How to Choose the Right Irrigation Controller

A white irrigation controller box with wires attached to it.

Watering Smarter, Not Harder

Are you tired of wasting water and still seeing your garden suffer?

Ever wondered how you can automate your watering schedule to save time and effort?

In this guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know about selecting the perfect irrigation controller for your yard in Bowling Green, OH.

By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make a smart choice for an irrigation installation and design in Bowling Green, ensuring your garden stays lush and green while conserving water and reducing your workload.

Let’s dive in and transform your gardening experience!

Types of Irrigation Controllers

Understanding the various types of irrigation controllers is the first step in making the right choice for your Bowling Green, OH, yard.

Let’s explore the different options available, each with its unique features and benefits.

Web-Based Sprinkler Controllers

Web-based sprinkler timers combine the latest technology with your existing irrigation system.

These controllers connect to the internet, providing real-time weather data and allowing you to control your sprinklers remotely via your smartphone or computer.

  • Example: The Rain Bird ESP4Me can connect to Wi-Fi or Ethernet (with a Rain Bird LNK WiFi module) supports up to 22 zones, and integrates with a WR2 rain sensor. It offers 6 independent start times and is controllable via PC, tablet, or mobile device.

Battery Operated Controllers

Ideal for both residential and commercial use, battery-operated controllers are versatile and convenient.

They can be used in areas where power supply is an issue and often come with solar power options.

  • Example: The Irritrol IBOC-12PLUS supports up to 12 stations and offers solar and battery-powered operation, making it perfect for flexible station expansion in various settings.

Standard Irrigation Controllers

Standard controllers are cost-effective and simple to use, making them a great choice for basic sprinkler systems.

They often include weather-based adjustments to optimize water use without needing constant monitoring.

  • Example: The Hunter I-Core 6 Station controller is user-friendly, easy to install, and helps conserve water by adjusting to weather conditions.

Smart Controllers

Smart controllers automatically adjust watering schedules based on real-time weather data, soil moisture levels, and other factors.

The Hunter Solar Sync Sensor is EPA WaterSense approved and helps convert controllers to smart controllers.

These controllers can help save up to 25% of water compared to traditional models, making them a smart choice for eco-conscious homeowners.

The Solar Sync Sensor measures solar radiation and temperature to adjust irrigation schedules based on local weather conditions.

  • Example: Many smart controllers, like those from Hunter, feature solar sync sensors to optimize watering schedules and improve overall water efficiency.

In Bowling Green, OH, selecting the right irrigation controller can significantly impact your yard’s health and your water savings.

Follow the link to discover the best watering schedule for your lawn.

Next, we’ll discuss how to determine your specific zone needs to ensure you choose the right controller for your irrigation system.

Determining Your Zone Needs


Understanding the specific requirements of your irrigation system is essential to choosing the right irrigation controller.

Let’s delve into the factors that influence your decision.

Zone/Station Quantity

The number of zones, or stations, your system needs is crucial.

Each zone operates independently, allowing you to tailor watering schedules to different areas of your yard.

  • Consider Current and Future Needs: Ensure your controller can handle the number of zones you currently have and any potential expansions. It’s better to have a few extra stations than to run out when you need them.

  • Flexibility: Look for controllers that offer flexible station expansion. This feature is particularly useful if you plan to add more zones in the future.

Follow the link to learn how to zone a sprinkler system.

Valve Connections

Each zone in your irrigation system is controlled by a separate valve.

Follow the link to learn how valves work in irrigation systems and how to repair them.

Understanding your valve type is important for compatibility with your irrigation controller.

  • AC vs. DC Valves: Determine whether your system uses AC or DC valves. This distinction is critical since AC and DC controllers are not interchangeable.

  • Installation Considerations: Some valves require more complex installation processes. Make sure your controller matches the type and installation needs of your valves.

Choosing the right irrigation controller for your Bowling Green, OH, yard involves assessing both your current irrigation setup and potential future expansions.

By ensuring your controller can handle the necessary zones and is compatible with your valves, you’ll create a system that’s efficient and easy to manage.

Next, we’ll explore additional features to consider that can enhance the functionality and convenience of your irrigation system.

Additional Features to Consider

A group of pipes and valves laying on the ground.

Enhancing the functionality of your irrigation system can save you time, money, and water!

A complete sprinkler system includes piping, PVC fittings, valves, and sprinkler heads.

Let’s look at some additional features that can make a big difference.

Remote Control and Access

Remote access allows you to manage your irrigation system from anywhere using a smartphone app or web interface.

This is especially useful for those who travel frequently or have controllers in hard-to-reach areas.

  • Convenience: Adjust settings and schedules remotely, ensuring your yard receives optimal watering without you needing to be on-site.

Seasonal Watering Adjustment

Many modern controllers come with seasonal adjustment features, allowing you to easily modify watering schedules based on the time of year.

  • Efficiency: Adjusting for seasonal changes helps conserve water and ensures your lawn and garden receive the right amount of moisture.

Memory and Self-Diagnostics

Controllers with advanced memory and diagnostic features can help maintain an efficient irrigation system with minimal effort.

  • Battery Backup: Ensures your settings are saved even during power outages.

  • Self-Diagnostics: Identifies and alerts you to issues like wiring problems or valve malfunctions.

Adding these features to your irrigation system can greatly improve its performance and your overall experience.

Next, we’ll discuss the ease of installation and use, helping you determine whether a DIY project or professional installation is right for you.

Ease of Installation and Use

Choosing an irrigation controller that matches your DIY skills can make the installation process much smoother.

Let’s explore the ease of installation and use to help you decide whether to tackle this project yourself or seek professional assistance.

Installation Requirements

Some irrigation controllers are designed for straightforward installation, while others may require more advanced electrical knowledge.

  • DIY-Friendly Models: Look for controllers with simple programming and clear instructions. These models are often plug-and-play, making them ideal for homeowners who prefer to handle installations themselves.

  • Professional Installation: If you’re not comfortable with wiring or more complex setups, consider hiring a professional. This ensures the controller is installed correctly and functions optimally.

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or prefer to hire a professional, selecting the right irrigation controller for your Bowling Green, OH, yard involves considering your comfort level with the installation process.

Next, we’ll discuss making your final selection, focusing on compatibility and key features to look for in a controller.

Making Your Selection

Choosing the perfect irrigation controller involves considering several key factors to ensure it meets your specific needs.

Let’s explore the essential aspects to guide you in making the right choice for your Bowling Green, OH, yard.

AC vs. DC Controllers

Understanding the difference between AC and DC controllers is crucial for compatibility with your irrigation system.

  • AC Controllers: These controllers use alternating current and are commonly found in residential systems. They are typically more powerful and can handle larger setups.

  • DC Controllers: These use direct current, often powered by batteries or solar panels. They are ideal for areas without easy access to electricity.

Key Features to Look For

When selecting an irrigation controller, consider these important features:

  • Remote Access: Allows you to control your system via smartphone apps or web interfaces, providing convenience and flexibility.

  • Seasonal Adjustments: Automatically modifies watering schedules to match seasonal weather changes, promoting water conservation.

Making a well-informed decision on your irrigation controller can enhance your landscape’s health and efficiency.

By considering the type of controller, manufacturer attributes, and key features, you can choose a system that perfectly fits your needs and ensures a vibrant, well-watered yard.

Transform Your Yard with Simmons Landscape & Irrigation


Choosing the right irrigation controller can significantly enhance your garden’s health and efficiency.

With the information provided, you now have the tools to select a controller that meets your unique needs, saving water and time.

The right controller ensures your lawn is always perfectly watered, adapting to weather changes and conserving resources.

At Simmons Landscape & Irrigation, we specialize in irrigation installation and design, ensuring your system is expertly set up and maintained.

Don’t wait to experience the benefits of a well-designed irrigation system.

Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call to start your journey towards a greener, healthier yard with Simmons Landscape & Irrigation!