If you are the gardener, watering your garden or lawn can be a challenge and time-consuming. The solution is to the sprinkler controllers, which improves lawn watering, automates schedule, respond to the weather conditions, and adjust to a particular amount of water. Also, they keep the plants and grass healthy, vibrant, and green throughout the year. At the same time, they can help you save on the water bill. These models can help to control different zones independently, eliminating the hassle of watering the garden. Some can even be managed by the mobile app when you are away from home.
The sprinkler controllers can also allow you to adjust the watering schedules through a more streamlined and intuitive interface. The design of the products is easy to use and very intuitive, allowing you to select the exact watering time and frequency. Likewise, the weather sense technology can allow better irrigation through water delivery based on various conditions, such as type of soil, location on the slope, shade, sun, and real-time weather forecast. If you want the best sprinkler controllers, continue reading this article.
Factors to Consider When Buying the Sprinkler Controller
Compatibility with The Sprinkler Parts
The sprinkler controllers are generally easy to install and can be adapted to the existing grounded wire, provided they are connected to an AC power source. The system must be connected to the outlet into the electrical system. Know that these controllers don’t work well with the hose timers or battery-powered systems. Like the smart thermostat or smartphone, the sprinkler controller needs to access the house’s WiFi network so you can analyze precipitation data and access weather reports.
When buying the sprinkler controller you need to consider the zones. If the garden is large, there will be a need for more watering zones. Many products can control between 2 and 16 zones. Every zone has underground tubes and sprinkler heads that contain valves, which close and open when activated. The suitable controller should be able to use many zones you can have on the property. If you want to add more zones in the future, choose a model with more zones than the current ones. To determine the current zones number, remove a control panel from the current controller to decide which zones need to be wired. Also, you can run a system test that passes through every zone. When the zone is activated, only the sprinkler head in that zone will emit water. So, when buying the sprinkler controller, consider the zones.
Another crucial factor when buying the sprinkler controller is the watering schedule. This can allow you to set a particular program, which adapts to the requirements of the garden. However, not all sprinkler controllers will enable you to create the schedule because some have specific restrictions based on a region or city. These products must be sure to comply with these regulations.
Ease of Installation
When buying the sprinkler controllers, you need to consider ease of installation. They need to be easy to install, provided they are positioned correctly. Most of them have controllers for outdoor or indoor mounting. The indoor mounting models have the plug cord with the external transformer, which must be used in a protected area regardless of the weather, such as a garage, covered patio, or a shed. The outdoor mounting models are designed to withstand all elements. In these controllers, the transformer is housed in the weather-resistant housing and then connected to the domestic electrical system. Connect the installed system to the WiFi network using the specified application, and you are good to go.
EPA WaterSense Certified
In partnership with the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), products that have been proven to conserve energy, money, and water can receive the WaterSense label from a third-party certified testing agency. A WaterSense certified sprinkler controller could make businesses more lenient by following local irrigation regulations in areas with little rainfall to help homeowners avoid fines caused by violating the water usage regulations. As per the EPA, many consumers can save about $32.6 billion of energy and water bills. Therefore, consider EPA WaterSense Certified.
These sprinkler controllers can be installed outdoors or indoors, depending on the brand. Indoor one can be set under the garage or shaped patio. Additionally, indoor one cannot resist weather as the sturdy outdoor models. Also, the indoor controllers are connected to the power outlet, whereas the outdoor products are connected to the power source.
Some brands have security cameras to monitor all areas of the garden. This advanced feature allows each zone to be monitored and even record the irrigation program of each location. A built-in high-resolution security camera helps to monitor the garden both day and night. It is recommended to use the sprinkler controller with the security camera provided you have the commercial entity.
With any gadget, the sprinkler controller offers various ways to communicate with a system. The controller is an intuitive device that supports a voice-guided digital assistant in a phone app to allow you to change and adjust watering schedules with a simple swipe. This means control is very crucial when buying a model.
Real-time Weather Integration
With the sprinkler controller, real-time weather integration is another factor to consider when buying one. The concern is automatic weather updates. Since these products are connected through the WiFi connection, they can access the weather updates and use the weather forecast to adjust the water level coming from the sprinkler. If it rains at night, the sensor can detect the humidity and respond accordingly. You can decide not to run the sprinklers or to turn them on, but not for long. So, consider the real-time weather integration feature.
If you are planning to use sensors in the garden, this is a great advantage. The main reason is to detect the moisture content of the soil and grass and indicate whether less or more water is needed. Many devices are sensor compatible and can help you save money on the water bills and time when working together. However, check the product description carefully, as manufacturers often do not include the sensors in the box.
Number of Programs
If you have different ways on how your lawn needs to be watered, get the sprinkler controller that offers the maximum programming. Some people agree with the models that have only two program models. However, multiple program designs are required if you need various stations to run at different periods but simultaneously.
The price of the sprinkler controller can vary greatly depending on the number of its features and the zones it controls. Also, the level of technology can affect it. The self-learning capacities, independent cloud system, LED screen, detailed weather information, and apps can also affect the price of the sprinkler controller.
If the sprinkler controller is defective or multifunction, you can use the original manufacturer’s warranty policies to get it replaced. Most of the devices come with a one-year warranty, and some with a two-year warranty. Many customers have used these warranties to quickly replace the defective parts or obtain a brand new sprinkler controller.
Best Sprinkler Controller Listing
1. Orbit 57985 B-hyve Indoor/Outdoor XR Smart 8-Zone Sprinkler Controller
Orbit has come up with this product that can extend the range to make it more economical and easier to keep the entire property green and lush. It adjusts automatically to weather changes that include rain, freeze delays, and wind and gives more water during dryer times. A built-in watering override manual button on a timer to stop or start watering without the app.
I appreciate the free B-hyve app because it can help set duration times, get alerts, create watering schedules, and control everything from your smartphone. Thanks to the long-range Bluetooth connectivity of this controller that can make the pairing process fast. It comes with an exclusive WeatherSense tech, which receives the local weather data and adjusts the sprinkler controller to get the correct amount of water for the plants.
The product has three full-color digital displays and an LED light multi-color ring that can instantly see the timer status. It comes with a sleek and attractive design, which means you will not require to hide it when mounting indoors. Also, there is a weatherproof case that can allow for outdoor mounting without the protective box.
2. Rhino Storm Smart 16-Zone Sprinkler Controller
You can now save 30 to 50 percent of irrigation water each month with this model from Rhino Storm. It has an app that creates a smart watering schedule to provide the plants with the amount of water they need. This is done through two options like smart schedule and fixed schedule. It has the local weather intelligence, skip windy, freeze, and rainy, and avoid unnecessary irrigation.
It comes with remote control, which can help you control watering from any time and anywhere. The product has a capacity of 16 zones that can manage the large garden, grass, or yard in an all-around way. Likewise, it effectively reduces unnecessary watering and helps understand how much water the plants require based on each zone setting.
The instant button control can help stop the water immediately at any time that is done by just pressing the button. You can connect to WiFi to set up the lawn as per your needs, including soil type, lawn slope, plant type, and more. What is more, it comes with a cyclic soaking algorithm that can ration water in your yard, lawn, or garden to save you time and keep it healthy.
3. Orbit 57946 Smart 6-Zone B-hyve Sprinkler Controller
You can optimize how the watering of plants is done to keep everything green and lush without breaking the bank using this product from Orbit. It comes with a B-hyve app, which is fully functional in Android, web devices, and iOS to give you control anytime you need it. You can program the timer on the app or allow weather-based software to create the program for you.
There is weather sense technology that can offer watering based on the site conditions like slope, sun/shade, soil type, live weather feeds, and historical ET. It automatically adjusts the controller to deliver the correct amount of water your plants need. It comes with the angled terminals and a swing panel, which can provide convenient wiring and easy access, completed within minutes.
The sprinkler controller comes in a weather-resistant case, which can be mounted outdoors or indoors to protect it from weather damage. Likewise, it has the case that can keep the controller safe from harm. Also, it is EPA WaterSense certified and approved, making you save you energy and water.
4. SPW Hunter Industries 24-Station Sprinkler PHC-2400 Controller
Many people go for this sprinkler controller product because it can help to adjust the watering frequency. According to actual evaporation, wind speed, precipitation, and temperature in the area daily. In a like manner, it is compatible with the hunter weather sensor to stop irrigation during freeze, wind, and rain events. Installing and programming the controller is easy because it takes few minutes.
The product uses precise information about the local environmental condition to ensure the plants get the correct amount of water. Three flexible programs have a 24-start time each and about 24 hours run time to accommodate the irrigation systems of different sizes and complexities. Its programs are stored in memory if there is a power outage so that irrigation can resume as normal.
Advanced predictive watering technology looks at the previous history and forecast to ensure the correct amount of water is used. The controller sends an instant alert to save money, save water, protect the outdoor living space, and for needed maintenance. In the same case, it has a graphical touchscreen interface that makes programming easy without connecting to the WiFi.
5. Rain Bird Simple-to-Set SST600IN 6-Zone Sprinkler Controller
Are you looking for a sprinkler controller that is easy to program without requiring the instructions? Then go for this product from Rain Bird because it has zone-by-zone settings that can let you customize the watering schedules for every area of the yard. In all honesty, it is designed for indoor installation within the waterproof shed, garage, or home.
You will get a one-touch seasonal adjustment to increase the watering time by reducing rainy, cool periods or dry, hot months. There is a rain delay, which can help to suspend watering for about 72-hours; when the pause ends, the programming will automatically resume. On the other hand, it comes with easy-to-read LED indicator lights and an LCD screen that can quickly review all the settings.
I really appreciate built-in surge protection that guards it against any damage caused by power surges or lightning strikes. It has the memory, which can help store all timer settings indefinitely, so no need for re-programming in case of a power outage. It comes in a sealed case that can protect it from moisture, grime, and insects. This product can even support the pump start relay, a rain sensor, or a master valve.
Sprinkler controllers are paramount because they automatically control the watering schedule, so you do not have to be tired. Also, they intelligently optimize ground irrigation by adjusting automatically to climatic conditions. This allows you to maintain a healthy landscape while reducing water consumption. A timer control can let you program the timer on a timer section of the app or enable the weather software to create a schedule. Go for the above products because they have unique features.
The best-selling one is Rhino Storm Smart 16-Zone Sprinkler Controller because it has 16 zones that can allow you to manage the large garden, grass, or yard. Likewise, it has instant button control, which can help to control the flow of water. This product has achieved the above factors because it has 16 zones that can allow you to manage a large area and have instant button control to control water flow.