TR-469 Evaluation of smart irrigation controllers: Year 2013 results

Authors: C. Swanson, G. Fipps

A smart controller testing facility was established at Texas A&M University in College Station in 2008 in order to evaluate their performance from an “end-user” point of view. The “end-user” is considered to be the landscape or irrigation professional (such as a Licensed Irrigator in Texas) installing the controller. Controllers are tested using the Texas Virtual Landscape which is composed of 6 different zones with varying plant materials, soil types and depths, and precipitation rates.

This report summaries the results of the 2013 evaluations. Nine controllers were evaluated over a 196 day period, from March 4 to May 11 and July 29 to December 1, 2013. Controller performance was analyzed for each seasonal period (spring, summer, fall). Controller performance is evaluated by comparison to the irrigation recommendation of the TexasET Network and Website (, as well as for irrigation adequacy in order to identify controllers which apply excessive and inadequate amounts of water.