ecobee3 Lite Drops Remote Sensors?

Dave Zatz —  September 29, 2016


As ZNF regulars are well-aware, I run both Nest and ecobee smart thermostats in my home… and we far prefer the ecobee3 for a number of reasons. The most significant benefit of ecobee, over Nest, is the bundled remote sensor along with the ability to add many more. This opens up all sorts of scenarios in regards to intelligently balancing temperature, accurately identifying presence, and the like.

Well, based on a pulled Home Depot product page, doing away with those capabilities may be the key to lowering the price of entry via a new ecobee3 Lite model.

Having perused the FCC filing last month, I’d assumed remote sensors were still in play while Apple HomeKit licensing (and processing overhead) or the touchscreen might be on the chopping block as likely candidates to drive down manufacturing expenses. However, if the Home Depot page (and supporting product documentation) is any indication, both of those could remain. Should the $169 ecobee3 Lite pricing and presumed functionality line up with reality, I could also see the full-fledged ecobee3 receive a small price drop from $249 to something like $229.

11 responses to ecobee3 Lite Drops Remote Sensors?

  1. Other notes from the marketing imagery and details… this ecobee maybe has slightly more rounded corners, could be .6mm slimmer, and we don’t see the sensor window in the lower left. Of course, this isn’t a “real” photograph.

    Also, regarding sensors, there is another possibility that this unit is capable of supporting them ~as the FCC docs seemed to suggest~ but they’re just not bundled in. Still wondering about the possibility of no touchscreen given the reduction in thickness and some of the Home Depot page appeared to be reused from ecobee3 (such as model number).

  2. Ecobee > Nest… all hail the new supreme thermostat!

  3. interesting move. Are they targeting like studio apartments/homes or tiny homes where remote sensors don’t benefit?

  4. My electric company gave me 100 dollars after I installed this. Will the price dropping really make anyone else jump that was on the fence?

  5. I really like my Ecobee! PROTIP- If you combine an Ecobee3 with a SmartThings hub, you can turn those remote sensors into presence triggers that can activate items when you enter a room.

  6. I tend to agree with your comment, Dave, that they are likely just dropping the bundling (and maybe other ancillary features) on the light version, while allowing you to separately purchase the remote sensors if you prefer to do so later. I am pretty firmly entrenched with my Nest thermostats, but the remote sensors are one thing that I have been pining over for quite some time. I wish they had something that was native to Nest, rather than using the third parties (which remove some of the capabilities derived from the software).

    I may consider the Ecobee 3 with sensors (or newer model, depending on timing) in the future, once I feel like I have run the course with the Nest. Having two of them, and having bought them just a couple of years ago, makes me pause a bit. I also have the Nest Protect 2, and have had good luck with the one time I had a customer support issue where the Nest was falling out of the bracket (which turned out to be a non-issue when I realized, after getting a replacement shipped, it was simply due to the wires being too prominent in the back, and ended up having to push them back into the wall so they allowed the Nest to clip in correctly — not sure why it took 2 years to become an issue, but that fixed it).

  7. Dustoman – I use a Wink hub and I have requested they enable this functionality with the ecobee3 remotes. They keep giving the excuse that the ecobee3 remotes are not triggering in real-time and that there is a delay, so they wont implement it as a presence trigger. Interesting that SmartThings hub proved me right!

  8. Bricketh, on the flipside, none of the preliminary documentation refers to remote sensors and if they were simply dropping them from the package, the Lite wouldn’t require an original FCC filing. So something is new and different.

  9. I guess they are trying to buy people with studios and homes, some small homes, where remote sensors don’t give such a result. I agree with Mitch. And it’s a bit expensive as for me. Let’s wait for a couple of days. And it will be lower, I guess.

  10. It’s live —

    Remote sensors and occupancy detection are gone, but touchscreen and HomeKit remain.

    I think there are two markets for this…

    1) Folks in smaller homes or apartments that may not need or appreciate the remote sensors.
    2) Folks unaware of the benefits of ecobee and sensors, but see this is significantly cheaper than Nest.