Wyze Sprinkler Controller teview: 8 zones, 50 bucks

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The sprinkler controller is just not such superior know-how that it ought to command greater than 100 bucks at retail. And but it does. That’s partially as a result of this market is so small that it has been in a position to withstand vital value competitors.

However now Wyze has arrived to shake issues up, because it does in each product class it enters. In a market the place most choices hover round $150, the Wyze Sprinkler Controller hits the bottom at a mere $50.

With a view to maintain prices down, Wyze’s units are usually easy affairs, and this controller isn’t any exception to the rule. The pretty trim, rectangular machine provides eight zones, connecting to your valve wiring through easy spring clips, so no screwdriver is required to put in the controller aside from mounting it to the wall.

This overview is a part of TechHive’s protection of the most effective good sprinkler controllers,  the place you’ll discover critiques of the competitors’s choices, plus a purchaser’s information to the options you must think about when searching for any such product.

A easy collection of eight lights on the entrance illuminate to let you know which zone is actively working, and a set of 4 buttons to the suitable of the show can be utilized to run guide “fast runs.” You merely use the arrows to pick a zone, and the opposite two buttons to begin and cease the run.

Wyze Smart Sprinkler Controller app Christopher Null / IDG

The first show provides a climate forecast plus data on each your prior run and the subsequent.

The system units up in Wyze’s do-everything app (I examined with remaining {hardware} however a beta model of the app, prematurely of the January launch of the product) and connects to your community through 2.4GHz Wi-Fi (solely). In my testing, set up went shortly and accomplished efficiently with out incident, and shortly I used to be capable of start working with my zones in earnest.

Quite a few choices can be found for configuring your zones, together with fastened scheduling based mostly on time and day of week and a “good” scheduling system referred to as Sprinkler Plus, which makes use of localized climate info to handle your watering. Sprinkler Plus is a subscription add-on that prices $10 per yr, however three years of the service are presently included with the product. Be aware that weather-based skips can’t be activated with no Sprinkler Plus subscription, even in case you’re utilizing an in any other case fastened schedule. Scheduling can, nonetheless, be set based mostly on dawn and sundown instances with no present subscription.

soil moisture estimate Christopher Null / IDG

It’s unclear how Wyze derives this soil moisture estimate.

The most important catch with the machine is that Wyze doesn’t do an awesome job of holding your hand throughout setup. To begin with, I wasn’t introduced with a wizard to arrange my zones however was as an alternative simply dropped into the interface, full with a default schedule that was set to ship 20 minutes of watering over a 2-hour, 20-minute interval (pausing incessantly for 30 minute “soak” classes). It additionally wasn’t clear how typically this schedule would run—the upcoming calendar was clean—however after the primary evening of watering concluded, one other occasion appeared within the calendar three days following the primary run.

I attempted deleting this schedule, tweaking some traits of my garden, corresponding to solar publicity, slope, and soil kind, and was then introduced with a brand new good schedule of a 40-minute block of watering (which is unquestionably overkill for my yard). Once more, there was no indication how typically this may run, as if Wyze decides day-to-day based mostly on its arcane estimate of soil moisture and that day’s climate situations whether or not or not it’ll water your garden. As nicely, you need to arrange a separate backup schedule that Wyze makes use of within the occasion that your web connection is misplaced (for greater than 2 weeks).

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