What is a smart irrigation controller and why would you want one as a gift? The Water Authority’s irrigation efficiency specialist Richard Perce says, “While an irrigation controller is a must for your landscape, a smart controller adjusts your watering based on the local weather conditions. This saves you time and water!” Many smart controllers use WiFi and connect to the local weather station. They will not water on days when it’s too windy or it has already rained. Most will also determine what your landscape’s water needs are and create a schedule based on data added during setup and the information it receives from local weather stations. Many also connect to your smartphone or tablet so you have easy control over your system no matter where you are.

Below, Richard has listed some of his favorite controllers for this holiday season. Why not be practical this year for gift giving?

Orbit B-hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor Irrigation controller

Features: 6 and 12 zone options, inexpensive, connects to local weather stations, easily controlled via your smartphone, can be mounted indoors or outdoors, works with all internet modems (2.4gh and 5gh), long-range Bluetooth radio, can adjust both at the controller and on your phone, easy to use, rebates available.

Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Features: 8 and 16 zones options, inexpensive, connects to local weather stations, easily controlled by a smartphone, works with all modems, easy to use, robust water schedules based on plant type, soil type, sun exposure, rebates available.

Rainbird ST8-2.0 WiFi Smart Irrigation Timers Features: 8 zones and more, connects to the local weather station, easily controlled at the box and by smartphone, works with all modems, robust watering schedules, fully customizable, rebates available.

Author:  Richard Perce, Irrigation Efficiency Specialist with the Water Conservation Department for the Water Authority. Have a question about the article? AskAnExpert@abcwua.org