Best Smart Sprinkler Controllers of 2022

You want to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood, but doing so is easier said than might be done, especially in parts of the country facing severe drought and the accompanying water use restrictions. That’s why you should consider swapping out your sprinkler controller for a smart model.

Smart sprinkler controllers connect to the internet and use real-time weather data to adjust the frequency of watering so that you don’t overwater your grass, say, during an afternoon shower, or underwater on a dry, hot day. And their app-based controls make it a breeze to create watering schedules that comply with your local watering restrictions, such as watering only on odd-numbered days or at unusual hours of the night. Smart controllers can save you money on your water bill, too.

Below you’ll find ratings and reviews of the best smart sprinkler controllers from our tests. One crucial factor sets these top performers apart from the rest of the pack.

“The ability of these smart sprinkler controllers to make fine-tuned watering adjustments greatly depends on the robustness of their weather data,” says Larry Ciufo, CR’s test engineer for sprinkler controllers. “You’re going to want a controller that uses a lot of forecast data to make its adjustments.”

In CR’s tests of smart sprinkler controllers, we evaluate, among other features, how easy it is to wire the controller to the sprinkler system’s water valves and whether the controls are simple to use. To gauge a system’s watering accuracy, we collect rainfall data from a rain gauge, then evaluate how much a controller overwaters or underwaters based on that data.

All four models below, listed in alphabetical order, feature smartphone app controls and are certified under the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program.

CR members can click on each model name for detailed ratings and reviews. For results on all the smart sprinkler controllers we test, see Consumer Reports’ smart sprinkler controller ratings.

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