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3 things to look for in smart sprinklers – and our favorite choices for your yard

Smart home technology lets you control your home’s security, temperature, lighting, and more from your phone or voice. Virtual assistants can set the mood in your living room or lock the doors when you leave.

When it comes to security, you don’t want to mess around. You want to ensure you get the best setup for your home to keep you and your family safe. Tap or click here for five things to look for in a security camera.

Now let’s talk sprinklers. Even the simple task of keeping your lawn and garden watered can be improved with smart tech. Sure, you can turn your sprinklers on and off with an app, but you can also let the controller do its job based on the weather. Here are three features to look for when purchasing a smart sprinkler system.

1. Weather-based controllers

Think of your smart sprinkler controller as a thermostat. It can automatically water your lawn based on weather conditions and knows the best time of day to get the most out of each session. In essence, you can set it and forget it.

When you set up your smart controller, it connects to the internet to get local weather data. For example, the controller may skip the next cycle if enough rain has fallen. The system can also check forecasts to plan its watering schedule accordingly.

The best time to water your lawn is early morning when temperatures are cooler, and your smart controller knows this.

The EPA has a WaterSense certification that irrigation controllers can earn based on independent studies. According to the EPA, WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controller can save an average home nearly 7,600 gallons of water annually.

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2. Get in the zones

You want to ensure your smart sprinkler controller covers enough zones around your home. Zones are groups of sprinklers that run at the same time. The bigger your yard, the more zones you’ll have.

A smart controller can manage each zone individually. Grass in shady areas retains moisture better than grass in sunny spots. So the controller knows to water the sunny spots more often. Once again, this will save you water and money.

Look for a controller that suits your needs, whether you need two, six or 16 zones.

3. Match your smart sprinkler to your smart home

Make sure the sprinkler controller you select works with your smart home’s ecosystem, i.e., Alexa, Apple, Google or Samsung.

You can use your smart home tech to adjust schedules, turn the system on or off, check in on upcoming watering sessions, cancel a water event and do other hands-free tasks related to your sprinklers. This is much easier with an ecosystem you’re used to.

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Here are some of our choices for smart sprinklers

A smart sprinkler system uses less water, which helps the environment while saving you money. But that’s not all. Your sprinkler system consists of many moving parts. The less they’re used, the longer they’ll last.

Here are three smart sprinkler controllers we like:

Rachio 3 8-zone controller

Note: If you’re installing the Rachio outside, be sure to get the waterproof casing. Tap or click here to buy it now.

Orbit B-hyve 6-zone controller

WYZE 8-zone controller

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We may receive a commission when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
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