Automated sprinklers are convenient and will help you revive a dying lawn, but there’s nothing advanced about them. Once you set the sprinkler schedule, that’s it, there’s nothing more they can do. Smart sprinkler controllers take it to the next level. They automate your in-ground irrigation system, yes, but you’ll also get remote access, useful notifications, and much more — like being able to start or stop your sprinklers with voice commands. That’s the best part about smart home products, they push convenience beyond what we’ve ever experienced before. If you’re looking for some help with your lawn, whether you need to bring it back to life or you just want to keep it fresh and green, here are the best smart sprinkler controllers you’ll need:
- Buy the if you want one of the most innovative options overall.
- Buy the if you want to save some money without sacrificing the best features.
- Buy the if you’re all-in on Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem.
- Buy the if you want a lot of customization options.
- Buy the if you’re replacing a traditional in-garage controller.
- Buy the if you want smart weather matching.
Best overall smart sprinkler controller
|Weather intelligent scheduling
|Excellent mobile app and insights
Comparatively, the Rachio 3 and Rachio Smart Hose Timer are two different products, but both are fantastic for smart home enthusiasts. In particular, the Rachio 3 is a WiFi-enabled 8-zone smart sprinkler controller that simplifies just about everything pertaining to lawn irrigation. You can control your sprinklers remotely from anywhere, receive notifications about what’s happening on your phone, skip watering at opportune times — like during freezing temps — and much more. Unique Weather Intelligence Plus technology watches the local weather and adjusts irrigation cycles to match. If it’s going to pour your sprinklers won’t be running and wasting water. Rachio even adjusts watering to match your lawn type, soil, sun exposure, and more, so your grass isn’t over or under-watered.
Best on a budget
|Indoor installation only
|Weather and water restriction alerts
The Netro Sprite is a 6-zone, WiFi-enabled smart sprinkler controller that’s affordable, accessible, and comes with a ton of welcome features. For example, it’s fully compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, so you can use your Echo devices to control the sprinkler and check various conditions. It’s fully automatic and eco-friendly, helping you to conserve water during runs. You’ll get access to usage alerts, water restriction alerts for your local area, and weather alerts, too. You can also pair it with a
to irrigate and monitor your garden from the same app.
Best for Apple
|Attaches to hose nozzle
|Not compatible with Android
|Automated scheduling options
|Not for in-ground irrigation systems
|Compatible with Apple HomeKit
The Eva Aqua is a smart and WiFi-enabled water controller, but it does things a little differently than some of the other controllers listed here. It’s compatible with standard hose spigots and multi-channel water distributors and works as a middleman between your water source and your hose-based sprinkler. It’s also fully compatible with Apple HomeKit, so you can use your iPhone or iPad to control the system. Features include remote access, an auto shut-off, water usage tracking, autonomous scheduling, and more. You can even use Siri to control the sprinklers using voice commands. It’s super easy to set up, as it just screws into the hose nozzle threads, and affordable.
|Indoor installation only
|Weather aware scheduling
|Easy-to-use and customizable
There are two elements of the Wyze smart sprinkler worth noting. First, it’s highly customizable with excellent scheduling, DIY installation support, 8 customizable zones, and weather-based watering. Second, it keeps everything simple and easy to understand and keeps you in the loop through smart notifications — which you can fully customize, as well. It is also EPA Water Sense certified so it will help you conserve water.
Best garage companion
|Indoor installation only
|Uses WiFi to monitor local weather
|Beautiful in-app reports
Hunter is a manufacturer of professional-grade irrigation controller systems, so it’s nice to see something like the HC-600i. It can manage up to 6 watering zones with a simple yet elegant UI, all accessible via a small touchscreen on the unit. Don’t worry, there are iPhone and Android apps to sync with it, and it has WiFi built-in. It uses that internet connection to check the local weather and adjust irrigation schedules, as well. One of the more unique functions of the device is that it utilizes Hydra Wise’s flow meters to detect leaks, broken pipes, faulty wiring, poor valves, and more. It also measures how much water you’re using and delivers beautiful reports right to you.
Best weather matching
|Limited automation options
|Real-time weather monitoring
This EPA Water Sense certified smart sprinkler controller is the brainchild of Scotts, a company you might recognize for its many prestigious lawn care products and grass seed. It uses real-time weather data in your local area to adjust watering schedules for worry-free setups. Once you have it installed and configured the way you like you can essentially forget about it. It controls up to 7-zone systems and syncs with the GroConnect app, available on Android and iOS. You get remote access, with full controls, scheduling, weather-based automation, and insights about water usage directly within the app.
While judging the available smart sprinkler controllers and selecting the best options for our guide, here are some of the factors we considered:
Price is always important when you’re choosing smart home devices and modern products. No one wants to spend a ton of money on something that is lacking in features and support. Everything on this list strikes a balance between usability, affordability, and accessibility.
It doesn’t make sense to continue watering your lawn in the middle of a downpour. All of the smart sprinkler controllers on our list will monitor or check the local weather in some way and adjust modes accordingly. It’s also something to look for when you’re reviewing options for yourself.
WiFi and App Support
While not entirely necessary, WiFi access is excellent and convenient especially if you want to be able to access the smart sprinkler controller remotely. That allows you to start and stop your irrigation system, but also to see what it’s doing. For example, if you’re at work you can see when the sprinklers kick on and turn them off if you need to. Along with that is the importance of an easy-to-use mobile app. It will be the central controller for everything you’re doing, whether reviewing usage reports or interacting with the controller.
Usage alerts on mobile are especially important. They tell you when the sprinkler is active, but also how much water you’re using, if leaks or problems are detected, and whether or not the schedule was adjusted.
Another benefit of smart home products like a smart sprinkler controller is they share valuable insights you wouldn’t get otherwise. For example, you can see how much water you’ve used for the week and how much you’ve saved, and maybe even get some ideas for conserving more water in the process. You might also be able to catch leaks or pipe problems, loose valves, and other mechanical issues that would show up in various ways, affecting water pressure, flow, and spillage.
This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.