Best WiFi controlled sprinklers: smart controls for perfect watering

Get the best WiFi controlled sprinklers to ensure your plants and grass are the best they can be

Best WiFi controlled sprinklers
(Image credit: CC)

If you want the best WiFi controlled sprinklers you probably already know how valuable they can be to save you time while helping your garden reach its full potential.

A WiFi controlled sprinkler is a key part of the new smart gardening revolution. It can help to schedule the watering of your yard, via a connected device like your smartphone.

The benefit of having one of these, thanks to efficiency, is that it can help to be cost-effective too. Although sprinklers aren’t exactly new to the market, WiFi enabled sprinklers represent a relatively fresh way to work with water.

Whereas traditional sprinkler systems are operated by mechanical or electronic timers, smart ones can be operated much easier, with the touch of a button – and even adapt to factors like rain. For more easy swaps for your outdoor space, hop on over to our guide to the best outdoor smart plugs.

This guide will detail five of the best WiFi controlled sprinklers that we think you should consider. It’s worth noting that as with any product, specs will differ as some will be more compatible with different smart assistants, while others may require more zones in the case of larger areas.

Your needs may be different, depending on the size of your yard, budget, and how complex you want your controls.

The best WiFi controlled sprinklers in 2022

Rachio 3

(Image credit: Rachio)

1. Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler

Best smart sprinkler overall

Specifications

Zones: 16
Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, Nest, IFTTT, Wink, Control4, Nexia and more
WiFi: 2.4 and 5GHz

Reasons to buy

+
Quick and easy to install
+
Easy integration with most smart assistants
+
Great for saving water
+
Easy to use through phone

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler stands out from the crowd as the best around, with this the third-generation model. It’s available in eight or 16 zones and is easy to install. This can be done within 30 minutes and without any special tools, while an in-app installation tutorial is provided for additional support.

The product itself allows for you to set smart watering schedules that automatically adapt to your preferences, soil moisture, climate, and the season, which provides added accuracy.

Its compatibility with a range of smart devices makes it an attractive product that can be controlled from the ease of your phone, be it Apple or Android, plus a range of smart home devices using your voice alone.

The app can tell you all the latest information such as when you last watered certain zones and when the next one is scheduled.


Orbit B-Hyve

(Image credit: Orbit)

2. Orbit B-Hyve

Best for indoor and outdoor installation

Specifications

Zones: 6 or 12
Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, iOS, Android
WiFi: 2.4GHz

Reasons to buy

+
Can be set out both outdoor and indoor
+
Multiple assistant capability  
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Available in either 6 or 12 Zones

Reasons to avoid

-
Weather data could be better

The Orbit B-Hyve is an option that can be installed both indoors and outdoors and comes in six or 12 zone variations. It’s a good mix between traditional and modern, as it has the looks of a classic sprinkler control system, but through smart tech, it feels very modern.

This model is compatible with Amazon Alexa and can also be controlled remotely through iOS and Android devices. Installation is simple, with hardwiring also an option, while the app allows you to set timers easily. On top of this, it comes with Smart Watering which means that it can automatically react to rain, wind, and freeze delays.

It comes with a lockable, weather-resistant cabinet that can be easily mounted indoors or outdoors and the sprinkler can be controlled from anywhere. A slight drawback is that you need to be cautious when setting out locations through the app for differing weather conditions.


Orbit B-Hyve XR

(Image credit: Orbit)

3. Orbit B-Hyve XR

Best for extra coverage

Specifications

Zones: 16
Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, iOS, Android
WiFi: 2.4 and 5GHz plus Bluetooth

Reasons to buy

+
Great for larger properties
+
Can automatically adjust to weather changes
+
Easy to set up

Reasons to avoid

-
App isn’t the best

The Orbit B-Hyve XR is highly regarded and is ideal for those that have bigger areas to cover, with this product offering 16 zone controls. A winner of the CES Innovation Award, the B-Hyve XR has a solid reputation, although it is fairly expensive.

The B-Hyve XR, much like its name suggests, has a smart hive-like design with full color LED and is easy to set up, both indoors and outdoors as it is water-resistant.

The WiFi-enabled B-Hyve XR adjusts to local weather, can be easily controlled from your smartphone (both iOS and Android), and is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

It can look ahead at weather forecasts through its WeatherSense technology and like others, shut off during the rain, wind, and freezing conditions – making it economical.

It falls a bit short with its app, with the Rachio 3 easier to navigate, but with its dual-band connectivity and host of other features, it’s one of the best on the market.


Rain Bird ST8I-2.0

(Image credit: Rain Bird)

4. Rain Bird ST8I-2.0

Best indoor WiFi enabled sprinkler

Specifications

Zones: 8
Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, iOS, Android
WiFi: 2.4GHz

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to program
+
Watering schedule adjusts
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Easy to use app

Reasons to avoid

-
Installation not the easiest

Rain Bird is a well-known name in the irrigation world and the Rain Bird ST8I-WiFi offers an easy-to-use alternative to some of the others on this list. This is an indoor-only WiFi enabled controller and one that comes with on-unit controls, should you wish to stick to the old-school way of doing things.

But the controller can also be controlled by an app, which can manage a variety of features and provides convenience from afar, even if you’re away from home, with notifications easy to enable.  

Unlike some of the others on this list, it’s a bit limited to the number of zones it covers, at only eight, although this could be more attractive for those with small to medium-sized yards.

The Rain Bird ST8I-2.0 self-adjusts for season and weather, thanks to weather intelligence technology. Also, should you wish, you can adjust watering delays to last as long as two weeks.

A bit of a downside is that installation isn’t the easiest, which is in part due to the AC adapter not plugging into a socket, instead of requiring two bare wire leads.


Netro

(Image credit: Netro)

5. Netro Smart Sprinkler Controller

Best mid-range WiFi sprinkler for water reduction

Specifications

Zones: 6 or 12
Smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, iOS, Android
WiFi: 2.4GHz

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with lifetime cloud service
+
Easy installation
+
Fully automatic
+
Provides plant and soil data

Reasons to avoid

-
No 5GHz WiFi

The Netro Smart Sprinkler controller offers a solid alternative to those looking to reduce unnecessary water usage. It’s available in both 6 and 12 zones, although isn’t the cheapest but sits nicely enough as a mid-ranger.

As with others, you’re able to control the WiFi sprinkler through your iPhone or Android smartphones, plus Amazon Alexa and Google Home. But this product is fully automatic and can adapt to weather changes through AI and is able to build personalized schedules for your garden.

Another pretty unique feature of the Netro is that it knows different types of plants and soils, with more than 1,000 common species in the Netro Plant Database. This can help customize schedules for your yard. It’s even able to automatically comply with any local water conservation regulations.

This is limited to 2.4GHz WiFi, but with few other faults to be found.

Choosing the best WiFi sprinkler for your yard

When choosing the best WiFi controlled sprinkler, it’s worth making sure to assess the specs before deciding. You probably want to start by seeing how many zones you’ll need, which depends on the size of your yard. Another important factor could be compatibility with your smart home devices. Note, some will work with Amazon Alexa, but others might not.

It’s also important to look at customer reviews too, as this can often give you peace of mind or help make your decision when choosing a WiFi controlled sprinkler.

Assessing the set-up of certain sprinklers should also be noted, as some are easier to install than others, while some may require more work and hardwiring.

Watching some online videos can be a good way of better understanding the products and cutting down the jargon involved.

Luke is a veteran journalist and editor of over two decades where he has written about everything but specialises is technology, science, health and fitness, smart homes and health. He contributes to Real Homes, T3, Tom's Guide and TechRadar, among many other titles. As a father of two, any spare time he gets is enjoyed surfing, reading, hiking, camping and generally getting out in nature.