Over the past few years I've used a lot ofaccessories. I've tried everything from smart plugs to bulbs, smart garage openers, locks and everything else I could think of. In all my tests, I never imagined that the one smart home device I'd appreciate the most would be my smart sprinkler controller, specifically the one from Rachio. The R3 controller is a smart home accessory that everyone with an irrigation system needs, and right now you can pick one up for as little as $130.
There are two different options available in today's one-day sale at Woot. You can opt for the eight-zone or 16-zone controller. Functionally, they're the same devices, but the big difference is how many zones each can handle. You'll want to check with your current system to see how many zones are wired, but most homes should work with one of these options.
Getting it set up takes only a few minutes. The low voltage wires are easy to reconnect to this controller from your old one (hint: take a picture of the wiring before removing your old one). You can mount this inside or outside, but if you're using it outdoors you will need tofor it as well, which costs $30. Once it's set up, you can create a schedule of your own or let Rachio's smarts take over and create one to keep your grass watered without going overboard. It uses local weather to know when you've received enough rain to skip watering days or if the temperatures have dropped below a threshold. You can easily run it for extra time from the app if you need to water specific areas for longer.
The app shows approximately how much water you've used each month by watering the grass, and it also has a place that shows how much water you've saved when it skips watering sessions due to rain or other reasons. If you're tired of your sprinklers running while it rains or you just can't seem to figure out a way to keep your grass green without going broke, you'll want to give one of these a try.