Best Wifi Sprinkler Controller Reviews 2017 & Buying Guide

You don’t have to worry about overwatering or underwatering your landscape thanks to advancements in technology and to be specific, Smart Wifi Sprinkler Controllers.

You can now say goodbye to water wasting and the hustle of always having to remember your traditional irrigation controller off or on.

This article will focus on the top best Wifi sprinkler controller, the different types of lawn sprinkler as well as their pros and cons.

1. What is sprinkler controller? Irrigation timers?

This is basically the brain of the sprinkler control system. They either automatically set watering schedules or allow you to set your lawn irrigation schedules with timing programs and calendar.

2. Why you need a sprinkler controller?

It helps you sprinkle your lawn/landscape better with a consistent schedule and can also read the weather and know whether to sprinkle or not. The greatest advantage is that you save water and money and you also get a peace of mind knowing that there is no possibility of overwatering or underwatering the garden.

3. Different types of Lawn Sprinklers

Timer sprinkler controller

This is a simple/traditional timer that enables you schedule when the sprinkler should be on or off. In short, you create the sprinkling schedule, and your timer does exactly that until you decide to change it.

PROS

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    Timer sprinkler controller helps you save money and water because they can follow a set schedule.
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    They are cheap and gets the job done

CONS

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    They are not smart thus do not respond to real-time, forecasts or weather conditions and requires you to set them on and off which is not so convenient.

Smart/wifi sprinkler controller

These are the most advanced sprinkler controllers as they are intelligent and do more than just follow a set sprinkling schedule.

PROS

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    Compared to timer sprinkler controller, they save you more money and water
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    Some models allow you to add another device to control more zones
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    They respond to real-time, forecasts and weather conditions are cheap and gets the job done
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    You can control your sprinklers from just anywhere are cheap and gets the job done

CONS

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    Could be costly
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    Some do not store pre-programmed data thus stop running when the internet goes down

4. Best Wifi Sprinkler Controller Reviews

For better lawn sprinkling experience and results, a smart/wifi sprinkler controller is the best.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa

Our Rating

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Functionality

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Ease of Use

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Price

The 2nd generation Smart Sprinkler Controller by Rachio is available in 8 & 16 zone models, and you can add another device if you need to control more zones.

It responds to real-time, forecasts and weather conditions and it offers the greatest selection of intelligent and customizable watering schedules. With it, you can control the sprinklers from just anywhere using its intuitive app.

Again, this model can be controlled by both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so you can always ask your voice assistant to control your sprinkler instead of taking out your phone to do so. You can also set up different programs if some parts of your yard get more sun or if you have a forested preserve. And, you can extend control of your system to more people such as your neighbor or landscaper either in full or temporarily. And, you can always revoke these permissions whenever.

PROS

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    Automatic schedule creation for worry-free watering
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    Mobile notifications
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    Proactive weather adjustments
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    Smartphone control
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    Very easy to install
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    Weather intelligent thus doesn’t water when it rains

CONS

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    Lacks local control but can still run on the preprogrammed schedules when the wifi is down though automatic weather conditions will only work when there is wifi.
Netro Smart 12-Zone WiFi Sprinkler Controller, Weather aware, Remote control, Works with Amazon Alexa

Our Rating

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Functionality

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Ease of Use

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Price

After Richo, Netro comes second as the Best Wifi Sprinkler Controller for effortless residential irrigation. With it, you can avoid unnecessary water usage and damage to your yard. It is fully automatic so you won’t be confusing programming and buttons. It also adapts to your local weather changes then it automatically optimizes the watering schedules.

Again, the Netro App guides in building a personalized schedule from your instructions and it also automatically complies with your local water conservation regulation.

You can also monitor the irrigation system from anywhere and have a clear picture of your water usage. It is also wireless so you can place it anywhere around your house. You will have a healthier lawn and enjoy the ease with which it gets irrigated.

The Sprinkler Controller Mobile Application also works on tablets and phones both in iOS8.3+ & Android 5.0+.

You also have the option to upgrade the controller by adding Whisperer to keep track of the sunlight, moisture levels, and temperatures to determine the best time for irrigating the plants.

PROS

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    Complies with local water conservancy rules
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    Uses both Android 5.0+ and iOS 8.3+
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    Very easy to install
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    Features enhanced 2.4G antenna for strong WiFi reception
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    Amazon Alexa voice control compatible for easy control
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    Automatically creates a schedule for your sprinklers and you can also create a manual schedule

CONS

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    It does not support Apple Homekit
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    It only allows 60 minutes maximum per schedule cycle so if certain zones need longer watering you have to schedule it to run more than once.
Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, Works with Amazon Alexa

Our Rating

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Functionality

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Ease of Use

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Price

If you are on a budget, this is the best Smart sprinkler controller to pick. It performs well yet very affordable.

The B-hyve app is compatible with iOS, Android and web devices to enable you to control the controller from anywhere. You also have the option to let the control set a program for you as it features a weather-based software or creates a schedule through the app or at the timer.

The controller features a WeatherSense technology thus guides your sprinkler on the best time to sprinkle based on the forecast ET, soil type, slope, sun or shade and live weather feeds. Installation and use are super easy, and you also get to use voice control as it also works with Amazon Alexa.
For the price, this is the best smart/WiFi sprinkler controller on the market. 

PROS

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    Very affordable
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    Easy to set up and use
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    Supports local controls
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    Creates sprinkling schedules automatically while also allowing manual programming
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    Features WeatherSense technology
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    Sets automatic rain delays
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    ​Allows voice control

CONS

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    The controller only works with a 2.5GHz WiFi router
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    Has potential problems with WEP encryption
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    No Color Screen
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    No Touch Screen
RainMachine Touch HD-12, Cloud Independent, The Forecast Sprinkler, Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller, 2nd Generation, 6,5 inch, Works with Amazon Alexa

Our Rating

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Functionality

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Ease of Use

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Price

This is the highest quality smart/Wifi sprinkler controller with a high price, but you also get an unlimited number of options.

It is completed with more capabilities which make it a great product to invest in. You can program it to specific weeks, odd or even days, station delay or cycle and soak. Also, you get to save more water as it has daily weather adjustments and it relies on multiple weather data from METNO, NOAA, and Wunderground thus creating an accurate weather network perfect for your garden.

It can also use Netatmo and other personal weather station to boost its local weather intelligence. And, when there is no availability of forecast data, this controller switches to historical statistics thus conserving water even when the internet is down.

It uses both Android and iOS apps for real-time monitoring so if you care about every detail about your garden you can get all the information on your phone.

PROS

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    Super easy to install
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    Various data sources
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    Best in water saving, up to 80%
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    It is WaterSense certified thus very efficient
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    RealTime monitoring
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    Connects from any screen and web browser and can be accessed from anywhere

CONS

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    If you decide to use pump or valve, you lose one zone as it will be used for that purpose
SkyDrop Wifi-Enabled Smart Sprinkler Controller

Our Rating

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Functionality

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Ease of Use

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Price

This is the best product for smart/WiFi sprinkler control. It features an excellent industrial design, and it is expandable where you can add up to 8 more stations then manually move the settings thus saving you money and hours of reprogramming. It is also very convenient making it easy for you to monitor and manage the irrigation as you can do it from a tablet, smartphone or computer, text message, Alexa or from the controller.

Basically, you will have control of the watering no matter where you are. Again, this product features a self-regulating controller that customizes the watering according to the current local weather data. This ensures that your garden and lawn get the ideal amount of water every day. Also, the controller is EPA WaterSense certified meaning it does a great job in preventing water wastage.

PROS

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    It is expandable
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    Easy to install
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    Features a built-in level
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    It is programmable directly from the device
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    Allows you to make some adjustments even without internet connection
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    Can be mounted outside and the mounting box is small with an integrated key lock

CONS

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    Mounting it solidly on a wall can be quite a task
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    Has sharp edges thus might be dangerous

5. How to choose the Best WiFi Sprinkler Controller/ Features to consider when buying a smart sprinkler controller

The market has just but too many Smart/Wifi Sprinkler Controllers to offer. However, not all of them will perform perfectly, and thus you must know what features to focus on when searching for the Best Wifi Sprinkler Controller. Here are a few tips on how to go about getting the best:

5.1 WeatherSense Certification

The manufacturer might mention that the controller has been tested over time and it can auto detect the weather situation to dispose the certain amount of water, but you can only be sure of this through WeatherSense certification. If it is certified, there is a high probability that you will love its performance.

5.2 Intuitive App

The unit only becomes smart if the app is functional. Therefore, before purchasing one, ensure that the app informative and super responsive to allow you great control over the controller. Also, check which devices the app works with because you don’t want to be forced to invest on a device just to control your sprinkler.

5.3 Weather forecast accuracy

The reason you are buying a smart sprinkler controller is to have a healthier lawn, have an easy time watering your yard or garden and save money and water. Thus, the controller has to be weather forecast accurate otherwise the purchase will beat the logic.

5.4 Various customization features

The more customizable the controllers are, the better it serves you. You might have some areas of your garden where the sun doesn’t reach or other places that you would like to water more than others and this is only possible is the controller is customizable. 

5.5 The price

Sometimes, expensive doesn’t equate better. Thus, don’t judge how good of a performer the controller is by looking at the price tag. Check to see if the features it has fits your needs because that’s all that matters despite the price.

6. Advantages of a smart/WiFi Sprinkler Controller

Easy control of your watering.

It is easy to overwater, or underwater your garden and the consequences can be huge. To have a peace of mind, a smart sprinkler controller is all you need to watering your lawn sufficient because they even know when not to sprinkle depending on the weather.

Saves water

If you are looking for an effective way to save water, a sprinkler controller can come in handy as they prevent overwatering or unnecessary watering.

Extensive controls

The smart controllers give you a great amount of control in terms of where and when to water the garden or lawn and also how much water should be used. You can also set it to irrigate certain areas twice or more and also permit control by other people.

Install and forget

If you hate rushing back and forth to your sprinkler controller then you will definitely love a smart controller as once you set it, you have no reason to go back to it not unless your internet goes down and you want to do some off internet adjustments.

Lastly, you can customize a smart sprinkler controller to your needs.

7. How does a smart/WiFi sprinkler controller work?

Smart Sprinkler Controllers use an intuitive app to adjust your sprinkler to either water or stop watering based on various factors. First, you can either program it to follow a certain schedule that you prefer according to how you know your garden and the weather. Second, the controller can auto-program itself because it is intelligent like that.

 
The controller is designed to know when it is going to rain and thus adjust the sprinkler accordingly. You can also control your smart sprinkler controller from various internet-enabled devices, and it also keeps you updated on your garden watering. These controllers require internet to run, but they also continue working when there is no internet based on the pre-programmed schedules.


8. FAQs

Q. Do smart sprinkler controllers operate without an internet connection?
A. Yes. Some of these units store historical data of how they have been running and the weather patterns so when the internet goes down they rely on this information to run.

Q. How good are these units in saving water?
A. They are pretty good. People who have used the traditional way of watering and later upgraded to the smart watering can attest to this. You get to water only when it's necessary, and you do not overwater.

9. Conclusion

Well, it is clear that your garden watering can only get better with a smart/WiFi sprinkler controller. The best among the five reviewed controllers is the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, Wifi, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa as it stands out in terms of performance and reliability. It has all great features that make garden watering easy and efficient, and you can rely on it to save money, time and water.


It is especially very accurate with getting weather data thus accurately adjusts your sprinkler to only water when necessary. While the price might be higher than some models, Rachio did a great job in incorporating great features to take smart sprinkler controlling to another level. 

James Patterson
 

I'm James Patterson....an IT engineer passionate with Garden where I enjoy most of the time after busy office hours. I’ve grown things ever since I was a child in New Jersey as long as the love for GREEN day by day developing. So I would like the support of other gardeners to build our own fancy paradise at/in your house.

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