The smart thermostat encompasses what smart home technology is about; efficiency, control and saving money. Ecobee is one of the leading manufacturers in the smart thermostat market with several devices available. This Ecobee3 vs Ecobee3 lite comparison showcases two of the best available from the brand.
The Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite are two very similar smart devices with subtle differences. Generally, smart thermostats have straightforward and few features, and given that these are both under the Ecobee3 bracket, there isn't much of a noticeable difference. Read this Nest vs Ecobee article for a more comprehensive overview of the best smart thermostats.
The original Ecobee3 is more feature rich and compatible with other devices, while the later released Lite version is budget friendly as it strips away some of these features.
These are two of the best know smart thermostats on the market, and solid choices for those who wish to add such a device to their home. We will look at these two products for you in order to help you decide which is a better buying option for your circumstances.
First, we will quickly outline a few benefits of smart thermostats that the Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite can help you obtain, before overviewing and comparing their similarities and differences.
- 1 Comparison Chart
- 2 Benefits of switching to a smart thermostat
- 3 Overview of Ecobee3 & Ecobee3 Lite
- 4 Similarities
- 5 Final Word
- 6 Comparison Table
Benefits of switching to a smart thermostat
Cooling and heating make up half of the total bill you pay for your house’s energy. However, smart thermostats have revolutionized the way temperature is controlled. Primarily, they provide you with greater control of your house’s climate and temperature. Thus, they help you save more money on your energy cost!
Moreover, the Wi-Fi connections that a smart thermostat comes with offers numerous other advantages and perks apart from temperature control.
Save Energy & Money
As mentioned earlier, with a smart thermostat, you can help families and homeowners save more every month. So, while these smart devices help control the environment, they are also highly efficient and require a comparatively less amount of energy. At an average, with a smart thermostat, you can save up to $145 per year.
Furthermore, smart thermostats usually give a monthly energy report which includes tips on how to save more. These are available on the app that accompanies the smart thermostat.
Similarly, some smart thermostats have the ability to learn, such as the Nest, which means they can remember when to lower the temperature and when to raise it. This contributes to monthly savings too.
Control from Anywhere
Smart thermostats including Ecobees range can be connected to the homeowner’s devices through Wi-Fi. As a result, smart thermostats allow you to control your house’s temperature even if you are away from home.
This is typically mediated by a smartphone app, such as the Ecobee app available on iOS, Android and Windows.
You can log in from wherever you are in the world as long as you have an internet connection and adjust your thermostat accordingly. This feature is quite useful in case you forget to adjust thfe thermostat before you leave for work or go on vacation without turning down the thermostat.
You can also create home automation using IFTTT and a smart home hub.
Smart thermostats not only make life easier by taking away the hassle of adjusting temperature, but they also think for you. Such thermostats come fitted with useful features like maintenance reminders as well as the ability to monitor your consumption of energy.
For instance, one feature found in smart thermostats is dirty filter detection. With this feature, the smart thermostat can inform you when you should replace the air filter.
Similarly, a smart thermostat also allows you to monitor your energy consumption to see if it has gone down and up and then program the thermostat accordingly.
Smart thermostats, like Ecobees, automatically update the firmware and software of the device. This means that features can be upgraded over time and that the device comes with a customer orientated service as well as the good.
Overview of Ecobee3 & Ecobee3 Lite
Ecobee’s two famous models are the Ecobee3 and the Ecobee3 Lite. There are a few differences and similarities between the two. While some users will benefit from purchasing Ecobee3, others might find Ecobee3 Lite more suitable for their needs due to having a relatively modest price. Before comparing the similarities and differences between the two, let’s overview both the models.
Ecobee3 Lite is an efficient thermostat that makes it a worthy purchase. While the smart thermostat didn’t have support for remote sensors when it came out, it was later announced that it would also be able to support these in the next update.
You can integrate the smart thermostat with many smart home technologies like Amazon Echo, Apple HomeKit, Wink, Echo Dot, and SmartThings.
It features a vacation mode which lets the homeowner save on energy costs even while being away on vacations. Since this thermostat is the cheapest of all the smart thermostats manufactured by Ecobee, it is ideal for budget-conscious shoppers.
Furthermore, with this thermostat, you also get monthly reports so that you can keep a check on the thermostat’s performance rate.
All in all, this smart thermostat supports numerous systems, gives you the option of buying add-on sensors, and is available at a good price. Plus, with the power extended kit that comes with the thermostat, you can even use this unit for systems that don’t have a C-wire.
Plus, the thermostat can be used for homes with many zones as well as in smaller homes or in homes with an open floor plan as it comes with multiple sensors.
- Easy to use
- Works great with HomeKit
- Excellent app
- Hard to install
- Doesn’t come with built-in room sensors
Ecobee3 is similar to the Lite version and has all of its features with an additional few perks.
For instance, Ecobee3 is compatible with other air device systems such as ERV, HRV, dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and ventilators. So, this unit is an ideal choice if you plan on expanding your smart thermostat’s capabilities in such areas.
Another innovative feature in the Ecobee3 is the smart occupancy detection. With this feature, the thermostat can detect movement and activity and then adjust the temperature accordingly.
Similarly, another attractive feature is geofencing. This feature allows the thermostat to determine if you are home or away by tracking your home’s location. As a result, you can save more on cooling and heating costs with Ecobee3.
- Easy to use and responsive interface
- External sensors allow excellent temperature control
- Compatible with numerous accessories like humidifiers
- Poor customer service
- You can’t see the energy reports with the app
When it comes to the differences, there aren’t many. Although the recent update lets the Lite version support room sensors, the Ecobee Lite will not support ventilators, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers.
So, if these accessories are present in your home, purchasing the Ecobee3 is a much better option as it will allow you to full advantage from your house’s HVAC equipment.
Secondly, while the Ecobee3 Lite now supports room sensors, it doesn’t come with any. You'll have to buy them separately or simply skip buying them if you have a smaller house with an open floor plan. If you are confused about how sensors make a difference, here is what you need to know.
The Lite version doesn’t come with room sensors, and when it was released, it didn’t even support room sensors. Then, Ecobee upgraded the software and firmware which left the Lite version compatible with the room sensors.
Meanwhile, Ecobee3 comes with a wireless room sensor which can be placed around the house. Users keep the sensor in the room that is used the most like the bedroom or living room. The sensor detects motion to figure out if the room is occupied or not.
Similarly, it can tell whether the occupant is a human or a pet. Then, the sensor reports to the thermostat so that it can change the temperature accordingly. Thus, allowing a room sensor to adjust the thermostat lets you save additional money on cooling and heating when no one is home.
Design & Price
Another minor difference between the two models is the physical design. You’ll notice that the corners of the Ecobee3 Lite are more rounded. This isn't very noticeable or bound to have much of an impact on your purchase, but it is a small difference nonetheless.
As we mentioned, the Ecobee 3 Lite is a more budget-friendly smart thermostat. Prices vary but it is typically $100 less than the original Ecobee 3.
Every other aspect of these devices is the same in the two models. Both of them have a 3.5-inch touch screen with an easy-to-use app.
Installation for both is a very straightforward process in both the hardware and software, and either can be integrated with Amazon’s Alexa, Google's Home and Apple’s HomeKit.
Furthermore, both of them give usage reports and allow you to save approximately 23% on energy bills.
Lastly, both come with the power extended kit for systems that don’t have a C-wire and each has a 3-year warranty.
These devices are very similar due to smart thermostats having relatively straightforward and few features, and as they are both bracketed under the Ecobee3 series.
If you have a tight budget and can’t afford to purchase the latest smart thermostat, then the Ecobee3 Lite is the right option. It is budget-friendly and has all the basic functions you need in a smart thermostat.
On the other hand, Ecobee3 is slightly more superior and provides more flexibility and freedom to the user. It functions on a much higher level, with other home air devices, so if you have the budget and have an HVAC system fitted in your house, then Ecobee3 is the more suitable option.
|Wifi||App Name||Air Quality |
|Remote Sensors||Smart |
|Ecobee 3||✔️||Ecobee||✔️||Room Sensors||✔️||✔️||❌||✔️||✔️||23% Heating &|
|Ecobee 3 Lite||✔️||Ecobee||❌||Room Sensors||✔️||✔️||❌||✔️||✔️||23% Heating &|