As this review is being written, the drought in sunny Southern California is finally coming to an end, defeated by an El Niño-fueled rainy season of epic proportions (though the proportions of this rainy season are only epic by the standards of people who live in an area that used to be desert). This unexpected season of rain, though, is precisely the kind of thing that makes a smart sprinkler system useful. The Irrigationcaddy ICEthS1 smart sprinkler controller can not only be used, via its browser-based app, to set up to 10 zones of complicated watering patterns for yards with complicated patterns of vegetation, it can be used to override those settings if Mother Nature is already doing enough (or too much) watering on her own. The Irrigationcaddy also has a port where you can add a rain sensor, so it can sense El Niño activity by itself if you forget to tell it about the weather.
Unfortunately, the Irrigationcaddy requires a direct Ethernet connection, making it difficult to control from anywhere not in range of your router's WiFi signal. There's an esoteric port-forwarding routine that can be used to set up remote access to the Web page you use to talk to the system, but it might be a problem for anybody who finds complex computer interactions daunting. If you're willing to put up with the instructions in the manual, though, you'll be able to operate the Irrigationcaddy from anywhere on the planet. If you don't need to be away from home much, this may not be a problem, but there are other sprinkler systems that make this part simpler. The rain sensor would be useful if you can't make the remote connection work.
If you're searching for a smart irrigation controller that will handle your own El Niño moment (or just an unexpected thunderstorm), look at the Orbit B-hyve 12-Station (or just the B-hyve 6-Station if you have a smaller yard)). Also check out the GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub 6 Zone for even smaller yards or the Bluespray 24 Zone for gigantic ones.
The controller itself has worked perfectly for me. I just wish the terminals used screw down lugs instead of what they have right now.
The user interface is friendly and intuitive – almost anyone can use the IrrigationCaddy, no training or lengthy manuals are required.
Worked as described as soon as I hooked it up. Straightforward programming. Flexible scheduling. Small size made it easy to mount in a convenient location.
I like this one because it cannot be turned on manually which keeps gardeners from tampering with programs and wasting water in our drought.
Unit is very easy to set up and has user friendly graphics. I rate this as a great purchase.
I just use my web browser at home to control it, though I have confirmed that its associated iPhone app also works fine.