Best Smart Irrigation Systems iMore 2020
As homeowners, we've all been there at one point: out there in the blazing heat, screwing on the sprinkler, unwinding the hose — it's labor-intensive. But if you have a built-in sprinkler system, you can control everything right from your phone. All you need is one of these awesome smart irrigation systems.
- Our pick: Rachio 3
- Budget pick: Orbit B-hyve (57915)
- Full ecosystem: GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub
- Excellent app: Netro smart sprinkler controller
- Great reporting: Hydrawise Hunter HC-600i
- Web-based app: BlueSpray smart sprinkler controller
The Rachio 3 is the best smart sprinkler controller you can buy because, quite simply, it does exactly what it's supposed to. It connects to either your 2.4GHz or 5GHz Wi-Fi network and is certified to work with Alexa. Just download the app and away you go on iPhone or Android. It's so smart, it even uses satellite information to skip programmed times based on rain and wind data. If you want the total package, this is the one you want.
The B-hyve is a four-station controller, which has apps for both iOS and Android. It features weather-sensing technology, which enables smart watering options based on slope, soil type, amount of sun, live weather feeds, and more. There's a built-in override if you really need to water your lawn or garden, and it may even make you eligible for rebates from your local water service.
While doing an excellent job as a smart irrigation controller, the GreenIQ hub can be expanded to control soil water sensors, garden lighting, and more, all from the easy-to-use app (available for both iOS and Android). It's even compatible with IFTTT, giving you full control over hundreds of automations. You can fully configure your watering schedule or allow GreenIQ to get information from local weather stations to make informed decisions for you.
The best thing Netro has going for it is its app, which has a simple, minimalist interface that's perfect for helping even newbies understand watering schedules and other information related to irrigation. The controller itself is also inconspicuous as it automatically adjusts your watering schedule based on weather information and even local water alerts and restrictions.
If you actually enjoy learning about your watering information, how much rainfall you get, and all that good stuff, then you'll love Hydrawise's controller, which gives you detailed reports in its elegant app, showing you water usage, rainfall amount, and even alerting you to broken pipes and spray heads, as well as faulty wiring and valves. If the details matter to you, then the Hydrawise Hunter is for you.
BlueSpray is a bit old-school in its approach since it uses a web-based app rather than a mobile one, but its feature set is still worth your consideration. It gives you a full picture of your property using Google Maps information (or your own photo), letting you drag and drop commands. It supports rain, flow, moisture, and door sensors, and it can be programmed to comply with any water restrictions.
If you have a built-in sprinkler sensor on your property, then a smart controller is the best way to keep your lawn and garden watered, since it gives you the flexibility to schedule as you like, and it can provide automatic features so that you don't even have to think about irrigation. It may be expensive, but the Rachio 3 is the gold standard for smart irrigation control.
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