Ecobee3 lite

Ecobee3 lite
  • Price
  • Installation
  • Design
  • Interface
  • Warranty

Final Verdict

ecobee3lite

4.1
User Rating 5 (1 vote)
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Ecobee3 lite Review

What makes Ecobee3 Lite different?

 

The newest smart thermostat release Ecobee3 lite has most of the features Ecobee3 has with a much better price. After the release of Honeywell Lyric T5, wifi thermostat market got very competitive. The price of Lyric T5 was the biggest part of this change. Honeywell released a product capable of doing most of the things other thermostats do with a much better range. The market reacted very quickly and Ecobee has released a lite version Ecobee3 with the same price range as Lyric T5.

This is great news for us, the consumers because the new price range is a great opportunity to change your old thermostat with a smart thermostat. Calling these devices smart thermostat is a crime itself because they are much more than just a thermostat. They have ARM chips in them, the same type of chips a small computer has, like your cell phone. They are able to calculate behavior patterns, analyze the data, and adjust the thermostat accordingly. Ecobee3 Lite is a bridge between all the other smart devices at home as well.

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ecoobee3 lite

What’s in the Ecobee3 lite box?

Inside the box, ecobee3 lite thermostat, back plate, 4 screws and plugs, power extender kit and ugly large white trim plate. I wouldn’t install the plastic plate; it doesn’t look right to me.

The installation is very quick, Ecobee app guides you through the process, there are also detailed videos about the installation on YouTube. If you get stuck, you can always call the company for technical support and a specialist will help you over the phone with the installation.

The interface is not as good as Honeywell but it’s better than Nest for me, I can never get used to the dial setup of Nest. Then again I rarely use the thermostat itself, since I always have my phone on me.

Ecobee3 lite has a very stylish design, the screen is 3.5” full-color LCD touch screen, 320 x 480-pixel display, it’s about the same size as competition in the market. Dimensions are 4x4x0.8 , again it’s very close to other thermostats. It comes with a power extender kit, just like ecobee3 in case you don’t have a C wire on your system. This is a 30$ extra value because most of the people buy the extra power extender instead of running a C wire from HVAC machine.

ecobee3 lite app

It’s compatible with gas, oil, electric, dual fuel, Conventional (2H/2C), Heat Pump (4H/2C) system, meaning it will work 95% of the systems out there. The fact that it won’t steal power to operate is another big plus for ecobee3 lite.

The ecobee3 lite app allows you to control your thermostat from anywhere.  You can adjust the temperature, or set different schedules for different days of the week. It will give you monthly reports about your energy consumption and give you advice on how to save money.

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Ecobee3 lite Home IQ

Ecobee3 lite’s Home IQ features give information about your energy spending and how much you saved compared to other ecobee3 users. I think this software could be improved. It’s the same software that Ecobee3 uses. I will do a page by page analysis of Home IQ.

Overview screen:

ecobeereports1

This is fine, but I want to see some more detail in this page.

Runtime Report:

ecobeereports2

Ok, so how did I “save” 104 hours of runtime? According to the “About the 72F hold benchmark” “Energy savings are calculated by correlating how long your heating and cooling equipment runs to local weather conditions. Energy savings are calculated relative to a commonly used desired temperature of 72°F (22°C).”
That’s great, but my setpoint is 68 when I’m home. My temperature preference saved me runtime, but how did my ecobee save me runtime? This report has nothing to do with my ecobee and all it’s cool features and only considers the fact that I didn’t set my house to 72 all day.
I’d also like to see them add a slider so I can see how much more or less it would cost me to have the setpoint at a different value. I would want this to consider outdoor temperature and the fact that I lower the setpoint when I’m not there.
It would also be nice to see how much money my aux settings saved me. I disable my electric heat strips until it gets below 28F outside which most dumb thermostats can’t do and instead turn them on all the time. I bet I saved a lot there but I can’t tell why.
I could probably come up with more ideas here but the point is that this shows me almost no useful information.

Community Comparisons:

ecobeereports3
I don’t even know where to begin here. For all ecobee houses in Indiana, here’s how my setpoints compare to other people’s set points. This is nice to know I guess…but it’s not that useful. It just tells me that I happen to have my setpoints about the same as most other people.
Let me see comparisons to people with similar-sized houses, in similar climates, with the same HVAC type. If my heat pump is running twice as often as other heat pumps, maybe I need to address some insulation issues or get a new furnace. Energy usage tie-ins would be awesome as well although that would require additional hardware. I would by some energy monitoring that connects to the ecobee if they actually had useful reporting. Otherwise, I’ll just monitor it with a 3rd party unit.

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Home Efficiency:

ecobeereports4
First of all, I don’t know how this number compares to the number at the top of the community comparisons page. Second, my house is one of the top 28% in thermal efficiency. That’s great, but I’m not taking that to the bank without any supporting information. Given the focus on setpoint data in the other two reports, I’d guess this is just because I keep my heat at 68 instead of 72. I need the real detail of similar houses in similar climates to explain to me how this number is calculated.

Ecobee3 lite is eco-friendliest

If you are concerned about the environment like we do, Ecobee3 lite is the best thermostat in the market. Ecobee3 lite has no mercury, arsenic, PVC, and comes with the recyclable packaging. It’s ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) compliant. Ecobee3 lite went the extra mile compare to other brands in this matter and gets our seal approval for being the eco-friendliest in the market. The company knows its market very well, or they are just really into this business for the right reasons.

Ecobee lite can connect to Apple Homekit or Amazon Eco, Samsung SmartThings, IFTTT, wink and more. It will satisfy your home automation needs. There are thousands of smart devices connecting to these home management software, and with ecobee3 lite, you get to integrate your thermostat into the picture.

You can save an average 23% on your heating and cooling each year, meaning Ecobee3 will pay for itself in few years. You can even get a tax rebate and incentive for installing the device.

It comes with an industry standard three-year warranty. The warranty might be longer in some states.

ecobee3 lite settings

What’s Ecobee3 lite missing compared to Ecobee3?

Ecobee3 lite has everything Ecobee3 has minus 3 things. First It has no extra sensors you can place in different parts of your house. Regrettably, you cannot buy sensors at all. I think this is a huge mistake by Ecobee. Because sensors are what made Ecobee the second best-selling smart thermostat in the market after Nest. It will not detect people inside the house. It won’t work with humidifier, dehumidifier, and ventilator.

The counter argument would be, the idea behind these decisions is, Ecobee3 lite is designed for a smaller home. Therefore you don’t need the extra sensors and there are not many extra people in the house. Since it’s a small house, your system doesn’t have the extra support devices either.

Final Verdict

ecobee3-lite-v2

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In conclusion, Ecobee3 lite is a great opportunity for people with a small house and couldn’t pay the price tag of a smart thermostat. Ecobee3 is a good thermostat with a track record to prove it. If you are looking for the best budget thermostat in the market, Ecobee lite is the right thermostat for you. It’s also a great opportunity to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

Click here for our list of Best Wifi Thermostats of 2017 

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