When it comes to smart thermostats, Ecobee is getting the raw end of the bargain. Despite Ecobee being the first to introduce a thermostat that has a companion mobile app, most people now associate app-enabled thermostats with either Nest or Honeywell. The good news is that this did not stop Ecobee from coming up with great new smart thermostats that could rival the better-known brands in the market.
Check out Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Ecobee3
- 2 Ecobee3 Lite
- 3 Ecobee3
- 4 Ecobee3 Lite
- 5 Side-by-side comparison: Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite
- 6 Ecobee3 vs. Ecobee3 Lite: Which one should you buy?
- Features of Ecobee3
- What is in the box
- What you would love about the Ecobee3
- What could be better
- Final word on the Ecobee3
- Similarities between Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite
- How does the Ecobee3 differ from Ecobee3 Lite?
- What’s in the box
Ecobee3 vs. Ecobee3 Lite: Which one should you buy?
The company wanted to cater to the do-it-yourself market, as opposed to their earlier thermostats which were available only through dealers and installers (you can check out the latest prices and discounts here). Ecobee3 is Wi-Fi-enabled and works with room sensors so that you could be comfortable no matter where you are at home. Ecobee3 is also very connected, working with IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and a lot more home automation platforms. It also works with Amazon Alexa, which allows you to control your heating and cooling by giving out voice commands. Ecobee3 sells from the company’s online store, but you can check out [/easyazon_link]). the latest prices and discounts here.
Features of Ecobee3
Ecobee3 boasts of a range of top-notch features that make it very capable and competitive with other brands. These include:
- Easy installation. Because the target market consists of homeowners who would need to install their smart thermostat, Ecobee3 promises easy installation. Ecobee3 does not have any problem if your current heating and cooling system has the common wire or C wire. That means you can just replace your old thermostat with the Ecobee3. If your current system does not have the C wire, Ecobee includes the Power Extender Kit so that you could install the Ecobee3 without any hassle. Once you finish installing it, the device will guide you through the setup and registration processes.
- Room sensors. The best thing about Ecobee3 is that it has room sensors that you can put all over your home, allowing it to adjust the temperature in different areas around the house.
- Easy temperature adjustment. You can change the temperature using your smartphone, or you can use the touchscreen slider.
- Easy savings. Ecobee3 promises to help you save an estimated 23% off your cooling and heating bills every year.
- Monthly reports. Ecobee3 shows you how much energy you have saved using nifty and easy-to-read reports. It also gives you guidance on what to do in order to save more.
- Wide range of integrations. Apart from being able to connect with accessories such as ventilators, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers, Ecobee3 also works with home automation platforms and connects to other smart devices. Ecobee3 supports Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Amazon Echo, SmartThings, Wink and a lot of others.
- Design. The Ecobee3 has an elegant design with a shiny black face and a touchscreen display. You can see a number of information on the home screen, including the mode your HVAC is in, the indoor humidity, the indoor temperature, home or away mode, and local weather forecasts. It also has the temperature slider, which allows you to adjust the temperature easily.
What is in the box
Each Ecobee3 package has everything you will need to install the smart thermostat:
- Ecobee3 thermostat
- Trim plates
- Room sensor
- Detachable stand for the room sensor
- Power Extender Kit
- Quick start and installation guides
- Drywall plugs
- Wire labels
What you would love about the Ecobee3
As a smart thermostat, the Ecobee3 works really well. But what makes it stand out are two features: Home and Away, and the Follow Me feature.
The Home/Away mode helps you save more while keeping comfortable. The Ecobee3 is a programmable thermostat, which means that it would know when you are at home or not. If you are away, it will keep the temperature warmer or colder than you would prefer to help you save money. But what if you come home early? Ecobee3’s Home/Away feature will know if you are home and turn adjust the temperature accordingly.
The Follow Me feature allows the Ecobee3 to know where you are in the house. What does this mean? It means that you would not waste money trying to heat or cool an empty room!
You will also love the ability to just tell your Ecobee3 what to do and not having to go to the thermostat itself or to whip out your smartphone for you to get the room temperature you want.
Another very useful feature is the Vacation mode, which allows you to tell Ecobee3 that you will be away on a holiday. Vacation mode works just like the Away mode, but for a longer period. It saves you more while you enjoy the beach or tour a country halfway around the world.
What could be better?
The Power Extender Kit, which should help you work around not having a C wire, is not really an easy fix, and would be difficult for those who are not familiar with their HVAC systems. The power extender needs to be connected to your HVAC’s controller board. For this reason alone, Ecobee3 pales in comparison to Nest because Nest is able to work without a C wire. This setup is not recommended, however, because not connecting your thermostat to a C wire or having a power extender would mean that the thermostat would be stealing power in order to recharge.
The remote room sensors has a price for each or discounted for a pack of two. (Check out the latest prices here.) This means that you can spend a significant amount more for these sensors if you have a bigger house. The Ecobee3 only has one free sensor included in the box. Another thing to consider is that these sensors only have a range of 45 feet.
Final word on the Ecobee3
The Ecobee3 is a good smart thermostat to consider as it responds almost immediately to the user’s control, whether temperature adjustments were made on the thermostat itself, through the Web interface, or from a smartphone.
Ecobee3 allows you to cut down on your cooling and heating expenses easily while ensuring that you and your family are comfortable. The Follow Me and Home/Away features allow you to save more, without having to think about it. And it is not just hype, Ecobee3 proves that it save you money by showing you detailed reports about your heating and cooling, why your HVAC was turned on and off and what caused it to be on or off.
For those home owners who are sure they have a common wire to install their Ecobee3, and for those who have small homes or just need to monitor the temperature in one room, then they can save by buying Ecobee3 Lite.
Ecobee3 Lite has most of the features and functionalities you love in the Ecobee3, but a few features were skipped to justify the price cut.
Similarities between Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite
Ecobee3 Lite has been improved. Before, one of the biggest differences between the Ecobee3 and the Lite version is that Ecobee3 Lite does not work with remote sensors. This made it a good choice for single rooms or small homes. Well, not anymore. Ecobee3 Lite now supports remote sensors, allowing it to adjust the temperature in different rooms
Both the Ecobee3 and the Ecobee3 Lite also share the same 3.5-inch LCD touchscreens, black design, and even similar dimensions. Both of these offer different home automation integrations such as Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Apple HomeKit, and SmartThings, among many others.
You can get power extender kits no matter which version you choose and they both adjust the programmed schedule to accommodate the local weather. On top of that, you also get the same monthly energy reports and the vacation mode when you go away.
How does the Ecobee3 differ from Ecobee3 Lite?
So why does the Ecobee3 Lite have a cheaper price tag? The Ecobee3 Lite is not compatible with accessories such as ventilators, dehumidifiers, ERVs, HRVs, and humidifiers. The Ecobee3 Lite also does not have an internal motion sensor, which will change the display when it detects somebody walking past it. The Ecobee3 Lite kit also does not have all the materials you see included with Ecobee3, such as the remote sensors, the large trim plate, and the Power Extender Kit.
What’s in the box?
- Ecobee3 lite thermostat and backplate
- Installation guide
- Wire labels
- Drywall plugs
Side-by-side comparison: Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite
|MSRP Price||Check here for lates prices||Check here for lates prices|
|3.5″ LCD touch screen||√||√|
|320 x 480 pixel display||√||√|
|Amazon Echo Integration||√||√|
|Free monthly reports||√||√|
|Power Extender Kit||√||√|
|Works with most HVAC systems||√||√|
|Works with room sensors||√||√|
|Smart occupancy detection||√||x|
Ecobee3 vs. Ecobee3 Lite: Which one should you buy?
Ecobee3 is a good choice for a smart thermostat. However, the Ecobee3 Lite gives you a chance to save if you can live without the room sensors, if you have a common wire for your HVAC system, and if you do not need the fancy features of Ecobee3. Note, however, that if you do want to use Ecobee3 Lite with room sensors, it has a smarter bundle option that includes two room sensors.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!