Best Smart Sprinklers in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 8, 2017
If you wish to have a beautiful lawn near your house — start using high-tech smart sprinklers that will turn lawn care into a cakewalk! We have reviewed 5 best smart sprinklers to help you make the right choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Warranty
Number of stations
Number of programmes
Display
Controls
Use
Extras
Operating temperature
Dimensions
 
PROS
Apart from buttons, there is a large rotary knob on the control panel of this smart irrigation sprinkler. It allows you to set the schedule, time, and other parameters very quickly.
CONS
The manual might have no English language.
OUR VERDICT
In general, this irrigation controller will be a nice option for small lawns that require simple watering without any sophisticated functions. You can set the smart sprinkler anywhere you wish.
detailed parameters
Warranty
2 years
Number of stations
1
Number of programmes
14
Display
Monochrome
Controls
Manual
Use
Indoor / Outdoor
Extras
Automatic and time-saving irrigation, Easy programming, Water-saving operation, Flexible irrigation control, High degree of automation
Operating temperature
0... +40 °C
Dimensions
236 x 164 x 106 mm
PROS
The Rachio app will provide you with a lot of useful information: the weather, the current irrigation system status, the amount of water spent, etc. You will be able to maintain your lawn and/or garden without any effort.
CONS
The adjustment of this smart sprinkler system might be somewhat difficult.
OUR VERDICT
Rachio Iro smart sprinkler is a cutting-edge and money-saving system that will help you have a beautiful lawn without working your fingers to the bone.
detailed parameters
Warranty
2 years
Number of stations
16
Number of programmes
2
Display
The display of your mobile device is used
Controls
PC: Web browser, Smartphones: Android, iOS
Use
Indoor / Outdoor (with outdoor enclosure)
Extras
Control from anywhere, Weather Intelligence, Rachio Water Reports, EPA WaterSense certified, Compatible with Wink home automation system
Operating temperature
-35... +60 °C
Dimensions
184 x 184 x 55 mm
PROS
The installation of this water controller is truly effortless owing to its thought-out design and two adapters included.
CONS
The display isn't moisture-resistant.
OUR VERDICT
Hozelock AC Pro is an affordable and easy-to-adjust smart sprinkler for taking care of your lawn. The water controller can be blocked so that children can't change the settings.
detailed parameters
Warranty
30 days
Number of stations
1
Number of programmes
41 (13 pre-set and 28 free slots)
Display
Monochrome
Controls
Manual
Use
Indoor / Outdoor
Extras
Four methods of programming, Battery powered, Ultimate flexibility
Operating temperature
0... +40 °C
Dimensions
228 x 113 x 155 mm
PROS
Thanks to the dual-colour indication, you always know about the controller's operation status without connecting your portable device to it.
CONS
You can control the smart sprinkler within your home network only.
OUR VERDICT
Blossom smart sprinkler is a fantastic choice for people who don't wish to meddle with settings and need a simple yet efficient automatic watering system.
detailed parameters
Warranty
2 years
Number of stations
12
Number of programmes
2
Display
The display of your mobile device is used
Controls
Smartphones: Android, iOS
Use
Indoor / Outdoor
Extras
Uses your local weather forecast for watering your garden, Powerline or Wi-Fi connectivity, Resistant to the elements, Controlled via your smartphone or another mobile device
Operating temperature
-18... +55 °C
Dimensions
178.8 x 178.8 x 50.8 mm
PROS
The unique Seasonal Adjust mode increases or decreases the irrigation period for all zones.
CONS
The controller can be installed indoors only.
OUR VERDICT
This easy-to-adjust water controller has informative controls that will help you take care of the lawn in front of your house, as well as in the backyard.
detailed parameters
Warranty
3 years
Number of stations
4
Number of programmes
7
Display
Monochrome
Controls
Manual
Use
Indoor
Extras
Large LCD display, Programmable under battery power, Electronic diagnostic circuit breaker, Contractor Rapid Programming™, Contractor Default™
Operating temperature
Not specified
Dimensions
150 x 169 x 39 mm

What is a Smart Sprinkler

We can see groomed lawns not just in parks or stadiums, but near buildings like hotels, banks, shops, filling stations, and country houses. Many of us like spending time in the backyard, drinking sprightly beverages and enjoying the view of the beautiful green lawn. But then, what should we do to keep our lawns healthy and protect them from overdrying? Basically, there are two common ways to water the lawn - manual and with the help of irrigation controllers (smart sprinklers). Manual watering requires fussing with buckets and hoses, taking a lot of time and effort. On the contrary, irrigation controllers make watering easy and automatic. These devices receive the data from ground humidity sensors and/or weather forecast centres and provide the needed amount of water not to dry out and not to overwater the lawn. The most sophisticated sprinklers can be controlled via a smartphone from any part of the world and may handle up to 48 watering stations. We have selected the most advanced smart sprinklers and analysed their key features to help you choose the right model.
You should also mow your lawn to keep it nice. Our review of the best lawn mowers will certainly help you pick a proper tool.

What Features to Compare

Performance
Performance is the first issue that deserves your attention when you choose an irrigation controller. In particular, the number of stations is the key feature of any appliance of this kind. Thus, the number of stations normally equals the number of sprinklers controlled. An irrigation controller may maintain up to 48 stations, so you should consider the area of your lawn for accurate irrigation. Some models may be connected to additional modules to increase the number of serviced areas and enhance the sprinkling capabilities. The number of programs is the next important parameter to consider. The programmes may be automatic or manual and provide a proper irrigation. Some controllers allow you to set the programmes yourself according to your lawn conditions. The performance of a controller may be affected by the operating temperature range. Thus, if the summer in your region is hot, you should pick the controller capable of working at high temperatures. Otherwise, the controller will fail and your lawn will not be watered properly.
Controls
You should pay attention to the controls as they allow you to comfortably set the controller for managing the stations effectively. The irrigation controllers commonly have electronic or mechanical controls. The most sophisticated models are equipped with touchscreen displays that reflect the whole irrigation process. Yet, this is not the whole story. Most of the irrigation controllers can be set wirelessly via smartphones (operated by Android or iOS). The control is performed through the built-in Wi-Fi modules that synchronise with smartphones through the web. You just need to download the official app to control the irrigation from anywhere around the world. This way, you can set the parameters of a controller as well as programme the irrigation modes while being on vacation or a business trip.
Extra Features
The irrigation controllers usually come with additional features. For a start, decide on the type of a controller as they are either for indoor or for outdoor use. Indoor controllers are convenient as you can activate irrigation, staying in your house. The downside of these models is a difficult installation and the need of pulling the wiring into your house. Outdoor irrigation controllers are usually installed outside the buildings, right near lawns. They are waterproof and feature lockable doors that prevent unauthorised use. However, it should be noted that the indoor models may be also installed outdoors; they just need special outdoor housings for protection. Other features of an irrigation controller may include automatic diagnostics of all system units and connection of additional modules for better irrigation capabilities. Some irrigation controllers may serve as such modules and can be integrated into home automation systems. Hence, you can control not just your house but also the lawn watering with a single system. Furthermore, you can equip an irrigation controller with moisture and weather sensors to let the system determine the right amount of water and the duration of sprinkling.

Gardena C1060plus 1864-20

Just Detach It!

Gardena is a German company founded back in 1961. Over its history, the company switched from making yard tools to producing high-tech systems for lawn and garden care. Gardena's products have become popular all over the world. For our review of smart sprinklers, we have picked the MasterControl, a great smart sprinkler that can be used both indoors and outdoors. A brief look at this controller is enough to notice it consists of two parts: the main unit and the removable computer. So, you can input the settings you wish anywhere you are, and then attach it to the main unit. A PP9 9-Volt battery is installed into the back side of the computer; the battery life lasts up to a year. The computer also has several slots for attaching different sensors that make the smart sprinkler even more functional.
Review of Gardena C1060plus 1864-20

Truly Smart Controller

As for the number of programmes this smart sprinkler has, there are 6 of them, lasting from 1 minute to 10 hours. Each of them can be started automatically, at a pre-set day and time, so you can create a schedule and forget about any lawn watering chores. The controller can water your lawn daily or every 2 (3, 4, 5, 6, or 7) days, so the sprinkler is quite flexible and you can adjust the settings depending on the weather and the area where you live. There are some extra sensors you can use to enhance the functionality of this smart sprinkler: you can get a moisture sensor (it is installed right into the soil) and a rain sensor (installed on a wall or the roof of your house). These sensors allow the Gardena water controller to adjust the watering schedule and programme to the actual weather condition. Also, you can use the Micro-Drip-System that will bring water just where it should be, to the roots. This system will also save you a lot of water.
Gardena C1060plus 1864-20 in the use

Easy Breezy Adjustment

As we have already mentioned, a computer can be easily detached from the main unit of this smart sprinkler system. It is convenient but there is one more advantage, if you do not wish to disassemble the whole lawn watering system for the winter, you can simply detach the computer and encase the main unit for warm-keeping. The computer is easy to control thanks to a simple and intuitive menu. There are only 3 control buttons and a large rotary knob for faster navigation. You can choose one of 10 available menu languages, including French and Spanish, for example. Since the computer is battery-powered, there is a charge indicator on the display. Thus, you always know when it is time to replace the battery. The installation of this water controller is a piece of cake as you just need to connect the main unit to a water pipe (with G1 or G3/4 threads) and attach a hose. In all, this Gardena smart sprinkler will be the best solution for a small lawn near your house.
Detailed review of Gardena C1060plus 1864-20

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Gardena C1060plus 1864-20
Gardena C1060plus 1864-20
 

Rachio Iro Wi-fi Intelligent

Attention to Every Detail

This Rachio smart sprinkler can control up to 16 zones at a time, so you can split your garden into 16 parts and provide each of them with the sufficient amount of water. The irrigation controller has a compact and minimalistic design and looks like a small white plastic box. The model can be installed both indoors and outdoors; if you choose the latter option, however, a special waterproof enclosure will be required. The smart sprinkler system can work under different temperature and weather conditions. The Rachio Iro is particular for having neither display nor control buttons. Instead, you can control the irrigator from your smartphone (iOS or Android operated). Remove the cover and you will see all wire connection terminals and two holes for mounting the controller on a wall. The unit is mains-powered and, thus, no batteries are required.
Review of Rachio Iro Wi-fi Intelligent

Caring Of Your Soil

The Rachio Iro smart sprinkler system offers two modes: the fixed one (for watering according to a schedule) and a flexible one (no schedule; the watering automatically activates with accordance to the current weather and soil condition). To use the appliance in the latter mode, however, a user would need to buy rain and moisture sensors separately. 
The Rachio Iro irrigation controller allows a remote control in the app available for both, iOS and Android-driven gadgets, as well as via PC or laptop on signing in to the Rachio official website. This makes it possible to control and take care of your lawn from any corner of the world provided that you have an access to the Internet.  You can create your own schedule and set the days and time when your lawn is to be watered. Or you can pass it all on to the smart software that will analyse how wet or dry the soil is for you and activate the system automatically. The advantage of automatic scheduling and watering is that the system doesn't use as much water and this way can save you on water bills. 
Rachio Iro Wi-fi Intelligent in the use

Smart Sprinkler for Smart Home

The built-in Wi-Fi adapter makes this irrigation system truly smart and convenient. For example, the unit will not start watering your lawn before, during, and after the rain as well as in the cold weather. We highly appreciated the Weather Intelligence™ function that monitors the weather during a certain period of time. In all, controlling the smart sprinkler via a smartphone or tablet is extremely comfortable as you get a lot of additional information: remote access, notifications, full information about the current operation of the whole system, the water spent, and so on. Therefore, this garden irrigation system will be a great complement to a smart home. The system is compatible with the devices manufactured by Nexia, Crestron, Control4, Wink and Nest. So, this water controller is a fantastic choice for those who wish to keep up with the times.
Detailed review of Rachio Iro Wi-fi Intelligent

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Rachio Iro Wi-fi Intelligent
Rachio Iro Wi-fi Intelligent
 

Hozelock Automatic Pro Water Computer

All You Need Is in a Kit!

The British company Hozelock was founded in 1959 when Hose-Lock, the first connector for a hose in the world, was released. Today, the company is one of the leading manufacturers of gardening tools, most of which are produced in the UK.
The manufacturer has supplied its appliance with three adapters of different sizes (1". 1/2'", 3/4") to fit different taps so there's almost no chance you won't be able to set it up and use right out-of-the-box. To have the AC Water Timer Pro working, you only need to connect it with a hose pipe and with a tap via one of the adapters. Originally, the unit doesn't offer automatic scheduling and should be set manually by a user; yet, if needed, it could also be fitted with a rain sensor that would trigger the system with accordance to the weather, preventing water waste. 
The AC Water Timer Pro sprinkle comes packed with a comprehensive user's manual containing step-by-step guides on how to install the system and create a schedule for it. You'll not have a problem with it, no doubt.  The sprinkle works off two 1.5V 'C' Alkaline batteries which last a year or so before they need replacement.
Review of Hozelock Automatic Pro Water Computer

New Day, New Irrigation Programme

In all, this is a very basic irrigation controller that can either supply or cut water off. The distinctive feature, though, that this is all done automatically by a computer. By default, the sprinkler system offers a user 4 different programmable methods and 13 pre-set programmes, and the option to expand its functionality manually thanks to 28 available slots. Those users who don't want to bother with the settings can opt for the pre-set programmes, specify the number of times per day and per week when they want it to water the lawn (in this programme, the computer will choose the watering hours automatically). Yet, it doesn't mean that if you needed to start watering earlier than it had been set by a programme, you wouldn't be able to do it. The manual activation is always possible in spite of the configuration. To make this irrigator controller more functional, you can get a rain sensor additionally and let the device screen the weather in order not to waste the water if it's going to rain.

Hozelock Automatic Pro Water Computer in the use

The Device With a Secret

What we definitely liked about this smart sprinkler is its simple control system. It doesn't have any fancy settings and can be quickly scheduled to the tasks you need it to perform. Yet, the computer performance isn't as great and may respond to a user's command with a delay, which some consumers take as a minor flaw. On the other hand, thinking about it, you wouldn't need to repeat this procedure too often and its slight lagging won't bother you at all. The Hozelock water controller featuring large easy-to-press colour buttons will also be appreciated by elderly users and those consumers having a poor eyesight. The device has a special blocking system preventing your kids from pressing the buttons and avoiding undesirable activation. To lock it, press red and green buttons for a few seconds. So simple and so efficient!
If you are not sure whether it is time to replace the batteries, just look at the charge indicator on the display.
Detailed review of Hozelock Automatic Pro Water Computer

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Hozelock Automatic Pro Water Computer
Hozelock Automatic Pro Water Computer
 

Blossom Smart

Smart Control for a Smart Device

This smart sprinkler from Blossom is a cutting-edge device controlled via mobile devices. Therefore, there are no buttons or switches on the casing. In all, the unit has a rather minimalistic design and some people might not understand what it is, taking the irrigation controller for an outdoor alarm or a Wi-Fi router. The smart sprinkler can be installed both indoors and outdoors. There is a stylish indication (looking like small drops of water) right at the centre of the device. The kit includes an Ethernet cable, a Blossom bridge, and the controller itself. To start using the device, just plug the smart sprinkler into a power socket and connect the Blossom bridge to your router (with the help of the Ethernet cable). Next, link the wires up to connection terminals on the irrigation controller; the unit can control up to 12 watering zones. Afterwards, fine-tune the whole system via your mobile device.
Review of Blossom Smart

Make a Photo of the Zones

This smart sprinkler system can be controlled via iOS or Android-based devices. The only thing you need to do is download and install the official Blossom app, Smart Watering, and create an account. After you have connected the controller to your smartphone or tablet, 12 empty slots will be available to you and you will be able to add 12 new zones. For each zone, you can choose the type of vegetation, emitter, and the desired amount of water that you wish to be dispersed. Moreover, a user can assign each of the zones its own name and photo to be able to tell them apart with ease later on.  As most other sprinkler systems, this one can be scheduled to water the lawn automatically or manually on a user's activation. The device has pleased us completely with its performance. Yet, what's the catch? The operating control range of this irrigator controller is limited to your home network only, and there's no way to control it from a distant place like from an office, store, etc. 

Blossom Smart in the use

A Single Glance is Enough

We would like to say a few words about some extra features of this smart sprinkler system. First of all, the app uses your local weather forecast (from weather stations and even satellites) to create a watering schedule. Therefore, the system will not water your garden or lawn in the rainy weather. No need to mention, this feature will save you a lot of money! The colour indication on the front panel of the device glows either blue or green. The colour and the lighting mode (steady glow or pulse) inform you about the operation of the Blossom smart sprinkler. A single glance at it - and you know if your lawn is currently being watered or not. We would recommend this irrigation controller to those who do not wish to deal with scores of settings but need usability, simplicity, and efficiency.
Detailed review of Blossom Smart

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Blossom Smart
Blossom Smart
 

Rain Bird ESP RZX4i

All Settings Will Be Saved

Rain Bird was established in 1933 in California. Since then, the company has been producing irrigation equipment for farms, golf courses, sports arenas, etc. Today, Rain Bird sells its products in 130 countries of the world and it is an evidence of the company's expertise and success. For our review, we have picked a smart sprinkler that is suitable for home use. The ESP RZX4i water controller can be installed indoors only. This device can handle up to 4 zones, which is enough to water the area around your house. There is a small monochrome display on the controller and all the controls are around it. Below, there is a lid covering all the terminals, the rain sensor, and the power connection. The smart sprinkler is powered by two AAA batteries that ensure the retention of settings even in case of power outage. You can mount the irrigation controller on a wall with the help of two screws.
Review of Rain Bird ESP RZX4i

Take the Season Into Account

It took us no more than 10 minutes to examine the control panel and learn how to adjust this smart sprinkler controller. The interface is simple enough for any user to tackle this device. There are two operating modes: auto and manual. You can set the day, time, and the duration of irrigation. You can set the irrigator to water each zone as many as 4 times per day. You can pre-set the sprinkler to water your lawn on certain days or every other day (even or odd-numbered days). If you do not wish to spend your time on adjusting the watering schedule for each zone, you can pre-set just one of them and the Contractor Rapid Programming™ system will copy the settings to 3 other zones. This way, the adjustment will take 4 times less time! When you need to water your lawn out of schedule, just switch to a manual mode and regulate water supply yourself. Finally, we would like to highlight the seasonal adjustment. Thanks to this function, the water controller automatically adjusts the duration of watering depending on a season.
Rain Bird ESP RZX4i in the use

To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade? You Decide!

As for extra capabilities of this water controller, you can upgrade the device by connecting a rain sensor (sold separately). This tiny piece of technology will help the smart sprinkle to automatically adjust its operation to the current weather. If irrigation is on schedule but it is about to start raining, the smart sprinkler will not turn on, thus saving your money. If you do not wish the controller to employ the rain sensor, you don't necessarily need to disconnect the wires; it's enough to press "Back" and "Next" buttons for a few seconds and the controller will get back to following the set schedule only. So, in spite of the number of programmes, it's still you who will decide when and how long the lawn should be watered.
This smart sprinkler will be a fantastic choice for people who need a small and simple device for watering a small lawn or garden near the house. No doubt, it is a win-win irrigator controller!
Detailed review of Rain Bird ESP RZX4i

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Rain Bird ESP RZX4i
Rain Bird ESP RZX4i
 

Sources:

1. Cabe Atwell Smart Sprinkler Systems Save Water and Save Houses, Sensors. December 2, 2015.

2. William Finucane Create a Smart Sprinkler System to Water Your Garden When the Soil Dries Up, Mad Science.

3. Klint Finley Smart Sprinkler Checks the Weather to Avoid Wasting Water, WIRED. November 24, 2015.

4. Derek Markham This smart irrigation and water management system is controlled by your smartphone, TreeHugger. July 19, 2013.

5. Selecting a Smart Irrigation Controller, University of California. June 29, 2010.

6. Irrigation Controller, Wikipedia. May 29, 2015.

7. Irrigation Controllers for the Homeowner, Department of Water Resources.

8. Smart Irrigation Controllers, SRP.

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