You can, however, find compatible enclosures, and Orbit offers a model that comes with one (see the Competition). It works with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and SmartThings, and its app is much easier to navigate than when we first tested it. We tried to enable this recipe with each device that was compatible with IFTTT, but it worked reliably only with the Rachio 3. Integration with smart-home systems, to extend value. The first professional grade Rain Bird sprinkler system designed for homeowner installation, it provides everything you need to keep your lawn green season after season while saving water. General Design Requirements for Sprinkler System. Although our top pick works with third-party wired soil-moisture sensors, some of the models we tested offer compatible wireless soil-moisture sensors. You can even set different schedules for each of your system’s zones. Also, it’s relatively inexpensive. And to help you understand what data the companies you’re bringing into your yard are harvesting, we’ve asked them to complete a privacy and security questionnaire. But if you need to install it outside, the company recommends the Orbit 57095 Sprinkler System Weather Resistant Outdoor Mounted Control Timer Box Cover. An irrigation controller is not something you should upgrade every year, and even though the additional functionality of, say, HomeKit isn’t essential to the device’s operation, it’s still frustrating for users who don’t want to upgrade. During our testing, the RainMachine would regularly drop offline, which is something that rarely happened to the Rachio 3, despite their being connected to the same network. One important thing to know: Many sprinkler controllers aren’t actually waterproof, so they need to be installed either indoors or in a protected space, or you need to buy a compatible weatherproof enclosure. They use an internet connection to get weather data and for remote control, so you need to have a good Wi-Fi signal where your device is installed. (If your Wi-Fi goes down, they will continue to operate based on a preprogrammed schedule.) Integrations to linked services such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, are owner-approved. The WaterSense-certified controller, which works with Amazon Alexa, now has a shared access option, offline alerts, and the ability to choose your weather station (even rating stations based on the type of information they provide). We’ve added details on the new Wyze Sprinkler Controller to What to look forward to. See it. The app sends timely and consistent notifications to your smartphone and email, the most useful being a warning that the sprinklers are about to turn on, sent a few seconds before they do; this saved us from unexpectedly soaking some party guests. Rain Bird ST8I-WIFI Smart Irrigation Controller (eight zones) is large and bulky, and comes with a weatherproof enclosure. Based on this, we evaluated how each controller responded to changes in weather during testing and whether it allowed us to select a weather station versus a data source chosen by the controller. And it is the only model we tested that has an Ethernet port, so you can run a cable to it, in case you don’t have good Wi-Fi service where your controller is located. A Yard Map feature lets you draw virtual boundaries for each zone in your yard and specify how many sprinkler heads are in it and where, which Rachio says will improve water-usage reporting. We will update this guide in Spring 2021 when we’ve tested these new models. About Reliable Sprinkler Reliable Manufacturing Headquarters, Liberty, SC. Most smart controllers connect to smart-home systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and a few also work with Apple HomeKit, and Wink and SmartThings hubs. The Rachio 3 (available in versions for eight or 16 zones) provides straightforward plug-and-play functionality for a beginner, but it can be fine-tuned with advanced settings to satisfy a master gardener too. You can also share access with a landscape tech, using a temporary access PIN, and choose from a variety of weather services, including private weather stations. These integrations let you use your voice assistant of choice to start or stop watering or to start or stop a specific zone (so you can turn the sprinklers on whenever the neighbor’s dog wanders over to wee in your garden). Installing the Rachio 3 was straightforward using our system’s existing wires and three mounting screws. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has a Water My Yard program in a number of cities in the state, and it sends out weekly emails and text messages that tell people how many minutes to run their irrigation systems. Beyond setup, however, the app becomes a bit too simple and unintuitive. The Pro doesn’t have a camera, and it can be installed only indoors. These devices connect to the internet and use real-time weather data to adjust the frequency of watering so you don’t … Rachio data is stored in a virtual private cloud using. And even though you can override these times, that defeats the purpose of a smart schedule. RainMachine API can be accessed by third parties if the owner/user of RainMachine gives permission (for example IFTTT, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit). The Rachio 3 used less water than we would have with our old system (which was set to run every other day, for a total of 180 minutes a week, regardless of weather). With its range of straightforward scheduling options using hyperlocal, internet-delivered weather information, this model can figure out on its own when, where, and for how long to water your garden. Their study is still ongoing, and they don’t single out a specific controller yet, although their testing does indicate that some are better for certain landscapes than others. The Netro Sprite (six or 12 zones) is well built and easy to install, and it configures a watering schedule for you. Rely on our team to make sure your system … Consider upgrading your sprinkler system with a smart controller. The Google Nest Protect is easy to silence and has other handy features. This provided a nice, cooling shower to the chickens in our coop. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor 6-Station WiFi Sprinkler System Controller, Rachio 3 Smart Bundle: Includes Rachio 3rd Generation-8 Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller (Alexa Compatible w/ Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence Plus & Rain Skip) & Rachio Weatherproof Outdoor Enclosure, Rachio WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller, 16-Zone 2nd Generation, Alexa and Apple HomeKit Compatible with Rain, Freeze and Wind Skip, Rain Bird SST400IN Simple-to-Set Indoor Sprinkler/Irrigation System Timer/Controller, 4-Zone/Station (This New/Improved Model Replaces SST400I) - 1, Orbit B-hyve 4-Zone Smart Indoor Sprinkler Controller, Rain Bird Irrigation ESP-TM2 & ESP-Me Series Controller LNK WiFi Plug in Module, Rain-Bird Lnk Link WiFi Module Mobile Wireless Irrigation Controller Upgrade for Indoor Outdoor ESP-TM2 and ESP-Me Series Controller Sprinkler Systems, Orbit 57894 4-Station Outdoor Swing Panel Sprinkler System Timer, Orbit 57985 B-hyve XR 8-Zone Smart Sprinkler Controller, Charcoal Gray, Inkbird Digital Temperature Probe Controller Thermostat Timer AC 110V 1200W Only Heating Plug Time Switch Reptile Breeding Heater Planting Greenhouse No Cooling Control, Orbit Battery Operated Sprinkler Timer with Valve (57860), Rain Bird RSD Sprinkler System Rain Sensor, Irritrol RD600-EXT-R Rain Dial 6 Station Outdoor Irrigation Controller, Aeon Matrix Yardian Indoor/Outdoor Smart Sprinkler Controller 8 Zone with HD Security Camera, Compatible with Alexa, EPA WaterSense Certified…, RainMachine Pro-8, Cloud Independent, Touch, 8 Zones Wi-Fi/Ethernet Irrigation Controller, Compatible with Alexa, Orbit 53210 Sprinkler System 7-Inch Circular Valve Box, HUNTER Sprinkler NODE100 Node Single Station Controller with DC Latching Solenoid, Irritrol Rain Dial RD600-INT-R 6 Station Indoor Irrigation Controller, Rainbird Wireless Rain and Freeze Sensor System with 1 Controller Interface and 1 Sensor, Hunter Industries RTL0502PGV101G Hunter 1" PGV Irrigation Valve, Black,small, HUNTER Sprinkler PGV101G PGV Series 1-Inch Globe Valve with Flow Control, Rainbird ESP4ME 120V Modular Outdoor Controller, Rain-Bird ESP-TM2 Indoor Outdoor Irrigation WiFi Zone Controller Timer Box and Link Lnk WiFi Mobile Wireless Smartphone Upgrade Module Sprinkler System (4 Zone), RainMachine Touch HD-12, Cloud Independent Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller, Compatible with Alexa, 12 Zones, Yardeen Micro Automatic Drip Irrigation Kit Self Watering System Sprinkler Controller for Indoor Potted Plants Color Green, Hunter PRO-HC PHC-1200 Residential Outdoor Professional Grade Wi-Fi Controller with Hydrawise Web-Based Software - 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The RainMachine is not weatherproof. And you can’t choose a weather station. So it was frustrating not being able to use it consistently. After testing six new models (and seeing one former pick get discontinued), we still think the Google Nest Cam Outdoor is the best outdoor security camera. Sprinkler valves control the flow of water to the sprinkler heads on an irrigation system. Currently, sprinkler controllers can’t be added to HomeKit Automations or Scenes. ), Guy Fipps and Charles Swanson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, phone interview, March 14, 2019, Irrigation Controllers, US Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense, US Environmental Protection Agency, WaterSense Labeled Irrigation Controllers (PDF), US Environmental Protection Agency, August 1, 2017, WaterSense Labeled Weather-Based Irrigation Controllers (PDF), US Environmental Protection Agency, July 1, 2012, Guy Fipps and Charles Swanson, Evaluating the Operation of Residential WIFI Based Irrigation Controllers (PDF), December 2018, John R. Delaney, Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller, PCMag, May 15, 2018, Christopher Null, Rachio 3e Smart Sprinkler Controller review, TechHive, May 26, 2020. But we have not tested this since it’s a paid upgrade and not essential to the operation of the device.). Your prescription for an effortless yard. 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