We all love a lush, green lawn to show off and level-up our curbside appeal. But, it takes some hard work to maintain. Those yards need the right amount of sunlight, water, and vitamins and minerals too. To ensure all these elements, we may have to reroute our routine to rely on more than just Mother Nature. Instead, we have to buy seeds, weed-killers, pest controls, and, we have to get in tune with the right kinds of irrigation systems too such as pop-up sprinklers or tripods.
Within those watering tools, you may want to enhance that process as well by investing in a sprinkler controller. This makes the task so much easier and conveient, less likely to be forgotten, and much more regulated to nix the possibility of over or under watering throughout the seasons. What’s so wonderful about these sprinkler controllers is that there are some that coincide perfectly with the best, most expense sprinkler systems and there are others that work with the most simple of designs (ya know, the ones that hook right up to your garden hose). Let’s take a look at some of the best sprinkler controllers that you can buy on Amazon, right now.
What Is A Sprinkler Controller?
If you’re scratching your head, trying to figure out what a sprinkle controller is, have no fear. We’re going to break it down for. But before we do, just know that a sprinkler controller makes your life so much easier. You don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to turn on your sprinklers and wait to turn them back off. Instead, these systems will take care of it for you with just a few touches of a button. Some look like a thermostat and are just as simple to use and control your sprinklers outside (from indoors!).
There are plenty of different types out there with plenty of different features which s why we’ve decided to give you the lay of the land, so to speak.
What Are They For?
Sprinkler (or irrigation) controllers allow users to automate their entire watering experience. Not only can you time out your needs throughout every day – and night – but you are also more likely to save water and never have to deal with puddling or overwatering worries.
How Do They Work?
As we mentioned previously, they are quite easy to use. Some are even self-explanatory and will walk you through the process of setting up your personalized schedule without any fuss at all. Although there are some systems that are quite complicated, we’ve chosen the best of the best in terms of quality and ease to showcase to you today.
Whatever systems controller you decide to purchase, give yourself time to look over the manual and get acquainted with the technology. Doing your homework is key!
Features To Look For:
We are in love with that fact that you can control your sprinkler system by connecting to your Wifi and grabbing your smartphone. You can continuously check the status of your lawn and control from any remote location (even when you’re away from home!) as long as you have the app that coincides with your controller and system.
Smart Home Compatibility:
When Wifi is available, there’s a good chance that your controller may also be Smart Home compatible making it even more stress-free for those that are already familiar and using the Smart Home system.
One feature that would be a must-have in my book is the ability for your controller to track the weather. This often includes a sensor that will know when it’s rained or when there is rain on the horizon. Overwatering and puddling wouldn’t be a possible issue anymore!
This is just comes down to preference. Your controllers will either work by battery (such as the hose timer) or electricity. Go with whatever you find less stressful or coinciding with your particular needs best.
When the batteries go out or the electric flickers – permanent memory will save you from having to redo your entire set-up process over again. Basically, it helps to stop future headaches in their tracks.
You’ll want to make sure that your controller includes the options of multiple programs if you have multiples features included in your lawn. These programs ensure you can use different watering frequencies and take care of a variety of plants, gardens, and lawns. It also helps to utilize any sensors that may be included such as rain, freeze, and soil moisture.
Types of Sprinkler Controllers:
Smart controllers can connect to Wifi and make the set-up process incredibly easy. You can access and change adjustments from the controller itself, or because it can be hooked up to your home’s Wifi, you can access the set-up from your smartphone as well. What’s even more amazing are smart controllers is that they will track the weather and use sensors to adjust your irrigation depending on the rain that your area receives and other necessities.
Standard sprinklers are older designs that include an electric control box. It won’t look like the smart devices that we’re so used to now. Instead, it’ll include a small, hinged door, and a lot of times when opened, a colorful chart, LCD display with buttons and switches. There is a more manual selection process within this version than its more 21st-century predecessor. With a standard controller, you’ll choose which lawn (front or back), days of week, start and stop times, etc.
And lastly, there is the traditional hose timer, which reminds us of a Christmas light timer we typical use outside throughout the holidays. All you do is attach the piece to your spigot (similar to how a light timer comes attaches to a surge protector) and program your personalized schedule. These are battery-operated so make sure you keep them up-to-date as well.
7 of the Best Sprinkler Controllers On Amazon
The Rachio 3rd Generation Sprinkler Controller advertises itself as a tool that will help you save water, which saves you money (up to 30-50% savings monthly!). This controller has all the intelligence you want and makes your job so much easier. It has an app that you will download directly to your smartphone, control with a swipe or two, and within seconds create a watering schedule, run your sprinklers, and make sure your outdoor water usage is to your liking.
Most importantly, this controller includes exclusive weather intelligence. It will skip those unnecessary watering times when Mother Nature wants to rain herself, crank up the rain, having a little freeze, and any other inclement moments. The device will even help you create your own schedule if you have no idea where to start or experience in the area – dependent on your lawn, soil, sun exposure, plants/flowers, and other specification you may want to include.View price on Amazon
- Weather Intelligence Included
- 30-50% Monthly Savings On Water
- Smart Watering Based On Local Levels
- Average 30-minute set-up installation
Here is another Smart choice and it’s in the form of the B-Hyve 12-Zone Indoor Sprinkler Controller. It can connect directly to your home Wifi and is fully functional for both Android and Apple devices making it extremely convenient to control and versatile. Sprinkler controllers in general will provide the ability to save money on your monthly water bill and this design is no exception. And with this model, there’s also the possibility of local rebate offers to save even more on the purchase itself.
The coolest feature in our opinion is that the B-Hyve works directly with Amazon Alexa providing customers the ability to use voice control! Its technology also includes weather sensing so your controller will be delivering the right amount of water to your plants based on current conditions. Also, the main piece comes inside a weather-resistant and locking case that will keep the main board completely safe.View price on Amazon
- Monthly Savings On Water
- Amazon Alexa Compatible
- Weather Sensing Technology Included
- Longer Customer Service Wait Times
The Rain Bird 8 Station Indoor Sprinkler Controller makes everything easy, breezy, and from indoors on your smartphone. This is a Wifi connected device that’s compatible with Amazon Alex (voice control available!) and works with both Android and Apple models – control your timers and schedules from your laptop, your phone, or the control panel itself making it an incredibly convenient model.
We love the smart timers because of their ease and helpfulness – especially for those of us without as much knowledge as the local landscaper. The Rain Door Station will schedule your watering automatically based on what’s happening outside. This includes knowing the season, weather sensing, the temperature, the humidity, and the oncoming or outgoing rain levels. It will also send you notification – whether you’re at work or on vacation – based on what’s happening with your lawn.View price on Amazon
- Amazon Alexa Compatible
- Automatic Schedule Adjusting (based on weather)
- Notification Alerts
- Wifi Glitches Possible
If you’re looking for a simplified controller, you may want to check out the Hunter Sprinkler Station Indoor Controller. It’s a standard device that is also compatible with Hunter’s ROAM Remote Control. It features control for up to 8 stations with 3 programs and 4 start times available. Most importantly, it includes easy-to-retrieve memory in case the power every goes out.
Even though it doesn’t include smart technology, this is a wonderful device for those with smaller lawn and lighter upkeep. It’s also more manually in terms of keeping up with the seasons and adjustments throughout the weeks. It takes the pressure off but keeps you in complete control.View price on Amazon
- Simplified Programming
- Long-Lasting / Durable
- Easy Replacement
- Remote Access Unavailable
And for those that want something even more simplified, we have the DIG Battery-Operated 2-Dial Hose Watering Timer. It will easily cater to your automatic watering needs with its battery-operated, easy-installation design. You don’t have to mess with wires with this one, instead, you just have to install the timer onto your home hose.
There are 4 different start times available when creating your scheduling with a variety of watering durations ranging from 2 minutes to 4 minutes. There’s also a possibility of 8 different watering intervals to choose from ranging from every 6 hours to just once per week. It’s construction is also highly durable and UV resistant.View price on Amazon
- Easy Set-Up
- Durable & UV-Resistant
- Smart Technology Unavailable
The Orbit 6-Station Outdoor Swing Panel Sprinkler Controller is another standard controller that’s easy on the wallet and easy to use. It can be used and mounted either indoors or outdoors, whichever space you prefer (sometimes on a closed patio is best). By customer reviews, it’s incredibly user-friendly and includes a simple, quick set-up.
When creating your schedules, the device includes 3 programs and you can schedule up to 6 different zones of your yard depending on your personalized needs. Mostly though, like the other timers, its use helps you save both water and money off your monthly bill.View price on Amazon
- Simplified Programming
- Long-Lasting & Dependable
- Limited Programs
Finally, we wend with another smart system. The Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller is sleek and fully automatic with easy watering adjustment schedules and EPA WaterSense certified. It also connected to home Wifi easily while staying compatible with Apple and Android devices.
This controller will alert you and automatically comply with watering rules in your local area while saving your up to 50% of your normal outdoor water use. The best part is the easy installation though. You won’t take more than 15 minutes to install or replace.View price on Amazon
- Save Up To 50% of Normal Water Use
- Wifi Connectivity
- Automatic Sensing
- Indoor Use Only
And those are our top picks! There’s a variety of types and price points to hopefully fit your own needs and wants in the right ways. Again, make sure you do your research before purchasing. We also suggest that you make your sprinkler purchases before deciding on the right controller, because those options are likely to go hand-in-hand and is very much dependent on your what you need for your lawn. Adding these controllers to your lawn regimen has the ability to ensure a beautiful grass without all the headache that can be included in the process.