The best irrigation programmers

Irrigation Programmers – Buying Guide and Comparison in 2022

The irrigation of your garden or farmland is a task that cannot be left unattended, which is why it is necessary to have an automated irrigation device. If you do not know much about the subject, but you still need to acquire this type of product, you will need to review the different options present in the current market. In this way, you will be able to compare in detail both the design and the operation of each of them. Among the most outstanding models is the Gardena 271687 irrigation programmer, with a robust and resistant structure that you can install outdoors, without fear of the impact of weather agents damaging it. In addition, its screen is spacious and the battery has a useful life of one year. A second purchase alternative is the modelRain Bird WPX1, which incorporates a rain detection sensor and has intuitive control buttons.

Opinions about the best irrigation controllers

The acquisition of an irrigation programmer requires time and patience to carry out a previous analysis of the products offered in the market. Remember that each of them has distinctive characteristics and not all of them are suitable for use on the same terrain. Below, we have prepared a brief analysis of the five leading irrigation controllers on the market.

Gardena 271687

It is not surprising that this device made by the Gardena house is valued by buyers as the best irrigation programmer, since all its products meet the highest standards of quality, safety and operation.

This professional irrigation equipment has a robust design in rigid polymer, metal and stainless valve and two-legged base with non-slip rubbers. The screen is spacious, has a backlight and shows all the data of the programming carried out in detail. For its part, the control buttons are soft touch and are properly identified to facilitate your user experience.

Among other specifications we must mention that its casing has a format of 22 x 17.2 x 17.8 centimeters and weighs 1.3 kilograms, the irrigation pressure is adjustable between 0.5 or 12 bars and the equipment incorporates a sensor of moisture detection. In addition, it requires a power supply of nine watts annually.

Its robust structure, humidity detection system and long-lasting battery are some of the characteristics for which users consider that this model may be the best irrigation programmer of the moment.


Format: This model has been provided with a casing of 22 x 17.2 x 17.8 centimeters and a weight of 1.3 kilograms.

Sensors: The equipment incorporates a humidity sensor that is activated automatically when it detects that the floor is dry.

Pressure: The manufacturer provided a maximum pressure of 12 bar for the equipment, which you can regulate according to your irrigation needs to a minimum of 0.5 bar.

Battery: The energy consumption for each year of work is equivalent to the energy supplied by a nine-watt battery, so its consumption is relatively low.


Strength: One of the buyers commented that the adjustment pieces are a bit flimsy, so it is recommended to replace them with more resistant ones.

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Rain Bird WPX1

Among the best irrigation programmers of 2022 you will find this model with the seal of the Rain Bird house, since it combines resistance and efficient operation. The housing is compact and robust, but at the same time it is very light. You can evidence this through its 14.5 x 25.5 x 9 centimeter format, weight of 499 grams and made of rigid polymer.

The built-in LCD screen is small, easy to read and has a backlight. On the other hand, there are the five control buttons, with which you can set the time and start of each of the irrigations, as well as the days of the week that you want to execute this task.

As if that were not enough, you have the possibility of adapting a rain detection sensor. In this way, the valve will close automatically in case it starts to rain. We cannot fail to mention that the power supply method is battery powered.

Since its inception, the Rain Bird house has developed products with high quality standards, resistant and instinctive. That is why it currently competes in the market as the best brand of irrigation programmers with this model.


Format: The structure has dimensions width, height, depth of 14.5 x 25.5 x 9 centimeters respectively, to which is added a weight that does not exceed 499 grams.

Instinctive operation: The programming method is carried out by means of five fully identified soft-touch control buttons.

Resistance: The casing is made of rigid and robust polymer, so you will not have to worry about it deteriorating easily with constant use.

Screen: The equipment incorporates a small LCD screen with backlight and easy reading.


Batteries: Although the equipment requires batteries for its operation, users comment that they have not been included in the purchase package.

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Hunter ELC-401i

If you are wondering which is the best irrigation programmer, perhaps this device developed by the Hunter house is the answer to that question. It is a professional design intended to be used indoors. Its aesthetics are pleasant, robust and resistant. The casing is made of white rigid polymer, the control buttons are made of aquamarine green rubber and the area surrounding the screen is blue.

As for the format, we have dimensions of width, height, depth of 14 x 14 x 3 centimeters respectively and a weight of 998 grams, being specifications that make it a fairly light and compact device. In this way, you will not have problems when carrying out the assembly process.

This model incorporates an alternating current transformer for 230 watts, unlike other equipment that works with batteries. In addition, the irrigation system is made up of two intuitive and quick programs to execute.

Making the decision of which irrigation controller to buy can be a somewhat complex task, especially when the market has so many options. That is why below we want you to know the pros and cons of the Hunter ELC-401i model.


Weight: You will be able to handle this irrigation programmer with total comfort, since its weight is only 998 grams.

Design: The structure of the programmer has a minimalist design in white, blue and aquamarine green.

Resistance: The device’s casing has a rigid polymer construction and rubber buttons, both being resistant materials with a soft touch.

Installation: The device has been designed to be installed indoors, taking into account that its power supply is through an alternating current transformer.


Programming: Based on a user’s usage experience, the programming of the device is a bit confusing to execute.

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AQUA CONTROL is a company that is characterized by offering its customers professional, resistant, long-lasting products with efficient and simple operation. An example of this is this model, rated as the best value for money irrigation programmer, which according to buyers is one of the cheapest.

The equipment works on batteries, requiring a total of three watts. Its compact structure of 10 x 10 x 16 centimeters is made of rigid blue polymer, the connectors are black and in the front area it has a transparent cover with hermetic closure, thus avoiding the deterioration of the two control buttons.

The valve pressure is between a range of one to eight bars, which you can program as well as the duration or daily frequency of irrigation. We cannot forget the built-in accessories such as the metal filter and a ¾ adapter for the tap area.

The model offers a pleasant user experience, since it incorporates some accessories and its pressure level is regulated, depending on the space you want to irrigate. These indicators, along with its price, position it among the cheapest.


Cover: In the front area you will find a transparent polymer cover, which you can adjust to protect the controls from contact with water.

Pressure: The opening of the valve offers a pressure that you can regulate between one and eight bar, according to your needs of use.

Accessories: To provide a better user experience, the manufacturer included a metal mesh filter and a ¾ adapter for the tap area.

Batteries: For its operation, the equipment requires a power of three watts, supplied by two AAA alkaline batteries.


Resistance: Users have commented that the material used for its manufacture is a bit flimsy and deteriorates quickly.

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orbit 94546

This irrigation programmer is a professional model, compact, light and equipped with advanced technology to facilitate its use. The 9 x 24 x 22 centimeter casing has been made from a combination of rigid polymer and stainless metal, so you won’t have to worry about it deteriorating when installed outdoors.

In addition, it is easy to handle due to its weight of 390 grams, it has an intuitive interface and it incorporates an intelligent irrigation mechanism that adapts to ground conditions. Aesthetically, it is a box-type device, which you can open and close comfortably, to keep the control panel protected. Its energy supply is by means of a CR2 battery with a maximum useful life of one year.

A feature to highlight is the possibility of linking the device via WiFi with your smartphone, tablet or computer, through a specific app for iOS or Android operating systems.

Orbit 94546 irrigation controllers are heavy-duty devices with a safe and aesthetically pleasing design. Its programming has an instinctive interface, which you can link to your mobile device or computer.


Format: The casing of the irrigation programmer has compact dimensions of 9 x 24 x 22 centimeters and a weight of 390 grams.

Resistance: For the elaboration of the casing, the manufacturer used polymer alloy with metal, thus being robust and weather resistant materials.

Interface: The method of programming the types of irrigation is fast, instinctive and controllable through an application directly from your mobile or computer.

Batteries: For its operation, the irrigation programmer requires a CR2 battery, thus offering a long working autonomy.


Connection: Users have agreed that the Wi-Fi network connection of this computer is very poor.

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Guide to buying an irrigation programmer

To keep your garden or plantations in optimal conditions, it is important to be consistent with their watering. It is a process that you must carry out periodically, and it is recommended to resort to the help of an automated irrigation system. The options present in the market are endless. So to choose the equipment that suits your needs of use, you must have a series of specifications. That is why we have given ourselves the task of developing a practical guide to buying the best irrigation programmer.

Shopping guide

Design and food

The method of power supply of an irrigation programmer can vary depending on its design, since there are devices made so that its operation is by means of batteries and others that have a power cable so that you plug it into a power source..

The cordless type are very popular in the market, because they only require a couple of alkaline or lithium ion batteries. The latter is characterized by offering an easy recharging method, carried out by means of a USB cable or an adapter. In this way, you get enough work autonomy to water your garden or crops for several days, depending on the schedule you have.

For their part, the conventional models are provided with an alternating current transformer, which generates a low starting consumption with a voltage input that does not exceed 230 volts, sometimes providing a slightly higher power level in the device.

Format and resistance

An irrigation programmer must have a standard size that adapts to the different spaces in which you can carry out the assembly, without generating discomfort with respect to its surroundings. In addition, weight is another important technical specification for easy handling when executing the installation of the units, since it is necessary that they be light structures.

On the other hand, we have the issue of the raw material for the production of both the casing and the valves, for which manufacturers generally use high-end materials, robust and resistant to any impact that may arise, as well as to changes climatic. Those frequently used by the industry are rigid polymer, galvanized aluminum, stainless steel or some type of alloy.

In addition, there are devices that incorporate a monitoring screen, so it is common to find this area made of polycarbonate. This is a translucent elastomer to which they add a waterproof treatment and even a protection cover to prolong the useful life of the device’s controls.

Operation and sensors

It is not always about getting an economical irrigation controller, since it is also important to consider in the comparison of irrigation controllers that the operation of said device is intuitive and safe. If you get the device to meet all three specifications, then it will be a point in your favor.

There are models that incorporate two or three buttons for turning on, off and controlling the intensity of the irrigation. Also, other manufacturers provide the units with slightly more spacious panels, even accompanied by a backlit LED screen. In this way, apart from the basic modes mentioned above, you can also make use of other more advanced functions such as the activation of humidity sensors, which automatically schedule an irrigation session when it detects that the ground is dry.

In relation to the innovative technology offered by some models, the link with your mobile device through the Wi-Fi network and an application provided by the manufacturer stands out, thus giving you the opportunity to control everything remotely.

irrigation pressure

If you want to know how much this type of equipment costs, remember that the current market has a wide variety of irrigation programmers and all of them offer pressure levels that vary from one another. Each brand incorporates several models into its catalog with different specifications and manufacturing criteria, thus allowing you to select the one that suits you best.

In general, these have an irrigation range that can be between one and up to eight bars, thus belonging to a low-medium range and having a notoriously cheap cost. On the other hand, the equipment provided with a more powerful output of 27 or 50 bars have a higher acquisition amount.

In addition, it must be taken into account that at a higher level of pressure, you will enjoy a wider range of work when irrigation begins, so it is a characteristic that must be contrasted with the type of terrain where the device will be installed.

Frequently asked questions

Q1: How to connect an irrigation controller to a pump?

If you don’t have time to water your garden, it is best to install an automated irrigation system in your house that will open and close on the days and at the times you indicate. To make it work, you need to connect the device to a water pump in the respective built-in outlet. Once activated, you will need to turn on the pump. If you have a tank, you can connect it automatically or by means of an electric float, which will prevent the pump from starting and running the risk of being damaged if the tank does not have water.

Q2: How to repair an irrigation programmer?

The first thing you should do is disassemble the pieces to get to the inside of the programmer. Check the part that supplies water and, if necessary, change the rubber in case the problem is water loss, one of the most common. Then put each of the pieces back in place and you’ll have a programmer like new. If you can’t fix it, it’s best to seek professional help.

Q3: How to program an irrigation programmer?

If this is your first time using the programmer, you need to put together a couple of pieces. This is simple. Generally, it is necessary to adjust the connection for a garden tap and another connection for a hose, in case it incorporates it. Then, you must insert the batteries and turn on the device. For programming, two basic commands must be taken into account: time and session duration. Use the time that best suits your type of crop, be it lawn, pot, orchard, hedges, among others. The duration of irrigation will depend on this, which varies from minutes to hours. There are programmers that can water for 24 hours, but the common is a limit of up to 4 hours.

Q4: What is a WiFi irrigation programmer for?

If you have a WiFi-type programmer, you can configure the irrigation process of your garden from a computer, a tablet or your phone, wherever you are as long as you have Internet access. This is usually done through an App, which is easy to use and allows you to manage your own irrigation schedules. You can define start time, duration and frequency. The App includes a local weather summary so you can stay informed about the weather forecast. Also, you can set and pause irrigation programs remotely. If in addition to your house you have to comply with the irrigation of your parents’ garden, you can also program it with this App.

Q5: How to reset an irrigation programmer?

To get started, you need to remove the battery from your irrigation controller and leave it off for 5 minutes. After and before reinstalling the battery, you have to press the following three buttons: the arrow pointing to your left and the + and – buttons. The battery will need to be pushed back into place while pressing all three buttons at the same time. Wait until the display shows 12:00 midnight and you will be able to control your irrigation controller without any problem.

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