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BlueSpray 16-Zone WiFi Sprinkler Controller review

BlueSpray sent me their 16-Zone WiFi sprinkler controller for an honest review and I can say that after two weeks of use that this is a good unit. I think this controller has so many great features for big commercial jobs with tons of zones, but comes up short for the average do-it-yourselfer. But this unit has one killer app that makes it stand above the rest of the field – more on that later.

BlueSpray is heavy on the manual controls, which you may prefer if you want to be completely hands on. I would rather set it and forget it and the RainMachine I previously reviewed was very hands off. That unit took into account the season, the temperature and how much rain had recently fallen. That’s why it is EPA WaterSense certified. That said, if you’re running a serious irrigation job where you need to program everything at every level and manage up to 64 zones, this is your controller.

VIDEO REVIEW

HARDWARE SETUP

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BlueSpray sprinkler and garage door wires.
Installing the BlueSpray hardware was super simple. Setting up a sprinkler controller is usually pretty easy, you just connect the wires from your sprinkler valves and wire it up for power.
The hardest part is remembering which wires went with which zone, but I just take a photo and my phone remembers for me.
The BlueSpray’s plastic housing does feel a little flimsy, but I doubt you would be opening or closing the box more than a couple times a year.

INSTALL & SETUP VIDEO

INTERNET CONNECTION

Connecting over WiFi for setup was easy. You connect your machine to the BlueSpray directly to get it configured and then the BlueSpray can log on to your network. You can also connect with an ethernet cable if you need a hard-wired connection.

The BlueSpray will run on it’s own without the internet, so your controller won’t turn into a brick when your internet goes out or their servers go down. The RainMachine also does this, but many other smart sprinkler controllers on the market offload the work to the cloud, thereby depending on the cloud 100% for operation.

WEB CONTROL

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The BlueSpray mobile website.

The software is not slick, but it works. The non-mobile website feels clunky and dated. Dragging and dropping the sprinklers to create your zones is a cool idea but it isn’t executed very well.

Google Maps integration is also a great idea, but didn’t work great for my house. But it’s a fantastic feature if you are running a big job on a large plot of land. Think about running the irrigation for Disneyland or a similarly big operation. You would have each zone visualized on the map and named, and it would be so much easier to deal with when things broke.

There are no native apps (iOS or Android) to control the BlueSpray unit, but that’s not a big deal. The mobile site looks less dated than the full-browser version and feels nice.

There is a weird “network alert” screen that comes up between every single page load on the mobile site. I eventually became numb to it.

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The odd error that flashes on every page change.

The mobile site gives you plenty of control and I used it many times over the past couple weeks to test a zone after I hooked up new drippers.

Logging in to the software from your phone is a bit of a pain. If you’re on your home network you can go to http://my.bluespray.net and it will get you to the site. But if you’re off your network you go to https://www.bluespray.net/bin/account, login, select your controller and then get into your controls. You can’t bookmark your controller directly because of the way logging in and cookies are handled.
But as clunky as the software is, if you get everything set up the way you want, you won’t need to be logging in very often.
There are no charts or graphs with the BlueSpray, something I really liked on the RainMachine. But there is an API, so if you want charts and graphs you can build them yourself.

GARAGE DOOR INTEGRATION

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The hardware needed to use BlueSpray’s garage door feature.

My favorite part of this unit is the ability to control my garage door. This is such a genius integration because most sprinkler controllers are already in the garage. BlueSpray has two inputs, one for a garage door sensor and the other that connects directly to your garage door to control it. You need both hooked up for it to work.

I have always wanted to be able to control my garage door from my phone and to see if I forgot to close my garage door. To get it to work you need to install a sensor and run some wire. This was not hard at all and you can check out my setup article and video to see how I did it. The software setup was a little confusing, but once I realized that you have to tell it to automatically close after X number of minutes it worked. This feature works well, as I have been sitting below the garage door when the automatic closing started and gave me a good scare.

CONCLUSION

The BlueSpray is the top controller for managing big commercial jobs with multiple zones and multiple controllers. For the normal do-it-yourself this unit requires a lot of setup, but once you’ve got it setup you can forget about it. Add in the garage door feature and it vaults to the top as one of the best units on the market.

Check it out on Amazon

PHOTOS

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BlueSpray software setup during install.
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Garage door sensor and wires connected to the BlueSpray unit.
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Garage door sensor and wire required to hook it into the BlueSpray.
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The BlueSpray unit after mounting inside my garage.
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The BlueSpray unit after unboxing.
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The open box of the BlueSpray smart sprinkler controller.
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Closed box of the BlueSpray unit.
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Contents of BlueSpray box after opening.

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