With the explosion of smart devices across our homes we are starting to see far more variety than ever before in what can be automated, or made smart. Sometimes smartifying something doesn't add much value but in the case of the B-Hyve smart sprinkler by Orbit, the value is visible almost straight away.

Smart Sprinkler

Orbit B-Hyve indoor sprinkler controller

Water-saving the smart way.

If you want a simple Sprinkler system to complement your smart home, then the B-Hyve is the answer. It's simple to set up and works exactly as it should.

The Good

  • Small, attractive design
  • Simple to install
  • Excellent price point
  • Easy to use phone app

The Bad

  • Cheaper plastic
  • Only uses an Alexa Skill

B-Hyve Sprinkler What I like

Since my wife and I have been renovating our home, we decided that changing all of the things in our home that could be swapped out with smart products was the way to go. We started off with lightbulbs and smart switches, we added a Ring doorbell and a Nest thermostat, as well as other smaller smart options. When we noticed our lawn dying we decided to see what smart options were available in the garden.

A smart sprinkler needs to reach certain criteria in my mind:

  1. It has to connect to my phone.
  2. It needs to connect to Alexa or Google Assistant.
  3. It needs to adjust dynamically.

Happily, the B-Hyve does all of those things and it does it at the same price as the average dumb sprinkler.

It took exactly 13 minutes and 5 seconds — from box to wall — to install the B-Hyve and have it watering my lawn. The small grey box looks great in my garage and the lack of buttons makes the whole device look nice and modern. The setup included removing my old sprinkler — make sure to write down what wires went where — replacing it with the B-Hyve and getting the app setup and the B-Hyve talking to the internet.

The app itself (Criteria 1 if you recall) is incredibly simple to set up. It asks you a fair amount of questions about your zone setup, including the type of soil, gradients, and any water restrictions your local area might have. The water restrictions are great on the B-Hyve as you can't even boost it manually on the dates that are blocked out.

Once it is set up you can see each of your four zones, though I only have two — you even get to give them a picture — and you can adjust any of the settings on the fly to make sure you get the best watering experience. This is where Criteria 3 comes into play. The B-Hyve automatically checks the local weather to ensure watering is actually needed. If you are having a storm, like we are right now, then your B-Hyve won't waste water by sprinkling your already soaked lawn.

It took exactly 13 minutes and 5 seconds — from box to wall — to install the B-Hyve and have it watering my lawn

Once I had that all ready to go, I took advantage of the timing system to make three different timer programs on the app. Each program can have multiple start and end times so you can have your sprinklers come on multiple times a day, but give you some flexibility on the overall scheme. My Garden needs a lot more watering in the summer months than it does in the winter so I have two programs for that, as well as one for when I go on vacation to make sure the plants are slightly overwatered, as I won't be there to boost it.

All of this ease of use makes the B-Hyve a great find, and for around $50 for the four-zone version, it's a fantastic price too.

B-Hyve Sprinkler What you might not like

Criteria 2 needs to be addressed here. While the B-Hyve does work with Alexa, it isn't as connected as I would like. Instead of being connected through the devices tab on the Alexa app you have to use a Skill. This isn't a huge deal, and certainly not a dealbreaker, but it does mean that you can't just say "Alexa, turn my zone 2 sprinkler on." Instead, you have to ask Alexa to ask B-Hyve to turn it on, which is a lot more cumbersome and far more prone to error.

To make smart home integration worthwhile it needs to be as easy to use as it is to do manually. If I need to ask Alexa four times to ask B-Hyve to turn the sprinkler on, then I may have well had just walked out and pressed a button. Not ideal.

The only other small issue I have is the plastic feels in no way premium. If it was inside my house, I wouldn't stand for the cheap feel, but as it is in my garage, and rarely seen, I can live with it. The shape and design are great, so it looks perfect where it is, it's only when you touch it do you notice the cheaper feel.

B-Hyve Sprinkler Should you buy it?

I'm really impressed with the B-Hyve Smart Sprinkler as a whole. Sure the plastic is a bit cheap, and the Alexa connection is a Skill, but the app design and the connection to the weather service make it a worthwhile investment. On the journey to making my home as smart as can be, I have found a few gems, and this is definitely one.

4.5 out of 5

Oh, I forgot to mention, the B-Hyve has already saved me money on my water bills while making my plants grow better than before. I really do recommend it to anyone looking to make their yards and gardens a little smart, for a little money.

Smart Sprinkler

Orbit B-Hyve indoor sprinkler controller

Water-saving the smart way.

If you want a simple Sprinkler system to complement your smart home, then the B-Hyve is the answer. It's simple to set up and works exactly as it should.

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