Ecobee3 Lite cuts smart thermostat's price while keeping Apple HomeKit support

Posted:
in iPhone
Ecobee on Monday launched the Ecobee3 Lite, a new version of its flagship thermostat that's cheaper than the original while retaining most of its core features.









The only things missing from the Lite are room sensors, and accessory compatibility, including humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators. The unit can't for instance detect whether a room is occupied. The benefit though is a much cheaper $169 pricetag, versus $249 for the regular Ecobee3.



The Lite otherwise features the same 3.5-inch color touchscreen and platform support, including HomeKit, Amazon Echo, Wink, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings. It can also be controlled with apps for iOS, Android, and the Apple Watch.



One difference with some other smart thermostats is ability to use hardwired power instead of batteries.



Ecobee is currently taking preorders for the Lite, which should ship on Oct. 31. Online people will be able to buy it from Amazon,
http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=SnlbqrT3b2s&subid=&offerid=306581.1&type=10&tmpid=13127&RD_PARM1=http://www.bestbuy.com/site/ecobee-ecobee3-lite-smarter-wi-fi-thermostat-black/5618010.p?skuId=5618010">Best Buy
, Home Depot, and of course Ecobee itself, but outlet sales will initially be restricted to Home Depot.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,831member
    Why would any body pay 169 for a thermostat?

  • Reply 2 of 23
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,304member
    wizard69 said:
    Why would any body pay 169 for a thermostat?

    I'd wager our Nest, which cost more than that, has paid for itself many times over in the years we've had it installed not to mention the convenience of remote control ability when needed.
    longpathdiplicationrepressthisnolamacguy
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I have used most of the smart thermostats. They all have paid for themselves through energy savings and probably on convenience alone from my perspective. I often thought if one of these companies can hit the $99 mark with a smart thermostat they would really knock it out of the park. I do not like the fact that this runs on batteries. That is a deal breaker from me. I do like the direction overall that they are going with trying to get the price point low enough.
    longpath
  • Reply 4 of 23
    I have used most of the smart thermostats. They all have paid for themselves through energy savings and probably on convenience alone from my perspective. I often thought if one of these companies can hit the $99 mark with a smart thermostat they would really knock it out of the park. I do not like the fact that this runs on batteries. That is a deal breaker from me. I do like the direction overall that they are going with trying to get the price point low enough.
    I think the phrase "One difference with some other smart thermostats is ability to use hardwired power instead of batteries." breaks your deal breaker.

    I hope they keep the batteries as a backup power supply.

  • Reply 5 of 23
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,051member
    No room sensors? I like the Nest's ability to sense movement in the area allowing it to reduce the heat when nobody is there. That's one feature I wish Ecobee would leave in, and drop price further. 
  • Reply 6 of 23
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    Why Lite? The "Pro" version with an included remote sensor is around $199 if purchased with Echo Dot. This is a very bad move by Ecobee. You're better off to wait until Thanksgiving or other holidays for the best deal. Last promotion was on Father's day where they dropped the package of Ecobee3 with 3 remote sensors for ~ $250. Btw, I recommend to use it with Keen Home Smart vents. Otherwise, you may end up with unequal temperatures in different areas in your house.
  • Reply 7 of 23
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    I have used most of the smart thermostats. They all have paid for themselves through energy savings and probably on convenience alone from my perspective. I often thought if one of these companies can hit the $99 mark with a smart thermostat they would really knock it out of the park. I do not like the fact that this runs on batteries. That is a deal breaker from me. I do like the direction overall that they are going with trying to get the price point low enough.


    I finally like the idea of setting the stat via voice via my Amazon Echo and IFTTT etc (IMO-- Apple--- you snooze you lose. Non- TV commands should have been part of Siri in Apple TV-- without that silly remote... what a colossal miss... IMO)

    Which stat do you like best for a simple use case (one stat rules my small house)?

    Integtrates best with IFTTT/Perhaps Apple Phone home app when away?

    Any review sites to recommend?

    Also--- for my use case, batteries is it. How often do you have to re-charge or change? I have a simple programmable stat and the battery has been in for a few years.

    calimacgui
  • Reply 8 of 23
    bellsbells Posts: 127member
    I have used most of the smart thermostats. They all have paid for themselves through energy savings and probably on convenience alone from my perspective. I often thought if one of these companies can hit the $99 mark with a smart thermostat they would really knock it out of the park. I do not like the fact that this runs on batteries. That is a deal breaker from me. I do like the direction overall that they are going with trying to get the price point low enough.
    I have an Ecobee. It is hard wired. 
  • Reply 9 of 23
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    boeyc15 said:
    I have used most of the smart thermostats. They all have paid for themselves through energy savings and probably on convenience alone from my perspective. I often thought if one of these companies can hit the $99 mark with a smart thermostat they would really knock it out of the park. I do not like the fact that this runs on batteries. That is a deal breaker from me. I do like the direction overall that they are going with trying to get the price point low enough.


    I finally like the idea of setting the stat via voice via my Amazon Echo and IFTTT etc (IMO-- Apple--- you snooze you lose. Non- TV commands should have been part of Siri in Apple TV-- without that silly remote... what a colossal miss... IMO)

    Which stat do you like best for a simple use case (one stat rules my small house)?

    Integtrates best with IFTTT/Perhaps Apple Phone home app when away?

    Any review sites to recommend?

    Also--- for my use case, batteries is it. How often do you have to re-charge or change? I have a simple programmable stat and the battery has been in for a few years.

    Siri  on Apple TV is a dumb piece of sh**
    repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 23
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    fallenjt said:
    Btw, I recommend to use it with Keen Home Smart vents. Otherwise, you may end up with unequal temperatures in different areas in your house.
    interesting, can you tell us more about this type of integration? do they work together via Homekit or custom partnership? what do they do when working together?
  • Reply 11 of 23
    The Echobee3 room sensors are crap. I had the one that came with the unit installed and had to disable it because the unit would fluctuate by 4-5 degrees turning the AC on and off as the temp went up and down (the temp was actually stable) ... I tried putting the room sensors right next to the main sensor and it would still read 3-4 degrees different. I have a different sensor for my weather system in the same place and it agreed with the main unit to +/-0.2 degrees... Re-calibrating it did not help. I contacted the company and they would not get off the idea that the hole in my wall used to mount the unit was blowing cold/hot air even though it was an internal wall. I filled the very small hole with putty as they suggested but no help... I finally stopped using the external sensor, useless!  Plus, the remote sensor would constantly lose connection even when the unit was only ~8 feet away with line of site.
    Once I disconnected the remote sensor, everything seems to work as advertised... So I paid full price for a unit they now sell for ~$80 less :(
  • Reply 12 of 23
    "One difference with some other smart thermostats is ability to use hardwired power instead of batteries." is referring to Nest, not a comparison between Ecobee Lite and the regular Ecobee.

    Upon looking at the tech specs, Ecobee Lite is powered the same as the regular Ecobee, using the C wire or an included transformer if you don't have a C wire.

    The Nest batteries are trickle-charged from the HVAC outputs and is supposed to be transparent to the user. They do this because the thermostat occasionally needs more power than the HVAC system can provide (say during WiFi transmissions), so they charge continuously and transmit occasionally.  Same principle as a two-way pager (remember those?)  You wouldn't even KNOW it had a battery inside except that some bugs in the firmware caused some units to drain too fast and you ended up with a dead thermostat. 

    In all cases, these devices typically have enough reserve power to not reset when the power goes down-- not much reason to have the thermostat alive if the power goes down but you don't want to lose all your accumulated data and settings.

    What I don't understand, rather than removing ALL sensor input to the device, why not remove the EXTERNAL sensors and leave the internal one, and make the external transformer an additional-cost item?  That would make a better product that would compete better with Nest and put it on a level playing field with most Nest customers.

  • Reply 13 of 23
    ben20ben20 Posts: 120member
    Ecobee is the best thermostat ever - I paid the full price last year, worth every penny and it's quality and feature surpassed the Honeywell that it replaced. The sensor is awesome, I have it in the bedroom and it resolved the constant either to hot or cold issue . And it works with Homekit and with Alexa. Peace of mind when travelling that the house kept warm enough in winter.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    krreagan2 said:
    Once I disconnected the remote sensor, everything seems to work as advertised... So I paid full price for a unit they now sell for ~$80 less :(
    It sounds like your remote sensor is borked.  I'd make them send you a new one.  


  • Reply 15 of 23
    I'm looking at putting the Ecobee in my condo-- the thermostat is in the hallway near the bedrooms, but we have a huge living room that has glass walls on two sides-- I'm thinking the remote sensor would be helpful in not having the living room too hot or cold.  Anybody with an Ecobee care to comment?


  • Reply 16 of 23
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member
    fallenjt said:
    Btw, I recommend to use it with Keen Home Smart vents. Otherwise, you may end up with unequal temperatures in different areas in your house.
    interesting, can you tell us more about this type of integration? do they work together via Homekit or custom partnership? what do they do when working together?
    They're beta testing Ecobee3 with Keen Home Smart Vents now and I was told by Ecobee folks that they will release the combos in November this year. Both work with HomeKit. Principal: once Ecobee3 detects occupants in the room, it signals the AC/heater to turn on until the desired temperature reaches. In the meantime, it will signal the SmartVent to close in those rooms with no occupancy. That way, you only heat up or cool down the rooms with occupants. That's more efficient than delivering to all rooms.
    Check out Keen Home:

    https://keenhome.io/
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 17 of 23
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,976member

    I'm looking at putting the Ecobee in my condo-- the thermostat is in the hallway near the bedrooms, but we have a huge living room that has glass walls on two sides-- I'm thinking the remote sensor would be helpful in not having the living room too hot or cold.  Anybody with an Ecobee care to comment?


    Yup. Use remote sensors. However, you won't be able to change the hot/cold spots. Ecobee3 controls temperatures based on occupancy. So, you may get the desired temperature at where you are, but other areas may be hotter or colder because you don't have regulated vents for these areas.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 18 of 23
    Can someone please explain to me how this or any smart thermostat is beneficial and used? I have a 3-level townhouse with a single-zone HVAC with one thermostat controlling the temp on all levels. How does a smart thermostat benefit and save a person money if the one thermostat is controlling all three levels at the same time? Or does it only make sense for someone with a multi-zone HVAC system? Thank you.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    Can someone please explain to me how this or any smart thermostat is beneficial and used? I have a 3-level townhouse with a single-zone HVAC with one thermostat controlling the temp on all levels. How does a smart thermostat benefit and save a person money if the one thermostat is controlling all three levels at the same time? Or does it only make sense for someone with a multi-zone HVAC system? Thank you.
    You would get MORE benefit from having a multizone HVAC system or having the controllable vents so as to reduce the load on the HVAC system-- you wouldn't pay to cool the upstairs during the day if nobody was up there.  Even without the controllable vents, you'd still save some because the system would be smart enough to shut down when you left on errands or such.  

    My little bitty condo is good for about 15-20% savings, so you would probably see about that much-- more if you started shutting off the parts of the house you're not occupying.
    DuaneTravis
  • Reply 20 of 23

    fallenjt said:

    I'm looking at putting the Ecobee in my condo-- the thermostat is in the hallway near the bedrooms, but we have a huge living room that has glass walls on two sides-- I'm thinking the remote sensor would be helpful in not having the living room too hot or cold.  Anybody with an Ecobee care to comment?


    Yup. Use remote sensors. However, you won't be able to change the hot/cold spots. Ecobee3 controls temperatures based on occupancy. So, you may get the desired temperature at where you are, but other areas may be hotter or colder because you don't have regulated vents for these areas.
    So when I was IN the living room it would be at the temperature selected, but the bedroom temps would wander-- and vice versa?  That sounds reasonable, given that there's only ONE HVAC system.

    Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it.

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