Smart thermostat company Ecobee today announced the launch of a cheaper "Ecobee3 Lite" device that will deliver Ecobee's expected "superior comfort, control and energy savings" at $80 less than similar products from competitors, according to the company.
Similar to the flagship Ecobee 3 model, the Ecobee3 Lite has the same touchscreen controls and black aesthetic, and can be controlled from a smartphone through a connected Ecobee app. The cheaper model will also continue to support Apple's HomeKit platform, as well as Amazon Echo, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and IFTTT.
“The new ecobee3 lite delivers the many features of a premium smart thermostat – beautiful design, superior comfort and an intuitive customer experience – but it’s kinder to our customers’ wallets than leading competitors,” said Stuart Lombard, President and CEO of ecobee. “ecobee3 lite upholds our continued promise to make customer’s lives simpler and better.”
To offset the entry-level cost, the Ecobee3 Lite loses a few features included with its $250 counterpart. Namely, the Lite isn't compatible with the company's room sensors, which Ecobee says help the system become smarter with additional sensors placed in multiple rooms so that the thermostat can accumulate a total view of a home's temperature level. Ecobee3 Lite also lacks smart occupancy detection, and doesn't support accessories like humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators.
In the United States, users will be able to purchase the Ecobee3 Lite beginning on October 31 for $169. The smart thermostat will be available at retail exclusively at Home Depot locations, and online at Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com, BestBuy.com and Ecobee.com. Canadian users will be able to buy the device for $219 (CAD) on Ecobee's website. To make sure your system is compatible with Ecobee, the company has created a compatibility checker.
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edit: On the NEST I like the monthly report showing how I am doing on usage against other NEST customers in the area. I also like the web view option for setting tempatures and times - supports a 7 day schedule iirc. It's a huge step up from my old as sin "pin and dial" honeywell unit.
Since the thermostat couldn't do something as fundamentally basic as report the correct temperature, I returned it and bought a Nest 3rd gen. Was bummed that I lost Homekit compatibility, but I discovered Homebridge and got it back.