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Christmas Gift Guide

Rachio to the rescue

Ready to water

Simple setup

Advanced capability

Zone setup

Scheduling

Physical controls

Smarter watering

The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller (second generation) provides easy-to-use app controls and smart scheduling options. An eight-zone controller costs $200, or $250 for Rachio's sixteen-zone version. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

Rachio replaces your existing controller for an in-ground sprinkler system. Connect it to your Wi-Fi, and you can work with it to create a schedule, or let Rachio do all of the work for you. Rachio watches the weather and adjusts accordingly either way. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

The physical setup is simple. You'll just need to attach a few wires. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

If you have a more advanced system, Rachio has ports to accommodate moisture sensors, a master valve, a pump start relay and more. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

After you finish wiring the controller, you'll use the app to complete the setup process. You can give Rachio details on all of your zones to help it plan when to water. 

Caption by / Photo by Screenshots by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

Once you have your zones, you can set up a schedule based on your preferences and Rachio's smarts. 

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Andrew Gebhart/CNET

Rachio also has physical controls behind the sprinkler cover. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET

I am a big fan of Rachio's app, and it also works with a number of other smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. 

Caption by / Photo by Chris Monroe/CNET
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