Based on our research and testing, we determined that the best smart sprinkler controller is one that’s easy to install, offers an intuitive user interface, and sets intelligent schedules for you—but also one that allows you to adapt and tailor schedules and evapotranspiration (ET) settings to your specific needs. For example, voice control with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri lets you turn the sprinklers on and off or start a zone for a certain number of minutes with your voice—a handy convenience when your hands are covered in mud. A Yard Map feature lets you draw virtual boundaries for each zone in your yard and specify how many sprinkler heads are in it and where, which Rachio says will improve water-usage reporting. The downside is that your sprinklers might still run in the rain if the RainMachine thinks they need to. For this update, we retested our three top picks as well as two new products: the Sprinkl Control and the Rachio 3e. The notable differences are the design (the B-hyve Indoor model is smaller and cleaner looking), that it has full on-device controls (which are like those of traditional controllers and confusing to use), and that it comes in a waterproof, lockable case (so there’s no extra expense if you want to put it outdoors). This means that if you had a loose wire, you wouldn’t know that a zone was getting water unless you installed a flow meter. (If your Wi-Fi goes down, they will continue to operate based on a preprogrammed schedule.) So it was frustrating not being able to use it consistently. It is WaterSense-labeled, and its software and app are the same as those for our budget pick. Webinar Information The webinar will explore some of the latest technology in the market when it comes to utilizing the sun for powering commercial landscape control systems. Want to manage your programs? However, Yardian’s smart scheduling is still mystifying, running each of our zones for only four minutes every day. IP-68 rated waterproof case for reliable operation under water. We also collect controller data (e.g., water usage, zone starting/stopping, schedule starting/stopping). Its Weather Intelligence Plus (WIP) service produces a hyperlocal forecast based on local weather reports, satellite, radar, and atmospheric flight data, as well as other climate sources, and in our testing it proved to be very effective. It will support eight zones and includes three years of Wyze’s Sprinkler Plus service, which will offer automatic, weather-based watering schedules. The RainMachine’s water-used and water-saved reports and history within the app are excellent and offer more data than the Rachio 3's, including detailed forecasts and logs for days, weeks, months, and years (you can also access them via a comprehensive web interface). If user enables optional remote access, RainMachine stores only a factory set device ID and a mapping with the user email. Rainbird makes Timers, that draw hardly any power at all. Operating temperature: 14° to 149° F (-10° to 65°C). With seven advanced programming features, the TBOS-II™ cuts setup time and eliminates repeat trips to the controller, resulting in water-efficient programs and lower operating expenses. Controller, Control Unit user manuals, operating guides & specifications All smart sprinkler controllers rely on a science called evapotranspiration (ET)—the sum of evaporation and plant water use—to figure out when to water your yard and for how long. Integration with smart-home systems, to extend value. On days when the Rachio 3 scheduled a watering, the system ran anywhere from 43 minutes to nearly four hours in the early morning hours, stopping as requested before sunrise. The XC Hybrid Controller delivers extensive power without the plug. This is the least predictable option: You don’t control which days the sprinklers will turn on or for how long, but you can choose to start or end at a specific time or at sunset/sunrise. And we also tested BlueSpray, which might suit very specific needs, such as if someone has a golf course in their backyard. The Spruce Irrigation Controller 2nd Gen (16 zones) is WaterSense-certified, has basic on-device controls, and is simple to set up because it automatically creates a schedule. Wirecutter takes security and privacy issues seriously. The eight-zone Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor Irrigation Controller is an inexpensive way to make your irrigation system smarter (and because it’s a WaterSense-certified device, you may also qualify for an EPA rebate). – Waterproof case ensures long life … Still, the RainMachine is an excellent device. Rachio has a habit of rolling out new hardware with features not available to the previous generation. Its Weather Intelligence Plus feature allows for hyperlocal forecasting, which makes watering more efficient. According to experts we spoke with, these sensors are also not very effective in a residential setting because topsoil isn’t deep enough for accurate readings. The Rachio 3 doesn’t automatically detect wiring in the unit; only the Gro Controller and Sprinkl Control models do. The wording can get a bit clunky, leaving lots of room for miscommunication: “Alexa, ask Rachio to start zone four for 15 minutes,” or “Alexa, ask Rachio to stop watering.” We found the HomeKit integration to be the most seamless. According to experts we spoke with, many weather-based controllers fail to calculate ET effectively and often end up watering when they don’t need to. 150 psi (10 bar) maximum operating pressure. Waterproof case and dual-sealed battery chamber for long life, even in wet and muddy … It optimizes your in-ground irrigation system by auto-adjusting to weather and soil conditions, making it easier to maintain a healthy landscape while cutting water use. They are much easier to program—some will do it all for you—and can reduce water use by using real-time weather data to decide if and when to water your yard. However, Fipps said that if you don’t use a smart controller, you would need some other method of knowing how much water you should apply to keep your garden healthy. Stations can be assigned to multiple programs. These measure soil-moisture content and relay those conditions to the controller to give the ET algorithms more-precise data. And adding any more schedules is fiddly. The only other way to get this type of accurate hyperlocal forecasting is by buying and installing a personal weather station; these range in price from $150 to several thousand dollars and require careful maintenance to remain accurate, according to experts we spoke with. CirrusIC alerts you to problems before they happen! View & download of more than 293 Rain Bird PDF user manuals, service manuals, operating guides. RainMachine offers a huge range of weather services and provides deep, granular control over your irrigation. Solar powered 6 station irrigation controller with radio capabilities. Included in the package, you will find an adapter and seat washer to fit 1" Champion, Orbit manual brass valves, 3⁄4" and 1" Rain bird manual … Certain models might have an internal temperature sensor. It has no on-device controls. An excellent web portal lets you tinker with your system’s settings from the comfort of a larger screen. 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