I’ve been using the Skydrop 8-Zone WiFi sprinkler controller for the past few weeks and it has shined with beautiful design and smart watering. But I have had a few minor glitches along the way with the installation and notifications.
The Rainmachine Mini-8 smart sprinkler controller is just as good as it’s bigger brother, the HD-12. It’s easy to install, has a beautiful app with plenty of stats, and is EPA WaterSense certified.
After a couple years of startup companies inventing and dominating the WiFi-connected smart sprinkler controller market, one of the biggest players in the irrigation world has joined the fray.
Orbit’s B-Hyve 12-Zone WiFi Sprinkler System Controller is the first try at a smart sprinkler controller for a big company with a household name. After testing the unit for two weeks, it’s clear that the B-Hyve is not ready for prime time. I ran into bugs all the way through the process. I’ve been assured by the team at Orbit that this is an evolving product and that bugs are being squashed and new features will be added.
I’ve been using the Rachio Generation 2 WiFi sprinkler controller for the past few weeks and it lives up to the hype of being the most full-featured and polished offering in the market. It waters 16 zones and is controlled from anywhere on the web or with a smartphone app.
After a few months of installing, testing and reviewing smart sprinkler controllers here on my blog, I thought it was time for a head-to-head comparison.
After a couple weeks of testing and live-fire runs, the Blossom smart sprinkler controller has been a very quiet competitor in the WiFi irrigation realm.
Quiet can be a good thing depending on your perspective. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t want to think about your watering whatsoever, the Blossom will do the thinking for you. You have no choice but to let it run free and trust it’s doing the job right.
After a few weeks of use and many of ups and downs, I consider the PlantLink soil sensor a decent addition to my smart garden.
The promise of PlantLink is to “Never worry about over or under-watering again”. I was disappointed that the sensor only reports on moisture, and not sunlight or fertility like other smart soil sensors. But PlantLink says they’ve talked to plant scientists and they say “the most important factor in keeping plants healthy is administering the correct amount of water”. I’m willing to go with that.
The RainMachine HD-12 is a damn fine device. There are so many things I like about it and very few things that are off. It’s beautiful inside and out, so easy to use and works without interruption. I can finally stop worrying about turning the sprinklers off when it rains and then remembering to turn them back on when it’s dry. And yes, that’s something I’m willing to pay a premium for.
I will admit that I’m looking at this device with fresh eyes in January 2016 – I’ve never used it before this year. RainMachine has had growing pains over the past couple years, and you can find some harsh reviews on Amazon from when they were still working out the kinks. But such is technology, and I think this device has evolved into something special.