Spice up your garden with a smart irrigation controller

Landscape irrigation accounts for significant water consumption in the United States, accounting for no less than 9 billion gallons of water per day. About half of this goes to households overwatering their yards and lawns caused by inefficient traditional irrigation methods. Needless to say, this takes a toll on the world’s water supply as well as your personal finances. That is why we need to innovate and change the way we cultivate our gardens.

Spice up your garden with a smart irrigation controller 1Like with most modern problems, the solution can be found in innovative technology. In this case, smart water irrigation holds the answer, specifically, the use of a smart sprinkler controller. Take note that the best smart sprinkler controller is designed to drastically improve your outdoor water consumption. Basically, a smart irrigation system entails the installation of a smart sprinkler timer for your lawn. This way, you can customize your own watering schedule and run time to automatically to effectively address your landscape needs.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that need to be discussed when it comes to fully understanding smart water irrigation. This article seeks to do just that by presenting readers with a short overview of smart water irrigation and how it works. It also delves into the specific things you need to consider when looking at the different options available. Finally, it presents readers with our own smart irrigation controller reviews to help you choose the best smart sprinkler controller for your lawn. Be sure to read our Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2020 list to find out which device can be rightfully called the best smart irrigation controller.

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What is a Smart Irrigation Controller?

Let us start with the most basic question of all: what exactly is a smart sprinkler? Put simply, a smart irrigation controller automatically adjusts the watering schedule for your lawn. The best smart irrigation controller does so by monitoring a myriad of different factors including soil condition, evaporation, plant water consumption, and weather.

This means that your water schedule is dependent on the actual conditions of the site. So, if there is a significant change to the outdoor temperatures or if there is a sudden burst of precipitation in your area, then the smart irrigation controller will take note of these developments and adjust accordingly. For instance, if there is a deluge of rain, then your smart sprinkler system may opt to cancel the day’s watering schedule. On the other hand, if the day suddenly becomes sunny and dry, then the smart sprinkler may opt to extend its run time.

At this point, it is clear that the smart sprinkler controller operates on a whole different level from the traditional irrigation controllers, most of which strictly follow preset schedules and timers regardless of the actual conditions of your lawn. Remember, this outdated system often leads to water waste. That being said, having a smart irrigation system is the next step towards proper water conservation, not to mention being the most efficient way to ensure that your lawn is getting the right level of irrigation it needs.

How does a Smart Irrigation Controller work?

Now that we understand what a smart sprinkler is, the next question that needs to be answered is: how does smart irrigation work?

To effectively answer this question, readers need to understand that the smart sprinkler system can work in two ways. Namely, these are the weather-based smart irrigation controllers and the smart sprinklers which rely on the level of soil moisture. If you want to ensure that you choose the right solution for your garden, then be sure to pay close attention as we delve deeper into how these smart sprinkler systems work.

First off, there is the weather-based smart sprinkler controller. These are also commonly known as evapotranspiration (ET) smart sprinkler systems. Basically, a smart sprinkler controller of this type makes use of local weather data to make adjustments to your lawn’s irrigation schedules. By the word itself, evapotranspiration refers to the combination of two vital weather factors: soil-surface evaporation and plant transpiration.

To effectively measure these conditions, the smart sprinkler system accounts for any changes in wind, humidity, temperature, and solar radiation. These pertinent pieces of information are gathered primarily from on-site weather conditions but some smart irrigation controllers can also be set to monitor public meteorological data from the internet as well as historic data on water use in your particular region.

The second type of smart irrigation controllers makes use of soil moisture sensors buried in the ground. Making use of well-established technologies to effectively measure soil moisture content, the smart sprinkler system then transmits the data to the smart sprinkler controller.

For instance, a suspended cycle irrigation system works much in the same way as traditional controllers – following a watering schedule. However, the difference lies in the way it takes notes of the moisture level in your soil. If it is sufficient, then this smart sprinkler system will automatically reschedule the irrigation process. On the other hand, there also smart sprinkler systems that make use of on-demand irrigation. This kind of smart sprinkler timer follows the lower and upper threshold set by the user. It then initiates the irrigation process when the soil moisture level falls to inadequate levels.

The whole concept behind a smart sprinkler timer is to help you save water while also helping you achieve optimal results with your garden. Remember, correct water use is not only great for the environment, but it also helps keep your plants healthy. With the right smart sprinkler system in place, you can say goodbye to the days of waterlogged and dehydrated plants.

What are the benefits of a Smart Irrigation Controller?

Smart sprinkler systems come with a wide array of benefits, not only for you and your lawn but also for the environment. Listed below are just some of the perks you can enjoy from having a smart sprinkler timer of your own.

Remote Capabilities and Optimal User Control

Smart tech would not be complete if it did not feature connectivity, full user control, and monitoring features. When it comes to remotely using your smart irrigation system, all you need is your computer or your smartphone as these devices usually come with their own web portal or app. All of these are designed to maximize convenience on your end. Even when you are away, you can rest easy knowing that your lawn is well taken care of.

The best smart irrigation controller gives its users a wide array of customizable options. For instance, you can set the device to stop the watering process if the weather forecast states that there will be heavy rain in the next few hours. Conversely, smart irrigation controllers can also monitor the actual rainfall in your area. If it rains over 10mm then you can set it to cancel the scheduled watering process for the day.

In addition to this, you can even adjust the amount of water your smart sprinkler system dispenses based on the weather conditions. So, if there is a light drizzle, then it can decrease irrigation accordingly to prevent waterlog.  On the other hand, it can also increase irrigation once the forecast temperature goes over 35 degrees.

Save water and money with smart irrigation controllers

Though smart sprinkler systems may cost a pretty penny, the savings you incur will ultimately be greater than the initial cost, by a huge margin. You will be seeing the return on your investment primarily through the savings you get from your water bill. After all, less water wastage means a smaller water bill.

Needless to say, a smart irrigation system goes a long way in terms of conserving water. The best smart irrigation controller can give average water savings ranging from 30 to 50 percent. Take note that these savings can be increased even further, if you are smart about it.

For instance, you can set up your smart irrigation controllers efficiently. After all, the plants in the different zones of your lawn can have different irrigation needs. Ultimately, you’ll want to ensure that your zones are getting the optimal amount of water. So, be sure to pay close attention to the way your smart sprinkler timer is installed.

Unparalleled Convenience

Nowadays, there is no shortage of responsibilities that demand your full attention. Smart sprinkler systems are designed to take some of the weight off your shoulders. You can forget about the hassles of adjusting your sprinklers regularly.

It is also worth mentioning here that some smart irrigation controllers include flow meters which will alert you should anything go wrong with your system such as leaks and burst pipes. These crucial updates will then be sent to your phone and your email, complete with the details needed to repair the equipment.

Even though much of the work is done by the smart irrigation controllers, you still play a crucial role in terms of setting up its parameters according to your preferences. You can even set your smart irrigation controllers to flag specific readings of online weather data, as well as on-site weather conditions, to trigger the irrigation process. With smart water irrigation, everything just takes care of itself. So, be sure to only get the best smart irrigation controller in the market.

Healthier Gardens

Water is an essential element in keeping your plants healthy. However, you have to ensure that they are getting the right amount. Going over or under the optimal hydration levels can have dire consequences for your garden. For instance, when your plants do not get enough water, then they can easily dry up and die. On the other hand, waterlogging can just as easily drown them. Take note that excessive irrigation can flush away the essential nutrients that your plants need to thrive.

Luckily, you wouldn’t have to worry about these scenarios if you make use of smart water irrigation. This is because the best smart sprinkler controller makes full use of historical data. This means that even in the event where you lose internet connectivity, your device will still have a reliable source of information on how to proceed given the most likely weather scenario in your particular area. This way, your garden will always be in the best possible condition.

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Smart Irrigation Controller

Like with any other gadget, choosing the best smart irrigation controller depends on a wide array of factors. What is right for you is not necessarily the best choice for others. That is why you have to take your individual needs into account and do your homework before making the final purchase. Looking up smart irrigation controller reviews and the best smart sprinkler controller 2020 online would certainly help narrow the search. However, it would be great if you took note of the following aspects as well:

  • Specifications

    By now, you should know that only a handful can claim the title of the best smart irrigation controller. You need to know the specific features of a particular smart sprinkler timer before making the purchase. For instance, a particular smart irrigation sprinkler may work best at a certain slope or when used in a particular soil type. Meanwhile, some have even shown to be more effective with certain plants than other smart sprinkler systems. As they say, you have to pay close attention to the details.

  • Maintenance and Adjustment Period

    The best smart irrigation controller is the one that barely needs adjustment. Some can go years without having to be adjusted. Once you get the right equipment and put in the right settings, you’d barely have to lift a finger as the smart sprinkler timer virtually takes care of itself.

  • Sensor Type

    As stated earlier, a smart sprinkler timer can rely on ET sensors or soil-moisture sensors. Knowing full well where your device gets its data can help you relax and feel at ease since you know the information is coming from. Be sure to check if it is making use of historical data or real-time data. The best smart irrigation controller ensures that all your bases are covered.

  • Additional Data Charges

    As you look for the best smart sprinkler controller for your lawn, you will also need to look into the possibility of additional data charges. This is because, like with any other smart device, internet connectivity is a must. After all, this is where some of the most vital weather information comes from.

You need to keep these things in mind as you look for a smart sprinkler timer of your own. That being said, it would be great if you looked up the best smart sprinkler controller 2020 online to see your most viable option. As you look for the best smart irrigation controller, just remember to keep a close eye on the features. Moreover, pay close attention to what the smart irrigation controller reviews are telling you about that particular product.

Smart Irrigation Controller Reviews: Choosing the Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2020

Now that we have delved into the science of smart water irrigation and the things you need to look for when choosing a device of your own, we would be remiss if failed to give an insight of our own on what we believe to be the best smart sprinkler controller available on the market today. The following shall serve as our best smart sprinkler controller 2020 recommendations.

Smart water irrigation can help your household save money. Now, you can do so without having to spend a lot on the equipment as well. Presented here are two of the best smart irrigation controllers when you are working with a budget. These best smart irrigation controllers are certainly worth their price tag.

The Budget Option: Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller

First up, there is the Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller*. This device from Orbit is definitely on our Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2020 List. Made in the USA from top-tier materials from all over the globe, this device works well for beginners as well as more experienced smart water irrigation experts.

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Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, Compatible with...

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Last update was on: February 17, 2020 12:16 pm

Probably their most intuitive product on the market today, this smart irrigation system sports a number of notable features, the most important of which lets you perform smart water irrigation in the most efficient way possible. With the WaterSense and SWAT labeling used by the B-hyve, you can rest easy knowing that your plants get the right amount of water every time.

Saving water, money, and time has never been this easy. This is thanks in no small part to the user-friendly interface of this smart irrigation system. It can only be described as something that is both familiar and easy to use. The best thing is that you can access it from anywhere in the world, all you need is a device or a computer and you are all set.

Listed below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about this smart irrigation system.

  • How Does Smart Watering Work? – The Weather Sense technology used by this device takes into account several on-site conditions like soil type, slope, historical ET data as well as live weather feeds. Based on this information, the controller then ensures that the right amount of water is delivered to your plants.
  • How much water can I save? – This product has helped users save up as much as 50% compared to traditional controllers.
  • Which Platform Does the B-Hyve app work on? – It would please you to know that the app is fully functional for Android, iOS and all web devices. For Apple devices, you need to ensure that you have iOS 8 or higher. For Android devices, it can run on version 4.3 and higher.
  • How Do I Install The Device? – The installation has been made extremely simple. It sports a swing panel for easy access to the wiring terminals. There is also a plug-and-go line cord.
  • How Do I Keep It Safe from Weather Damage? – One of the best things about the Orbit B-hyve Wi-Fi sprinkler timer is that it comes in a weather-resistant case> This means that weather damage is the last thing you should be worried about.

The Value Option: Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller

Next up on our Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2020 is the Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller*. Definitely one of our favorite smart irrigation controller reviews so far, this device was specifically designed to keeps your garden in the best shape possible. Clearly, Netro understands how to make a smart sprinkler system that caters specifically to residential irrigation.

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Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, Weather aware, Remote access, 6 Zone, Compatible...

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Last update was on: February 17, 2020 12:16 pm

This device is able to cut down on unnecessary water usage in many ways. For instance, it sports a plant library that tells it how much water a specific type of plant actually needs. Another impressive feature is the fact that manual set-up has become a thing of the past thanks to Netro. It is also self-learning and fully automatic. So, there is virtually nothing to worry about.

Listed below are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about this device:

  • How Much Water Can I Save? – Netro’s advanced water technologies can help you save as much as 50% of your water consumption.
  • How Does its Water Saving Feature Work? – Making use of advanced watering algorithms, this device can effectively monitor the state of evaporation in your area. It can also adjust the watering cycles based on the information it has gathered.
  • How Does its Plant Library Work? – Currently, the Netro Plant library has over 1000 common plant species in its database. The watering schedule for your lawn is then customized to suit the particular needs of the plants it hosts.
  • How Do I Install It? – The installation has been made extremely simple and required no professional help. In fact, it can be installed in as little as 15 minutes. All you need are basic tools.
  • How Big Is This Device? – Its dimensions are 5.7 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches. It also weighs a mere 8.2 Ounces.

Now, as we wrap up our Best Smart Sprinkler Controller 2020 list, we have come to the device which we believe is simply one of the best smart irrigation controllers in the market today – the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller.  

The Premium Option: The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

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Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, 16 Zone, White

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Last update was on: February 17, 2020 12:16 pm

From all our smart irrigation controller reviews, the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller* stood out from the rest because of its versatility and the sheer audacity behind its design. This device raises the bar for smart water irrigation in more ways than one. For instance, it features dual-band Wi-Fi for great connectivity for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. It also looks great with its new and expressive light bar.

However, the star of the simply has to be its Weather Intelligence. By sheer design, it would be impossible for your information to be outdated. This is because Rachio swung for the fences with the technology on this one. Weather Intelligence actually pulls the device’s weather data from no less than 300,000 radar sources including various weather stations and satellites. All of this was done with the goal of providing users with the most accurate weather-based watering schedule that will help lower your water bill while also ensuring that your yard stays beautiful.

The app is also another scene-stealer for this smart irrigation system. This is because of the high level of control the app provides for its users. You can even set the parameters for specific zones. The options which can be taken into account include sun exposure, slope, sprinkler type, and soil type. Moreover, the app can even connect to your phone camera to better identify the zone.

Of course, no smart irrigation controller reviews would be complete without the FAQs.

  • How Do Install This Smart Irrigation System? – Installation is fairly easy. Just follow the in-app instruction guide and you’ll be set up in 30 minutes or less.
  • Is It Smart-Home Compatible? Yes, the device is compatible with smart home gadgets like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Nest.
  • What are its dimensions? – It is 9.1 x 1.4 x 5.6 inches and weighs 2.9 pounds.
  • Can it operate under extreme weather conditions? – Currently, it can operate in temperatures ranging from -4°F to 140°F.
  • What is its Power Source? – It requires one AAA Battery.
  • What Can I Do with the App? – The app lets you control the device from anywhere. This means that you can make adjustments in real-time, review upcoming schedules, and even activate your sprinklers if you wish.


This article covered everything you need to know about smart water irrigation. It covers all the topics from how smart water irrigation works to smart irrigation controller reviews. We even did a quick look at the best smart sprinkler systems available on the market today. So, spice up your garden and make the most of this new innovation.