While good, irrigation also has some serious potential downsides.
Chief among these are the possibilities of flowing your garden, destroying your crops and imposing water damage to your structures.
It is for this reason that you have to utilize an automatic irrigation controller.
Our reviews below endeavor to discuss 15 of the best gadgets which can help you out.
15 Top Automatic Irrigation Controllers
#1: Rachio 8ZULW-C Sprinkler Controller
This is by far the most connected controller on the market. It is compatible with numerous other gadgets and is hence more likely to yield you more convenient operations. With it, you will also enjoy unconstrained operations in the long run.
Smart Sprinkler Controller
Perhaps no other controller is as smart and reliable in regulating the flow of water as this one. That is because it comes equipped with a smart sprinkler. This comprises some expressive light bar, dual-band Wi-Fi, and allows for foolproof installation.
Hyperlocal Weather Intelligence™ Plus
The controller is also sensitive to the variations in weather patterns. This stems from its possession of the hyperlocal Weather Intelligence™ Plus feature. The feature detects any impending variations and makes the necessary preparations.
All factors, this controller achieves seamless operability. It creates some great watering schedules to minimize the wastage of water. In the course of so doing, it also reduces your utility bills to an absolute minimum.
- Simpler to operate and press
- Connects with diverse kinds of wire gauges
- Locks appropriately courtesy of the magnetic cover
- Attaches to numerous accessories and control valves
- Operable remotely via a built-in mobile app
- Too complicated to a simpler user
- May not be easily understood by a simple user
- Costs a premium to acquire
#2: Orbit 57946 WiFi Sprinkler System Controller
For your convenience, you do not have to be individually physically present while operating a controller. To be guaranteed the convenience you require, you have to lay your hand on a remotely-controllable gadget of this kind. It is designed to allow you to operate it from anywhere.
Weather Sense Technology
Coming in at the first position of its most admirable features is Weather Sense Technology. What role does this play? You guessed it! It simply predicts any impending variations in weather patterns. Thereafter, it adjusts the controls appropriately to tackle those variations.
Certified to Save Water
As part of its design and construction, the gadget is certified to save you water. This stems from the SWAT testing protocols which are exerted on it. By reason of this arrangement, the gadget saves you sufficient amounts of energy and water.
Automatic Rain Delays
Lastly, it also detects whether the rains shall delay and in so doing, determine just how much water would be sufficient for your field or garden. This way, the gadget saves on the consumption of water and the attendant utility bills.
- Manages some professional scheduling outcomes
- Allows you to monitor and control your irrigation via the smartphones
- Wholly automatic to minimize the wastage of time and effort
- Usable both indoors and outdoors
- Exudes some convenient wiring for easy installation
- Detaches you from your farm or garden
- Impedes individual monitoring of the progress of your herbs or crops
- Costly to maintain in the long run
#3: Rain Bird SST400IN Irrigation Timer
Do you lack the necessary programming skills? Worry not! Indeed, you do not really have to be an expert programmer to use an automatic irrigation controller. You simply need to use a simple gadget of this kind to have your way and achieve some progress.
Chances are that your yard is too large. If this is the case, you sometimes have to customize the settings to meet and handle specific portions of your yard at a time. This controller has a zone-by-zone setting mechanism to handle that.
One-touch Seasonal Adjust
Rather than having to shuffle back and forth numerous buttons, you only have to press one button, and that is it! The one-touch seasonal adjust of this controller lets you accomplish that very feat. With it, you get to achieve the desired ends with limited input.
Its rain delay feature detects any impending rainfall. It if determines that the rain is about to fall, it suspends the watering process completely. This it does up to a whopping 3 days in advance. You hence stand to accrue some minimal disturbances and attention.
- Great for indoor use and applications
- Features some superior long-lasting durability
- Has a built-in surge protection
- Appropriately shielded from grime, insects, and moisture
- Contains the latest parts and components
- Limited applicability (wholly for indoor use)
- Slightly complicated to an average user
- May bring about some confusion during operations
#4: Raindrip 312050B Barbed Connectors
Apart from being cheaper to acquire, this controller is also simpler to engage. It is hence a great option if you happen to be a starter in matters of automatic irrigation controls. What’s more? It is still able to yield more or less similar outcomes as complicated counterparts.
With this controller, it is possible for you to pair it with some two sections of ¼-inch tubing. This connection allows you to channel the water to various locations or target areas. Examples of these are the supply lines and the garden.
Setting this controller apart from the others is the fact that it comes in an exclusive double-barbed design. Courtesy of this design, it is possible for you to devote the controller to tasks that require higher pressure levels. As a matter of fact, it can manage 50 pounds per square inch of pressure.
Finally, the controller weighs an impressive 0.9 pounds. This is sufficiently large to minimize any undue damages which might compromise its reliability and structural functionality. Also, it ensures longevity and guarantees greater outcomes on the whole.
- Usable in a wide range of applications
- Directs water reliably to numerous locations
- Connects and attaches to several appliances and tools
- Performs numerous operational cycles
- The compact size means fewer strains while in operations
- Cannot handle complex tasks
- Lacks many vital features
- Becomes obsolete much sooner
#5: RainMachine Touch HD-12 Irrigation Controller
Do you operate an ordinarily squeezed schedule? Well, we have a surprise for you’re here. This controller is built with your convenience in mind. For this reason, it is that device you want to prioritize while seeking the right machine to use.
As stated above, this controller is built for convenience. The main reason underlying this is its ability to handle real-time monitoring of the ongoing tasks. This, in turn, is made possible by its possession of the iOS and Android apps. They keep you abreast with the ongoings.
It is also equipped with a clearly legible dashboard. Displayed on this dashboard are all that you may have to know concerning the weather and your garden. Being legible, it eliminates any ambiguities which you might often have to confront when taking readings and measurements.
To feed the system with the various pieces of instructions, you will make use of some local interface. The buttons and controls are simpler to comprehend and are also placed strategically. They allow for ultimate control experiences imaginable.
- Saves your water courtesy of the smart schedule feature
- Allows you to connect and operate from anywhere
- Grants you access to free weather data
- Controllable from any other place or vantage point
- Integrates with many ‘Internet-of-things’ service providers
- Does not back your data in a cloud
- Requires numerous other service providers to operate
- Costly to set up and deploy for use
#6: Irritrol RD600-EXT-R Outdoor Irrigation Controller
Do you have a wide variety of plant materials on your landscape site? If you do, you will note that availing the requisite amount of water may often be tricky. That is because plants require different amounts of water to grow. This controller is a device you badly need.
First and foremost, this gadget is remotely controllable. This is to mean that you may engage and feed it instructions via a remote control unit. It is further compatible with the contractor residential remote for extended range and added applicability.
Further to being remotely controllable, the appliance also senses rain pretty easily. That is because it does have a rain sensor which handles that job of sensing rain. Upon doing so, it delays and suspends the watering of your garden until such a time that the rain shall have subsided.
As stated earlier, this controller can detect the different kinds of plants and regulate the flow and amount of water. This it does via the independent programming feature. Your plants are hence assured some great growth prospects at all times of their growing season.
- Great for outdoor use and applicability
- Handles numerous stations for expedited service delivery
- Powerful enough to yield awesome outcomes
- Very stable and less likely to fidget
- May even regulate the flow of water from a well
- Handles the limited amount of water
- Yields limited returns in the long run
- Higher power consumption rating
#7: Galcon 7001D Battery Operated Controller
Just like vegetation, landscapes also vary greatly. These variations impact the drainage of the soil and by extension the amount of water needed to guarantee healthy plant growth. To get the best of outcomes, the controller you use has to be able to tackle all kinds of terrains. This is one such.
With this gadget on your hand, you will not have to invest too much of your time and effort to bring about the desired ends. That is because it is designed to allow for automated operations. These operations can handle and regulate both the sprinkler and drip systems.
Low Power Consumption
Given that it derives its power from only one 9V alkaline battery, this controller has a low power consumption. Your use of this gadget does not in any way increase your utility bills significantly. In the course of so doing, it keeps your operational expenses low.
An inline valve also forms part of this controller. With this valve regulates the flow of water and keeps it from bursting. In the course of so doing, it keeps you safe and also ensures that your field is not excessively watered.
- Relatively simpler to install and make use of
- Has some 6 large buttons which are easily operable
- Reverts to manual operations when there is no power
- Operable in the weekly or cyclic durations
- Resistant to both weather and ultraviolet radiation
- Quite bulky to carry around with ease
- May not work well under intense pressure
- Calls for frequent repairs and maintenance
#8: Hunter Sprinkler XC800 X-Core Outdoor Controller Timer
Have you been searching for some entry-level yet hardworking residential controller? This is the one you have been looking for! As you are about to note, this controller is simpler in scope yet tough enough for intense applications. You hence have it for your consideration if you are that kind of a person.
Hunter Quick Check
In the unlikely event that the controller malfunctions, you will not really have to bring in a qualified technician to sort it out. That is because it comes equipped with a hunter quick check feature. With this feature, it is possible for you to effectively troubleshoot field wiring issues.
Automatic Short Circuit Protection
It is not uncommon for an electronic gadget of this kind to short circuit. You need not worry really. That is because the controller is designed to handle such an eventuality well. It has an automatic short circuit protection feature which shields it against power surges.
Advanced Water Conservation Technology
What’s more? The controller has an advanced water conservation technology whose role is to regulate the amount of water discharge. This way, it guards against unnecessary water loss and guarantees effective utilization of scarce water resources.
- Remote controllable for your easy use
- Compatible with many accessories and co-operant devices
- Has an easy retrieve memory for expedited future applications
- Equipped with numerous controls for precise outcomes
- Detects and incorporates local weather patterns while operating
- Unsuitable for professional applications
- Requires too much attention to engage
- May not impact some circumstances of use
#9: Blossom 7 Smart Watering Controller
Do you have a large garden with different plants and vegetation in it? Well, this controller is yours for the taking. It is able to dissect a field and target different portions of the said fields individually. This stems from its possession of some great technology.
Unlike those controllers which are similarly designed for zoning, this one does not require your input to schedule at all. Instead, it does so on its own and with regards to the prevailing environmental conditions. Your use of the gadget hence yields great outcomes but with negligible inconveniences.
Courtesy of this Xona technology, this controller customizes the water requirement for each zone in your yard. In so doing, it eliminates the likelihood of damaging your plants. This means healthier trees and more robust growths of your plants altogether.
This Blossom brand garners current local weather and accurate forecasts. It draws them from numerous weather services. It thereafter uses this data to bring about an optimized watering plan for your garden and yard. This leads to reduced wastage of water and better outcomes.
- Provides extended and standard power throughout use
- Exceptionally reliable under all circumstances
- Equipped with numerous program options for precise operations
- Easily deployable in the remotest of locations
- Simper to install by reason of requiring no tools
- Not for repeated and prolonged use
- Gets damaged and obsolete much faster
- Incapable of varying the water discharge rates
#10: Nxeco NX8 Smart Irrigation Controller
Are you a career landscaper? Well, this irrigation controller will do you some good. That is because it is universal in that it can handle residential, commercial, professional, and home applications. Your use and incorporation of this gadget will hence guarantee smooth operations and reduce costs.
With this gadget, it is possible for you to zone your yard and target different areas uniquely. It allows for dissecting your yard to 8 main zones. This arrangement lets you impact different areas as per the unique requirements of the specific portions of your yard.
Signature Nxeco Knob
To control the device, you will have to make use of the signature Nxeco knob. This knob allows you to control the device from your smartphone or computer. This degree of freedom is great as it negates the need to stay at a close range of the machine.
EPA Water Sense
Lastly, the gadget is equipped with an EPA Water Sense. Given that many jurisdictions are promoting environmental consciousness, you might be entitled to some rebates in your area. Your use of the gadget also goes a long way in conserving your planet.
- Adjusts the weather automatically and independent of your controls
- Exudes some live updates from many other weather sites
- Installable in five simple steps
- Plug-and-play and requires no further assembly
- Usable across normal cellphone networks
- Costly to afford and operate
- Demands regular inspections and repairs
- Requires some expertise and experience to handle
#11: ESP4ME – Outdoor 120V Irrigation Controller
Large scale commercial applications ordinarily require extremely powerful irrigation controllers. This is given the vast sizes of the farmlands coupled with the need to conserve as much water as possible. You have this powerful controller for your bet on this.
Smart Modular Control System
The primary mechanism of controlling this system is the smart modular control system. This one is independent of your input and is hence great at saving time. Further to this, some of its variant models will also accept signals via a Wi-Fi network.
Unlike the memories of many other gadgets of its kinds, the one for this control does not fade even if there is a power outage. Instead, it retains the memory long after the power is gone. This confers some added benefits to you in the process.
1-touch Manual Watering
And when the power is gone, you will yet again continue using this controller. You will operate it manually by pressing the one-touch manual watering button. This means unprecedented reliability regardless of the circumstance you find yourself in.
- Compatible with numerous other plugins and modules
- Grants you the power to customize and control your irrigation systems
- Easy to install thanks to the easy-to-follow menu
- Retains your favorites and memories long after the power is gone
- Flexible enough to use for multiple applications
- Consumes higher power input
- Not so simple to carry around when circumstances dictate
- May not yield many returns on smaller gardens and yards
#12: Toro DDCWP-6-9V Waterproof 6 Station Battery Controlled Controller
Could you be seeking a rugged waterproof controller which is suited for remote or isolated applications? Seek no further than this gadget. As you are about to note, this device has a mix of ingredients which are great for those kinds of environments of use.
“Digital Dial” Technology
An exclusive digital technology forms the flagship trait of this controller. It basically allows for simple programming of the controller by just about anyone. With regards to this, you will find it pretty easy to engage regardless of your skill level.
Unique Power Feature
Complementing the technology above is the unique power feature. This plays the role of verifying the levels of voltage and turns the stations off before proceeding to turn any on. In the course of doing this, the feature prevents the system from sustaining burns and shocks.
DC Latching Solenoids Controller
To let it draw power and transmit the same, this gadget comes with the DC latching solenoids. Its solenoids are compatible with those of many manufacturers. This guarantees you some freedom of operations not to mention the smooth flow of information and power.
- Waterproof and reliable under any circumstances
- Submersible enough for expedited operations
- Powered by only two 9V alkaline batteries
- Adjusts the weather patterns automatically without your input
- Gives contractors some easy time while engaging in
- Impacts the limited amount of space and yard areas
- Does not attach and accept many accessories
- Limited capability in handling strenuous pressure levels
#13: Zipato Z-Wave Valve Controller (GR-105.US)
A good irrigation controller has to be operable both manually and automatically. This is the one to look up to. By its sheer design, scope, and nature, this gadget is indeed suited for this role. By placing your bet on it, you may be sure to minimize any inconveniences that generally arise while irrigating your land.
Durable Valve Controller
To regulate the flow and pressure of water, the controller relies on a durable valve. The valve’s durability arises from the robust aluminum alloy shell that makes it up. Being durable, it frees you from the need to constantly repair and maintain it.
Z-Wave Open/Close Controls
Complementing your gas or water valve is this Z-Wave open/close control. This feature exists primarily to reinforce the valves and seal off the controller from allowing any further seepage of water. The end result is effectively managed water flow and reduced potential damages.
As has already been stated above, this controller allows for manual activation as well. This arrangement grants you the power to engage the device regardless of whether there is any power or not. You hence stand to enjoy some unconstrained access and control of your irrigation.
- Controllable from some remote locations
- Plugs into a standard power outlet for ease of use
- Aids in protecting your property from any leaks or flooding
- Easier to open as soon as you notice an issue
- Compatible with many existing gas valves
- Derives power exclusively from the mains socket
- Unusable in remote locations
- Has a shorter impact or reach
#14: SIKSIN Plant Waterer Self Watering Devices
If you have several other issues of chores to attend to, you want a controller which calls for extremely minimal attention. This is the one to consider prioritizing. As you are about to see, this controller is packed with tons of automated features which reduce the attention levels.
Some intelligent operations come along with this controller. These operations cooperate with the various laws that govern plant growth. Using this interaction, the operation creates some beautiful landscapes which improve your ambiance indeed.
Automatic Plant Waterer
Unlike most other controllers, this one goes beyond merely regulating the flow and pressure of water. It extends to water even your fields as well. As it does so, it takes care of the exact place where your plant is located to avoid wasting water.
Self-irrigation Watering System
While watering your plants, this controller also takes care of the quantity of the water output. It endeavors to deliver just the right amount of water to avoid flooding and posing some damages to your crops. The end result is healthier plant growth.
- Usable both indoors and outdoors
- Minimizes water damage to your plants by regulating the flow of water
- Keeps you posted on the progress of your watering
- Adjustable to respond to the unique needs of the various plants
- Portable enough to allow for regular travels
- Starters and experienced persons may find it complicated
- Calls for regular updates to keep in current and reliable
- May minimize direct interaction with your plants or fields
#15: Netro Sprite-6-INT Smart Sprinkler Controller
Could you be a career professional farmer? Well, you have to impact a larger area of the farm to optimize your output. To do this, you require larger irrigation sizes and with it an equally powerful irrigation controller like this one. Read on to find out more…
In all, the entire system is fully automatic. With this arrangement, you will hardly confuse the programs and buttons. What’s more? The controller adapts to your local season and weather changes automatically and on a rolling basis. This allows it to optimize the various weather schedules.
With this machine, you will require fewer and limited upgrades. That is because it is designed in such a manner as to learn and update its capability and knowledge contents. This happens by way of the Netro app which also personalizes the schedules of your garden.
Lastly, the gadget also restricts the flow and use of water. For this reason, you will nearly comply as much as possible with the local water conservation regulations. Further to this, you will also pay less on the whole for your water utility bills.
- Saves a whopping 50% of water!
- Abides as accurately as possible to the prevailing water schedules
- Protects the sprinklers and the plants from any possible harms
- Backed by some schedules of 1,000 common species
- Comes in a clean, simple, and modern design
- Does not yield many benefits in a large farm
- When broken down, requires hefty repairs
- Cannot work well in extremely remote locations
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How does an irrigation controller work?
An irrigation controller works by regulating the flow of water into the plant. It relays some voltage from the power supply to the valve. Upon receiving this voltage, the valve opens or closes to regulate the amount of water that is discharged to your plant.
How long does a sprinkler controller last?
The exact length of time depends on the frequency of use and the operational environment. With moderates use and tender care, expect your controller to last 20 years. Some components of the controller can go on until 40 years!
What is a smart irrigation controller?
This refers to an irrigation controller which has some built-in water saving features. Examples of these are sensors, timers, and automatic valves. In all, a smart controller will minimize the effort you need to control and engage the appliance.
What are the four main irrigation techniques available?
The four main irrigation techniques are subsurface, drip or trickle sprinkler, and the surface, respectively.
How much power does an irrigation controller use?
Just like the duration of use, the amount of power that an irrigation controller uses largely depends on nature to which it is applied. The residential variant expends 0.5Kwh a day. The large commercial controllers, on the other hand, expend around 1.2Kwh.