ecobee lite Smart Thermostat

Last updated date: January 2, 2020

DWYM Score
8.6


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We looked at the top Smart Thermostats and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Smart Thermostat you should buy.

Overall Take

Some thermostats will only work with electric heat, but the ecobee lite Smart Thermostat boasts compatibility with gas, oil or electric, as well as dual-fuel heating and cooling. You'll also get easy installation, thanks to a power extender kit that eliminates the need for a c-wire. Remote sensors allow the thermostat to detect activity throughout the home to ensure your heating and cooling keep up. In our analysis of 160 expert reviews, the ecobee ecobee lite Smart Thermostat placed 5th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note January 2, 2020:
Checkout The Best Smart Thermostat for a detailed review of all the top smart thermostats.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
16 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.1
3,634 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The ecobee3 looks shockingly like the ecobee4, which I’ve also reviewed. It’s black with a 3.5 inch full color LCD touchscreen in 230 by 480 pixels. The ecobee3 lite will work in your home whether you have gas, oil, electric, or dual fuel heating and cooling, and a c-wire is not required— that’s why the ecobee3 lite includes a Power Extender Kit.
- Security Baron
October 11, 2019 | Full review
Excellent app integration allows you to control the temperature straight from your phone. Interface is easy to see and use.
- BestReviews
A responsive touchscreen and integrations with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and IFTTT give the lower-priced $169 Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat serious appeal.
- CNET
October 17, 0201 | Full review
The ecobee3 lite's most unique feature is its optional remote sensor; no other thermostat brand in our comparison has anything like it. Remote sensors wirelessly communicate with the thermostat to detect temperature and motion in other areas of your home, giving it more complete information.
- Top Ten Reviews
July 3, 2018 | Full review
An Ecobee without room sensors is still a superbly designed thermostat with a great user interface and a terrific app—but so is the Honeywell Lyric T5, which you can buy at Amazon for just $110.
- TechHive
October 11, 2017 | Full review
Using the Ecobee3 Lite is as simple as you'd hope. Just slide a finger up and down on the right side of the 320-x-480 display to adjust the temperature of whichever mode you're in: heat, cool or auto.
- Engadget
December 9, 2019 | Full review
I like that Ecobee’s base plate has a small leveling bubble, to ensure that you’re not installing it on an angle. Next, attach the face to the base plate, and the Ecobee3 Lite should power up.
- Tom's Guide
November 14, 2018 | Full review
All-cause with the savings, you would make. Sensors send information to the thermostat about various factors like your presence in the room or the temperature.
- All Listings
Has password protection to prevent unauthorized changes using the thermostat - app remains fully capable.
- Consumer Reports
You will like the way it reads and transmits the data to your phone remotely. This makes it reliable.
- The Z8
September 5, 2019 | Full review
The thermostat works with room sensors helping maintain a constant temperature throughout. It can measure both the occupancy of the room and temperature to switch comfort mode when at home and help save energy when away.
- The Top Pro
Comes with an easy to change built-in schedule, so there’s no “learning” period to go through
- Smart Thermostat Guide
March 8, 2018 | Full review
The installation is pretty simple, Installation guide comes in a box with the device and if that is not enough there are more instructions on the Ecobee website or in the mobile app, and for those aren’t handy, there is telephone technical support which guides you step by step or you can even schedule a professional to come and install Ecobee3 smart thermostat for you.
- Thermostats Advice
We love the way Ecobee3 Lite Thermostat reads and teaches itself to adjust home temperatures. In its ​primary mode, the Ecobee3 lite takes readings from all the sensors and averages them out, making sure all parts of the home are equally warm.
- Great Smart Gadgets
September 19, 2019 | Full review
There is a special ecobee app for the users of Android and iOS devices. They can control the temperature and operate the machine from remote locations through a smartphone.
- 10 Unbiased
April 9, 2019 | Full review
Ecobee3 is the most suitable smart thermostat to help you save energy (and money).
- Energy Destination
December 30, 2018 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Reliability is questionable in the event of a power failure.
- BestReviews
Smart" is a bit of a stretch for the Ecobee3 Lite, since it doesn't rely on activity-tracking sensors or any other sort of adaptive tech to learn your routine. $169 is still a lot to spend, especially on a programmable thermostat.
- CNET
October 17, 0201 | Full review
It does not come with a remote sensor.
- Top Ten Reviews
July 3, 2018 | Full review
Being a budget-minded device, the Lite lacks the terminals required to control advanced HVAC components, such as humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators
- TechHive
October 11, 2017 | Full review
Missing from the Lite is a component that some of the flagship's more advanced features relied on: remote sensors.
- Engadget
December 9, 2019 | Full review
No native geofencing
- Consumer Reports
HomeIQ reports could use some improvements, such as being able to see them in realtime instead of having to wait for a full month to finish
- Smart Thermostat Guide
March 8, 2018 | Full review
You only get two sensors with the initial purchase. Requires you to buy more.
- Great Smart Gadgets
September 19, 2019 | Full review
Some of the features are very complex to understand.
- 10 Unbiased
April 9, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Live better. Save more. With its beautiful design, easy-to-use touchscreen display, and up to 23%* savings on heating and cooling costs*, the Ecobee3 lite is the smarter thermostat that helps you live better and save more. It also now pairs with room sensors to help manage hot or cold spots in the home, delivering comfort to the rooms that matter most. And because they track occupancy, they make your home even smarter about saving energy when you’re away. Ecobee3 lite pairs with up to 32 sensors. Works with echo, apple home kit, Samsung SmartThings, wink, and fits. We want you to love our products as much as we do, so your Eco bee comes backed by a 3-year .

Overall Product Rankings

1. Nest Learning Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 17
2. Honeywell Color Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 17
3. Mysa Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 6
4. Honeywell Home Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 14
5. ecobee lite Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 16
6. Honeywell Color Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Emerson Sensi Touch Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 15
8. Emerson Sensi Touch Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 8.2
Expert Reviews: 16
9. ecobee Smart Thermostat, Room Sensor Included
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 20
10. GoControl Smart Thermostat
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 13

An Overview On Smart Thermostats

When they first came along, programmable thermostats seemed like a great way to save money on electricity when you weren’t at home. However, many consumers find that they don’t keep the same hours day after day, week after week. When schedules do change, adjusting things takes extra work that they may not want to put in.

Enter learning thermostats. These innovative devices monitor the activity within your home and automatically adjust the temperature as needed. As you start shopping, though, you’ll find that many learning thermostats also have the option to control the temperature using an app or controls on the wall box itself. But as “On The Fly…DIY” writer, producer and narrator Vicki Liston says, this automation can be tricky, so it’s important to choose the right type of smart thermostat.

“I recommend shopping for a smart thermostat that uses both a motion sensor and geo-fencing input to determine settings,” Liston says.

Accuracy also relies heavily on where the thermostat is placed inside your home. Like other types of thermostats, a smart thermostat should be mounted on an inside wall, approximately five feet above the floor.

“Install your smart thermostat in a place where there is no direct sunlight from nearby windows or doors and where it is not in the path of a vent,” Liston says. “Sunlight and drafty locations can cause false temperature readings and the thermostat will not be able to operate as efficiently as it should.”

Liston also reminds shoppers that some thermostats let users set up alerts. You can set your thermostat to notify you that it’s time to change your furnace filter or schedule maintenance with a local heating and air provider.

Before you start shopping, though, note the type of unit you have. Not all thermostats will work with all systems, so you can save time by buying the right product from the start. You’ll find most often you see thermostats that are compatible only with electric heating, which means they won’t work with furnaces. Still other thermostats are universal in nature, but even with those, check to make sure they’re compatible with your system before making your purchase.

DYWM Fun Fact

When many consumers think of smart thermostats, they automatically go to learning thermostats, which gather data on your temperature preferences and household habits to automatically adjust throughout the day. However, smart thermostats fit in a broader category that encompasses all thermostats that hook to your home’s Wi-Fi. That means you can control your home’s temperature remotely, which can come in handy while you’re traveling. Learning thermostats expand that capacity, learning your preferences over time and adjusting the temperature automatically to match. Some learning thermostats also build in motion-sensing technology to detect when people are inside the house. That means if you’re home sick from work and moving around, your thermostat will remove itself from its usual schedule and adjust the temperature to keep you comfortable.

The Smart Thermostat Buying Guide

  • Your thermostat’s display will likely serve as the primary source of information for your household. Some thermostats have larger displays than others, but also look for a higher resolution and easy-to-read text.
  • A thermostat will typically blend with your home’s décor, but make sure you choose one that has the look you prefer. Some have the round design found in pre-digital thermostats, while others take on the boxy look that has become popular in more recent years. You’ll also find some let you change up the color of the screen or come with colored rings.
  • With rare exceptions, you’ll probably need help or wiring expertise to install your thermostat.

“Traditional thermostats could maintain operation on a small battery or low voltage wires, but smart thermostats need a constant source of power from the ‘C wire’ or common wire,” Liston says. “If you are unsure if your current wiring set up has the C wire, please check with a qualified HVAC person.  Incorrect wiring can result in damage to both the thermostat and your heating and cooling system.”

  • Voice control is one of the best “extras” included in smart thermostats. If you have an Alexa or Google Assistant speaker, make sure you choose a smart thermostat that works with it. You’ll be able to raise or lower the temperature by simply speaking the command.
  • Smart thermostats can get a little complicated, so pay close attention to the design of the thermostat you choose. The more minimal the design, the better, especially if you choose a thermostat that monitors your household activity and adjusts accordingly. However, if you prefer to be more hands on with your temperature control, make sure you have a thermostat that makes it easy to set a schedule or adjust throughout the day.
  • Smart thermostats aren’t inexpensive, but be sure as you price them, you consider whether you’ll need multiple thermostats for your home. Some thermostats let you set up separate zones, which could save you money.
  • Most smart thermostats let you control your home’s temperature remotely using an app. You’ll need to choose a thermostat with an app for the type of devices you’ll be using for this control, whether it’s an iOS, Android or other mobile operating system. Some thermostats will even let you control them from a computer.
  • Scheduling is an important part of any smart thermostat. If you don’t want to bother with setting up a schedule, consider a thermostat that automatically adjusts temperature based on your household activity. If you do plan to use the scheduling feature, look for one that comes with a schedule built in. Then you’ll just have to adjust based on your own household needs.
  • Energy savings is one of the perks of using a smart thermostat. Some thermostats can even pull data from your local utility company and adjust the temperature to avoid using too much electricity during peak usage times, when costs are at their highest. Other thermostats will guide you to setting a temperature that is the most environmentally friendly, helping both your bank account and the environment.