Smart Sprinkler – What is the best products?

Standards that smart sprinkler should have

Smart sprinklers

1. Auto adjust watering schedules by updating the weather (forecast and actual) and no rain or soil moisture sensor require

2. Watering schedules can be customizable based on vegetation and landscape type.

3. Be able to use a smartphone, computer, or tablet to control and monitore and also have on-device controls for servicing.

4. When Internet connection temporarily goes down, the Sprinkler should still be able to function.

5. Support watering at least eight irrigation zones (preferably 12 or more).

6. Support integration with other smart-home products and systems like google assistant or amazon alexa.

7. Optional: Waterproof case.

The best smart-sprinkler products

1. Rachio (Generation 2) Smart Sprinkler Controller

Rachio (Generation 2) Smart Sprinkler  is the best choice for most people with an in-ground sprinkler system. here are some feature:

  • Available in 8- and 16-zone models (with more zones you can add a second device to control)
  • Get the real-time weather conditions and forecasts information to create a  intelligent watering schedules (also offers the customizable setting)
  • Controlled from anywhere in the world through the intuitive app with the simplest and best user experience (Internet connectivity required)
  • Work with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, yo can control by your voice instead of your phone.
  • Offers simple plug-and-play functionality and the option to fine-tune irrigation system with advanced settings.

Disadvantages

  • The onboard touchscreen is less functions, you may have to be tied to an app or an Internet connection.
  • If the Internet is down, you won’t be able to adjust any schedules on the device or through the app and automatic weather adjustments won’t work either. (But the Rachio  will continue to run on its preprogrammed schedules)

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2. RainMachine Touch (8-12 – 16 zones available)

It’s like like Rachio above. But if you don’t want to be tied to an app or an Internet connection, the RainMachine Touch is a good choice. The RainMachine Touch is not only be controlled by a smartphone app or Web interface, it also has an onboard touchscreen that lets you control every functions.

Advantages:

  • The RainMachine connects to the internet only to get weather data. You can still control it with your phone, tablet or computer over local network.
  • Full-controlling from the onboard touchscreen in case the Wi-Fi is down.

Disadvantages:

  • The app is less intuitive (compared with Rachio).
  • Requires more information of your landscape and irrigation system for optimal setup.

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 3.  The Orbit B-hyve Smart WiFi Sprinkler Controller

According to the manufacturer “The Orbit B-hyve is made in the USA with global materials. It is the perfect sprinkler timer for new installations or for replacement, and available in both 6 and 12 zones. Controlling by smartphone, tablet, computer or by control-pannel at the timer with the intuitive interface.  With WaterSense and SWAT labeling provide, The Orbit B-hyve save your water by using advanced weather data to adjust the right amount of water to plants and turf, and postpones watering whenever rain is in the forecast”

Advantages:

  •  A drag-and-drop interface makes the app intuitive, speedy, and attractive.
  • It comes in a waterproof, lockable case, so there is no extra expense if you want to put it outdoors.
  • Offers direct Alexa integration.

Disadvantages:

  • Not good looking, like a clock—big, heavy, and bulky—and comes with the traditional A, B, C programs that irrigation experts are familiar with.
  • Many user reviews reported that the app is very buggy: Some time it’s crashed, cancelled out the smart watering schedule entirely for no clear reason, somehow enabled restrictions (although our program was set to run, it didn’t).

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4. The BlueSpray Irrigation Controller

Feature (According to Manufacturer)

–  User friendly, intuitive Graphical User Interface with Google Map.
–  Automatic seasonal adjustment.
–  NOAA weather forecast.
–  Automatic delay after rain (rain sensor required).
–  Supports rain sensor, flow sensor, door sensor.
–  Can be scheduled to automatically close garage door.
–  Run time can be minutes or seconds.
–  Supports multiple Master valves.
–  Master valve can be configured per program or zone.
–  Can turn on multiple valves simultaneously.
–  Delay between zones.
–  Calendar view to show weekly schedules.
–  Detailed system logs. History report with water usage.
–  Easy one click firmware update.

From user experience

It is the most fine-tuned control you can get for your yard. The BlueSpray Irrigation Controller have the expansion port which can extends up to 64 zones (it’s ideal if you live in a mansion or run a farm or or own a golf courses).

It’s not easy to program and doesn’t adjust its schedule based on the weather but the controller will let you run multiple schedules, multiple zones, and even multiple master valves simultaneously (most homes don’t need that)

Doesn’t havean app or any on-device controls, it’s only have Web UI  (but looks complex and pretty dated). It also doesn’t have smart-home integrations, but it does have an API and an optional Ethernet connection.

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