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6 reasons why you need a smart sprinkler



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Time to smart up your sprinkler.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET

For many smart home devices, it is a matter of deciding if you need them or not. I understand if you would rather turn up and off a light switch instead of pulling out your phone and doing the same with an app. But a handful of categories offer so many benefits, that they are worth the upgrade for everyone – think smart thermostats and their energy savings along with their significant user-friendliness improvements.

I'm here to tell you that smart sprinklers belong in the "No-Brainer" category of smart home upgrades. Seriously. Smart sprinklers cannot be anywhere near the top of the list when you think of connected devices, but if you have a sprinkler system in the ground you need one. Here are six reasons why.

Read more: Everything you need to know about grow a healthy garden .

App Controls

This part is obvious. Like most connected devices, you can control smart sprinklers with an app. Smart sprinklers are designed to replace the existing sprinkler controller for your ground sprinkler system. Some can turn on a regular crane, and I quite like Orbit B-high crane timer but you get the most from a smart sprinkler if it drives the existing water system that covers your yard. Replacing an existing check is usually easy enough. Then you just need to use the app to connect your new smart sprinkler to Wi-Fi and you're up and running.

Apps for Rachio Smart Sprinkler (both other and ] third gene sprinklers ) and Orbit B elevators are particularly intuitive. You can set schedules, see a water calendar and turn the sprinklers on or off with the push of a button.

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Orbit the app is detailed and helpful.


Screenshots by Andrew Gebhart / CNET

All these app-enabled features are a significant upgrade from going to the shed and fusing with the boring buttons and knobs in school school controls.

Weather Sensitivity

The app is an even greater upgrade when it rains. Instead of going out in the elements yourself to reach your shed and turning your sprinkler, or deciding that you don't want to disturb and let the water waste, you can quickly turn them off with the app. With the best smart sprinklers, you don't even have to.

Most smart sprinklers monitor the weather for you, so they will automatically exceed the fact that it is raining and you will not see your sprinklers start running in the first place. They are generally aware of rain in the forecast, and they adjust your watercourse accordingly.

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Auto Scheduling

Not only will your smart sprinkler adapt your schedule to the weather before you even have to think about it, but they can also set your entire water table for you from the start.

Many of the best smart sprinklers offer a variety of scheduling options. My favorite is Rachio's approach, which extends all the way from fully autonomous to moderate and predictable smarts to allow you to handle everything.

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Rachio offers a variety of scheduling options.


Screenshots by Andrew Gebhart / CNET

With both Rachio and Orbit you can tell the app about your farm, and then you can let it decide when it is best to water and how long. Even with these fully autonomous schedules, you can block days if you have local irrigation restrictions, and the app will work the schedule around those limits. You do not need to think about when it would be best to water and how often. The app handles everything and water when needed.

Smarter than you

You may want to listen to the advice of your smart sprinkler, even if you traditionally like to set up your sprinkler scheme. Smart sprinklers use a variety of metrics to determine how quickly the water will evaporate from your soil given the information you tell about your farm. They can break up the water times automatically into smaller segments to help the water absorb and reduce runoff. They can automatically calculate how to fit all of this before sunrise and adjust the schedule when the time changes during a season.

At least when it comes to how to best water your lawn, your smart sprinkler is probably smarter than you – if you're not a garden or lawn expert. If so, you would like to know that the best of the gang also allows you to fine-tune the details of your yard, such as root depth, the exact area of ​​your zones and inch water delivered per hour. Your smart sprinkler can be your lawnmower, or it can work with you if you are one.

Water saving

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Rachio Smart Sprinkler can help you save money.


Chris Monroe / CNET

All smarts, scheduling and weather awareness add the biggest reason to upgrade to a smart sprinkler – it saves water and saves money on your water bill. Smart sprinklers can cost anywhere from $ 100 to $ 280, but they will likely pay back in the next few months.

Most are certified by EPA's Watersense program, which allows you to get discounts on your utility bill to use a smart sprinkler. EPA provides these discounts because all smarts – from calculating how fast water evaporates to monitoring when it will rain – help smart sprinklers keep your lawn healthy with less water wasted in the process.

Voice controls

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Orbit smart sprinkler works with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant.


Chris Monroe / CNET

The practical benefits of saving water while spending less time cheating on your sprinkler are the main reasons for upgrading your old controls into an internet-connected option, but smart sprinklers can also be fun. If you want to show off your guests, try a voice-driven waterworks show.

Rachio works with both the Amazon Assistant Alexa so you can control it with smart speakers like the Amazon Echo. Rachio also works with Google's Alexa competitor named Google Assistant so you can control your sprinklers by talking to your Google home as well. Orbit smart sprinklers also work with both popular digital assistants, so you can start or stop your various zones with a voice command.

Which sprinklers do we recommend?

Part of the reason I am so excited about smart sprinklers is that a couple of options stand out as very competent connected gadgets. The second genre Rachio smart sprinkler is my current favorite of $ 200 for an eight zone sprinkler and $ 250 for 16 zones. Rachio offers the most scheduling options for the gang and has an intuitive app that mixes a simple setting with detailed control options if you want them.

The third gene Rachio is also a good option if you want to integrate your sprinkler with a flow meter to detect leaks. It's just $ 30 more. If you want a good budget option, Orbit B-Hyve is only $ 100 for six zones and $ 120 for 12. The Sex Control is £ 150 in the UK and AU $ 320 in Australia. Orbit sprinkler does not have quite the flexibility of Rachio, but it is almost as smart for much less.

Anyway, do the upgrade and you don't have to curse your stupid sprinklers to run in the rain anymore. 19659052]
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