Lawn & Garden Patio Reviews

Best Automatic Irrigation Controllers – Top Picks in 2019

Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core

Do you have a large lawn that needs frequent watering? Have the flowers of vegetables in your garden started to wilt because of your lousy watering routines? Buying an automated irrigation controller is a suitable remedy for these reasons. First, as their name suggests, these screw on accessories eliminate the need for manual watering of lawns and gardens. As such, they save people time that they can channel to other activities. By minimizing water wastage, they also save people a lot of money in the end, which is a plus. Finally, with one, you will maintain a healthy garden at home without hiring a professional landscaper. Here are the best brands for homes in 2019:

10. Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core

Do you have a hard time firing up your sprinklers in the morning or maintaining the right flow for minutes? If you have set up a ROAM remote control on your yard or garden, pair it with the XC600i X-Core to take care of such issues. It works outdoors from one of the standard power outlets found in the home. It also has a low-profile design that enables people to control up to six stations remotely. If you have a large lawn or garden with plants that need different watering schedules, but this product. Each station has a timer with four start times and three programs that you can set independently in a few minutes.

Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core is a safe all-in-one item that you can use worry-free at home. Its automated system has short circuit protection. During electrical surges, thus, it does not break down as easily as most cheap models do. It can also troubleshoot field wiring (via a Quick Check system) and has a memory that remembers your settings.

What We Like
  • Six independent stations
  • Programmable timer (4 per station)
  • Has short circuit protection
  • Easy-to-retrieve memory
  • Durable indoor controller
Our Verdict

Do you want a safe indoor controller for use at home? The Hunter Sprinkler XC600i X-Core is a six-station indoor model with a programmable timer. It is a durable product with a plug-and-use system that can set up and use easily.

9. Orbit Dual Valve Watering Hose Timer (Digital)

Orbit Dual Valve Watering Hose Timer (Digital)

Do you want to channel water to two areas of your lawn or garden on a budget? If you cannot afford one of the multi-channel electric controllers found online, check out this Dual Valve one from Orbital. Its digitized system consists of two timed outlets (automatic), each made from plastic (weather-resistant). It also has a robust swivel connector (brass) that fits most US-rated garden hoses. You do not have to order a new hose or upgrade the existing hose on your lawn to use one. All parts have a one-year warranty.

Even though cheap, Orbit is a reliable dual valve irrigation controller for lawns and or gardens. Its battery – powered system is convenient. Unlike some manual ones that need access to a power outlet to work, Orbit works everywhere. You can install it in your backyard or a water faucet on your garage’s wall without issues. The 2AA batteries that it uses, on the other hand, have a run time of approximately 4000 cycles. It also has a rain delay feature (72, 48, and 24 hours) for conserving water whenever it is raining outdoors.

What We Like
  • Versatile battery-powered design
  • The effective rain delay feature
  • Fits all US-rated hoses
  • Dual timed outlets (automatic)
  • Weather-resistant plastic
Our Verdict

Orbit is a versatile outdoor irrigation controller with dual timed outlets made from water-resistant plastic. It fits all water hoses (US standard) and has a water-saving rain delay feature for 72, 48, and 24 hours). The Orbit Dual Valve controller needs two AA batteries for 4000 watering cycles.

8. Rain Bird SST400I Indoor Timer

Rain Bird SST400I Indoor Timer

The best irrigation systems for homes and offices should include a watering timer. The Rain Bird SST400I is a very popular indoor model with a four zone design that satisfies the needs of most people. If you have a sprinkler system at home, for example, you can use this item to automate watering. Once set up, it can turn your sprinklers on and off in the morning, while you are still in bed. You can also customize its schedule to satisfy your landscaping needs or to conserve water while it is in use. Turn a knob to set its watering zone. Then, press a dual up and down to set Rain Bird SST400I’s timer and the watering duration.

Even though Rain Bird SST400I looks intimidating to some people, its installation is simple. It also has a long lasting design with a robust plastic case and circuitry. If you are conscious of water use, you will also love the automatic rain shut-off feature in this irrigation controller. By shutting off watering while it is raining, it saves you water and thus cash.

What We Like
  • Versatile indoor controller
  • Rain shut-off feature (automatic)
  • Has easy to use controls
  • Programmable schedule
  • Has four watering zone
Our Verdict

With Rain Bird SST400I, you can control how you water four watering zones at homes. Its automated system is very efficient and easy to use. Its plastic case is durable, while its programmable system features automatic rain stop.

7. Rain Bird SST1200OUT Indoor Sprinkler Controller

Rain Bird SST1200OUT Indoor Sprinkler Controller

With Rain Bird SST1200OUT, forget about the watering can or the hose you use to water lawns often. Considered among the must-have gardening supplies at home, its 12 station design satisfies the needs of most people. Each zone has simple independent settings. Therefore, set up well, you can use the Rain Bird SST1200OUT customize the watering schedules of 12 areas of your lawn. You can set the time and duration and let the machine to take care of lawn maintenance for you, which is fun. Buy yours today.

The water-resistant cabinet of Rain Bird SST1200OUT makes it an excellent indoor and outdoor controller. If you leave one outdoor in the rain, the risk of its system short-circuiting is low. It also has surge protection and a newly improved design, which includes a removable power cord and a transformer. All components are safe and durable.

What We Like
  • Water resistant components
  • Removable power cord
  • Inbuilt surge protection
  • Programmable stations (12)
  • 72-hour rain delay feature
Our Verdict

Rain Bird SST1200OUT will take care of all your watering needs automatically. Its 12 stations have programmable high-flow designs that water a large area. It also has one-touch controls for adjusting its schedule and time and long-lasting plastic case. You can use it indoors and outdoors issue-free.

6. Orbit 57894 4-Station Swing Panel Sprinkler System

Orbit 57894 4-Station Swing Panel Sprinkler System

The swing panel Orbit 57894 controller is a four-station gardening accessory that supports all sprinkler systems. It works outdoors and indoors and has a programmable logic, which you can customize to satisfy your needs. If you have a hard time keeping a lawn watered, therefore, do not hesitate to buy one. Using its onboard timer, you can set it to water a yard at dawn or dusk automatically. You can also use it to spray water on four areas of your yard from a single water spigot. Each zone has a flexible schedule.

The water-saving ability of the Orbit 57894 controller has made it sought-after. Paired the best automatic sprinkler head, you can use to water plants only when needed. It also has a leak-proof design with a swiveling door that protects its parts from the elements. Its display and or electrical system is less prone to damage from UV and rain.

What We Like
  • Weatherproof components
  • Flexible four zone schedule
  • Large and clear LCD screen
  • Easy-to-use dials/buttons
  • Water-saving design
Our Verdict

To satisfy your lawns watering needs without lifting a can or water hose, look for the Orbit 57894 controller. It has a versatile four-zone design that covers large yards. Its large buttons and dial are easy to use, while its waterproof parts last for long. Set up outdoors, the risk of damage is low.

5. RainMachine Touch HD-12 Irrigation Controller

5. RainMachine Touch HD-12 Irrigation Controller

In homes, people use smart accessories such as Alexa, to control lighting, televisions, and most other equipment. With the development of the RainMachine Touch HD-12, you can now digitize your irrigation system as well. Its smart Wi-Fi-enabled system supports up to 12 watering zones. It also has a smart schedule with a hands-free Alexa compatible design. To initiate watering of a zone on your yard, you no longer have to press button controls. Once paired with Alexa, you can use voice commands to do this. You have access to free weather data via METNO, NOAA, Wunderground, or a free OpenWeatherMap application.

When connected to the Internet, you can program or use RainMachine Touch HD-12 remotely from a computer or phone. Whenever you are on vacation, therefore, you will not worry about your lawn dying due to dehydration. You can easily monitor the performance of RainMachine Touch HD-12 remotely and change/optimize schedules if needed.

What We Like
  • Wi-Fi enabled system
  • 12 programmable areas
  • Alexa-compatible controller
  • Free weather information
  • Supports remote access
Our Verdict

RainMachine Touch HD-12 is a fully-automated irrigation controller that you can access and control from anywhere. It has 12 programmable zones and an Alexa-compatible system that you can manage or program using voice commands. If you set it up well, it makes lawn-care fun and seamless.

4. Orbit 62061Z 1-Outlet Hose Faucet Timer

Orbit 62061Z 1-Outlet Hose Faucet Timer

Whether you have a busy schedule or hate watering your lawn, Orbit 62061Z is beneficial to have at home. Though its single outlet design can only water one are at a time, it is one of the best for individuals with small lawns. Its low-pressure system supports up to 10-PSI water faucets. It also has a simple screw-on design that most people can set up in minutes. Connect its inlet to a water faucet on your backyard. Then, attach a hose on its outlet and choose a time and duration of watering, and it is ready to use.

Like most irrigation controllers on this list, Orbit 62061Z has a waterproof construction. The robust plastic used to make its shell and faucets is durable. Its battery-powered system has a 4-hour run-time, while the manual override switch on offer enables you to water manually. Whenever it runs out of battery, you can use it with a traditional hose without damaging its electrical system. The paper manual that it comes with covers its programming and use in detail.

What We Like
  • Long runtime (4 hours)
  • Low-pressure system (10psi)
  • Manual override switch
  • Weather-resistant construction
  • Has a rain delay feature
Our Verdict

If you require a single outlet irrigation controller, Orbit 62061Z stands out. Its robust low-pressure system is beneficial in homes. Its screw-on design is easy to install and also has a rain delay feature for conserving water.

3. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller 1st Generation

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller

The Rachio is an intelligent sprinkler controller that works with Alexa. It also has a versatile 8-zone design that is beneficial to people of all cadres. If you have a large lawn with several zones that require consistent watering, this is the best product to use. Using voice command, you can set it to water 1-8 zones at a specific time for a particular duration. You can also set seasonal adjustments and access watering data, which is essential for planning lawn care.

Instead of the rain feature found in traditional irrigation controllers, Rachio has weather intelligence. The system reviews weather data in real time and boosts the performance of Rachio to save you cash. Because of this system alone, people get water savings of up to 30%, which is desirable. Finally, because Rachio is an EPA certified product (water sense) it qualifies for rebates in different areas. If your city or town is one of them, you can save up to 100% of its retail value.

What We Like
  • EPA certified (water sense)
  • Saves up to 30% of water
  • Versatile 8-zone controller
  • Eight independent zones
  • Weather intelligence (automatic)
Our Verdict

With Rachio, you can water up to eight zones of your garden and save up to 30% of water. It has an intelligent system that recognizes the voice commands from Alexa.

2. Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System

Orbit 57946 B-hyve Smart Sprinkler System

Orbit 57946 B-hyve is a smart sprinkler system for homes and offices. It has six stations, each with a programmable system. It also has a durable design with an in-built Wi-Fi adapter that is compatible with web devices, iOS, and Android devices. Interestingly, Orbit 57946 does not need manual programming as traditional models do. Using the data from an in-built weather-based system, it creates an efficient program for you, which is water-saving as well. It also adjusts the output of water automatically to make sure your plant gets the right amount of water always.

Orbit 57946 is certified and approved EPA WaterSense sprinkler system that saves both energy and water. It is also a robust product with a system that most people can set up and use easily. If you have Alexa at home, you can set it up, program it, and use it easily with voice controls. All you require is a 110-volt outlet at home for it to work.

What We Like
  • Approved EPA water sense
  • Alexa-compatible controller
  • In-built weather-based system
  • Water-saving irrigation controller
Our Verdict

Orbit 57946 handles most sprinkling jobs in homes and offices. It is also a long-lasting product with a water-saving design (EPA approved) that meets American electric standards.

1. Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller 2nd Generation

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller 2nd Generation

Rachio is a smart sprinkler controller that ranks among the most reputable Wi-Fi-enabled models in stores. Via your phone or laptop, you can customize the settings and performance of this device on demand. It is compatible with most sprinkler systems and has a versatile 8-zone design that is beneficial on large lawns. Whenever you are away, you can check its performance in real time without issues.

Rachio is a stylish product that blends well in most areas of the home. It supports low flow systems and has a precise system that saves up to 50% of water in the home. It is also easy to install and qualifies for unlimited customer support from the manufacturer. Unlike some smart irrigation systems available online, you can control the zones of Rachio directly from its system. You will enjoy using one at home.

What We Like
  • Water-saving irrigation controller
  • Adaptable watering system
  • EPA WaterSense certified
  • Sensitive vortex technology
Our Verdict

Rachio is an efficient sprinkler controller with an adaptable watering system for lawns and gardens. It is a durable product with a flow meter (wireless) and an intelligent weather system that boosts its accuracy and its performance.

How to Choose the Best Automatic Irrigation Controller

Type

The best irrigation controllers are of two kinds. Manual models require manual set up to water different zones of lawns and gardens. Even though cheap, they need a bit of effort to use. They also require manual connection to a water faucet to work. Smart controllers, on the other hand, are convenient. Their self-programming designs are very efficient. You can also access data remotely and evaluate the performance of your system even while on holiday.

Zones

How many zones does your irrigation controller of choice have? If you have a large lawn or garden, an efficient one will multiple zones will serve you the best. Single zone irrigation controllers, although cheap, cover a small area.

Longevity

Buy a product that will serve you for long. If you are ordering an outdoor model, make sure that it has a water-resistant shell. Its electric circuit and connectors should also be as durable as possible. Check reviews before buying.

Conclusion: These automatic irrigation systems will satisfy your day-to-day watering needs at home. They are durable items. They are also efficient and recommended for use with all sprinkler and irrigation systems found in modern homes.

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