Smart Sprinkler Comparison: Rachio vs. RainMachine vs. BlueSpray vs. Blossom

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.

I’ve installed and used four different WiFi sprinkler controllers: RainMachine HD-12, BlueSpray 16-Zone WiFi, Blossom and Rachio Generation 2.

I reached out to every smart sprinkler company I could find, and these were the four companies that were willing to send me units for review. And after using them all for a couple weeks, I honestly think these are the four top devices on the market right now.

VIDEO COMPARISON

Smart Sprinkler Controller Checklist

If I’m looking for a smart sprinkler controller, these are the features that I need to have.

  1. Connect via WiFi 

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray      Blossom
    • I don’t want it to connect over Z-Wave or SmartThings or any other proprietary system. I want my irrigation controller to connect over regular old WiFi.
  2. Pause When it Rains

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray      Blossom
    • This is almost stupid to put on the list, but it needs to be said: Your WiFi sprinkler controller needs to skip watering if it’s going to rain that day.
  3. EPA WaterSense Certified

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray     Blossom
    • My county offers a 50% rebate on smart sprinkler controllers. This means I only have to pay $125 for a $250 WiFi controller. Look for rebate offers on your water company’s web site.
  4. Control Watering via Smartphone and Web

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray     Blossom
    • I want to be able to control my smart sprinkler device from my phone AND from a website. BlueSpray doesn’t have a native smartphone app, and Blossom doesn’t have control via the web.
  5. Automatic Watering Adjustment

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray     Blossom
    • Tailor the watering schedule based on recent weather. If it’s hot, water more. If it’s cold and rainy, water less.
  6. Rich Dashboard With Charts & Graphs

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray     Blossom
    • I want to see historic watering data displayed in an easy to read way. I want to see the upcoming schedule.
  7. IFTTT Integration

    • Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray     Blossom
    • An Internet of Things device isn’t worth it’s weight in silicon if it lives in its own silo, never communicating with the outside world. IFTTT integration allows you to connect your devices to a ridiculous number of integrations for productivity and fun.
  8. Open API

    1. Rachio    RainMachine    BlueSpray     Blossom
    2. If you want to go even further down the rabbit hole and build controls for your smart sprinklers into your own app or website, you need an open API.

I hope I’ve given you a few things to think about when buying a smart sprinkler controller, even if you don’t agree with my assessment.

Rachio 16-Zone WiFi Sprinkler Controller 2016 Rachio on Amazon

RainMachine HD-12

RainMachine on Amazon

BlueSpray

BlueSpray on Amazon

Blossom Blossom on Amazon


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