Smart hose timers are awesome tools for you to control the timing of water supply through a mobile app. Motivation varies from water conservation, to efficient control of your gardening processes to a simple way to save on time. It is quite challenging irrigating a large garden while you have other “more important” tasks to take care off.
For the longest time the most efficient way to manage your lawn hose was to use those rotating sprinkler controllers. The devices were simple but not smart as they still needed your input at some point in time. Enter smart hose timers. These come with wireless connectivity that allows you to control their functions from the comfort of your smartphone. Features tend to be unlimited here as technology advances.
If you are not an IT geek, then picking up one of these devices can be a herculean task with all the terminologies used to describe the gadgets. These review narrows for you the best smart hose timers in the market.
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Best smart hose timer comparison table
|Model||Dimensions (in.)||Weight (pounds)||Availability|
|Orbit B-Hyve 21004 smart- timer||2.9 x 6.4 x 8.7||1.03||Check Price|
|Melnor 16043-IN Raincloud smart water timer||3.2 x 7.9 x 3.9||2.35||Check Price|
|RainRobot SC6400 Smart irrigation||6 x 4.9 x 3.4||8.8||Check Price|
|Rachio 8ZULW-C Smart sprinkler controller||9.0 x 1.4 x 5.6||1.00||Check Price|
|Crosofmi Digital Programmable sprinkler timer||6.3 x 3.35 x 2.17||1.00||Check Price|
|Homitt Programmable water timer||8.27 x 4.96 x 2.68||1.18||Check Price|
Best smart hose timer reviews
Orbit B-Hyve 21004 smart-hose timer – Best smart timer
If you have a large backyard where landscaping is important then the Orbit B-Hyve is your perfect choice. The timer is way superior to what its competitors are offering. Firstly, the Orbit B-Hyve puts complete control of your hose into your hands through the provided Android and iOS app. This means you can control your lawn watering from anywhere in the world. The unit comes with a plug-in Wi-Fi hub.
The Orbit B-Hyve smart watering capabilities extend to using technologies like WeatherSense to supply water based on soil type, slope, live weather feeds or sun/shade. The timer will automatically adjust the water supply depending on provided information. The timer also has flow meter that helps you track your water usage and volume consumed at specific times. You can use the timer for a wide range of applications like filling your pool, watering plants, greenhouse/hydroponic purposes, or washing your car. The setup for the Orbit B-Hyve is simple and straightforward.
The Orbit B-Hyve is EPA approved and certified; It also compatible with Alexa voice control. The unit measures 2.9 x 6.4 x 8.7 inches and weighs 1.03 pounds.
- Utilizes WeatherSense Technology for site evaluation
- Compatibility with iOS and Android
- EPA certified and approved
- Track water usage
- Compatible with Alexa voice control
- App not that great
Melnor 16043-IN Raincloud smart water timer–Best zoning feature
The Melnor stands out due to its ability to control water for 4 different zones using a single faucet. This further allows you to create independent watering schedules with multiple cycles during the day. You can control the device from anywhere in the world through your smartphone, computer or tablet. You can also active Alexa voice commands.
The Melnor is compatible with most standard garden hoses in most US homes. It measures 3.2 x 7.9 x 3.9 inches and weighs in at 1.37 pounds. The app ensures that the performance is above par and you can set the exact time to begin watering from wherever you are in the world. This allows you to water for up to 6 hours in a day.
The Raincloud allows you to pick from various scheduling options including automatic schedule. This means it will water a particular area for a certain time. A manual schedule that allows a particular zone to be watered for 6 hours and immediate watering where you can turn on/off the valve yourself.
- Operates four different time zones
- Compatibility with Alexa commands
- Various scheduling methods – automatic, manual and immediate watering
- App is very efficient
- The UI of the app is not that great
RainRobot SC6400 Smart irrigation– Best battery performance
The RainRobot allows you to control and schedule your lawn irrigation systems. You can turn on/off water from the comfort of your home through its free RainRobot app. The system connects directly to your faucets and does not require any tools. The app will sync with your local weather so that no water is wasted during rainy days. The app is available for both Android and iOS phones.
The system comes with 2 AA batteries that can last up to 2,000 on/off cycles. The app allows you to control up to 4 watering zones and this carters for your bushes, lawns, and vegetable gardens on different schedules. The system measures 6 x 4.9 x 3.4 inches and weighs 8.8 ounces.
The downside with the system is that instead of scheduling watering times to particular hours in the day you have to operate in set intervals – after every one hour, 8, 12, or 24 hours. The unit comes with a 18 month warranty
- Convenience of choosing watering schedules
- Long battery life gives you up to 2,000 cycles
- Weather smart
- Easy connection to faucet no need for tools
- Ability to control up to 4 different watering zones
- You cannot schedule specific time of the day for watering
Rachio 8ZULW-C Smart sprinkler controller – Best at water conservation
The Rachio comes with an innovative, sleek design that gives you access to over eight watering zones. It is estimated that you can save up to 30 to 50% on your monthly water bill. The app has smart intelligence features that enables it to skip watering during rainy, windy, or freeze conditions.
Setting up of your schedules is easy as the app walks you through every detail in the process. The unit is compatible with rain and soil sensors. It is simple to install and does not require any tools. The Hyperlocal weather intelligence plus uses radar, weather and satellite forecasts to water your garden. This means it is very specific. You can use the app to track estimated outdoor water usage.
The smart sprinkler is compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa and other voice commands. A provided LED light bar in the middle of the device will give one notifications of the part of the zones that is receiving water. In case it encounters any challenges in system error or connectivity it will flash red.
The smart timer allows you to set up to eight customizable zones with two rain and flow sensors. On the device, you will find 2 24V output connectors, jack for power brick, and 2 standard connections.
- Compatibility to a variety of voice assistant software like Google assistant and Alexa
- Sleek and clean design
- LED indicator light
- 8 customizable watering zones
- Saves up to 30-50% water
- Easy DIY Installation with no tools
- A bit costly
Crosofmi Digital Programmable sprinkler timer – Best onboard controlled timer
The Crosofmi is a digital programmable sprinkler timer that can used in manual or auto mode. While the interface may look outdated, the Crosofmi has some latest features like rain delay mode. This helps boost your water conservation efforts. The system features a large LED HD screen that displays the various programmed water cycles. Another key selling point for the timer is its sleep mode that turns the screen off after a few minutes to conserve battery life.
The system is also waterproof and constructed from durable materials that can withstand a variety of harsh climatic weather conditions. The crosofmi can handle one second to 300 minutes watering duration and supports a variety of irrigations systems, pool fillers, mist systems and sprinkler controllers.
The large screen is easy to read and is operational with the battery for up to six months. The system also has the capability of detecting low power supply and shutting itself off before battery power loss. To keep the unit protected from water leaks it is IP65 waterproof with pneumatic seals. The battery case is also waterproof.
- Impressive high-end features like rain delay mode
- Large visible display
- Covered with waterproof materials
- Ability to shut itself off due to low battery life
- Reinforced nylon fiber material for wear and impact resistance
- Not so user-friendly
Homitt Programmable water timer – Best multipurpose timer
The homitt features a digital screen with on-board set buttons. It also comes with pneumatic sealed components to keep off water from destroying the device. The top connector is made from 30% reinforced nylon material and this helps it be wear resistant and impact resistant.
The homitt is a multi-function unit that serves multiple purposes. It has a manual rain delay button and in case of rainy days a stop watering cycle feature. You can also use a manual mode to control the watering without necessarily interfering with the preset programs. The unit supports one second to 300 minutes watering duration and one hour to 15 days watering frequency. The 3” screen offers up to six months working time and is IP65 waterproof constructed.
The Homitt is designed to work with a variety of water pressure systems and is compatible with pet water, rain buckets, sprinkler irrigation systems and drip irrigation units. The Homitt also comes with a power save button that auto off the screen after 30 seconds of inactivity. The unit can get into a sleep mode to save power. The unit is easy to install as it comes with installation parts like 2 rubber rings, mesh filter, quick connector and manual guide. Also, included are 2 AA batteries. The mesh filter is there to prevent harmful particles from getting into the unit. However, you will need to regularly clean it off contaminants. The only downside is that this is an onboard timer unit so you do not get an app for your controls.
- IP65 waterproof construction
- Multi-function timer – child lock mode, manual rain delay and manual mode
- Waterproof battery case with internalized rubber for protection
- 3” large screen monitor with up to six months of battery power
- Supports a variety of sprinkler systems
- Not so user-friendly
Factors to consider when purchasing a smart hose timer
Most of the hose timers in the market are mostly used for managing water to your pool, but with advancements in technology you can extend this to watering your garden. One of the biggest benefits of a smart hose timer, is that you can schedule your watering times wherever you are in the world through apps.
Since the power of smart hose timers is its ability to do your work for you it is equally important to identify the right app for this. When choosing a timer ensure that it is compatible with your smart devices like phones or computers. Most of the timers even come with Alexa voice commands and can be downloaded on Android or iOS. You should check the usability of the app so that you do not get something overly complicated to operate. When you are getting the app also check out one that comes with advanced programming. This allows you to customize your watering cycles. A good app will allow you to even set particular times to turn on the faucet.
AA batteries power most of the timers. Power consumption will largely be dependent on how many times you water in a day. Alkaline batteries are preferred due to their disposable nature but you will find some of timers using rechargeable batteries. When checking out a timer for power check the number of on/off you get from a full charge. When choosing a timer ensure you get one that retains all your programmed cycles as it charges. Most of the batteries will give you a run time of 4 to 6 months. Some send notifications to your mobile app when they are low on power.
The main way through which your faucet communicates with your devices is through Wi-Fi. This means you need to be careful to ensure you place the timer within the radius of your wireless network. While rare, there some timers that use radio connections. But, in the age of Wi-Fi this are very few. The timer should also be easy to setup and use. There is no point in getting something so good but not be able to operate it due to its complexity.
Since the timer is always going to be stationed outside it is prudent that it be waterproof. The battery pack should be protected with enough waterproofing materials to prevent damage. Most of the timers are either built from metal or plastic. Part of the design is timers that have a rain delay. In this scenario the timer comes equipped with rain sensitive sensors that turn off the pre-programmed cycles whenever rain is detected. This helps in water conservation and prevents over watering of plants.
Other smart features you will find in water timers include the ability to regulate the flow of water to different plants. This can be accessed through the mobile app. One kind of plant may receive a certain quantity of water that is different from another. The timer app can also measure your daily, weekly and monthly water consumption.
Number of zones
A zone is a place where a valve has being placed there to control the flow of water. If a timer comes with four valves then this equates to four zones. Having multiple zones gives you the flexibility to have varying watering patterns depending on the zone. You can even allocated schedules for specific zones and grow different crops. High-end timers offer one eight to 16 zones.
Onboard or app controls
You also need to consider how you are going to be controlling the timer. Some timers will come with all their functions in the form of onboard controls. This involves readouts and buttons to set the timer. In this instance it is common not to have an app with the timer. On Device controls are were you find very little physical buttons on the timer. Most of the timer functionality is accessed through an app or voice commands. On device controls also have the benefit of allowing you to get instant notifications wherever you are from the timer. It will show you when watering has being completed and in which zone.
Verdict: So, which the best smart hose timer?
Our winner for best smart hose timer will have to be the Orbit B-Hyve 21004 smart-hose timer . We loved the Orbit B-Hyve sleek design with its Wi-Fi compatibility. The unit comes with a plug-in Wi-Fi hub that allows you to control the timer through various voice commands like Alexa or the provided app that is downloadable for Android and iOS devices. The unit leverages on WeatherSense technology to get data on weather patterns and evaluate other watering conditions like slope and rainfall. It also gives you the ability to track your water usage by gallons or time. The unit is lightweight and easy to install.