5 Best Sprinkler Controller Reviews: Smart Water-Saving Garden Gadgets

If you are a gardening enthusiast, being able to keep your lawn and garden well-watered can be challenging and time-consuming. A sprinkler controller will keep your grass and plants healthy, green and vibrant all year round, while also helping you to save money on your water bills.

Description Size Cost
Netro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller Netro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller 12-Zone $$$$
Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler System Controller Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor Wi-Fi Sprinkler System Controller 12-Station $$$
Rain Bird SST600I Indoor 6-Zone Timer Sprinkler Controller Rain Bird SST600I Indoor Timer Sprinkler Controller 6-Zones $
Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core 6-Station Indoor Controller Timer Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core Indoor Controller Timer 6-Station $$
RainMachine Mini-8, The Forecast Sprinkler, 2nd Generation Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller RainMachine Mini-8, The Forecast Sprinkler, 2nd Generation Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller 8-Zones $$$$

Our Top Pick of the Best Sprinkler Controller Reviews

Netro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller

Our top pick is the Netro Smart 12-Zone Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller. This smart, intuitive high-tech sprinkler controller has everything you need to control your sprinkler and irrigation system. From intelligent learning capabilities to on-demand connections to accurate weather updates and being able to optimize your water schedule to suit your lifestyle from anywhere in the world, the Netro Smart controller is the ultimate A.I. watering expert.

Check the price on Amazon

How to Choose the Best Sprinkler Controller

Super Smart Water Sprinkler Gadgets

In a progressive technological age, we have a wealth of electronic gadgets at our fingertips and now gardening enthusiasts have the ultimate gardening gadget, the super smart water sprinkler controller. The sprinkler controller not only makes sure that your grass and plants are well-watered with just the right amount of water, but this digital wonder can do so much more:

  • Monitor and control water usage from the controller or from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
  • Plan a customised watering scheduling system for different yard areas, for 4, 6 or 12 zones.
  • A wide range of water and irrigation programming possibilities.
  • Calculate the intensity of water irrigation to maximising the lawn’s growth.
  • Save money on your water bill.
  • Gives you control over your irrigation needs from anywhere in the world via Wi-fi.
  • Provides a personalized water schedule system that is tailormade for your lawn and garden.
  • Displays weather, drought, and irrigation information.
  • Delivers advanced water saving technologies via weather forecasting and historical statistics.
  • On-demand access to precise weather reports from national weather services like NOAA or international services like MetNo, and WUnderground.
  • Expert installation available.
  • Online or phone tech support.

There are many different types of sprinkler controllers and to be able to choose the right one for your lifestyle and gardening, consider these three questions.

  1. What is the size of your lawn or garden, small, medium or large?
  2. Are you tech-savvy and like having a lot of technological wizardry on-demand, or you do prefer a more simple device?
  3. How much are you willing to spend on a sprinkler controller?

Size of your property

Sprinkler controllers have different zones or stations. A zone is a watering area that is covered by a single sprinkler valve. These watering experts can control 6, 8 or 12 different zones. If you have a small or medium-sized property, a 6 zone sprinkler controller will do nicely. Larger properties will benefit from an 8 or 12 zoned controller device.

Simple Devices or High-tech Gadgets

While many of us would be lost without our smartphone or tablets, some people are not so tech-savvy and prefer a more simplistic approach to their lifestyles and gardening tools.

Sprinkler controllers range from basic models like the Rain Bird SST600I, which has an easy-to-configure control panel and basic programming features for 6 zones. The Hunter Sprinkler also has basic programs and easy to read buttons, but it can sync watering run times with local weather data. While these devices have limited technology, programming choices, and functions, they are still a great choice for keeping your lawn and garden well watered.

If you love your high-tech gadgets and you want to access your sprinkler programs from anywhere, at home or around the globe via Wi-fi connectivity, on your smartphone or tablet, and have extra features like on-demand daily weather reports, or wireless voice activation, the Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller features State-of-the-art hardware and software, or the Orbit Sprinkler Controller, which is a top of the line irrigation and watering system.

Why not consider the ultimate sprinkler controller, the highly intelligent RainMachine Mini-8 Wi-Fi Controller. This amazing device is jam-packed with loads of technological features that would make an Apple iPhone designer blush.

Price

Sprinkler controllers range in price from around $60 for a more basic model up to a fully interactive controller for over $150. The price of a sprinkler controller will depend on how many features it has, the zones it can control, and the amount of technological wizardry that it can offer. A Cloud Independent system, self-learning capabilities, LED screens, Apps, or detailed weather information. To find the sprinkler controller that is tailor-made for you, have a think about what types of features you will need to keep your lawn and garden looking fabulous all year round.

Best Sprinkler Controller Reviews

1. Netro Smart 12-Zone Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller

Netro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller

The Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller features State-of-the-art hardware and software, and with a host of customizable watering saving features for up to 12 zones, this technological marvel is a great fit for residential irrigation needs.

If you like your tech but still want something easy to use, this sprinkler controller is just right for you, as it does not have any confusing buttons and requires no complex manual set up or programming. In just 15 minutes, you can have the watering system ready to go. The sprinkler controller has a simple, clean and modern design and a special magnetic cover that allows quick access to the controls, and you can easily connect it to your home Wi-Fi network with an enhanced 2.4G antenna.

A super smart A.I. watering expert that provides a strong and stable Wi-Fi reception, the Cloud-based controller has self-learning capabilities and can automatically schedule itself by continuously adapting to local weather and seasonal changes. It optimizes your watering schedule to comply with local water conservation regulations and restrictions (BETA), so you do not have to worry about any water restrictions violations.

You can expect a high level of watering expertise as the Netro gets to know your watering habits by learning about your interactions with the Netro App and then builds a personalized watering schedule that is perfectly suited for your garden.

An eco-friendly watering warrior, the Netro uses innovative water-saving technology and proven science that can save you up to 50% on your outdoor water usage. It applies advanced watering algorithms, historical statistics or connects with weather forecasting stations to ensure that an adequate amount of water is applied to your garden.

As well as reducing watering frequency, which draws more oxygen into the roots to promote deep root growth, Netro prevents overwatering under improper temperatures and night watering, which can result in a soggy lawn which can attract disease.

With global Wi-Fi capabilities and the Netro App, you have the power to control your irrigation system remotely from anywhere. You can view and adjust the watering schedules and monitor your water usage and see how much you are saving on your water bills.

The Netro is compatible with all sprinkler systems, and works on phones and tablets (iOS 8.3+ or Android 5.0+), and is fully compatible with the Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice assistant. If there are power outages or any problems with the controller or app, the Netro customer service team offer outstanding customer service.

With over 1000 common species (and more on the way) in the Netro Plant library Database, your watering schedules can be customized to the particular needs of your plants. The Netro is covered by a 2-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Fully automatic
  • Simple, clean and modern design
  • Global Wi-Fi enabled
  • Cloud-based
  • Water sprinkler control up to 12 zones
  • Eco-friendly: Save up to 50% on outdoor water usage
  • Weather forecasting and historical statistics
  • Complies with local water-restrictions
  • High accuracy weather data
  • Intuitive watering programming schedules
  • Remote access
  • Compatible with iOS(8.3+) and Android(5.0+) devices
  • Netro App
  • Easy to set-up and configure
  • Self-Learning capabilities
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice assistant
  • Works with all sprinkler systems
  • Access to the Netro Plant Library
  • Outstanding customer support
  • 2-year-limited warranty

Cons

  • Multiple zones do not always operate concurrently

Check the price on Amazon

2. Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 12-Station Wi-Fi Sprinkler System Controller

Orbit 57950 B-hyve Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler System Controller

The Orbit Sprinkler System Controller is the number one choice for all residential watering and irrigation needs as it offers you loads of smart technological features, which will keep your garden well watered and flourishing to perfection, and will help you save on water bills.

With a perfect mixture of high-tech smarts and a simple control panel, the Orbit Smart Indoor/Outdoor sprinkler controller has great functionality for the avid gardener, and with 12 zones for all round watering, it allows you to stay connected, stay green and horticulturally smart.

The Orbit is easy to install in about 20 minutes and to operate. Open the swing panel for easy access to the terminal, which makes wiring simple and convenient, and the plug-and-go line cord can be cut for hard-wired applications. Proudly made in the USA, from global materials, the unit has a weather-resistant case that allows you to mount the controller indoors or outdoors without risk of weather damage, and the locking cabinet keeps the unit safe and secure.

A fully Wi-Fi and timer enabled device, you can stay in sync with your gardening watering programs from anywhere in the world via Orbit's B-hyve App which is fully functional for Android and iOS smartphones or tablets.

You can access your programs on the controller itself or use the app and let the weather-based software create an individual watering program that is just right for your lifestyle. The state of the art app has an intelligent WeatherSense technology for smart watering and there are traditional programs and advanced audit settings, and the super-intuitive interface allows the controller to expertly tailor its programs based on your gardening needs like site conditions: slope, soil type, sun/shade. It can access live weather feeds, and shut off during rainy periods and then recalculate your water schedule so that the right amount of water is delivered to your lawn and plants.

Save 50% more water with Orbit's award-winning “catch cup” technology which will produce professional water schedule results by using EPA WaterSense and SWAT testing protocols.

You can also test each individual zone to see that if they are working correctly. The sprinkler controller can be voice controlled and is compatible with Amazon Alexa (Alexa device sold separately). If you need help with setting up the controller with Alexa, visit help.orbitbhyve.com/alexa-commands/ for a quick guide on how you can use your B-hyve App with Alexa to control your watering with a simple phrase.

The Orbit is available in both 6 and 12 station models, and the unit is covered by a 1-year limited warranty. Orbit also offers expert installation service at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Affordable price
  • Advanced technology
  • Super-intuitive interface
  • Powerful Wi-Fi
  • Global remote access
  • Can be installed indoors or outdoors
  • State-of-the-art B-hyve App
  • Fully functional for Android and iOS smartphones or tablets
  • Easy to install
  • Lockable weather-resistant cabinet
  • Intuitive WeatherSense technology
  • Real-time updates and monitoring
  • Automatic rain delay
  • Customize watering schedules with “catch cup” technology
  • Certified to save 50% more water and energy
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Available with 6 or 12 stations
  • Expert installation service available
  • 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Orbit App is not very user-friendly with some WiFi systems
  • Hard to set up Alexa

Check the price on Amazon

3. Rain Bird SST600I Indoor 6-Zone Timer Sprinkler Controller

Rain Bird SST600I Indoor 6-Zone Timer Sprinkler Controller

For great value, versatility and convenience, the Rain Bird Simple to Set Indoor Manual Timer Sprinkler Controller is an excellent choice for those gardeners who prefer a simple approach to their automatic irrigation controller system and do not want to fuss around with high tech gadgets. The Rain Bird timer/ controller is an efficient watering controller that has eco-friendly water-conscious features that will keep your lawn and garden looking lush and green and the unit comes at a very affordable price.

You can easily customize watering schedules that are specifically tailored to your unique landscape needs, for up to 6 zones, while also dramatically conserving water and improving lawn and plant health. The timer/controller is very easy to use and it is loaded with user-friendly features to manage any residential or light commercial irrigation or watering system. Just turn the dial to select the zone or setting and the easy to read all-in-one view screen has backlit buttons that are clearly displayed on the panel.

The advanced timer allows you to adjust the watering schedules for each zone, choose the start time, watering duration, and days of the week, or you can switch it to other on-demand watering settings. The Rain Bird can even be easily linked to existing drip watering systems.

Save water with the “automatic rain shut-off” system by stopping the sprinkler from operating during rainy periods, which then resets automatically on the next cycle. To save even more money on water, there is a one-touch seasonal adjustment setting to increase water in hot, dry months and reduce it in rainy seasons and you can make adjustments to match the flow rates of each sprinkler type.

You do not have to be overly tech-savvy to set the unit up as it has simple wiring connections that have color-coded terminals with separately marked positions. The sealed case protects against moisture, insects, and grime, and the timer comes with a transformer with 6-ft cord plus an installation guide.

If there are any electrical storms or outages, the Rain Bird has superior surge protection, and if a short is detected, the timer suspends watering to that zone and displays a warning message. There is no need to reprogram the unit, there is no back-up needed, and there is built-in troubleshooting of valves and wiring.

If you prefer a more high-tech approach to water sprinkler control, Rain Bird has more advanced sprinkler controllers. Rain Bird has not disclosed their warranty information but if you are dissatisfied with the sprinkler controller for any reason, you can return it to the retailer where it was purchased within a reasonable time for a full refund or contact Rain Bird for specific warranty details.

Pros

  • Excellent price
  • Provides maximum versatility and efficient watering
  • 6-zones
  • Advanced timer can be fine-tuned for each lawn/garden zone
  • Can be adjusted to match the flow rates of each sprinkler type
  • Simple all-in-one view control panel
  • Large, easy-to-read screen and backlit buttons
  • User-friendly programming
  • Easy to install
  • Simple wiring connections and color-coded terminals with separately marked positions
  • Durable dirt and moisture resistant case
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
  • Automatic rain shut-off
  • One-touch seasonal adjustment setting
  • Superior surge protection
  • No need to reprogramme after a surge or outage
  • No backup needed
  • Built-in troubleshooting of valves and wiring

Cons

  • Limited settings
  • No advanced technological features

Check the price on Amazon

4. Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core 6-Station Indoor Controller Timer

Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core 6-Station Indoor Controller Timer

With a wide array of user-friendly programming features and “smart controller” water-saving options, and delivering optimal watering efficiency and reliability, the Hunter Controller is built to fit any residential landscape irrigation system.

The Hunter Sprinkler is very easy to install, operate and maintain, and once you plug in the device, the revolutionary Solar Sync ET sensor and the X-Core is converted into a “smart controller” that regulates irrigation runtimes based on locally measured weather. The X-Core is also compatible with Hunter's remote control (sold separately) for quick, wireless activation of your irrigation water system.

With an easy-to-configure control panel, you have access to 6 stations or zones, 3 programs and 4 start times, a runtime button or seasonal settings. This seasonal setting feature allows for quick adjustments to irrigation run times through a percentage scale. So during peak watering season, you can set the seasonal adjustment to 100%. If weather conditions require less water, enter the appropriate percentage value (i.e. 50%) to cut down irrigation run times without the need to adjust each station in the program.

The Water Days button allows you to use water on particular days, and the system will automatically revert back to its regular scheduled irrigation, which not only saves water but you do not have to keep checking the controller.

If there is a power outage, the X-Core timer has an automatic short circuit protection and its Easy Retrieve™ reliable memory has a manual backup utility that stores the unit's complete schedule and set-up information in its memory so that you can have your previous watering schedule restored at any time.

This smart little device also allows you to program a delay between stations as the controller advances from one station to the next. This delay feature allows slow-closing valves additional time to close and pressure tanks extra time to recharge.

For help with any troubleshooting problems, the Hunter controller has a sensor programmability function where you can key in a sensor alarm for particular programs, which alerts you when something goes wrong, while any unaffected programs are still able to operate as per normal. The Hunter's Quick Check system helps you with any with field wiring issues and this very handy feature can be accessed at just the push of a button. For even more access versatility, the controller is compatible with Hunter's ROAM remote control.

The Hunter Sprinkler has a strong plastic case and a 6-foot power cord, and the unit is covered by a 2-year warranty.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • High-quality
  • Easy to install, operate and maintain
  • Very good level of programming flexibility
  • 6 Stations
  • 3 independent programs
  • 4 start times per program
  • Easy Retrieve™ reliable memory and back-up utility
  • Alert Sensor programmability
  • Programmable rain delay
  • Seasonal adjustment
  • Automatic weather updated with Solar Synch and X-Core
  • Innovative program delay feature
  • Hunter's Quick Check system for troubleshooting field wiring issues
  • Sensor alarm programmability function
  • Automatic short circuit protection
  • Compatible with Hunter's ROAM Remote Control
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Short 6-foot power cord
  • Cannot be installed outdoors
  • Limited programming features
  • No high-tech functions

Check the price on Amazon

5. RainMachine Mini-8, The Forecast Sprinkler, 2nd Generation Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller

RainMachine Mini-8, The Forecast Sprinkler, 2nd Generation Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller

Welcome to your gardening future with the top quality RainMachine Mini-8 2nd Generation Wi-fi Irrigation Controller. This amazing gadget lets you monitor the weather remotely, in real time, right on your smartphone or tablet. What's the weather forecast? How much watering do I need for my garden? Ask The Forecast Sprinkler, one of the smartest Wi-fi sprinkler controllers on the planet.

A high tech irrigation gadget, the RainMachines gives you absolute control over your watering system at just the press of a button. Whether you are relaxing at home or away on holidays abroad, you can connect globally from any device, screen or web browser that uses Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, Edge, IE.

As well as all this technological wizardry, the RainMachine has a unique touch interface on the device that provides the ultimate user-friendly control experience. If you have to access the unit in a low-light area, the touch keys are illuminated by white LED lights, and when the controller is not in use, the RainMachine will display an ultra bright LED Wi-fi icon which is visible from up to 20 feet away, so you can always see that it is connected, and the unit is also splash-proof.

You can sync to the weather service to organize your watering sessions for up to 8 zones (or 7 when using Master Valve) and the controller automatically adjusts your watering amount by lowering it on rainy or cold days and increasing it on hot summer days. So as well as saving precious water, the RainMachine also protects your plants and grass with just the right amount of moisture so that your garden will be lush and beautiful.

You have lots of program versatility at your fingertips as you can select individual modes to suit your watering needs. Choose to run the programs one-at-a-time, sequentially or even in parallel. Whichever mode you use, the Rain Machine's secure Wi-Fi makes sure that all programs are in perfect synchronization even if simultaneous commands are made to the same valve or there are overlapping watering schedules.

Once you connect the “cloud-independent” controller to your Wi-Fi, you can connect with weather services like NOAA, MetNo, WUnderground, or your own personal weather service. With this high level of weather forecasting on the planet, you will soon be sharing your weather predicting expertise with friends and family. And your lawn and garden will thank you too. If there is no forecast data available, the RainMachine does not skip a beat, it will automatically switch to historical weather statistics.

The RainMachine can save you on water usage up to 80%, depending on your climate and weather permitting, and with such substantial savings on your water bill, the RainMachine will pay for itself in less than two years.

An EPA WaterSense certified sprinkler controller, you can check for rebates with your local water agency and start saving even more!

If you are not a tech-savvy gardener, do not fear, the RainMachine is quite easy to install in just 15 minutes and you do not need any expensive contractors to set the controller up. The unit comes with simple step by step DIY instructions, but there is live phone support available seven days a week via the RainMachine live web interface. The Rain Bird sprinkler controller is covered by a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Fantastic sprinkler controller system
  • Ideal for irrigation purposes
  • High level of program versatility
  • 8 zones
  • Cloud independent
  • Connects to national and international weather forecast sources
  • Delivers precise weather data
  • Automatically switch to historical weather statistics
  • 80% water savings
  • EPA WaterSense certification
  • Compatible with iOS and Android systems
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Global connection with any kind of modern browser
  • Unique touch interface design
  • Secure interface
  • Easy to see white LED illuminated touch keys
  • Brightly lit Wi-Fi icon, visible from up to 20 feet away.
  • Easy to install
  • Live phone support available
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Requires some tech experience
  • Does not integrate well with Alexa
  • May have some connection issues with some smartphones

Check the price on Amazon

Our Top Pick of the Best Sprinkler Controller Reviews

Netro Smart Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller

Our top pick is the Netro Smart 12-Zone Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller. This smart, intuitive high-tech sprinkler controller has everything you need to control your sprinkler and irrigation system. From intelligent learning capabilities to on-demand connections to accurate weather updates and being able to optimize your water schedule to suit your lifestyle from anywhere in the world, the Netro Smart controller is the ultimate A.I. watering expert.

Check the price on Amazon

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