How to choose a garden irrigation controller

How many different zones do you need to control?

If you want different parts of your garden to receive different amounts of water, or to receive water at different times then you have two choices:

  • Select a garden watering controller that has multi-zone capability.
  • Use one single-zone garden watering controller for each area of the garden over which you need specific control.

How much control do you want over watering start time?

The most basic controllers require you to be present to start garden watering (but shut the water off after a duration you select – so you can then leave them to it).

Some controllers contain a light sensor and can be set so that they start at sunrise and/or sunset (which are often considered to be the best times to water your garden).

Some controllers allow you to set a specific start time (either by setting an actual time or by setting them to start watering a number of hours from when they were first programmed).

How much control do you want over watering frequency?

All but the most basic controllers allow you to set how often your garden is watered. Options might include:

  • Every 6, 12, 18 or 24 hours
  • Every 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 days

How much control do you want over watering duration?

All controllers allow you to set how long your garden is watered for (usually in minutes).

More sophisticated controllers may allow you to set a different duration for different start times and or frequencies. For example, you might be able to choose to water for 1 hour in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

What additional features do you want?

Compatibility with non-mains water supplies

Most automatic garden watering controllers are designed to connect directly to a mains water supply. Some will work in conjunction with a stored water source (such as a water butt or rainwater storage tank).

Rain sensors

Rain sensors allow your controller to alter its programming if it rains, so that you don’t over-water your plants and/or waste water.

Soil sensors

Soil sensors measure the moisture content of your soil and can then alter your controllers programming to ensure that the right amount of water is delivered at the right time.

App control

Some controllers allow you to set their programming via an app so that you can set or modify your watering schedule whenever and from wherever you want.

Weather forecast integration

Some controllers (typically those that can be controlled via an app) can modify their watering schedule according to the weather forecast.

Weather station integration

If you have a home weather station, your controller may be able to access its data and affect its watering schedule accordingly.

‘Pause’ function

A ‘pause’ function allows you to suspend your pre-selected watering schedule for a while so that you don’t get wet if your’re in the garden when a watering event has been programmed.

‘Water now’ function

A ‘water now’ function allows you to override your pre-selected watering schedule and water your garden ‘on-demand’ without having to remove your controller.

Additional hosepipe connections

If your controller if connected to your only mains water tap then additional hosepipe connections allow you to connect a hosepipe so that you can water other areas of the garden manually.

Battery level indicator

If your controller’s batteries go flat then it will stop working. A battery level indicator allows you to replace the batteries before that happens.

Battery fail protection

If your controller’s batteries go flat whilst it is watering your garden then a ‘battery fail protection’ function will automatically stop it from watering.

‘Delay start’ function

If running more than one controller from a single mains water supply there may be a pressure drop if both controllers attempt to operate simultaneously. A ‘delay start’ function is designed to stop this happening.


Bestselling garden irrigation controllers

Bestseller No. 1
Kazeila Water Timer Digital Programmable Garden Lawn Tap Computer Hose Faucet Sprinkler Timer Irrigation System Controller/Child Lock Mode/Auto&Manual Mode/Rain Delay/3”Large Screen/IP65 Waterproof
1,737 Reviews
Kazeila Water Timer Digital Programmable Garden Lawn Tap Computer Hose Faucet Sprinkler Timer Irrigation System Controller/Child Lock Mode/Auto&Manual Mode/Rain Delay/3”Large Screen/IP65 Waterproof
  • Simple and Flexible Programming: Kazeila watering timer allow wider range of run time and interval. The watering duration ranges from 1s to 300min, and irrigation interval from 1h to 15 days. That can make you watering schedule fully customizable.
  • All-in-one Large Screen: 3” extra-large HD screen make everything clear at a glance. What’s more? Much power could be saved as the screen will go sleep automatically if not operated after 30s. Special attention: Lithium batteries are prohibited.Two 1.5V alkaline batteries should be used.
  • Multi-Function: Manual mode allow instant watering use without interrupting your set irrigation program. Rain Delay mode will pause your program for an interval to avoid overwatering and unnecessary waste. Child Lock mode keep sprinkler timer safe from kids activities.
  • Waterproof&Durable: IP65 waterproof, tested with 10kg water pressure. The top connector is made of reinforced nylon fiber material, which make it much more durable and solid then ABS or plastic.
  • Intelligent Power System: Smart display remaining power to ensure you are aware of the available power. The powerful chip will detect low power supply and shut off hose timer before battery dead.
Bestseller No. 2
BESEN Garden Irrigation Controller Garden Watering Timer Automatic Irrigation Control, Battery Powered, Adjustable Water Pressure, for Gardens, Vegetables, Lawns and Farms
  • ✔【Sturdy and durable】Made of high quality engineering grade ABS and stainless steel polymer material, with 2 time type setting knobs, hour and minute, rust proof, oxidation resistant, lightweight, sturdy and durable, long time use without worrying it will be damaged
  • ✔【With filter function and energy saving】Built in stainless steel high density filter in the water inlet hole, can filter impurities, with ultra low power consumption circuit design, with longer service life, widely used in garden, lawn, greenhouse, orchard, nursery, poultry feeding etc.
  • ✔[Easy to install and use] Suitable for all the same type of connections, can be connected to a tap or water pipe directly, turn the switch knob, "How Often" can set the interval time: 1 to 72 hours, "Frequency" can be set Interval time: 1 to 120 minutes, turn the knob "On" or "Off" for temporary watering 
  • ✔【New design】The universal pipeline and the controller shell are perfectly combined into a whole, this design, soaked in water can also run freely, two 1.5V ordinary AA batteries to drive, cycle irrigation interval frequency: 1 to 7 days, can set how long the interval watering once
  • ✔[Quality Service] As a practical garden watering controller, it not only saves time but also makes irrigation fun, it is lightweight and sturdy and very energy efficient. All customers are eligible for 90 days 100% refund and one year warranty, please buy with confidence
Bestseller No. 3
mopalwin Automatic Watering Clock Water Timer, Digital Watering Controller Timer for Garden Plant, LCD Display, Battery Operated
16 Reviews
mopalwin Automatic Watering Clock Water Timer, Digital Watering Controller Timer for Garden Plant, LCD Display, Battery Operated
  • 【Multi setting】Press the PROG button, then you can program the different watering plans. There are a total of 16 programs. These functions determine the time of watering and save a lot of time.
  • Automatic and intelligent: with a watering timer, you only need to press the buttons to adjust the watering time and water the plants in time. The automatic watering can be adjusted up to 12 times in a day. The watering time is 1 minute to 120 minutes. The shortest cycle time is 1 hour and the longest cycle is 7 days. Data storage function is also available when turned off.
  • Environmentally friendly material: the water timer is made of high-quality ABS plastic, wear-resistant and durable, waterproof and corrosion-resistant. And it comes with a waterproof protective cover. When it rains, the protective cover can protect the LED screen from the rainwater.
  • 【Easy to use】Screw the timer onto your garden tap. Unroll your garden hose. Unscrew the waterproof lid. Set the watering time and how often the water escapes (full instructions included). Screw on the waterproof lid.
  • Wide range of applications: the watering timer is very practical and can be applied to your home garden, roof garden, lawn, balcony, patio, greenhouse plants, agriculture and more.
Bestseller No. 4
Hozelock Ltd Hozelock Select Controller Water Timer, Standard
13 Reviews
Hozelock Ltd Hozelock Select Controller Water Timer, Standard
  • Easy to set up and adjust – the controller has 6 fixed daily watering options available and an additional 10 fixed programmes
  • Separate manual watering button – a quick and simple way to allow immediate watering
  • Limited rotation of dial – the dial is designed to prevent an accidental start time being selected
  • Led light – The LED light displays when the battery is low
  • Compatible with water butt tanks – the select controller Works at a pressure as low as 0.1 bar
Bestseller No. 5
YunDduoBao Watering Timer, Automatic Smart LCD Display Electronic Garden Water Timer Garden Timer Watering Irrigation System Controller System Rainproof Home Irrigator
1 Reviews
YunDduoBao Watering Timer, Automatic Smart LCD Display Electronic Garden Water Timer Garden Timer Watering Irrigation System Controller System Rainproof Home Irrigator
  • Flexible scheduling lets you water as often as every hour, up to 4 times a day or as little as once a week on each, set OFF when not in use.
  • Allows setting your precise desired frequency and duration. Program precisely when to start watering, when to stop watering. Watering duration can be set from 1 minute to 12 hours. you can flexibly arrange your watering time.
  • Digital Irrigation Timer powered by a 9V Alkaline battery ( not included ), low energy consumption, replace battery annually. With manual button, it allows your suddenly manual operation.
  • Features two separate valves with maximum flexibility settings. Attach two hoses, and customize each hose with its watering duration and frequency according to your precise needs. Use one water timer to control watering your lawn and garden.
  • Make sure this fits by entering your model number.
Bestseller No. 6
Aqualin Water Timer Tap Hose Timer Watering Computer Garden Irrigation System Controller
7 Reviews
Aqualin Water Timer Tap Hose Timer Watering Computer Garden Irrigation System Controller
  • Programmable: The watering computer allows you to set the desired watering Start Time, Frequency and Duration. Watering duration: 1-240 min, Frequency: Every 4/6/12 H or every 1-15 days
  • Easy To Use - Features a swivel coupling for easy and quick connection without any need for tools, instruction is simple and clear.
  • Backlit LCD Screen - A large, easy to read LCD screen with Backlit, displaying detailed information and makes it possible to use this hose timer at night.
  • Rain Delay / ECO Function-Skip watering during and after rainy days, without interrupting the programmed watering progress.Unique ECO funtion makes the timer work more intelligently. Rain Delay time: 0/24/48/72 H
  • Manual Watering – Manual watering function is available, watering time: 1-240min / 2 AA batteries required (Not included). / Solid quality, fully waterproof.
Bestseller No. 7
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
219 Reviews
Aqualin Hose Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Electronic Watering Computer with Two Outlets Color Blue
  • Working water pressure of this water timer: 0 - 8 bar, this water timer still works well even if the water pressure is 0
  • This hose timer allowes you to use impurity water. Two outlets can be independently programmed, meets your different watering needs
  • This watering computer can be attached to all 3/4''(19mm) or 1''(25mm) standard tap or faucet
  • Water-proof design allows the irrigation timer to work outside
  • If you have any trouble on the product, please contact us without hesitation, we are willing to helping you to solve the issue.
Bestseller No. 8
RUIZHI smart irrigation timer, automatic sprinkler, programmable waterproof timer, LED display, garden and agricultural horticulture irrigation sprinkler controller, automatic watering system
  • 1. Intelligent automatic irrigation control: a variety of program settings, real-time automatic operation. Thanks to flexible programming and automatic irrigation, you can easily water according to your wishes according to the current time, start time, irrigation time (1 minute to 9 hours and 59 minutes), and irrigation frequency (1 hour to 30 days). You can set up to 16 schedules, which are more flexible than other schedules in terms of time setting.
  • 2. Waterproof and durable timer watering: There is a protective cover, the protection level is IP67 waterproof and 10 kg water pressure test. The upper plug is made of reinforced ABS material, so it is more durable.
  • 3. [Better care of plants and water saving]: Using smart irrigation programs can not only protect water resources, but also improve the efficiency of automatic irrigation and significantly reduce labor costs. Even if no one is at home, the water computer can automatically water the flowers on a regular basis.
  • 4. Easy to use: The faucet computer opens the valve at the selected time and water can flow. Suitable for 2 types of taps: 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch threaded taps. There are 2 types of hose connections: nipple connection and hose connection. The easy-to-read LCD display makes all settings clear at a glance.
  • 5. Battery indicator: When the battery is low, the valve will automatically close, and the battery indicator in the display will promptly warn the user when the battery needs to be replaced. Watering timers are very suitable for lawns, greenhouses and gardens.
Bestseller No. 9
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
314 Reviews
Aqualin Two Outlets Electronic Hose Tap Water Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof
  • Water timer with 2 independently programmable vavles provides maximal flexibility
  • Different frequency settings are available, by hour or day. Max. watering time: 360min
  • The water timer is waterproof, weather-resistant and impact-resistant, ideal and practical for garden irrigation
  • The cover for operating zone protects the timer from water and dust. Clear screen displays the programm details. Power supply: 2 X AA batteries are required (not included)
  • It can be attached to all 3/4'' or 1'' standard thread tap / faucet. The watering computer can connect to a rain sensor (Rain sensor not included)
Bestseller No. 10
Aqualin Hose Water Tap Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof, Blue
415 Reviews
Aqualin Hose Water Tap Timer Garden Irrigation System Controller Watering Computer Waterproof, Blue
  • 8 watering programs can be set, 15 different frequency settings are available
  • Water pressure: 0-8 bar. The watering timer works well, even if the water pressure is 0
  • LCD display shows watering status and time, low battery indicator is available
  • The watering computer fits all standard taps or faucet with 3/4 "thread
  • This garden hose timer is simple to use, waterproof with protect cover (please tighten the cover when using outdoor)

Last update on 4 August 2021 - 15:06. Product price & availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price & availability information displayed on the Amazon.co.uk website at the time of purchase will apply.