Want to keep your yard in top shape without the hassle of traditional sprinkler systems? Then you should definitely check out the best sprinkler controllers of 2018.
Sprinkler controllers automate the watering process to save you time, energy, and above all money. No more forgetting to water, only to watch your garden slowly die. Set your sprinkler controller and let it keep your yard healthy and beautiful. The modern sprinkler controller goes beyond this by giving you wifi connectivity and control on your smartphone no matter where you are.
First of all, this article walks you through the top 10 sprinkler controllers on the market. After that, we’re going to break down the features and benefits of buying a smart sprinkler controller. Finally, we’re going to talk about what to look for before purchasing yours.
Top 10 Sprinkler Controllers: Reviews
In this section, we’re detailing all of the best sprinkler controllers on the market. We’ve looked at sprinkler controller reviews, and put all of the information in one place for you. Check out the detailed product summaries below for pros, cons, and general thoughts on each unit.
Rating: Best Wifi Sprinkler Controller
The Orbit Controller is a fantastic choice for those looking to maintain their yard over wifi. Featuring Orbit’s signature B-Hyve smartphone app for easy operation, you have full control over your yard with the touch of a button.
- B-Hyve App allows you to set your yard care on a timer, or let the automated weather sensors do the work for you
- Wifi connectivity integrates seamlessly with Amazon Alexa, hence allowing you to operate your sprinkler controller with your voice
- EPA WaterSense Certification helps you save water, making it light on the pocketbook and great for the environment
- Orbit’s tech support seems like it is notoriously frustrating
Rating: Best Wireless Sprinkler Controller
The Rachio Sprinkler System is one of the best wireless sprinkler controllers for maintaining your yard from afar. As the highest rated sprinkler controller on our list, the Rachio is loved by users for its convenience and easy operation.
- Rachio smart app allows you to categorize areas of your yard into multiple zones for fine-tune control
- Proprietary weather sensing technology automatically optimizes and adjusts water sprinkler settings
- Easy installation, best in class customer support, and EPA WaterSense Certification make this model very consumer and environmentally friendly
- Smart app can be buggy and maybe will require some tech savvy users
Rating: Best Sprinkler Controller for Water Conservation
The RainMachine Forecast Controller is the perfect option for those seeking easy installation and incredible water conservation.
- Easy installation thanks to step-by-step instructions and 7 days/week phone support from RainMachine’s team
- RainMachine guarantees up to 80% water savings compared to traditional units and offers EPA WaterSense Certification on every model
- Intuitive smart app allows you to control operation from your smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer
- In contrast to other comparable models, the Weather sensing data on the RainMachine isn’t as accurate
Rating: Best Indoor Sprinkler Controller
Coming in as one of the most affordable unit on our list, the Rain Bird Controller is perfect for all your growing needs. With an intuitive timer and multiple zone settings, you’re sure to get an even spread no matter how large your space.
- Perfect for your garage or shed, the Indoor Rain Bird allows for easy operation thanks to its simple settings panel
- Easy one touch feature allows you to adjust the settings of your sprinkler controller depending on the time of year
- Durable casing combats insects and grime while providing important safety features like surge protection and moisture resistance
- The Rain Bird is only rated for indoor use and therefore can’t be installed outside
Rating: Best Voice Assistant Sprinkler Controller
The JMFONE Smart Sprinkler Controller is a fantastic option for simplifying your life. Featuring voice assistant options from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, this controller pairs perfectly with every aspect of your smart home.
- Download the Ama Home App to easily adjust settings and operate your controller remotely
- Adapts to the weather via a built-in receiver that detects incoming weather patterns and adjusts water output accordingly
- Easy installation allows you to set up and be operational in as few as 15 minutes
- User interface on the app is not well designed
Rating: Best Sprinkler System Controller
If you’re looking for an intuitive sprinkler system controller, then the Netro is the perfect choice. Featuring a stunning app with Amazon Alexa voice control, the Netro Controller will simplify your life without sacrificing on functionality.
- Fully automatic controller dynamically adjusts your sprinkler settings depending on the weather and time of day
- Perfect for water conservation thanks to weather forecasting and built-in water ordinance detection
- Wifi compatible, allowing you to connect to and operate the controller via iOS and Android
- Does not work with all routers, leading to occasional interference issues
Rating: Best Smart Sprinkler Controller of 2018
The Yardian Multi-Functional Controller is as unique as it is powerful. Featuring your standard array of options like weather sensing technology and an intuitive interface, this unit doubles as a security system thanks to the built-in camera!
- Simple installation and intuitive Yardian Application gives you total control over your sprinkler system
- Connects to wifi and integrates seamlessly with Amazon Alexa for voice-activated operation
- Includes EPA WaterSense and Apple’s MFi Certificate for safe operation
- Camera sensor could be better
Rating: Best Smart Sprinkler Controller for Large Yards
If you have a large area to water, the NxEco Smart Irrigation Controller is the perfect choice! You can easily program up to 36 different zones, all from one centralized hub. A solid choice all around.
- Features NxEco Smart Controller, a remote operating mobile app that allows you to adjust settings and control your controller via voice operation
- Easy to use with a simple display and manual knob for precision point watering
- Save big on your water bill with weather detection and Watersense certification
- Casing is not entirely waterproof
Rating: Best Cheap Sprinkler Controller
The Hunter Sprinkler Controller offers a ton of value in one easy to install unit. With the ability to cover and maintain up to 8 different zones all from a simple control panel, the Hunter Controller Station is a fantastic package at the right price.
- Simple control panel with easy to read instructions and single knob for quick adjustments
- Integrates with Hunter’s proprietary ROAM remote control, allowing you to operate unit from a distance
- Automatic short circuit protection and locking door panel promise increased safety and ease of mind
- Can only set one station at a time using manual selection
Rating: Best Sprinkler Controller Design
The Skydrop Halo Sprinkler System features a sleek design with an intuitive touch-screen interface for easy settings adjustments. It also integrates seamlessly with Amazon and Google for a future-proof system that’s sure to impress.
- Uses hyper local weather data for perfectly accurate automated water adjustments, keeping your yard healthy and your water usage low
- Integrates with all your favorite smart home suppliers including Alexa, Google Home, Nest, Ecobee, and others
- 8 different zones can be independently set and monitored for precision control over your entire yard
- Skydrop’s customer service support team can be unreliable
What is a Sprinkler Controller?
A sprinkler controller, also referred to as an irrigation controller, is a device that automates the watering of your lawn, garden, and outdoor areas by hooking your sprinklers up to a main control panel.
There are many different types of sprinkler controllers, depending on the size and scope of the area that needs maintaining. Some work by connecting the sprinklers to a hydraulic system that pumps water out at specified times. Others work by connecting the controller to the sprinklers via an electronic circuit.
How Do Modern Sprinkler Controllers Work?
Most modern sprinkler controllers utilize electronic circuitry to connect your sprinklers, water supply, and cables to one centralized hub. The hub, also known as the sprinkler controller system, is designed to automate the watering process and keep your yard healthy and green.
Since all the maintenance is controlled in one centralized unit, it’s as simple as setting your desired options and leaving it to do its work!
2018 brings about many new advances in sprinkler controller technology. There are a ton of exciting features available in newer models, including:
- Weather sensors
- Wifi connectivity
- Custom scheduling
- Apps for easy maintenance
- Smart home integration
- Water saving technology
- and more!
And that’s just a taste of what you can get, as each unit offers its own package of features. Be sure to check out the product listing for a full overview of what’s included.
Benefits of Sprinkler Controllers
There are many reasons why it’s smart to invest in one of the best sprinkler controllers:
- Save Water. Sprinkler controllers are an excellent way to save water! It seems like most newer models are equipped with sensors to detect when and exactly how much water should be disbursed to your lawn or garden.
- Convenient. Furthermore, sprinkler controllers are ultra convenient. You can turn the chore of watering your yard into a totally automated process. Hence, no more worrying about getting home before dark- just set the timer and you’re done!
- Inexpensive. The best sprinkler controllers start at under $100, even the newest technologically advanced models! Combine that with less strain on your time and reduced water consumption, and you have an incredible deal.
- Easy install. Many sprinkler controllers are uniquely designed to install in under an hour. Most models are built to last, and the newest smart sprinklers are set with all the latest technology. Once it’s set up, it’s there for life.
- Healthier yard. Your yard will never miss another watering, so you can be sure that your lawn, shrubbery, and flora stay happy and healthy all year long. Reduced water use is also a huge boon for protecting the environment.
Perks of a Smart Sprinkler Controller
Many models come equipped with additional perks like wifi connectivity, and some can even be controlled from your phone or tablet! Yup- there’s an app for that. Plus, from weather awareness sensors to automated timers, smart sprinkler controllers are the way of the future. Install one today and be set for years to come.
In terms of water conservation and the effects on the environment, check for models that are EPA WaterSense certified. Almost all of the models on our list were picked with this feature in mind.
Using a Sprinkler Controller
Sprinkler Controllers are a great option for many different types of situations. From small yards to large-scale grow operations, the right sprinkler controller will cover you all year round.
Who Should Buy a Sprinkler Controller
Here are a few of the people who would benefit most from a sprinkler controller:
- Homeowners. If you’re a homeowner looking to automate your yard care, a sprinkler controller is a great option for simplifying your life
- Gardeners. Have a big garden that needs routine care? Modern sprinkler controllers can sense the required water and disperse it evenly for easy maintenance.
Landscapers. Whether for your own yard, or for clients, landscapers can benefit from the ease of use and cost saving functions of sprinkler controllers.
Farmers. For small-scale farmers with modest needs, a sprinkler controller is a great way to automate and enrich your land and business.
How to Install and Operate Your Controller
Fortunately, installing and operating your sprinkler controller is a fairly straightforward process. Most models can be installed by your everyday homeowner. Because of this, you don’t need to worry about costly contractors or expensive setups.
Louis McPherson over at Ewing Irrigation put together a video showing you just how easy it is to get things up and running.