Ecobee3 Vs Ecobee3 Lite | Thermostat Comparison (Unveiled)

If we’re talking about thermostats, lately Ecobee isn’t getting all the attention as it got before. Ecobee was the pioneer for thermostats with a mobile app as a companion. But now many people when looking for app-enabled thermostats go for either Nest or Honeywell.

But fortunately, Ecobee launched Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite thermostats that rival the more well-known brands in the market. Ecobee loves their customers, so for them, they brought these smart thermostats.

Now, as a user, it’s hard for you to choose between these two similar thermostats, right? So, we’ll talk about Ecobee3 vs Ecobee3 Lite in this article, as a means for you to want the higher value for money product.

Let’s start with how they compare with each other.

Comparison  – Ecobee3 Vs Ecobee3 Lite

What’s the similarity in them? Pretty much everything.

Ecobee has put a wide range of top-class and user-friendly features making it very appealing to consumers compared to other brands. Both Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite share most of these features.

These include:

  • The Awesome5″ touchscreen
  • Easy and simple app
  • Amazon’s Alexa Integration
  • Support for Apple HomeKit
  • Energy savings of 23% on your bills
  • power extender kit is included if your system doesn’t have a C-wire
  • Vacation mode, it helps you to save energy when you are away from home.
  • Easy installation.  As the consumers or homeowners look for such smart thermostats which they could easily install, Ecobee has made these two thermostats exactly how they want.  You won’t be facing any kinds of problem the heating/cooling system of your home if there is C wire.
  • Both ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite supports system with or without a C-wire.  So you can take your old thermostat out and put the brand new Ecobee3 or the lite in.


As mentioned before, even if there isn’t a C wire, you can use ecobee3 and ecobee3 lit. Because the package includes the PEK (Power Extender Kit) making it easy for you to install both Ecobee3 thermostats.  Just as the set up is complete, the device itself will show you the path to finalizing the installation and registration processes.


  • Room sensor Support:  The best thing Ecobee offers, according to me, is the room sensor support for both of these thermostats. You can put the sensors around the house, giving it the ability to adjust the temperature in every corner of your house.
  • Easy temperature adjustment.  Controlling the temperature is straightforward. You can control it through your phone or by using the touchscreen slider.
  • Easy savings.  There is no Ecobee3 Lite vs Ecobee here. Because both thermostat promise approximately 23% energy saving on your electricity bills each year.
  • Monthly reports.  Ecobee has this impressive feature that shows the amount of energy saved during usage. You can get it in clear and concise reports. It’ll also have suggestions for you to choose for saving more.
  • A wide range of integrations.  Both ecobee3 lite and ecobee3 has the support for connection with accessories like dehumidifiers, ventilators, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers. And that’s not the only integration; these also work with a platform for automated homes and various smart devices.
  • Design.  Ecobee has made these two, ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite with an elegant and attractive design with a beautiful display and a touchscreen.  The home screen will provide you with lots of information, such as the mode of your HVAC, home/ away mode, humidity, temperature, and weather forecasts.  It also has a slider for the temperature, allowing you to adjust the temperature with ease.


You’ll be able to control Ecobee from your iOS and Android devices. Or if you’re a Windows user, you can use our web portal to control your system via the internet.

Ecobee3 and lite both have integrated smart home systems, such as:

  • Apple HomeKit
  • Samsung SmartThings
  • Amazon Echo
  • Control4
  • Keen Smart Vents
  • Wink

The ecobee3 and ecobee3 Lite both support standard 24VAC controls:

  • Conventional HVAC Systems
  • Heat-Pump HVAC Systems
  • Boiler Systems


Different Features in Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite

What’s the Difference?

They differ in few features stated below,

HVAC Accessories –

The big difference between ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite is that the elder brother supports HVAC accessories such as humidifiers/dehumidifiers, HRVs/ERVs, and ventilators. Just attach the ecobee3 to your HVAC system and accessories, it will take care of you, no problem!

But the Ecobee3 lite sadly doesn’t support HVAC accessories such as the humidifiers, the dehumidifiers, HRVs/ERVs, and ventilators. That being said, if you don’t have the need for these accessories, or don’t plan to, then save your money. This younger brother of Ecobee3 will do just fine.

Sensors –

Bamboozled? Seeing sensors here? Yeah, it’ known that the Ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite, both support room sensors. They measure and report the temperature in your home. However, the package of Ecobee3 has one room sensor in it.

On the other hand, the ecobee3 lite package doesn’t have one in it. You can always buy additional room sensors to use with your ecobee3 lite.

The reason for this is that the ecobee3 lite, before March of 2017, didn’t have the support for room sensors. And with the latest update, Ecobee gave Ecobee3 Lite support for room sensors.

This turns out to be a big deal because the ecobee room sensors are a suitable solution for homes where heat distribution isn’t equal.

Another thing that the Ecobee3 Lite misses out on is the internal motion sensor. This feature is called “Smart occupancy detection.” What this does is that it detects the presence of people and in that moment it will change the display.

Design –

Although there is some similarity between the two, the corners of ecobee3 Lite are a little bit more rounded. Although this isn’t a noticeable difference, some might think this as a crucial point.


Type of Sensors:

Ecobee has different kinds of sensors to offer you. Mainly they are of two kinds. Such as,

  1. Room Sensors – Both the Ecobee3 and the Ecobee3 Lite has the support for Ecobee room sensors. In the time of launch, ecobee3 lite didn’t have the support for room sensors. But now, it does. That being said, sensors are included with the Ecobee3, but you need to buy these separately for lite.
  2. Motion sensor– Ecobee3 has motion sensors in it. This provides a convenient feature which allows the thermostat to know if there are people around. However, the Lite doesn’t have any motion detector in it. So if you need a smart home/away system, you will need to buy separate motion sensors.

Sensor Selection for Specific Purpose: There will be an option for you to choose the sensors you want to operate in different settings. For example, some people have only the base sensor and the satellite sensor in the bedroom. And For home/away settings some use just the base sensor.


Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite, both of them come with the official warranty of 3 years from Ecobee

Which One is for Whom

Ecobee offers excellent smart thermostats.  But you can’t just buy one blindly. You need to check the facts and figures before selecting one. Both the Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite offers great options. With some differences in features and price.

If you’re already an owner of Ecobee3, don’t switch. The Lite version is almost the same as the ecobee3.They look almost the same and supports great features, but the Ecobee3 lite misses out on three significant things which the Ecobee3 has:

  • Remote Sensors – During the launch, Ecobee didn’t give the sensor support for little. As of last year, they started the support but these sensors don’t come with the package. So you will need to buy them separately.
  • Smart home/away– You’ll not find any motion detecting features in the lite.  So again you’ll be needing to buy motion sensors to attach them for activating smart home/away system.
  • Accessory support– The final thing is that it doesn’t support connection for humidifiers, dehumidifiers, ERVs or HRVs.

So, Who Should Have the Ecobee3 Lite?

  • With a limited budget.
  • Those who want to use multiple of them in a home (the savings will be added together)
  • Open space homes and small-sized dwellings where sensors don’t do much good.
  • Users who don’t need sensors as of now, but might need them later.

The best in the bunch, elder brother Ecobee3, which is still recommended, is available in the market.

If you always had a thing for ecobee3 but found the sensor and price not appealing, then the lite will attract you. This version is created to compete with smart thermostat other companies offer, like the Emerson Sensi and LuxGEO, with the fantastic features of Ecobee3.

The conclusion of Ecobee3 vs Ecobee3 lite:

Ecobee launched these two thermostats with the idea of providing the consumers with a better option compared to their competitors. They’ve put their latest and best technologies in these making both of them a great regarding features and user-friendliness. But as you’ve seen, the lite version misses out on some perks and features.

So the bottom line is, if you need those features then take Ecobee3 and if not then save your money.

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