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6 Smart Sprinklers That Will Save You Money and Water

As a California homeowner, I’ve been very water conscious in recent years. With droughts that seem to happen each and every year, dealing with water restrictions has been an eye-opening experience for me. I know that our state (and our world) isn’t remotely “out of the woods” when it comes to protecting our resources.

We all need to do our best to preserve water, and new technology is making that easier than ever. Smart sprinklers offer a real solution towards preventing outdoor water waste, giving users a great level of control and making it easier for users to manage their sprinkler systems remotely. These devices save you water, time, and money.

Spending time outdoors is important to me. I work from home and am often inside for long periods during the day, so a little excuse to get some sunshine is important to me. Because of this, I do a great deal of gardening, which is good for my personal happiness as well as the environment, because plants provide oxygen and sustainability. To keep my garden watered while staying conscious of drought-safe methods, I spent some time researching smart sprinklers on the market today. Take a look at the best discoveries I made in this article, chosen based on great reviews and exciting smart technology innovation.

 

What is a smart sprinkler?

A smart sprinkler is like a traditional sprinkler, but it can be managed much more efficiently through the use of mobile applications. Many of these devices respond to weather and daylight changes, helping you make the most water and cost-conscious sprinkler schedule possible.

 

Why You Need a Smart Sprinkler

Smart sprinklers will make your yard maintenance exponentially simpler. In fact, once you get these products set up, you’ll likely never have to think about your watering schedule again! You’ll save time, money, and your plants will be healthy and happy!

Related: The Kobi Fully Autonomous All-Season Garden Robot Will Make Your Life Easy

 

How to Install a Smart Spinkler

Smart sprinkler systems, like most smart products, were designed so that even novices could easily install them. These systems do often require some labor, digging space for the sprinklers themselves, and some strategic planning to determine the best spots in your yard for sprinkler heads. Once the physical part of the installation is complete, setting up the mobile applications is as simple as interacting with any other app on your phone!

 

How much do smart sprinklers cost? 

Cost depends largely on how comprehensive the system you choose is. Sprinklers that are designed to only deal with one plant, or a small area, can run as low as $30. While complete yard systems can cost upwards of $300.

 

Why should you trust ideaing?

Since 2013, our team at ideaing holds extensive background in technology, from electrical engineering to product managers at Fortune 500 companies. We pride ourselves in providing truly objective incite into our reviews and recommendations. Our expert panel of product experts spend thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products. After our extensive research on over 40 of the top smart sprinkler systems on the market, here are our 6 best picks for most people.

 

The Best Smart Sprinklers for 2019

 

Based upon our research, here is our list of the best smart sprinklers available for 2019.

 
 

1. Rachio 8ZULW-C Sprinkler Controller – Best of the Best

Rachio 8ZULW-B-CAN Smart Sprinkler Controller, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, White

Start, stop or pause your sprinkler through your smartphone.

My grandparents could only dream of having such a device back in their day. Even when I was younger, I remember spending hours upon hours mowing the lawn, gardening and pulling a long hose around my parents’ home to help pull my weight on our property.

When I first heard of the Rachio Smart Sprinkler, I knew I was in for a treat. This smart sprinkler is Amazon’s most and highest rating Wi-Fi sprinkler, can be controlled and managed through your smartphone and helps to save water.

The sustainability benefit is perhaps my most favorite, and part of the reason why I have named this “number one” on our list. This device alone has helped to save over 22 billion gallons of water, thanks to sustainable water use. The Rachio uses weather intelligence to automatically adjust your schedule based on the most up-to-date forecasts.

 

Why You Should Get It

I mentioned that I included this as the number one smart sprinkler on the list for two primary reasons – 1, because it is the most and highest rated smart sprinkler on Amazon, and 2 because of the sustainability benefits. If you are focused on living a more sustainable lifestyle, this could be a product for you.

 

Pros

  • Most 5 star ratings on Amazon
  • Adapts to your lawn
  • Connects to Alexa and Google Home

Cons

  • There is no Amazon Alexa support in Canada

 

 

2. RainMachine HD-12 The Forecast Sprinkler – Best For Weather Forecasting

RainMachine HD-12 The Forecast Sprinkler Irrigation Controller

Multiple weather sources make for accurate forecasting.

The great thing about smart sprinklers is that you can not only schedule times around your lawn watering, you can also rely on weather data to help support your watering schedule. With the Rain Machine HD-12, you get your weather forecast from multiple sources for precise and realtime weather information.

The Rain Machine is updated several times per day to calculate the perfect amount of water for your plants. For example, if rain is in the forecast for the afternoon and your standard 7-day schedule calls for watering at 2:00PM, the device will skip the scheduled time. 

 

Why You Should Get It

I find that this device is best for those who lead busy schedules, perhaps in the workplace or at home with your family. You do not always have the time to monitor the weather for the sake of your plants or lawn, and the Rain Machine helps with overall efficiency. 

 

Pros

  • 15 minute installation
  • Pulls weather data from multiple sources 
  • Get up to 80% in water savings 

Cons

  • Some users share that the rain algorithm needs support 

 

3. Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller – Best Value 

Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller

You can get a high-level watering system without breaking the bank.

The Blossom irrigation system works much like other smart sprinklers on this list, using predictive weather patterns to gauge how much water your plants actually need. Additionally, it allows you to divide your yard up into sections so that you can focus your water usage on areas that need it the most. This product also stands out for its durability and ability to stand up to the elements in more volatile climates. Users who enjoy the product say that they like its ability to stand up to the elements, but those who’ve posted negative reviews point out that the device can be difficult to set up.

 

Why You Should Get It 

This is a great option for anyone with a larger yard, because it allows you to divide up your property’s water use by section. It is also a good choice if you live in an area that experiences difficult weather conditions, because it was designed with durability in mind. The reason why I chose this, however, is because of the value. Coming in at a reasonable price ensures that it provides a solution for many buyers. 

 

Pros

  • Break up your yard into sections
  • Uses predictive weather patterns
  • Durable device

Cons 

  • Some users are experiencing connection challenges 

 

4. Netro Smart 12-Zone WiFi Sprinkler Controller – Best Integration 

Netro Smart 12-Zone WiFi Sprinkler Controller

Connect your sprinkler system with your entire smart home suite.

Remember those water restrictions I mentioned? Well, they’re pretty hard to keep up with if you’re not the kind to follow your local news closely. In fact, I was still following the drought restrictions for a couple of months without knowing that they had been lifted last year!

The Netro actually keeps track of things like restrictions and adjusts your sprinklers accordingly. It also works with popular smart home hubs like Alexa. It’s also said to help you save up to 50% of your water use overall, which is a huge amount over time!

 

Why You Should Get It

Not having to worry about monitoring for new water restrictions or having to check in on your lawn maintenance is a huge time-saver. With rave reviews, this system is one to consider highly! I really love how the device is connected with your entire home. Using Alexa and other connected devices, you can really have a “smart” home that extends outdoors, too.

 

Pros:

  • Monitors for local water restrictions
  • Integrates with Amazon Alexa
  • Up to 50% water conservation

Cons: 

  • This is another device that does not work with Alexa in Canada. 

 

5.  Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Irrigation Indoor WiFi Sprinkler – Best For Simplicity

 

Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Irrigation Indoor WiFi Sprinkler

Getting a watering schedule in place will save you money & keep your plants happy.

 

The main function you’re looking for out of a smart sprinkler system is the ability to easily schedule watering, so that you can forget about it and move onto more important things. The key word there is easily. Finding a system that makes the process incredibly simple should be at the top of your list!

The RainBird system fits the bill, allowing users to install and setup the sprinklers easily. It also has a well-reviewed mobile application that sends you updates throughout the day in case anything is amiss with your yard. Once you’ve got your schedule running like a well-oiled machine, you can watch your yard flourish without giving it a second thought!

 

Why You Should Get It

If you’re primarily interested in a solid watering schedule, and would prefer a highly-effective system that doesn’t require you to do much in the way of day-to-day maintenance, this is a great choice. It is an ideal solution or those of us with busy schedules. 

 

Pros:

  • Easy scheduling
  • Simple Installation
  • Get live notifications on your phone

Cons:

  • Some users say the app could be improved 

 

6. Orbit B-Hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor WiFi Sprinkler System Controller – Best Blend Between Smart and Traditional

orbit b-hyve sprinkler system

Sometimes you want a smart home product, but don’t want all the bells and whistles that come with extra features. There are always a few options that simply get the job done, for people who aren’t overly interested in engaging with a new device.

The Orbit B-Hyve is going to revolutionize the way you care for your lawn. Allowing you to set your sprinklers to a schedule remotely through your smartphone, this sprinkler system truly embodies the saying “set it and forget it”. Additionally, this system includes weather sensors, which will track your local weather and will turn off the water automatically should rain occur, or will turn on the water should it be a particularly dry and hot day.

I say that this device is best for smart meets traditional because it reminds me of the old irrigation system in my childhood home. It looks and feels the same, though just smarter of course. 

 

Why You Should Get It 

This system is really gong to make your life easier. Saving you up to 50% on your outdoor water consumption, the Orbit B-hyve is a smart way to go if you need a little more control and a little less to worry about. Not to mention it will help you conserve water which is good for the planet and for your monthly water bill. I love the blend between traditional and smart.

 

Pros:

  • Low Maintenance
  • Easy scheduling
  • Save up to 50% water consumption

Cons: 

  • If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, this might not be for you

Best Smart Sprinkler Comparison

Here are the best smart sprinkler pros and cons.

1Rachio 8ZULW-C Sprinkler Controller

  • Most 5 star ratings on Amazon
  • Adapts to your lawn
  • Connects to Alexa and Google Home
  • There is no Amazon Alexa support in Canada
90

2RainMachine HD-12 The Forecast Sprinkler Irrigation Controller

  • 15 minute installation
  • Pulls weather data from multiple sources
  • Get up to 80% in water savings
  • Some users share that the rain algorithm needs support
90

3Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller

  • Break up your yard into sections
  • Uses predictive weather patterns
  • Durable device
  • Some users are experiencing connection challenges
80

4Netro Smart 12-Zone Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller

  • Monitors for local water restrictions
  • Integrates with Amazon Alexa
  • Up to 50% water conservation
  • This is another device that does not work with Alexa in Canada
90

5Rain Bird ST8I Wi-Fi Smart Irrigation Indoor Sprinkler System

  • Easy scheduling
  • Simple Installation
  • Get live notifications on your phone
  • Some users say the app could be improved
NA

6Orbit B-hyve Smart WiFi Sprinkler System Controller

  • Low Maintenance
  • Easy scheduling
  • Save up to 50% water consumption
  • If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, this might not be for you
90

 


 

—  Smart Sprinklers FAQ  —

There are so many smart sprinklers on the market, it can be difficult to decide which device to invest in. As such, there are plenty of questions you might have around smart sprinklers overall. Below are common questions and answers.

 

Q: What is smart watering?

A: Smart Watering is an automated (smart!) way to have a watering schedule for your yard. It can use information around environmental conditions – such as rain – to ensure your pants and your yard get the optimum amount of water for growth.

 

Q: How can I decide what product to choose?

A: In our opinion, it is dependent on what you are looking for in a device. For example, you might be looking for a smart product that can be reliable when it comes to environmental conditions and optimizing schedules, or you might be looking for a simple option for your smart device. 

 

Q: How much should a sprinkler system cost?

A: This is dependent on your budget. You can spend a few hundred dollars on a smart sprinkler (not including the sprinklers and watering devices themselves) or you can spend $100 on a simple, yet effective solution. 

 

Q: Is a sprinkler system worth it?

A: We believe so! The water savings are beneficial within themselves. 

 

Q: How much does watering my lawn cost?

A: This is dependent on the cost of water in your area. Keep in mind – a smart sprinkler can help to decrease your overall water consumption. 

 


Droughts are becoming more prevalent in recent years as weather patterns change, and saving water is important whether or not your area is currently experiencing a water shortage. Not only is it the right choice environmentally, but it will also save you money.

Smart sprinklers provide a win-win solution for your smart home gardens. If you’re interested in finding more products to improve your home’s outdoor space, check out our section on outdoor products.

How often do you water your plants? Do you think these smart sprinkler systems would help you manage your garden and save you money? We’d love to discuss ideas with you in the comments!

Ideaing empowers you to live smarter. Our team researches and recommends only the best smart gadgets, and we may earn a small commission if you buy through our site. Our writers maintain strict editorial independence and integrity. Ideaing is independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own. Learn more about us.

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