Historic ET controllers use pre-programmed data as a base value, or curve. The information is based on historic water use in different areas of the property. The curve can be adjusted to meet specific requirements.
  • On-site weather measurement controllers use weather data collected on the property to continuously calculate measurements and adjust watering.

Soil moisture-based smart irrigation systems

Soil moisture systems use sensors to monitor moisture content in the soil; watering is adjusted accordingly. Many of these sensors can be added to an existing traditional controller. There are two main types of soil sensor-based irrigation systems: suspended cycle irrigation systems and water-on-demand irrigation systems.

  • Suspended cycle irrigation systems function much like the traditional timer controllers. They have watering schedules, start and stop times, and set durations. The main difference is that the system is designed to stop when there is enough moisture in the soil.
  • Water-on-demand irrigation doesn’t utilize duration data. It operates based on start times and which days to water. All that is required is basic upper and lower threshold data, which controls watering when moisture levels fall outside of those values.

A note about other components and zoning

Sensors and controllers are the main parts of a smart irrigation system, but other factors should also be considered to make the most out of their benefits. Using water-efficient sprinkler heads and nozzles ensures that the landscape is being treated evenly and there isn’t any excess waste.

It’s also important to consider that not all areas of your property will require the same amount of water. Establishing landscape beds in areas separate from your grass helps to properly segment your area for efficient watering. Experts will agree that zoning is an important aspect to consider for smart irrigation efficiency.

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Expert Tip
It's a good idea to begin watering early in the morning, especially in hot climates. This is generally when temperatures are cool and the wind is calm.


Mobile control

Many modern smart irrigation systems can be controlled remotely from a mobile device. You can download an app for your Android or Apple device or access control via a web browser. These features can be used alongside other systems (like video monitoring) for added convenience.

Voice control

With the growing popularity of voice-activated devices like Amazon Alexa, it’s no surprise that some companies have added it to their smart irrigation systems. These advanced voice-activated systems not only utilize smart adjustments based on weather, but they also allow users to control their sprinkler systems with easy commands such as “Alexa, turn on my lawn.”


While basic smart systems utilize mobile devices for a more detailed view of settings and data, there are touchscreen controllers put that information directly on the controller screen. These devices work exceptionally well in dark spaces like garages and sheds.

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Did you know?
Drip irrigation applies water directly to the roots at low volume. This is a great way to reduce evaporation or runoff and keep weeds from growing.

Smart irrigation system prices


The least-expense smart systems cost roughly $100 to $150. These systems feature the basic components of any smart irrigation system, such as WiFi and mobile phone connectivity. The main factor that keeps costs low for these systems is a simplistic controller interface. These devices don’t usually have touchscreens, and users will likely need an external device to access detailed information.


Mid-level irrigation systems blend basic smart technology, like weather monitoring and wireless connectivity, with advanced technologies like touchscreens and voice control. They tend to pull weather data from more locations to deliver more precise information. These systems may cost anywhere from $150 to $200.


The most expensive smart irrigation systems cost $200 or more. These systems typically offer the most compatibility with other applications. They may be installed on top of current systems to bring a modern touch to traditional systems.

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Expert Tip
To optimize your irrigation setup, make sure your sprinkler heads are adjusted properly to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways.


  • It’s highly recommended that consumers pair their smart irrigation system with water-efficient sprinkler heads or nozzles. Many of these nozzles feature thicker water streams that are wind resistant and deliver a more uniform distribution of water.
  • Keep your home technology updated in order to maximize the efficiency of your smart irrigation system. Usually, these updates happen automatically, but it’s still a good idea to keep track of software and system updates every month.
  • Outside of watering, try to control foot traffic in relevant areas and keep pests at bay. Although your smart system will automatically make adjustments, the goal is to be efficient and keep costs down.
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Zone your yard intelligently. This basically means that you should grow plants with similar water requirements in the same area.


Q. How much water can a smart irrigation system save?

A. According to the EPA, overwatering leads to as many as 4 billion wasted gallons of water each day in the United States. They estimate that an average household saves 15,000 gallons per year with an EPA-certified smart irrigation system, though your actual savings will depend on your climate and your landscaping.

Q. Is it best to hire a professional to install my system?

A. Smart irrigation systems vary in complexity. Depending on the setup, installation may require some basic electrical or lawncare knowledge. If you choose to hire someone, make sure they are licensed.

Q. Can a lawn be too big or too small for a smart irrigation system?

A. Not exactly. Keep in mind that zoning is important. Your smart irrigation system will adjust to the needs of your property, so as long as you organize and zone your property correctly, an irrigation system should adjust accordingly and take care of the rest.

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