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ESP-SMTe Smart Irrigation Control System

Now with both Simple Smart Programming
and Advanced ET Watering Features

The Rain Bird® ESP-SMTe smart control system combines the proven simplicity of
the Extra Simple Programming (ESP) controller family with the accuracy of weather-based control.

To program, simply input a few key details, such as zip code, allowed watering days
and the plant/soil type for each zone. Then the ESP-SMTe waters only when the
landscape requires it and your customers save an estimated 30% + in water.

ESP-SMTe Operating Modes

The ESP-SMTe has two programming options, both of which make automatic watering adjustments based on input from the weather sensor.

In Simple Smart mode, the ESP-SMTe acts like a traditional time-based controller. Watering is scheduled on specific days, with fixed start times and run times. Automatic adjustments are made to run times based on on-site weather conditions.

In Advanced mode, the ESP-SMTe can be set to automatically determine water needs for each zone in a landscaped area. Irrigation schedules are adjusted daily, based on each zone’s specific watering requirements. Water use is minimized, saving money while promoting overall landscape health.

EPA WaterSense With mounting regulations and severe drought in many regions of the country, the days when water inefficiency was overlooked are gone. The future promises even more restrictions for the irrigation industry. But along with these challenges come opportunities. Pioneering smart irrigation technology, Rain Bird was the first full-line irrigation manufacturer with a controller to earn the EPA’s WaterSense label, ensuring it is at least 20 percent more efficient than non-labeled products.

All models of the Rain Bird ESP-SMTe controller are EPA WaterSense approved.

What is the WaterSense Label

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency developed a WaterSense program to make it easier for consumers to:

  • Recognize water saving products by labeling products that meet water conservation requirements. 
  • Gain access to new water saving innovations.
  • Understand the value of water efficiency.
  • Reduce strain on water resources.

How does the ESP-SMTe Save Water

The ESP-SMTe integrates technology used by top golf courses for decades and puts it into a user friendly controller.

  • On-site rainfall data - The ESP-SMTe collects site rainfall amounts and uses this information to re-calculate run times for each zone.
  • Historical weather data – The internal memory of the ESP-SMTe contains over 8 years of historical weather data.  This data, along with the onsite rainfall and temperature information is used to adjust the watering schedule on a daily basis. 
  • Reduced water run-off –The ESP-SMTe Cycle and Soak™ feature allows the controller to adjust zone run times based on soil conditions and slope to reduce/eliminate water run-off.  

Rain Bird is a proud EPA WaterSense Partner.

ESP-SMTe and EPA WaterSense

Instant rainfall shut-off and usable measurement

A smart controller should be smart enough to account for rainfall, right? Not always. In fact, most smart controllers simply suspend irrigation when it rains, without accurately measuring rainfall. By comparison, the ESP-SMTe not only suspends irrigation, it measures instantaneous rainfall amounts, determines the effective rainfall and calculates exactly how much to adjust your watering schedule to prevent over-watering and under-watering.

The proven accuracy of weather-based scheduling

In designing the ESP-SMTe, we’ve simply reduced the cost and complexity of the weather-based control systems we began pioneering for golf courses over 25 years ago. Drawing on the industry-leading precision of these larger, more sophisticated units, the ESP-SMTe makes Rain Bird weather-based control affordable for homeowners—once and for all.

Expandable modular design

The Rain Bird ESP-SMTe can grow with your landscape, easily expanding from 4 stations up to 22 stations with the addition of optional hot-swappable expansion modules.

Zone-specific water calculations

Different plants have different watering requirements. That’s why the ESP-SMTe customizes each zone’s irrigation schedule. It factors in location, soil type, landscape slope, plant type/density, sun exposure, sprinkler type and root-depth requirements. Based on this zone-specific data, the ESP-SMTe controller optimizes the irrigation schedule to promote lush, healthy plant material in each part of your yard, while substantially reducing water waste and runoff.

Three-year trade warranty.


4 Zone Indoor Modular Smart Controller with weather sensor

4 Zone Outdoor Modular Smart Controller with weather sensor

Expandable up to 22 zones using ESPSM6 Six Zone Expansion Modules or ESPSM3 Three Zone Expansion Modules.

All ESP-SMTe models come with a heavy-duty adjustable bracket and 25 feet of 18-2 UV-rated non-burial wire for connection between the controller panel and the weather sensor pod. Up to 200 feet of appropriate wire may be spliced to extend range.

Programming Recommendation

Rain Bird recommends that the maximum irrigation zone cycle time be less than the time required for runoff to begin and that there be adequate soak time before the next irrigation cycle of that same zone begins again.



    • Width: 10.7”
    • Height: 7.7”
    • Depth: 4.4”

Sensor (Largest Area Across)

    • Width: 6.0”
    • Length: 8.8”
    • Height: 5.9” (includes Solar Shield)

Mounting Bracket (Mounted on Vertical Surface)

    • Maximum reach: 7.0”

Electrical Specifications

    • Input Required: 120VAC +/- 10%
    • Output: 25.5VAC 1A
    • Surge Protection: Primary input side has (2) built-in MOV’s (metal oxide varistor) to protect circuitry. Output side has(2) built-in MOV’s for each valve station.
    • Power back-up: Lithium coin-cell battery maintains time and date while non-volatile memory maintains the schedule.
    • Multi-valve station capacity: Up to two 24VAC, 7VA solenoid valves per station plus a master valve.