Wyze Sprinkler Controller review: We lawn tested it
Hands off functionality
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller replicates the core functionalities that you’d expect from a top-tier controller.
About the Wyze Sprinkler Controller
- Color: Black/White
- Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n @2.4GHz
- power source: 24VAC, 60Hz, 850mA, 6-foot power cable
- zones: 8th
- Weather resistance: Indoor use only
- Operational temperatures: -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit
- Weight: 7.6 ounces
- Warranty: One year warranty
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller is simple to install if you have existing wiring already in place. The lightweight device comes packaged with cord wraps, a power adapter, a mounting plate, and accompanying wall anchors and screws.
The trickiest part of the Wyze Sprinkler Controller installation is remembering which wire goes where after removing your old controller, but that’s an easily-solved dilemma thanks to the labels that Wyze includes. When you’re confident in your wiring situation, you can remove the old controller and mount the Wyze replacement, making sure to allow enough distance to plug in the controller’s power adapter.
As soon as the new controller is mounted and properly wired, you can power it up and head to the Wyze app to complete the installation. The app will walk you through connecting to Wi-Fi, naming different watering zones, and setting some basic preferences. All in all, easy peasy.
For a full, step-by-step installation guide, check out Wyze’s tutorial.
What we like
It’s fully customizable to automate watering the grass
Credit: Reviewed / Nick Woodard
The Wyze app, for iOS and Android, makes it easy to manage the Wyze Sprinkler Controller from anywhere.
When the Wyze Sprinkler Controller is up-and-running, the Wyze app gives you total control over how (and when) you want to go about watering your lawns.
Pulling up the sprinkler within the app reveals a screen that displays each of your zones (for me, it was front yard, backyard, and flowers), as well as a five-day weather forecast and a quick look at both the previous watering cycle and the next one on deck. At the bottom right of the screen (and various other areas within the app) is a water droplet icon, which has the ability to turn your sprinklers on for a quick run whenever you decide your grass needs a little extra soak.
It goes far deeper than that, however. Tapping into the sprinkler’s settings gives way to a variety of customizable tabs, including notifications, schedules, system configuration, location, skips and rules. You can choose to be notified when watering begins, ends, gets skipped, or not at all. All of the configurations worked great when we tested the Wyze Sprinkler Controller.
You can also set a specific schedule (fixed or smart, which lets Wyze automatically water when needed) to begin watering at certain times or avoid certain days. To avoid water spots on our vehicles, I instructed the controller to start at 8 am (after we’ve left for work), and skip weekends when we’re most often home.
Elsewhere, you can dig into the specifics of each of your zones, detailing information such as soil type, crop type, sun exposure and overall size. And finally, you can determine what circumstances cause the controller to skip watering. I chose to skip when the low temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit, when the wind is 20 mph or above, with at least .125 inches of rainfall and when saturation levels reach 100%.
It’s a true ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ device
Credit: Reviewed / Nick Woodward
Here’s a look at the Wyze Sprinkler Controller in action.
If you’ll allow me to get slightly meta for a moment, this has been a long (like, a yearlong) review process. Since the time I installed it shortly after purchasing our first home, I have resorted to the app to adjust the sprinklers an estimated two times. Even in the one instance where the controller inexplicably lost internet connection without me noticing, the controller resorted to its saved watering schedule to avoid any gaps in irrigation. The point is, I haven’t had to think about how much water my grass is getting, which is a special luxury of sorts living in a typically hot, consistently drought-stricken section of Northern California.
The caveat here is that the smart schedules, alongside other features like intelligent weather skips and weather forecasts, that I’ve utilized are only available with a Wyze Sprinkler Plus subscription, which will run you an extra $10 per year. This is far less ideal than most folks would like, but the sad reality of many smart home devices is that you can’t unlock their full potential without forking over a few extra bucks every month or year. When we tested the Wyze Sprinkler Controller, the scheduling and weather intelligence features went off without a hitch.
The annual $10 subscription is absolutely worth every penny. I’ve been able to rely on Wyze’s smart schedule for my watering needs, and while my lawns aren’t the most luscious shade of green on the block, they’re getting everything they need to thrive during scorching summers and disturbingly warm springs and if.
It can save you money
Credit: Reviewed / Nick Woodard
A smart sprinkler controller like Wyze’s helps me keep my grass green and prevent overwatering.
One benefit to a smart sprinkler is that it can save you money by automating the watering process for you. In turn, you may notice a decrease in your monthly water. Additionally, the Wyze Sprinkler Controller is EPA WaterSense certified. This means that it uses at least 20% less water than other models. It also means it uses less energy. While a smart sprinkler controller is an upfront investment, a budget-friendly model like Wyze’s that doesn’t skimp on features, is a worthwhile one that can help you save money in the long term.
What we don’t like
The controller is not weatherproof
Credit: Reviewed / Nick Woodward
The controller is not waterproof, so I used an old cover I had lying around to shield the device from the elements.
When we tested the Wyze Sprinkler Controller, the device had no available weather resistance. That’s not an issue if your controller is located inside your garage, or even a well-insulated shed. It becomes a very real problem, however, if (like my house) your controller is on the side of your home, exposed to the elements.
I had a pair of saving graces in my case—the old controller was beneath a cover that the Wyze Sprinkler Controller thankfully fit within, and I had a waterproof electronics box handy to keep the power adapter dry. To remedy the problem, you can buy the Wyze Sprinkler Controller Outdoor Box for its sprinkler controller, which is an extra cost to consider. Make sure you’re aware of your sprinkler controller’s location before deciding to invest in this particular smart sprinkler system controller.
It doesn’t work with Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller does not work with any smart assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri.
The Wyze Sprinkler Controller strikes out with each of the big three smart assistant ecosystems; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Granted, I’m not totally sure what you would want/be able to do with smart assistant integration for your sprinklers. But in the year 2022, smart home devices without any smart assistant integration to speak of just seems dumb.
Wyze claims to use symmetric and asymmetric encryption to protect user information. The Wyze app also offers two-factor authentication through either text message or the authenticator app to help keep your smart home safe and secure. There aren’t quite as many concerns with a sprinkler controller as there are with devices like a floodlight or security camera, but it’s still nice to know that there are safeguards in place should you ever need them.
Should you buy the Wyze Smart Sprinkler Controller?
Yes, it’s a value your lawn (and wallet) will thank you for
Credit: Reviewed / Nick Woodward
Your front yard will be happy you made this investment.
At the time of this review, the sprinkler controller topping our charts was the Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller. It’s an excellent product, offering amenities like integration with Alexa, Google Assistant, and HomeKit that Wyze just can’t touch. But it’s also a whopping $180.
For nearly a fourth of that price (plus a $10 per year subscription), the Wyze Sprinkler Controller replicates the core functionalities that you’d expect from a top tier controller. You can customize the way it waters your lawn til the cows come home, then live a hands-free, green-grass existence for as long as you so choose.
If you need smart assistant support and are dealing with a location where the forces of nature may be a problem for an unprotected controller, you should likely look elsewhere. Otherwise, Wyze makes it way too affordable and easy to consider anything else.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Nick Woodard is a tech journalist specializing in all things related to home theater and A/V. His background includes a solid foundation as a sports writer for multiple daily newspapers, and he enjoys hiking and mountain biking in his spare time.
See all of Nick Woodard’s reviews
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