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.
If you only need 8 zones and don’t mind leaving out the LCD screen, the Mini-8 will save you a decent chunk of change over the HD-12. If you do want something a little more fancy, check out my Rainmachine HD-12 review.
- Simple manual control touchscreen
- Easy installation
- Simple and beautiful iOS and web app
- Easily connect from anywhere
- Open API
- WaterSense certification can save you big money
- Will cut your water bill
- No push notifications, yet.
- No fully-automated smart watering, yet.
- Can’t expand to more zones
The Mini-8 is a well-built little machine that has a small footprint. The device feels very sturdy when it’s mounted up against the wall.
Installation is pretty easy, as you just remove the wires from your old unit and plug them into your new one. The Mini-8 comes with screw template (that doubles as a quick start guide) which shows where your holes need to be drilled.
The Mini-8 doesn’t offer true smart watering, yet. The controller will pause watering if it’s going to rain and it will water more if it’s hot out. But you still need to do the work of setting up a schedule. I would rather have my smart sprinkler controller ask me a bunch of questions about my zones and have the device set up a smart schedule for me. The Rachio and Blossom currently do this. I’ve talked with the guys at Rainmachine and this feature IS coming soon.
INSTALL & SETUP VIDEO
One more feature that is sorely needed with the Rainmachine software is push notifications. Once again, the Rainmachine guys have said this feature is coming along with IFTTT triggers. The saving grace about these little cons with the Rainmachine is that they are software problems and will eventually be fixed. If they were hardware problems it would be hard to give them a pass.
The Mini-8 also has a web server built in to the device, so you are not dependent on Rainmachine servers for the controller to work. Most of the other smart sprinkler controllers use the cloud to run the controller, which means that if there is a prolonged outage or the company goes out of business your device may be useless.
Once Rainmachine roll out push notifications and full smart watering, this device will be hard to beat. But right now I would suggest the Rachio if you’re looking for an 8-zone smart controller.Check it out on Amazon