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With spring finally here, now is the perfect time to start that garden you’ve always dreamed of, or upgrade your current one with a smart sprinkler system. The best smart sprinklers are easy to use, but knowing which brand to go with can get tricky. Here’s everything you need to know.
Buying Guide: How to Pick the Best Smart Sprinkler
Irrigation and agriculture science can get pretty complex once your plants start growing. That’s where the best smart sprinkler systems and devices come in and can help make things a whole lot simpler. They’re fully programmable to water your garden on a precise schedule, but that’s only a basic feature of what they can do. With a smart sprinkler and irrigation controller, you’ll be able to let it automatically figure out the best amount of water for your yard. Here’s what else you should know before adding it to your indoor or outdoor setup:
Watering: One of the best features that these can offer is determining how much water a green space is going to need. They’re able to do this based on the type of soil, which species of plants you’ve got growing, how much sun they’re getting, and what the weather forecast is looking like. That’s a huge benefit and one of the most innovative and helpful attributes. Taking future weather into consideration like humidity and sun is an outright awesome perk, and one that older sprinkler systems often lack.
Zones: Not all plants have the same needs for watering, and dividing your garden or yard into zones lets you give each grouping exact amounts that are needed. These can vary significantly, and will depend on the size of the area, along with how many different plantings you have, along with whether you’re gardening indoors or outdoors.
Control: For smaller setups, like an indoor garden, a screen right on the device might be easiest to control from. But for a mid-sized to large outdoor yard, an app from your phone or tablet is the better option. Not only does it give you more settings to play with, but you’ll be able to control it from anywhere you want.
1. Orbit B-hyve XR Smart 8-Zone
This company is one of the most well-known manufacturers of smart sprinkler systems. The brand’s XR helps take the stress and guesswork out of worrying about watering too much or too little. Its 16 zones should be plenty for the average setup, both indoor and outdoor, and it’s fully waterproof and weatherproof. There are basic controls on the unit itself, connecting up to WiFi is easy, and there’s even a 900MHz radio to communicate with other accessories.
2. Rain Bird Smart Sprinkler
Rain Bird’s newest model, updated with WiFi connectivity, is EPA-certified to cut down on water usage by at least 20 percent. The daily watering schedule is calculated based on things like time of year, temperature, and the humidity forecast of the day, and lets you control it both from the apps as well as right on the unit itself. This is also compatible with Alexa, and lets you divide your garden into eight zones.
3. Rachio Smart Sprinkler
Rachio’s 16-zone system is ideal for delivering exact amounts of water to plants that need it most, with efficiency that’ll save money on your water bill in the long run. The system pulls data from weather stations worldwide, and is designed to skip waterings when rain is on the way, along with holding off when freezing temperatures and nasty conditions are in the forecast.
4. Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller
The Netro not only looks to the future with weather predictions, but also at past conditions, saving you as much as 50 percent on your water usage. It also automatically complies to the local water use rules and regulations for your area, and gives you access to its cloud server for life.