Our Picks for the Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers

Photo of water sprinkle while controlling

For many homeowners, a great-looking front yard is their pride and joy. But having a beautiful lawn requires a lot of work. Thankfully, smart home technology means you can outsource a lot of that labor. While a smart robot lawnmower will cost you a pretty penny, a smart home water sprinkler controller is considerably more affordable. Plus, it’ll save you money on your water bill, conserving water in the process. Here are our top picks for the best smart home water sprinkler controllers.

What is a Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controller?

A smart home water sprinkler controller allows you to control your sprinkler system via your smartphone. These smart devices have weather forecasting abilities to ensure your lawn only gets watered when actually necessary. They can automatically set a watering schedule for you to keep your lawn in ideal condition.

The best smart home water sprinkler controllers can even be voice controlled with Alexa or Google Assistant. Best of all, they’ll save you money on your water bill, soon paying for themselves.

Our Picks for the Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller connects to your home wifi network so you can control your sprinkler system from anywhere via your smartphone. With the mobile app, you can customize watering for each zone based on plant type, soil type, sun exposure and slope. You can also view historical and upcoming watering times, and keep a close eye on your water usage.

With Weather Intelligence™ Plus technology, the Rachio 3 is able to accurately predict the weather. Then it automatically adjusts your watering schedule appropriately, depending on whether it’s dry or rainy. It also means your sprinkler system will never run when it’s icy outside.

The Rachio 3 works with Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands, as well as IFTTT. It’s also compatible with smart home platforms including Nest, SmartThings, and Wink. The Rachio 3 works with almost any sprinkler system, and DIY installation is easy with app-guided setup and one-touch connectors. Overall, installing it yourself should take less than 30 minutes.

ProsCons
Simple installationExpensive
Works with Alexa & Google AssistantMobile app lacks some features
Weather-based watering cycles
Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers Reviews

Orbit 57985 B-hyve XR

The Orbit 57985 B-hyve XR has a friendly price point at just $149, but it’s not as easy to install — or quite as easy to use. This smart sprinkler controller will ensure your yard gets the right amount of water based on the weather thanks to its Smart WeatherSense technology.

It’s equipped with dual-band wifi and Bluetooth so you can control it via your phone. It can be installed inside or outside of your home, and includes a weatherproof case for outdoor mounting.

Via the app, you’ll go through an initial setup process providing details about all the different plants in your yard as well as your soil, slope, sprinkler type, etc. With either 8 or 16 zones, you can customize your watering experience to suit all your different plants, flowers, and shrubs.

You can control the B-hyve XR from the controller itself, but it’s not recommended: It only has one button, and requires a complicated succession of long and short presses to do anything. You’re much better off simply using the app. Or integrate it with your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant and control it via voice commands.

ProsCons
AffordableBulky size
Can be mounted outdoorsWiring connections require some finessing
Convenient display
Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers Reviews

RainMachine Touch HD-16

The RainMachine Touch HD-16 is an excellent option if you have unreliable wifi, as it’s the only model on this list with an Ethernet port. You can also choose to store all data locally rather than uploading it to the cloud, which is great for those concerned with privacy. However, it’s not as easy to use as the Rachio 3.

The RainMachine app has a ton of options and menus that will be overwhelming for the average user, but great for serious gardeners who love tech. But unlike the Rachio 3, it can’t create custom watering schedules for you.

One unique feature is Adaptive Frequency, which skips a schedule if the controller determines it needs to water for only a few minutes and then tacks those minutes on to your next watering. You can also tell the RainMachine about your local watering restrictions and it will work around them.

RainMachine has many smart home integrations including Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT. Overall, this is a powerful smart sprinkler controller for nerds who want ultimate control over their yard or don’t want to use the cloud.

ProsCons
Responsive touch-screenNo automatic custom watering schedules
Lots of smart home integrationsApp options can be confusing
Can work around watering restrictions
Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers Reviews

Aeon Matrix Yardian Pro Smart Sprinkler

The Aeon Matrix Yardian Pro Smart Sprinkler is a solid smart irrigation systems controller that is unfortunately somewhat confusing to use. It has a sleek modern design that makes it resemble an Apple product, so it will look great mounted inside your home. Installation is easy, and it comes in 8-zone or 12-zone configurations.

The best feature of the Yardian Pro is its intuitive smart scheduling. It considers plant species, soil types, sun exposure, slope, and other variables in order to formulate the optimal schedule for your lawn. It can also be customized to work with your local watering restrictions. And of course, it keeps a close eye on local weather data.

The biggest downside of the Yardian Pro is that the app is quite confusing to use. You’ll do a lot of hunting to find the settings and buttons you need. And the onboard controls on the controller itself aren’t much better, so be sure to keep the owner’s manual on hand. For a more user-friendly experience, you may want to stick with the Rachio 3.

ProsCons
Easy installationApp is confusing
Sleek modern designCan't be mounted outdoors
Smart schedulingOnboard controls are hard to use
Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers Reviews

Rain-Bird ESP-TM2 Indoor Outdoor Irrigation WiFi Zone Controller

The Rain-Bird ESP-TM2 Indoor Outdoor Irrigation WiFi Zone Controller won’t win any awards for its cluttered-looking design, but it will take care of your lawn. However, its programming features aren’t nearly as sophisticated as the other models on this list. You’re limited to 3 programs with 4 different start times per program, so customization is somewhat limited.

But for people who simply want to get the job done without having to get too involved in programming their system, the Rain-Bird may be a good option. It automatically adjusts based on your local weather, saving you up to 50% on your water bill.

It comes with the ability to control 12 different zones. However, you can’t water just one zone at a time, which may be a downside for some homeowners.

ProsCons
Easy-to-read LCD displayCluttered looking design
Automatic weather adjustmentsInstallation isn't the easiest
Quick to InstallCan't water just one zone
Best Smart Home Water Sprinkler Controllers Reviews

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed reviewing our picks for the best smart home water sprinkler controllers. If you want to conserve water, save money, and keep your yard looking great, consider investing in one. Depending on whether you want simple automated watering or want to customize it to your heart’s content, there’s definitely a smart water sprinkler controller out there to suit your needs.

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

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