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6 reasons you need a smart sprinkler



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Time to smarten up your sprinkler.


Tyler Lizenby / CNET
                                                

For many smart home devices, deciding whether or not you need them is a matter of preference. I understand if you would like to get out of bed and make the same thing with an app. – think smart thermostats and their energy savings along with their significant improvements to ease-of-use.

i'm here to tell you that smart sprinklers belong to the no-brainer category of smart home upgrades. Seriously. Smart sprinklers might not be anywhere near the top of your list when you think of connected devices, but if you have an in-ground sprinkler system, you need one. Here are six reasons why.

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

App controls

This part's obvious. Like most connected devices, you can control smart sprinklers with an app. Sprinklers are designed to replace the existing sprinkler controllers for your in-ground sprinkler system. Orbit B -hyve Faucet Timer but you'll get the most benefit from a smart sprinkler if it's the existing watering system that covers your yard. Replacing an existing controller is usually easy enough. The apps for the Rachio Smart Sprinkler (both the second- and third-gen sprinklers ) and the orbit B-hyve are particularly intuitive.

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Orbit's app is detailed and helpful.


Screenshots by Andrew Gebhart / CNET
                                                

All of these app-enabled features are a significant upgrade from walking to the shed and fussing with the tedious buttons and knobs of old-school controllers.

Weather awareness

The app's even bigger upgrade when it's raining. With the best smart sprinklers, you can quickly shut off the sprinkler, or deciding you do not want to bother and letting the water go to waste , you do not even have to do that.

Most smart sprinklers monitor the weather for you, so they'll automatically be on top of the fact that it's raining and you do not see your sprinklers start running in the first place.

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Auto scheduling

In fact, not only does your smart sprinkler adapt your schedule to the weather before you even need to think about it, but you can also set up your whole watering schedule for you from scratch.

Many of the best smart sprinklers offer a variety of scheduling options. My favorite is Rachio's approach, which ranges from fully autonomous to moderate and predictable.

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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 yard, and then you can decide when it's best to water and for how long. Even with these fully autonomous schedules, you can block off those days if you have local watering restrictions, and the app wants to work out the schedule around those limits. You do not have to think about when.

Smarter than you

You might want to listen to your sprinkler's advice, even if you like to set your sprinkler schedule. The sprinklers use a variety of metrics to determine how they will evaporate from their soil. They can break up in the water and reduce run-off. They can automatically calculate how to make all these changes in the course of a season.

At least when it comes to how best to water your lawn, your smart sprinkler is likely to be smarter than you – unless you're a gardening or lawn expert. If so, you'll be happy to know that the best way to fix the details of your yard is to search for as much as possible.

Water Savings

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The Rachio Smart Sprinkler can help save you money.


Chris Monroe / CNET
                                                

All of the smarts, scheduling, and weather awareness add up to the biggest reason to upgrade to a smart sprinkler – it'll save water and save money on your water bill. Smart sprinklers can cost anywhere from $ 100 to $ 280.

Most are certified by the EPA's Watersense program, which allows you to rebate on your utility Bill for using a smart sprinkler. The EPA Gives Those Rebates Because Of All About The Smarts.

Voice controls

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


Chris Monroe / CNET
                                                

The practical advantages of saving water while spending less time fussing with your sprinkler include the main reasons to upgrade your old controller to an internet connection option. If you want to show off your guests, try a voice-powered waterworks show.

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

Which sprinklers do you recommend?

Part of the reason I'm so enthused about smart sprinklers that a couple of options stood out as highly competent connected gadgets. The second-gen Rachio smart sprinkler is my current favorite at $ 200 for an eight-zone sprinkler and $ 250 for 16 zones.

The third-gen Rachio is a great option too if you want to to integrate your sprinkler with a flowmeter to detect leaks. It's only $ 30 more. Orbit B-Hyve is only $ 100 for six zones and $ 120 for 12. The six-zone controller is £ 150 in the UK and AU $ 320 in Australia. Orbit's sprinkler does not quite make the flexibility of Rachio, but it's almost as smart for a lot less.

Either way, you make the upgrade and you do not need to curse your stupid sprinklers for running in the rain anymore.

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