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The Best Smart Sprinker Controllers for 2018

The Best Smart Sprinker Controllers for 2018

The Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers for 2018

When it’s hot and humid outside, the last thing you want to have to think about is your sprinkler system. Thankfully, there are several options for smart sprinkle controllers that work with smart devices to automate the entire process.

You might wonder why you should upgrade to a smart sprinkler system if you have a perfectly fine sprinkler system already. As it turns out, there are several practical reasons to do just that.

Smart sprinkler controllers are excellent at minimizing water waste, which is a real problem for many sprinkler systems. In contrast, smart sprinklers can detect exactly how much water your lawn needs.

A smart sprinkler can even take the weather into effect. For example, it won’t water your lawn when a rainstorm passes through. It might seem like it’s not a huge deal, but this goes a long way toward reducing wasted water and making sure your yard gets the right amount of water at any given time.

Of course, you get many of the usual perks that you get with any other smart device. You can turn the system on or off with your voice when you connect the sprinkler to a smart hub or speaker. A smart sprinkler can even react based on real-time forecast data that it receives via another smart device.

If you thought sprinklers couldn’t get this high-tech, buckle up and get ready to experience the world of smart sprinkler controllers. We’ve got some of the best controllers available on the market today pitted against one another. At the end, we’ll tell you which one we think is the best controller for your money.


Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

 

smart sprinkler controllers

Whenever smart sprinkler controllers are mentioned, the Rachio controller isn’t far away. There are several glowing reviews of the Rachio, and it’s earned a spot on many smart home product lists.

So what makes it so great? At first, it seems like many other smart devices, featuring remote activation, voice control, and fully customizable operation and management within the dedicated app.

But if you look deeper, you’ll see a lot of useful features. The Rachio takes everything into account, from the type of soil in your yard to local weather conditions and forecasts.

It gets incredibly detailed, to. Are there certain types of plants in your yard? The Rachio will consider those when watering your lawn. Does your area get a lot of sun exposure? Just a little? The Rachio will also think about that when doing its job.

It’s this flexibility and versatility that make the Rachio such an appealing option. It also works with a wide variety of smart home systems and devices, including Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and IFTTT.

You definitely can’t go wrong with the Rachio if you’re looking for a powerful sprinkler controller that’s responsive and intuitive.


Check out the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller here


RainMachine Touch HD-12

 

smart sprinkler controllers

The Rachio seems like it’s an easy choice, but there are other smart sprinkler controllers that deserve a look. One of those is the RainMachine Touch HD-12, which is quite different from the Rachio.

The HD-12 boasts a 6.5 inch touchscreen, physical controls, and offline operation. That makes it quite flexible since it can work without an Internet signal or even an app. You could install the HD-12 and use it all by itself if you wanted to.

However, it’s still very much a smart sprinkler controller, and it has everything you expect. It works with Amazon Alexa, Nest, Wink, and Samsung SmartThings to provide a seamless experience.

The RainMachine is a wonderful choice for smart home owners who prefer more hands-on usage. If you find yourself using too many apps, the HD-12 will provide a refreshing user experience.

It can use Netatmo or other programs to pick up on the local weather and react accordingly. The HD-12 is also EPA WaterSense certified, which means you might be able to get a rebate on it if your local energy providers offer such rebates.

Overall, the RainMachine is also a solid choice for a smart sprinkler controller. At a reasonable price point with no glaring flaws, it’ll serve you well.


Check out the RainMachine Touch HD-12 here


Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller

 

smart sprinkler controllers

 

Finally, we have the Orbit 57946 B-hyve. True to its name, the device features a honeycomb design on its exterior, and it looks very futuristic.

The Orbit offers many of the same features as the other two sprinkler controllers but for a much lower price. You get smart watering capabilities that consider soil type, sun exposure, and local forecasts.

It’s also weather resistant, a feature that neither the Rachio nor the RainMachine have. While that won’t be a deal breaker for most, it’s nice to have the option (and for the low price).

You can operate it using the dedicated app, but its only direct integration is with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices like the Echo line. That doesn’t mean you can’t use it with other smart home systems––there are just no other official integrations yet.

The B-hyve is an excellent choice if you want a budget-friendly smart sprinkler solution. It will give you similar performance and features for a fraction of the price of other smart sprinkler models.


Check out the Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller here


Winner: Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

Unsurprisingly, the Rachio wins this battle. It’s a great balance of price, value, and ease of use. It doesn’t take an engineer to set up, and it’s super easy to operate. There’s a reason it’s so well reviewed, and we wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone looking for a smart sprinkler.

However, we should note that the Rachio isn’t perfect for everyone. If you want a more tactile controller, the HD-12 is undoubtedly the way to go, and if you’re on a tigher budget, the Orbit 57946 B-hyve is probably the best smart sprinkler controller for you. But overall, the Rachio is our favorite solution.

Which of these smart sprinkler controllers is your choice? Tell us in the comment section!


Student of smart homes and full-time freelance writer.

  1. Love my Rachio. Makes life easier and saves me money on my water bill. Can beat that.

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