Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers 2022: Reviews, Buying Advice

Watering our lawns and gardens is a thankless task, and can be particularly wasteful when done with a hose in one hand and a beer in the other. Irrigation systems have made home watering simpler and more efficient, and while most of any sprinkler system revolves around plastic pipes (hoses and drippers with a drip irrigation system) and a set of valves motorized connected to the water supply, the brain of the operation has always been in the controller.

For decades, sprinkler controllers have hardly been fancy devices. They typically consist of a rotary dial, a handful of switches, and perhaps a crude monochrome LCD screen. This is changing rapidly, as smart sprinkler controllers enter the market. These come from two angles: startups looking to disrupt the market with new gadgets, and old-guard irrigation companies that have upgraded their equipment with smart innards. Both approaches to date have shown some merit. Here are our opinions on the best gear on the market today.

[ Further reading: A smart home guide for beginners ]

The best smart irrigation controller

Once again, there is no competition: the Rachio 3 succeeds the second generation Rachio as the best smart irrigation controller on the market.

The new model is even easier to install, and the company has made several improvements to its already excellent app. Again, it’s available in 8-zone and 16-zone configurations, and there’s an outdoor cabinet if you can’t install the device indoors.


Orbit may be a graybeard in the irrigation world, but it’s giving Rachio a run for its money in the smart home market. Orbit’s second-generation B-hyve smart sprinkler controller has plenty of bells and whistles, and can even withstand being mounted outdoors without the need for a fixture (although it’s not completely waterproof).

The best budget irrigation controller

While its price has increased slightly since the date we received our review unit ($50 to $57.98 at the time of writing), the Wyze Sprinkler Controller is still an incredible value. You can control just eight irrigation zones, where competing manufacturers offer multiple models to cover all bases. But if you have a small yard and modest expectations, it gets the job done for a lot less.

Best hose-based sprinkler controller

Whether you water your garden with a garden hose or simple drip irrigation, as opposed to an in-ground sprinkler system, Orbit’s second generation B-hyve XD is far superior to conventional off-line timers, and the Orbit app can control several of them. independently when you add the optional Bluetooth to Wi-Fi bridge, which we highly recommend.

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