Watering a garden by hand is something not only tedious, but very time consuming as well. Imagine having to stand every day for about 2 hours under the cruel summer sun to do that. Thankfully, machine-to-machine technologies are here to save the day once again. From being able to use an app to change the temperature in several rooms in the house to turn the lights on and off even if you aren’t in the room, we are all becoming fans of doing things remotely. Wi-Fi enabled sprinkling is now a thing of the present and it’s the ideal choice for everyone who spends too much time watering their garden.
5 BEST WIFI SPRINKLER CONTROLLER COMPARISONS
|Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller||CHECK THE PRICE|
|RainMachine Touch HD-12||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Orbit 57946 B-hyve||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Rain Bird ST8O-WIFI Smart Irrigation Controller||CHECK THE PRICE|
|Skydrop Halo Smart Sprinkler System Controller||CHECK THE PRICE|
ADVANTAGES OF OWNING A WIFI SPRINKLER CONTROLLER
By now, you are most likely familiar with the concept of a “smart home”. Smart homes are equipped with systems that can be controlled remotely and they include everything from heating, lighting… to outdoor sprinkling systems.
First thing’s first: a Wi-Fi sprinkler controller will help you save money. Picture the following scenario: you’re away on vacation and your sprinkler system is set to water the garden every day. Suddenly, heavy rain starts pouring down and the considerable amounts of water from both your sprinkles and Mother Nature are drowning your plants. Thankfully, you have a mobile app connected to your sprinklers and you can now turn them off, thus saving you money.
Another reason for using such a smart system is the convenience that it provides. Think about all the things you could be doing with the time you spend watering your garden. Besides, what could be more awesome than controlling the water in your garden via a mobile app? With the push of a button, you can let the automatic sprinkler system do the work while you’re binging your favorite Netflix show. It saves you the hassle of having to give the neighbors a key to water your garden while you’re away since all these systems need to be controlled remotely is a connection to your home Wi-Fi.
Take the Guesswork Out
Even more, before each manual watering, you have to check the local weather forecast, calculate how much water your garden needs depending on humidity and solar radiation and even when you do this math, there are chances of human error. These smart sprinkling controllers will do the math for you and calculate how much water your garden needs and when. Even more, some devices provide really detailed charts, statistics and a history of your garden watering, and are even able to make future watering suggestions and predictions based on this information.
Since most of them can be activated and deactivated via devices such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, you have the benefit of voice control, which means you don’t even need your phone to turn the sprinklers on and off. Most devices also have an integrated display, which provides an additional mean for you to control the system.
One thing you will also notice about these systems is they are super easy to install. Each device comes with an installation guide and the box contains the elements you need (this is valid in most cases; some controllers lack batteries, others don’t include screwdrivers, etc.). Even the trickiest of devices should be up and run in 30 minutes (the REAL time-consuming activity would be to customize schedules for each particular area of your garden).
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING A WI-FI SPRINKLER SYSTEM
Contrary to what some people may think, these systems are not just for people with extremely big gardens, filled with fruits and vegetables to grow. While it’s true that the size of your garden is a determining factor in this purchasing decision, sprinkler systems are for anyone who, for one reason or another, don’t want to manually perform this chore. One important thing to know is that there are 2 types of controllers on the market: smart and regular. Regular controllers have the basic functions that the system needs: like turning it on and off and setting up a timer. As far as smart controllers are concerned, you have this whole array of features. The watering schedule can be adjusted according to watering data gathered in the past (a.k.a. how much water was used when previously watering the garden). Some smart controllers can even determine the current amount of water in the soil, the outside temperature and the humidity levels.
Last, but not least, you should carefully assess the difference between the controllers that are currently available on the market. While we’re all for saving money, purchasing a non-reliable system can lead to problems such as over or under-watering (since not all sensors are the most accurate). That’s precisely why we’ve decided to review some of the best Wi-Fi sprinkler controllers on Amazon, so you can stay informed and purchase only what’s right for YOU.
TOP 5 WIFI SPRINKLER CONTROLLER REVIEWS
RACHIO SMART SPRINKLER CONTROLLER
- Product dimensions: 9.2” x 1.5” x 5.5”
- Weight: 2.5 lbs.
- Warranty period: 2 years (if purchased from an authorized seller)
- What’s in the box: 1 x Faceplace, 1 x Generation 2, 4 x screws with anchors, 1 x power adapter
There is a lot to be said about the Rachio Smart sprinkler controller, as it is considered one of the best of its kind. You don’t have to take our word for it: there are almost 2,100 5-star Amazon reviews that confirm our statement. The beauty of this device is the wide array of features that allow you to water your lawn or garden from anywhere and however you please. It’s almost like having your own gardener. One of the device’s key features is Weather Intelligence. Based on local forecasts, the feature allows for weather prediction and it can automatically adjust the watering schedule, taking into consideration upcoming weather factors, like wind, freeze or rain. Rachio also allows for customized watering schedules based on the data input of several areas in your garden. As long as you enter data such as soil type, sun exposure or plant type, the app can calculate how and when to start watering. By downloading the app, you will have complete customization options at your fingertips. Imagine that you’re browsing a music app: you can start, pause, stop or skip watering in individual areas. If you have a generous garden or laws, you can create customized schedules for each. The device is compatible with Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, making it easier to control even your phone is not nearby. The best part of it all: the system will still work according to schedule even if Wi-Fi is down. It won’t be able to get weather information from the internet, but the pre-set watering schedules won’t be affected in any way. While this feature may not seem important at first, know that there are sprinkler controllers that stop functioning once the wireless connection is down.
- Responsive app
- Takes about 20 minutes to install
- Customized watering schedule
- Still waters according to schedule even if Wi-Fi is down
- Alexa doesn’t recognize personalized area names
- Tech support hard to reach by phone
RAINMACHINE TOUCH HD-12
- Product dimensions: 6.1” x 1” x 3”
- Weight: 0.69 lbs.
- Warranty period: 2-year standard warranty
- What’s in the box: 1 x RainMachine device, 2 x drywall screws, 1 x mini screwdriver, 1 x power adapter, 1 x user documentation
Number 2 in our list of best Wi-Fi sprinkler controller reviews is the RainMachine Touch HD-12. This easy-to-install device comes with complete user documentation, so you set up the device without the need for third-party assistance. Being a smart sprinkling system, it takes its weather forecast information from several sources, like NOAA.GOV, Forecast.io or Metno. The system collects weather information several times a day, to provide accurate water plans for your garden. According to the manufacturer, the device will pay for itself in about 2 years, by saving you up to 80% in water bills. The app for controlling the system is available for both iOS and Android devices and provides an intuitive dashboard. Even more, you can access the app on just about any browser, allowing you to control it even from your laptop or PC. It provides very detailed information, including graphs that show a watering history or a detailed weather forecast (which includes information such as the amount of daily rain). This smart device will not only work when Wi-Fi is down, but it can switch to historical weather statistics if there is no forecast available. You can customize specific areas of your lawn or garden, as some plants and flowers will require more frequent watering than others.
- 15 minutes installation
- Provides weather forecast from multiple sources
- Intuitive dashboard
- App provides graphs & lots of detailed information
- Users reported faulty screens
- Sometimes app can become non-responsive
ORBIT 57946 B-HYVE
- Product dimensions: 3.8” x 9.4” x 8.6”
- Weight: 3.6 lbs.
- Warranty period: 1-year standard warranty
- What’s in the box: 1 x Wi-Fi sprinkler times, 1 x screwdriver, 1 x installation hardware, 1 x key, 1 x quick start guide
The Orbit 57946 B-hyve sprinkler system is another Amazon community favorite, as it balances a good price with good-to-have features. The weather sense technology included in the system will water your garden based on factors such as live weather forecasts, slope and soil type and even the presence of sun or shade. The device comes with a swing panel which allows for easy access to the wiring terminals. If the outdoor installation was a concern of yours, rest assured that the device will stay protected from bad weather, as it comes with a weather-resistant case which can be locked thanks to the included key (really nice feature to have, especially if you have children who like to poke around different devices). The Orbit is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, but there is no open API or possibility to control the system via other devices, such as Google Home. As long as your home wireless system is up and running, you can control the timer from any location in the world, via the iOS and Android app. The rain delay feature is pretty neat, as it postpones the watering schedule if the forecast shows any rain. However, there is a downside to this feature: if the forecast is wrong, for some reason, then your watering schedule is canceled.
- Weather-resistant casing locked with a key
- Easy access to wiring terminals
- Customized schedules for different areas of the garden
- Rain delay can cause futile canceling of the watering schedule
- Only compatible with Amazon’s Alexa
RAIN BIRD ST8O-WIFI SMART IRRIGATION CONTROLLER
- Product dimensions: 1.5” x 6.2” x 6.2”
- Weight: 1.5 lbs.
- Warranty period: 2-year standard warranty
- What’s in the box: 1 x outdoor timer that comes with 2 x mounting screws, 2 x AAA batteries, 3-Prong plug; 1 x indoor times that comes with 2 x mounting screws, 2 x AAA batteries, 1 x transformer
While the Rain Bird ST8O is not the best-looking sprinkler controller, it certainly provides sturdy competition for devices such as the Rachio. Just as its fierce competitor, the Rain Bird offers the possibility to control your sprinkling system remotely, via Wi-Fi connectivity. It comes with a series of advanced functions, such as the possibility to create your own watering schedules based on different areas of your garden. If needed, you can share access to the app and the system to others and there are 3 ways to control it: using your mobile device when you’re in range, via Wi-Fi or by directly accessing the timer panel. You can also opt for a cycling schedule every 1 to 29 days and you can delay watering for a period of up to 14 days if needed. The system is weather intelligent, which means that it can self-adjust depending on the season and weather forecast. The installation is pretty smooth, but it would be helpful to take a picture of the existing wiring, for the process to be even easier. The device will easily connect to your home Wi-Fi once you’ve installed it and it can be up and running in less than 30 minutes. Of course, you will need to add some data about your current location.
- Easy installation
- Customizable names for each watering zone
- App takes a long time to load while switching between watering zones
- Buggy Wi-Fi connection
SKYDROP HALO SMART SPRINKLER SYSTEM CONTROLLER
- Product dimensions: 9.7” x 1.9” x 3.1”
- Weight: 1.9 lbs.
- Warranty period: 2-year standard warranty
- What’s in the box: 1 x controller, 1 x wall plate, 1 x power supply, 4 x wall screws, 1 x installation guide
Last, but not least, we bring you the Skydrop Halo controller, a tiny device that promises to deliver just as much as its competition. But can it live up to the expectation? It does provide the same information pull feature as far as local weather information is concerned. It connects to local weather stations to determine information such as solar radiation, slope, wind, temperature or humidity. Since it’s a smart home device, it can go in depth and even calculate your soil’s moisture and the amount of water specific areas are losing. It connects to most known home devices, such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa or Nest. It provides monitoring of up to 8 zones, allowing you to water each area according to precise specifications. Compared to its competitors, which can save up to 80% water, the Skydrop only promises a 20% save on your water bill. The system can be accessed via a multitude of devices: from your smartphone or tablet and even from your PC’s browser. The app and interface are pretty intuitive, so you don’t have to be tech savvy to figure out the functions by yourself. The app is also highly responsive, with a delay of just a couple of seconds between pushing a button and the actual sprinkler activation.
- System up and running in less than 30 minutes from installation
- Intuitive and responsive app
- The display has narrow viewing angles
- Watering reports are daily, not monthly
With more and more homeowners interested in having a smart house, a good sprinkler system is part of that process. While some people may consider a Wi-Fi sprinkler controller a useless investment, it helps you save money, and the time and energy required to water the lawn. Every such controller takes pride in saving you money on your watering bill (percentages vary depending on the model chosen) while allowing you to customize the watering schedule according to factors that influence different zones in your yard/garden. The Rachio Smart sprinkler controller is, by far, our number 1 choice. It provides a really neat specs-to-price ratio and the possibility to fully customize your garden areas. Even if the other devices come with a generous number of zones to monitor and the possibility to get really detailed weather and soil information, customer reviews have shown that they are more prone to damage, come with faulty displays or missing components, have laggy interfaces or problems with running watering schedules as they were initially customized to do.