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If you’re considering installing a sprinkler system at your home, or already have a sprinkler system and want to upgrade to the best technology on the market, a wifi sprinkler system needs to be at the top of your list. Most smart sprinkler systems are easy to install and allow you to control your sprinklers all from your phone or tablet. Smart wifi sprinklers have the ability to monitor water levels in your soil and current weather conditions to know when it’s the right time to water, and will turn on or off your system as needed.
How Do WiFi Sprinklers Work?
Like many of your other smart home devices, wifi sprinklers have a control box that works with your sprinkler systems existing system. The control box links to your wifi and allows you to either control your system from an app or directly from the control box. From there, and depending on the system you get, you can set watering schedules or link your wifi sprinklers to your Alexa or other smart assistant and start watering your yard without getting off your couch.
What To Look For With Your WiFi Sprinklers
There are a lot of products on the market that range from $100 to well over $1000. Depending on whether you want a simple system that will keep your grass green, or something that monitors soil levels and rainfall levels, you should make sure any system you get is certified by WaterSense and SWAT. WaterSense is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that encourages water efficiency, and SWAT is an independent lab certification that might allow your system for conservation rebates. It’s not mandatory that your wifi sprinklers have these certifications, but most products we tested have these certifications.
Wifi Sprinkler Features
Each product we reviewed has it’s own unique feature set that makes it worth consideration for your home. The top of the line systems allow for control of multiple “zones” in your yard that can be uniquely controlled so that dryer areas of your yard or garden can get more attention that areas where water might collect. There are also system reports you can get that tell you how much water was used month-to-month or even on a daily basis. Other popular features that are popular amongst users are the soil level reports, fixed interval vs. automatic vs. custom set watering schedules, and integration with Nest, Alexa, and other smart home controllers.
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The Best Wifi Sprinklers For Your Money
The difference between our top two systems is very close, and despite the higher price tag, RainMachine wins our top honor thanks to it’s advanced customizable programming and the fact that the RainMachine uses multiple hyperlocal weather data sources to create the most accurate network for your lawn. Weather data is downloaded to your controller every six hours, and your system will automatically adjust if rain is on the horizon. It’s compatible with third party apps like Nest and WINK, is WaterSense certified, and has a beautiful touchscreen display should you wish to control your system from the controller instead of your app.
- Works through app, controller, Alexa, and other third party apps
- Hyperlocal weather data
- Expensive, but expansive list of features
- Tons of rebates available
- Easy to set up and begin using immediately
- Beautiful touch screen display on upgraded models
The Rachio Smart Sprinkler system is top-notch, and really is a 1b to the RainMachine. While we do love the app and all the functions and features of the Rachio, there have been a few reports of glitches that kept it from taking our top spot. But, the Rachio wifi sprinkler has a great customizable set of features that allow you to monitor and control up to 16 zones in your yard. The setup is easy, and this product is WaterSense and SWAT certified.
- Tons of features and readings for water conservation
- Integrates with all major third-party apps
- Automatic adjusts to weather forecasts and rainfall
- Minor glitches with app and wifi connectivity
- More expensive than some systems
Learn more about the Rachio system in this video:
If you are looking for a system that has many of the features you would want to see without breaking the bank, the Orbit B-Hyve is a great option for you. While it doesn’t have IFTTT or third-party integration, it does work with Amazon Alexa (compare Amazon Echo and Google Home) and has an intuitive app that allows you to control up to 12 zones. If you don’t want to spend on one of the two higher-ranked (and higher-priced) options, this is the system for your home. You can set up the control box indoors or outdoors, and it’s waterproof so you don’t have to worry about damage to the system during heavy rainfall.
- Weather-based watering cycles for up to 12 zones
- Heavy-duty control box can be set up indoor or outdoor
- Easy to set up and adjust sprinkler settings
- Automatic setting accounts for soil water levels and local weather
- Limited statistics
- App feels dated
Hunter HC-600i Hydrawise Sprinkler Controller Review
Many of the products we reviewed are great for smart homes because they linked to existing Alexa or Nest systems, the Hunter Hydrawise does not. What it lacks in smart technology, however, it makes up for in customization and the most amount of water “zones” of any product we tested. The Hydrawise is best suited for someone who doesn’t mind spending a little extra on their wifi sprinkler system and has a big yard with lots of areas requiring different amounts of water. The App does a good job allowing you to control from home, and the customer service is among the best we tested.
- Controls up to 36 zones
- Great customer service
- No WaterSense certification
Skydrop 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller Review
While there were some redeeming features the Skydrop 8-zone Smart Sprinkler Controller brought to the table, it wasn’t really a contender given it’s high price tag and the fact that there is a monthly fee if you want to use their app to control the sprinkler system. The Skydrop does have a very easy setup and has a solid customization feature set and smart technology, but the a la cart pricing structure was a big turnoff when it’s competition doesn’t require a month-to-month commitment.
- Monthly fee to use Skydrop app features
- Outdoor controller additional costs
- Expansive feature set
- Great smart technology stacks up against any system
- WaterSense certified