Ecobee sells two different smart thermostats, each offering different features at different prices. If you’re looking for a smart thermostat and have narrowed it down to Ecobee, here are a few things you should know about the Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 Lite before you make an official purchase.
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Ecobee’s previous smart thermostat was the Ecobee3, but it was eventually replaced by the new Ecobee4. However, if you don’t really need the best model available and are looking for the Ecobee3 Lite, here is the difference between the two models.
Ecobee4 has built-in Alexa
Interestingly, the Ecobee4 is almost identical to the old Ecobee3, except for the addition of Alexa capabilities, which essentially turns the Ecobee4 into a complete echo dot.
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The Ecobee4 comes with a speaker and microphones for far-field voice recognition, and Alexa kicks off the show by turning the thermostat into a 2-in-1 device. So if you ever wanted an echo in your living room, now you can kill two birds with one stone.
However, Alexa does not support some things in Ecobee4 such as Spotify or call, messaging and Drop In, which we believe is a limitation for third-party Alexa devices.
Ecobee3 Lite does not come with a room sensor
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The Ecobee range of smart thermostats has become so popular in large part because of the remote sensors you can place in your home. So if you want heating or cooling focused on the bedroom, you can tell Ecobee will do just that. However, although Ecobee3 Lite now supports remote sensors (not previously used), it is not included in the box.
If you buy the Ecobee3 Lite, you will need to buy the remote sensor separately, and you can only get it in two packs for $79, although you can buy the kit that comes with the thermostat and two sensors for a slightly cheaper price. , You can also find used ones even cheaper.
Both support major SmartHome platforms
If integration with other SmartHome devices is a feature you want in your smart thermostat, then you’ll be happy to hear that both Ecobee4 and Ecobee3 Lite work with most major SmartHome platforms.
The two thermostats work with Alexa, Apple’s HomeKit, IFTTT, SmartThings, Wink and more. Unfortunately, Google Assistant doesn’t support Ecobee thermostats yet.
Ecobee3 Lite is slightly smaller and thinner
This is probably not that big of a deal for most users, but if this is for you, then you might know that the Ecobee3 Lite is actually a little smaller and thinner than the Ecobee4.
The Ecobee3 Lite is nearly half an inch shorter in length and width, and about 1/8 inch thinner. Again, this is not much, and we assume that Ecobee4 is larger due to the internal features needed to provide Echo-like abilities.
Ecobee4 comes with a large number of wire terminals
If you have a newer and more sophisticated HVAC system, it may be important to know that the Ecobee3 Lite does not contain as many wire terminals as the Ecobee4.
This probably won’t matter much to most people as the Ecobee3 still has 10 terminals compared to the Ecobee4’s 12 terminals and the only terminals missing on the Ecobee3 Lite are «ACC -» and «ACC +» which are normally required if you have a dehumidifier, humidifier or fan as part of your HVAC system.
Ecobee3 Lite is much cheaper
Obviously, cost is one of the biggest factors when choosing a smart thermostat, so I’ve saved the best for last. Ecobee3 Lite is a whopping $80 cheaper than Ecobee4.
The Ecobee4 is priced at $249 (the same price as its predecessor), but the Ecobee3 Lite is only $169. Again, though, it doesn’t include a remote sensor, so you’ll still have to pay a little more if that’s what you really want, but you’ll probably still be ahead of the Ecobee4 on price.