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Ecobee Lite 3 vs. Ecobee Smart Thermostat: Differences, Worth of Upgrade?

If you’re in the market for a new thermostat, you might be wondering if the Ecobee Lite 3 is good enough or if you should upgrade to the Ecobee Smart Thermostat. You want an option that will save you money on your energy bill while keeping your rooms at your desired temperature. So, let’s look at the differences between the Ecobee Lite 3 and the Ecobee Smart to help you decide which one is right for you.

If you want to save money while getting convenient services, go with Ecobee Lite 3. However, if you want an easy-to-use thermostat with advanced features like SmartSensors for real-time temperature adjustments, go with the Ecobee Smart thermostat.

In this article, I’ll discuss why these thermostats are among the most popular on the market. By comparing their features and functionalities, you’ll be able to choose the right one for your needs. Stay tuned!

Basic Similarities

Before we proceed to the specifications of each thermostat, let’s look at what they have in common in terms of features and functionalities:

  • Both can be controlled through a mobile app. You can easily control these thermostats from the comfort of your smartphone. Ecobee has Android and iOS apps for easy control of its thermostats.
  • Energy-saving features. These thermostats are built to save energy and cut electricity costs. They have an eco+ feature that preserves energy, thus helping you save up to 26 percent on your energy bills.
  • Voice control. These thermostats are easy to integrate with Amazon’s Alexa, which enables you to control them with your voice through Echo and Echo Dot. They also support Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Samsung SmartThings.
  • They come with a touch screen. Ecobee Lite 3 and Ecobee smart thermostats have a 3.5-inch (0.29 feet) touchscreen pad that makes operation easy.
  • Usage reports. You get monthly usage reports that help track your energy consumption and see how much money you save.
  • Warranty. These thermostats come with a 3-year warranty.

Read: Why Ecobee Thermostat Not Turning On AC? – Troubleshooting Guide

Ecobee Lite 3 vs. Smart: Differences

Although manufactured by the same company, these thermostats have differences that may guide your decision on which one to buy. The smart version is the latest model produced by the company. As a result, it has more technological features than its Lite 3 counterpart. However, you should know that the advanced features come at a price.

The table below shows the main differences between these thermostats.

Ecobee Lite 3 Ecobee Smart
It doesn’t have smart sensors.It has SmartSensors which enhance its occupancy-detection capabilities.
It lacks the dehumidifier, humidifier, and ventilation controls.It comes fitted with the dehumidifier, humidifier, and ventilation controls.
It is cheaper than the Ecobee Smart.It is more expensive than the Lite 3.
It lacks real-time temperature adjustment capabilities.Possess real-time temperature adjustment capabilities.

Table 1: Differences between the Ecobee Lite 3 and Ecobee Smart thermostats

Read: How To Fix Ecobee Alexa Not Responding?

Ecobee Lite 3 Thermostat

Ecobee Lite 3 is the most affordable option from Ecobee. However, being on the lower end of the budget doesn’t mean that this thermostat skimps on features. You still get all the essential features that you need in a quality thermostat.

This thermostat is versatile in terms of how you control its functionalities. Using an app, you can control your room’s temperature through:

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  • Tapping. You can either tap on the thermostat itself or the Ecobee app to control your room temperature. The tap sends a signal to the thermostat, which then adjusts the temperature in your room.
  • Swiping. You can swipe up or down on either the Ecobee app or the thermostat itself to adjust your room’s temperature.
  • Speaking. This thermostat is voice-activated. You can use Amazon’s Echo and Dot, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit to control the temperature in your room.

The key functionalities of the Ecobee Lite 3 thermostat are:

Follow Me Plus Home and Away

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average electricity bill for households in the country in 2020 was $117.46 monthly. This high cost of electricity is partly contributed by HVAC systems that remain in operation even when people are not in the house.

The Follow Me Plus feature on this thermostat allows you to save on your heating and cooling costs based on your location.

This feature uses the sensors in your Ecobee lite to detect when someone is home. When it senses that all rooms are unoccupied, it’ll automatically adjust the temperature to save on energy.

You can also use the Home and Away feature to schedule when you’re home or away. This feature will adjust the temperature based on your schedule, so you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting it.

Read: 4 Reasons Why Ecobee Thermostat Fan Keeps Running

Energy-Saving Features

This thermostat has energy-saving features that help you minimize your energy bills. The auto-schedule feature creates a personalized schedule for your home based on your heating and cooling habits.

The eco mode feature conserves energy when you’re away from home. It does this by automatically adjusting the temperature to save on energy. You can also set a schedule for when eco mode should be activated.

Ecobee Smart Thermostat

The Ecobee Smart thermostat is the latest model from Ecobee. It has all the features of the lite version, plus some advanced features that make it worth the extra money.

Like the Ecobee Lite 3, the smart thermostat makes controlling your room needs like temperature and heating easier through voice control and tapping. In addition, the smart version has an advanced Amazon Alexa speaker that lets you play music, respond to texts, and send messages.

Other functionalities of the Ecobee Smart thermostat are:

Energy-Saving Features

The smart thermostat uses geofencing technology to save you money on your energy bills. This feature uses your phone’s location to detect when you’re away from home. When it senses that you’re away, it’ll automatically adjust the temperature to save on energy.

You can also set a schedule for when eco mode should be activated to allow the smart recovery feature to heat or cool your home at the right time, so you’re comfortable when you come home.

Apart from the geofencing feature, the Ecobee Smart thermostat makes controlling your room temperature easier through:

  • SmartSensor. This is a remote sensor that you can place in any room. It detects occupancy and reads ambient temperature before adjusting the heating system appropriately.
  • Smart Home and Away feature. This feature uses the sensors in your Ecobee smart thermostat to detect when someone is home. When it senses that all rooms are unoccupied, it’ll automatically adjust the temperature to save on energy. 

Read: 3 Reasons Why Ecobee Thermostat Is Overheating

Advanced Amazon Alexa Speaker

The smart thermostat comes with an advanced Amazon Alexa speaker that enables you to play music, respond to calls and send text messages automatically.

You can also use the speaker to control smart home devices like lights and door locks.

The speaker makes your life easier by eliminating the need to adjust your smart home devices manually. Therefore, it’s an excellent option if you always come home tired and want to control your devices remotely.

The Power Extender Kit

Most HVAC installations come with a blue C wire that provides 24VAC power to the thermostat. However, some homes don’t have this wire. If your home doesn’t have a C wire, you’ll need to buy a Power Extender Kit to use with the thermostat.

The kit has a small device you’ll need to wire into your HVAC system. The device provides the power that the thermostat needs to operate.

However, you don’t have to worry about the C wire if you use the Ecobee smart thermostat. This thermostat comes with a power extender kit to make your work easier.

Expert tip: You should never try to install the power extender kit if you’re not experienced. A small error during the installation will damage your entire HVAC system. Thus, it’s advisable always to seek a professional for such installations.

Read: No Power To The Home Temperature Thermostat – Troubleshooting Guide

Upgrading Options

If you already have the Ecobee Lite 3 thermostat, you can upgrade it to get some of the advanced features of the Ecobee smart thermostat. You can do this by buying and fixing the Ecobee Lite 3 SmartSensor. The sensor extends the functionalities of this thermostat by enhancing its occupancy-sensing capability.

Final Thoughts

Ecobee Lite 3 and Ecobee Smart thermostats are excellent options for controlling your HVAC system. However, your specific needs should guide you in choosing a suitable thermostat.

The lite version is perfect if you want a convenient thermostat on a budget. It has all the basic features of a thermostat. However, if you want all the features that Ecobee offers, you should buy the smart thermostat. The latter will give you value for your money in the long run by automating processes like making calls and sending texts.