Gardening can be rewarding, but it’s also sometimes backbreaking work and a chore you have to attend to at least weekly. Anything that makes it easier is worth looking at – a sprinkler controller certainly is.
Sprinkler Controller Overview
Modern irrigation controllers are much easier to use than the mechanical timers you may be familiar with, and the best ones we selected here have smart functionality that will to do most of the thinking for you. They may be more expensive than previous models, but they also save a ton of water, meaning that one will pay for itself in a few years.
If you already have the pipes and sprinkler heads installed, the hard work is mostly done.
Now it’s time for fun.
Good: A wireless interface, a large number of zones, and a dynamically adjusted watering schedule are all good points.
Not so good: No display screen except through its app means you can’t adjust it while the wi-fi is down.
Bottom Line: It has all the features you’d expect at this price in a good-looking package that can be mounted indoors or outdoors. A versatile control system.
Good: A highly intuitive app that helps you determine the correct watering time is a major selling point.
Not so good: Depending on your location, its weather prediction function may go a little haywire.
Bottom Line: Considering the features and price of this smart sprinkler controller, this is a pretty good buy.
Good: Tough enough to leave outside for years, this is a good option for farms and nurseries.
Not so good: No cellphone app and a somewhat basic interface make it a little difficult to set up.
Bottom Line: If reliability is what you need and you’re not too concerned with bells and whistles, this one is worth checking out.
Good: Very easy to install and set up using a simple button-and-dial terminal.
Not so good: Lacks many of the advantages others have, including weather sensing and a remote interface.
Bottom Line: Depending on how familiar you are with technology, you’ll probably either love it or immediately look elsewhere.
Good: Wi-fi connectivity, a full-featured control panel, and good weather prediction abilities make this a good choice.
Not so good: Not cheap, while the app and the smart controller itself used to experience software problems.
Bottom Line: Considering what it can do and how easy it is to use, this is not a bad buy if you are willing to spend that much on an irrigation controller.
Good: An app, web interface, and a uniquely capable automated scheduling system makes this option stand out.
Not so good: People who aren’t used to smart sprinkler controllers might have trouble letting a computer take over their garden.
Bottom Line: A very impressive machine, but also not what everyone is looking for.
Good: Plug-in expansion slots mean that this otherwise basic controller can potentially handle up to 22 zones, as well as wi-fi.
Not so good: If you load up on expansion modules, you might end up paying more than buying a comparable system in one piece.
Bottom Line: In some situations, it might be convenient to program the irrigation for such a large area on a single controller, but this is fairly rare.