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What is a Smart Sprinkler System and How Does It Work?

Parts of this article were published by Patrick Sinclair on

A smart sprinkler system uses a wifi-enabled controller that connects to your already existing sprinkler system. With the controller, you are able to program, control, and monitor your watering cycle so you can determine how specific areas in your garden and yard are watered. If you want to, you can set up the controller so that it does the programming for you.

The beautiful thing about a smart sprinkler system is that once you have, it set up, installed, and programmed, you can use it to get real-time updates on your phone. As with any smart device, some products and controllers will work better than others. You may also discover that some systems offer more features and more customizable options.

Important Sprinkler Control Features to Consider

Smart sprinkler systems offer a wide variety of features, and it’s essential that you determine which ones work best for your yard. For instance, some systems can self-program based on weather forecast, soil and plant types, exposure to the sun, and the slope of your yard. You can find a very sophisticated system that uses advanced algorithms to determine how your lawn should be watered. Make sure you check out the features of both systems offered by Hamilton Irrigation, to ensure you purchase the system that fits your needs.


Learn About the Smart Sprinklers Hamilton Irrigation offers

Rachio Smart Sprinkler System


  • Use your mobile app to select zones and set a schedule

  • If you don't have a schedule in mind, or want to use the recommendation of Rachio, you can choose the "As Needed" option.

  • The app also offers a pair of smart features to help you with water efficiency and saving money on your bills: weather intelligence and smart cycle. Rachio has these features turned on by default, so if you decide you don’t want or need them, you’ll have to turn them off manually. The recommendation is to keep them on, as they are key features the controller can utilize when watering your yard.

  • You have the ability to control your Rachio smart sprinkler system through either the smartphone app or through a smart home system or smart assistant.

  • You can use your Google Home or Amazon Echo to control the system. You can also use SmartThings, Nest, Nexia, Wink, and a few other smart home systems as well.


  • It would be nice to see some more details addressed, like master valve/pump information and how to handle multiple nozzles in one zone, but otherwise, the system is fantastic.

Rachio might be the best connected smart sprinkler system on the market today, and as we noted, it’s easy to integrate into your already existing smart home setup. If you have a sprinkler system already in place, give it a nice upgrade by installing the Rachio smart sprinkler system.

Rain Bird


  • All of the controllers Rain Bird provides offer a complete collection of controls with are built into the equipment itself.

  • The controllers include an LCD panel with a few buttons that provide full power over your manual or scheduled water cycles.

  • Each time you launch the mobile app, it connects to your Rain Bird system to confirm settings are stored and updated on the controller.

  • Rain Bird includes an option to adjust your water depending on the season so you’ll be able to reduce watering based on the time of year.

  • You can set the Rain Bird smart sprinkler system to skip watering when it’s raining, but in order to do so, you’ll need to have a rain sensor wired to the controller.

  • Rain Bird’s mobile app offers a robust, full-featured calendar that lets you look forward up to a month.

  • It also lets you look back at your watering information for up to one full week.


  • Challenging Installation Process

  • Watering information beyond seven days is deleted from the app. It would be nice to be able to view more history, but this is what Rain Bird offers at this time.

  • Rain Bird smart sprinkler system does not offer push updates to alert you when watering cycles take place by default. You can change these settings in the menu of the mobile application, just keep in mind that if you turn them all on, you’ll get notifications when adjustments are made, when the unit connects or disconnects from your network, or when a watering cycle has completed. You do not, however, receive a notification for when a watering cycle begins.

The Rain Bird smart sprinkler system is designed to control and manage multiple devices from on smartphone. This is a nice feature since some sprinkler systems require you to use separate accounts if you require more than one controller. Rain Bird offers a solid system that will get your yard, garden, and flower bed watered.



Watering your yard requires hard work and attention to detail, things that Rachio and Rain Bird can do for you. Both controllers have some features in common, so it really boils down to which one makes more sense for you and your needs. Rain Bird is a solid option, and you won’t regret going with it as your smart sprinkler system. However, Rachio offers plenty of features and is compatible with many devices, which can really help when you need to keep tabs on your water usage.