There are a lot of smart sprinkler controllers available in the market. So how do you find the best smart irrigation controller without going over your budget?

I’ve researched several of the best smart sprinkler controllers available and tested out all of the useful settings so that I could bring you this simple buying guide. After a lot of comparing, I was able to choose the top five winners.

Top 5 WiFi Sprinkler Controllers in 2020

1

Orbit 57950 WiFi Sprinkler Controller

First on the list is the Orbit B-Hyve that is iOs and Android compatible smart sprinkler system controller.

The Orbit wireless sprinkler system offers you up to 12 different zones of control plus it’s easy to use and install.

Other aspects include everyday weather forecast to make an accurate watering adjustment, order rain skips, and handy manual panel control.

In addition this model is has EPA WaterSense Certification to ensure sustainable water use.

It also comes with a weather-resistant box for outdoor use. The product is enclosed in a box with a key so that kids won’t play with it.

It uses 110V, which is compliant to North American electrical outlets. There are international versions for those who live outside North America.

Key Features:

  • Ultimate Water Control System
  • Smart Watering (Weather Sense Technology)
  • EPA WaterSense Certification
  • Connects With Alexa and Google Assistant
2

RainMachine Pro-8 Wireless Sprinkler Controller

If you want a smart sprinkler controller you can manage wherever you are (even when you’re away from your house) then check this out.

This model has an independent cloud device, which means it continues to work even without an internet connection.

All personal data, like scheduling, has been backed up and stored as well.

It can control up to 8 zones around your yard, which is ideal for many home app and use a weather forecast for the most effective watering.

It even schedules automatically, based on the chance of rain.

The EPA WaterSense Certification means it doesn't cost much to operate, and the touch panel is a nice function to have when your smartphone isn’t handy.

It has direct access to monitor local weather signals and adjust watering schedules using a mobile app.

Plus, you can connect and control it using Apple products, Android phones (with an app), or web interface. This means it can be accessed anywhere or even when you’re not home.

Unlike my first pick, this unit doesn’t come with a weather-resistance housing, but you can buy a protective box if you want to use it outdoors.

Key Features:

  • Eight Zones with Master Valve System
  • Color LCD Touchscreen
  • Cloud Independent
  • EPA WaterSense Certified
  • Weather Data Integration
  • Works With Alexa and Google Assistant
3

Rain Bird ST80 Irrigation Controller

If you want a weather-resistant irrigation controller that you can install outdoors, check out this product from Rain Bird.

In addition to 8 zones of coverage, the Rain Bird has a watering delay function that you can set to suspend watering up to 14 days.

This is a handy option if you’re going to be away unexpectedly and don’t want anyone to fiddle with adjusting the whole watering schedule.

After the set delayed time ends, watering resumes back to normal.

A touch panel control is also included in the Rain Bird as well as the EPA WaterSense Certified label. It adjusts its watering schedule automatically based on the local weather, season, humidity, and temperature.

Rain Bird is compatible to use with Alexa; however, there are limitations when it comes to smart gadget compatibility. It only works with Android 4.4 (KitKat) or later or Apple iOS 8 or higher.

Push notifications will even prompt through the Rain Bird App to inform you what’s happening in your yard even when you’re not home.

Like my #1 pick, the Rain Bird also includes a weather-resistant lock box so you can install it outdoors. It doesn’t include a lock, however, so you’ll need to purchase one as well.

Key Features:

  • 14-day Watering Delay Feature
  • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Weather Data Integration System
  • Self-Adjusts to All Seasons
  • Cyclical Scheduling Options
4

Blossom 7 Wireless Sprinkler Controller

This product comes with aspects that get the job done. This unit handles up to 7 sprinkler zones, gathers the weather data, and works with smart home integrations like Amazon Alexa.

This model updated weather data via satellite, so sprinklers will know if it needs to start watering or not.

This device can schedule a rain delay according to your advantage. This will help to prevent over-watering and optimize usage.

This controller is missing a touch panel, weather-resistance, and the EPA WaterSense Certification.

Probably the one-of-a-kind function this product offers is it’s Xona Technology. You can program the watering system based on the plants, trees, grass, or vegetation in the area.

If you’re looking for a bargain product that can be controlled by your smartphone using an app, and don’t mind giving up on those extra aspects, this is a great deal.

Key Features:

  • Xona Technology
  • Weather Data Integration System
  • Mobile Application Use
  • Compatible With Voice Control Alexa and Google Assistant
5

Netro 6 Smart Sprinkler Controller

My final recommendation is for someone who doesn’t need a lot of fancy aspects from their sprinkler controller.

You can also use a basic operation and the ability to cover a limited number of sprinkler zones. This device covers six zones, can detect rain, is weather intelligent, and an indoor-only model.

There is no touch panel or EPA WaterSense Certification.

However, it has a water restriction function that automatically complies with your local rules.

This makes it efficient and cuts down on the risk of receiving a watering violation.

For a simple controller that can also be programmed using an app on your mobile phone, this device is a great deal. If you don’t need extreme control options, it’s worth giving a try.

Key Features:

  • Lifetime Cloud Service
  • Local Weather Data Integration
  • Water Restriction
  • Easy Installation
  • Simple Controls

Features of a Top Smart Sprinkler Controller

Before making any purchase, there are a few features you’ll want to think about if you want a smart buy.

Paying attention to these small details will not only help you get the best WiFi sprinkler controller, but you’ll save the most money on the upfront cost too.

Number of Zones

yard zones

The number of sprinkler zones that the smart irrigation controller can handle is an important factor to consider. This is especially true if you have a large or oddly-shaped yard, or have multiple plant beds around the house.

The products mentioned above have a range of 6 to 12 zones. Some of the expensive smart watering systems even have 16 zones. You can also set different watering schedules on each zone so each area of your yard can be watered independently of each other.

This prevents the chance of over or under-watering your plants and lawn on a certain zone.

As you know, plants have different watering needs. They are not all the same. Another factor to consider is the shape and positioning of the garden. There may be hard to reach spots and unevenly distributed zone. That is why it is an important factor that smart controllers have varied number of zones.

Weather Intelligence

weather

The thing I disliked most about my old electronic irrigation timer was that it had no sense of the outdoor environment. Rain or shine, the irrigation systems still went off of the schedule I had set up.

With a good smart sprinkler system that has weather intelligence features, this is one less thing to worry about.

Each one of my smart irrigation picks above comes with built-in weather analysis software that tracks the daily weather.

This means your irrigation will be connected to your local forecast. The software will read the forecast and adjust its watering schedule all by itself.

With this device, you don’t have to worry about your sprinklers flooding your yard or plant beds after a rain. You also won’t have to worry about dry spots when it’s hot out.

This feature potentially saves you money on water consumption and is great for the environment too.

Touch Panel Control

touch

One of the major conveniences of having a smart sprinkler system is that you can also control it directly from your phone or tablet, you just need to download a mobile application for it.

However, there may be times when your mobile device is not available. Other people in your home need to make adjustments, or you just want a bigger screen to work on.

In either case, you’ll want to get a WiFi controller that includes a touch screen panel. Unfortunately, this is not a standard feature on all smart controllers.

A few sprinkler systems can also import legal watering restrictions information for your zip code, to ensure you aren’t watering on prohibited days.

If this sounds like it may be important for you to have, you’ll find that 3 out of 5 of my best wireless irrigation smart controllers recommended above have a manual panel for additional control.

EPA WaterSense Certified

epa watersense

How would you like to protect the environment while still achieving the best results from watering your lawn? If that sounds appealing, then you’ll want to look for a sprinkler unit that includes the EPA WaterSense Certification. [1]

Products with the WaterSense label allow you to achieve more while using less water and can be a great deal. Many stores offer money-saving rebates for WaterSense sprinklers.

This means you can mail in a rebate and get cash back for the purchase of your sprinkler control system. Choosing to be water-efficient can pay off. In some areas, you can get up to 50% of the cost back for the price of the sprinkler controller.

Three of the five best WiFi controllers I recommend above are EPA WaterSense certified. Our fourth and fifth pick doesn’t include the label. However, the products have restriction features that automatically complies with your city’s water restrictions.

Weather-Resistant

water

In the world of smart irrigation systems, there are two types:

  • indoor only units
  • weather-resistant outdoor units

If you’re replacing an electronic timer that’s located outdoors, then this is going to be a very important feature to look for. If you purchase the wrong type, it may get damaged by being outside, and then you’ll have to buy a new one.

If your controller is located indoors, then you don’t have much to worry about. You can buy any type of device you want as long as it has the features you need.

In my reviews, you’ll find two products that include a weather-resistance box. One unit comes with a lock and key, and the other requires you to purchase a lock separately.

Keep in mind, however, that although not every smart sprinkler controller is weather-resistant, many products do have an optional upgrade for a weatherproof box to protect it. For those that don’t, you can still buy a universal weatherproof box to protect it from the elements as long as the unit can fit inside it.

Voice Control

microphone

If you have other smart devices in your smart-home hub and also use Google Home devices such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, HomeKit, or IFTTT to control them, then you’ll be happy to know that a sprinkler control system has voice control features.

By setting up your sprinkler controller to your smart home system, you’ll be able to make voice control commands. In this way, there’s no need to reach in your pocket for your phone and use the app, or use the panel to change the settings.

Each one of my top picks above allows you to manipulate the sprinklers by voice commands (connects with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant).

Notifications

Doorbell chime

Since all of these products are smart controller sprinklers that can be controlled using a smartphone via an app, it makes sense that a push notification is a must feature.

These smart sprinkler controller have a designated mobile app that you can download. Most of these app have push notification settings.

Usually, a handy feature is a notification if the watering process is completed.

So this might be another feature that you want to look for if you’re going to buy a new smart irrigation system.

Smart Sprinkler FAQs

What Is a WiFi Sprinkler Controller?

WiFi sprinkler controllers are devices that automate the process of watering the garden, or other outdoor areas. What makes a smart irrigation controller different from standard irrigation systems is that it can be operated through a smartphone through a dedicated app.

Sprinkler controllers are also referred to as “smart sprinkler controllers” “or “wireless irrigation controllers.” A smart watering system is a great addition if you’re aiming for a smart home.

How Do Smart Sprinkler Controllers Work?

A smart sprinkler controller works differently than fixed hose timers. It draws data from soil sensors, weather information, plant-care databases, and human input to deliver the proper how much water is needed for a healthy lawn or garden.

These devices connect directly to your underground irrigation system and take all of the guesswork out of watering your yard. Through a smartphone app (or by using onboard digital controls), there are a lot of customization options. You can fine-tune the how much water supply (through zones) is needed. It can even set it up for different types of vegetation, soil, and the sun or shade areas of your yard (or garden) receives.

How Can a Smart Sprinkler Controller Reduce Water Consumption?

The watering schedule feature of smart sprinklers can possibly help in saving money for your water bill. If you don’t have a smart controller, there are instances that you will forget to switch off the sprinkler system. With this incident, you can potentially save money and practice water conservation. [2]

With the advances of a smart sprinkler system, convenience of voice commands, and mobile app pairing, just set up an alarm, and you can avoid this incident in the future.

The weather analysis of smart sprinkler controllers can also potentially save you money. A simple example is in instances of rain. If you don’t have a smart sprinkler system, it won’t analyze weather forecasts from weather stations and will continue to water your garden even if it’s raining. Now that sounds like a total waste of money on water bills.

Other sprinkler controllers even have a Flow meter to detect any leaks. The products I recommended above may not have this as a Flow meter, but this could also potentially save you money on the water bill.

What is Xona Technology?

Xona Technology enables a smart sprinkler system to create a watering schedule based on the plant type, soil type, sun exposure, soil moisture, vegetation, and natural exposure to elements.

I have mentioned Xona Technology in the early part of this article. This technology enables scheduling based on the zone and sprinkler types.

5 Benefits of WiFi Irrigation Controllers

There are many reasons why you should invest in a smart sprinkler controller. Here are just a few of the best reasons:

1. Saves Water

Irrigation controllers can save much more water than a standard fixed timer controller. That’s because smart sprinklers can tap into forecasts and watering adjustments based on the expected rain, heat, and humidity levels.

Some models have the EPA WaterSense Certification, which means it’s backed by a third–party certification and meets EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and performance.

2. Convenience

Smart sprinkler controllers are much more convenient than manually watering your garden every day. These devices completely automate the process.

You’ll worry less about your lawn getting watered too much or too little regardless of the time of year. You can also make adjustments while you’re away from the house through your smartphone or other mobile app devices.

3. Environmentally Friendly

The best WiFi sprinkler controller is not only convenient but is also environmentally friendly. Since water usage can be controlled you don't have to worry about overwatering your plants.

Using too much water does not help with your plants, and to mother nature too. We must conserve water as much as possible and be aware that every drop of water we waste doesn't do any good to our environment.

4. Easy Installation

Most smart sprinkler controllers can be installed in under thirty minutes. You just need to replace your existing fixed timer box with the new wireless version and reconnect the wires to the new device. Then, install the easy to use an app on your mobile device and follow the prompts to get it up and going.

5. Healthier Lawn and Garden

With a wireless irrigation controller, you’ll never miss another watering or fear that your lawn and garden suffer when you’re not at home. You’ll enjoy a lush, healthy lawn and garden that’s adequately watered.

If you came here looking for the top-quality smart watering system for your lawn or garden, you have some options to consider.

Hopefully, my wireless sprinkler controller reviews have helped guide you in the right direction for which product to choose. Each device has its perks, but as a whole, you can’t go wrong buying any one of the models I recommend above.

The units above are not as expensive as the Rachio 3 sprinkler controller, but hey, who needs to splurge out a lot of cash for almost the same functions of a device?

And the Best Smart Sprinkler Controller Is….

My team and I can confidently recommend Orbit B-Hyve. Out of many customer ratings, the product received positive responses. It was rated in its different features: friendly user interface, smart features, and the easy setup process.

Why do customers love the Orbit B-Hyve? It has Weather Sense Technology, a straightforward installation process and can connect to the internet easily. An Orbit B-Hyve app is available for download on any smartphone. You can set up the sprinkling schedule too so you won’t forget to water your lawn every day.

I hope you found this article helpful in choosing the best smart sprinkler controller for you.

Orbit 57950 WiFi Sprinkler Controller

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Ultimate Water Control System
  • Smart Watering (Weather Sense Technology)
  • EPA WaterSense Certification
  • Connects With Alexa and Google Assistant
Avatar for Joe Castro

Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Trusty Joe. Under the guidance of his father, a general contractor, Joe has been involved with a lot of handyman projects from a very young age. He combined this love for building with another passion of his, creative writing. Trusty Joe allows him to merge these two interests and offer the best of both worlds.