Ecobee3 Lite Review: Packed with Goodness (Within Budget!)

​Are you about leaving the old-fashioned thermostat bandwagon to join the smart model movement that has been raving since the time of the Nest? ​What if you like the idea of​ getting a smart thermostat packed with ​heavy features within a  budget?​Don’t worry, there’s still a great deal for you; ​and here is the ​ecobee3 Lite ​review!

The Ecobee3 Lite is basically a step down from the top-notch Ecobee4 with lesser features and functionality which accounts for its budget-friendly price tag. However, it comes with enough features that guarantee a comfortable climate in your home.

​The Good

  • ​Attractive touchscreen; the same with that of the original Ecobee.
  • ​Massive features in a budget price.
  • ​Compatible with Amazon, Apple & others which allows you to give voice commands.
  • ​Works with remote sensors, although it doesn’t come with one.
  • ​Intuitive mobile app.


  • ​Extra cost to purchase a remote sensor.
  • ​Lacks geofencing feature.

Difference Between ecobee3 lite & Top-notch?

Concerning design, the Ecobee3 Lite looks very similar to the Ecobee3 Wi-Fi smart thermostat with the same touchscreen display and app. To work, it requires a ‘C’ Wire just like other models in the company’s line-up. But unlike the top-notch Ecobee4, it only supports a few HVAC components and doesn’t originally come with a remote sensor. Instead, its firmware has been updated to function remotely, which means it compatible with sensors.

However, users have to purchase sensors separately to enjoy its sensor capability. Controlling advanced HVAC components might not be possible with this device since no terminals are provided.

But despite all its shortcomings, the Ecobee3 is still a favorite for many homeowners. It connects well with smart home devices and can manage the temperature conditions in multiple rooms as long as there’s a sensor located there. The addition of a remote control feature which allows you to monitor and control the climate of your home wherever also makes this unit valuable.

You might like also: “Ecobee3 Vs Ecobee3 Lite | Thermostat Comparison (Unveiled)

Ecobee3 Lite Review: Features and Functionality


When a thermostat is a borderline brain, it usually operates in a more advanced way than the rest of its equivalents. This Ecobee3 lite reveals its natural intellect by intuitively learning the system you have in your house. This way it turns on the heating and cooling machines whenever needed and following the so-called energy profile of your home.

It takes a lot of factors into consideration to make sure you are comfortable all day. It accumulates data from your home’s current temperature, the climate outdoor, and further sources to guarantee you are provided the highest succor.

​Ecobee3 lite stands distinct from the others because it makes use of a remote sensor that you can place anywhere in your home. This sensor allows the thermostat to detect which room you are in, or if there is nobody home.

When you purchase the Ecobee3 lite thermostat, you are given one free remote sensor, but you can own up to 32 sensors, which you will have to buy separately. But, the more sensors you add, the smarter this thermostat becomes. Place these sensors in all the essential rooms and the Ecobee3 will adjust the temperature according to where you are staying, and where it is needed the most.

From Ecobee’s own words: it delivers “comfort where it matters and savings where it counts.”

We’ll discuss more of those savings in a while. The main difference between Ecobee3 lite and the others is that most regular thermostats can only pick up data from one room, making their service slightly more inconvenient.


The Ecobee3 Lite is highly rated concerning energy management, which of course is another reason why it’s a more than just an average take. It comes with a unique feature for automatic scheduling known as DataRhythm Technology which studies your home’s pattern and subsequently adjusts heat cycles to suit your schedule.

Without sacrificing your comfort, the unit looks for ways to cut down your HVAC system energy usage evaluating specific factors like the state of the weather outside as well as the surrounding humidity.

Although this unit doesn’t feature a motion sensor like the Ecobee4 and other high-end models, it does support geofencing. In other words, you can conveniently adjust the temperature of your home through your phone regardless of your location.

As earlier indicated in the review of ecobee3 lite,​ it doesn’t come with a remote sensor; however, you can still add one along the way for some extra money. This is a rare feature given that most thermostats released without a sensor usually do not support one.

So you can purchase a sensor separately if you got the money or you can live it until you feel good to buy one. Though you can use more than one sensor, it is better not to use many.

Personally, we believe the Ecobee3 Lite is best suited for small apartments where there are not many rooms.


​Before purchasing a thermostat, it’s always good to know the number of integration it allows. Of course, this depends on what you have in mind. While some people are comfortable with some essential functions, others crave for more advanced features which require a connection to a lot of other smart home devices.

The Ecobee3 Lite is a lone ranger and doesn’t make up any smart home platform. Instead, it comes with a built-in technology known as ZigBee and connects well with smart home devices such as Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, and Amazon Alexa and of course Wink.

Its compatibility with all these technologies makes it more versatile than many other Wi-Fi models and only lesser than Nest.

​Same Ecobee Style

Like we mentioned earlier in the review, Ecobee3 Lite possess the same look like the high-cost Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat. Perhaps, without the price difference, you may not even notice they are different models.

The design is identical to that of a smartphone, with a 3.5-inch black responsive digital display that is very easy to understand and navigate. You will fall in love with this one if you are the type that gets excited in front of integrated touchscreen panels with no buttons.

You can tap on the screen to perform various operations like creating and setting schedules, adjusting temperature, viewing weather forecast and altering individual settings of the unit.

It may also intrigue you to apprehend that the Ecobee3 Lite app layout on both Android and iOS looks very identical to the one on the central unit.

In other words, you don’t actually need to learn anything new…it’s primarily the same operation with very minor additions of course.

​Installation of ecobee3 Lite

Whenever you have doubts about installing any device, it is always wise to hire a professional. However, if are handy or have any DIY skills, then you should find it easy with the Ecobee3 Lite.

To install the unit, you need to connect the wires from your heating and cooling system to the correct terminals on the thermostat. You will find the screws and anchor bolts you need to be included with the package. The leveling bubble that comes with the base plate helps to prevent bending.

​Once the right connection is made, the thermostat should power up and be ready to use.It is important to note here that like many smart thermostats, the Ecobee3 Lite requires a C-wire for power supply. If you don’t have a C-wire on your existing system, then you will have to run a new one.

At this point, we recommend hiring a professional to do the job.

​Bottom Line

For what it’s worth, the Ecobee3 Lite is a fantastic thermostat-one that should give you great value for your money. However, not everyone would be comfortable with its current pricing considering the fact that it has fewer features and doesn’t work with many HVAC accessories. But even then, ​It’s still thrives as a quality thermostat with the excellent app support and an impressive user-interface as we discussed in our ecobee3 lite review.

​Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the major difference between this unit and the Ecobee3?

A: Unlike the Ecobee3, this unit doesn’t work with Ecobee sensors and cannot control any whole home accessories like a ventilator, humidifier, and dehumidifier.Q: Is this device compatible with Wink

A: No, it isn’t.Q: Does this device require a specific hub to operate?

A: No, it doesn’t. It only needs Wi-Fi.Q: Is this unit hardwired or battery?

A: The Ecobee3 Lite Thermostat is hardwired.Q: Does this work with Z-Wave?

A: No, the Ecobee3 Lite is not compatible with Z-Wave.Q: Can I lock the device touchscreen?

A: Yes, you can lock the touchscreen with a code so that certain parts of the device can be only accessible to you. For this, you have to hit the Main Menu, select Settings, click on Access Code, then create your access code and choose what part of the device you want to lock. Q. Does ecobee3 lite works with Google home?A. Yes, it works fine.

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