Honeywell Lyric vs Nest vs Ecobee 3 Smart Thermostat

Nest (available on Amazon) met Lyric well over a year ago. Lyric (also available on Amazon) is one sweet looking little lady. Lyric may look like Nest but what sets her apart is her smartphone app. Lyric’s app has built-in geofence technology that recognizes your smartphone. When your phone leaves the house, Lyric can move into Away Mode. While these two smart thermostats get most of the attention, Ecobee3 was actually the first smart thermostat and it is the first Homekit enabled smart thermostat (so long as you buy the Homekit-enabled Ecobee3).

Comparing Nest to Lyric and Ecobee3

With all the similarities between Nest, Lyric, and Ecobee, there are some differences.

They Automatically Adjust Temperatures, Differently

All three smart thermostats can move automatically between multiple modes but they approach customization differently. Nest “learns” using algorithms. Over time, it will learn when you wake up, go to sleep, and leave the house and will automatically adjust the temperature for you.

On the other hand, Lyric uses geofence technology to sense when you are near or away. Geofence technology requires that you have a smartphone in hand so keep that in mind when deciding which of the three approaches is best for you.

Finally, Ecobee3 uses Smart Home/Away. The process starts with you. You program in your schedule and Ecobee follows it. But it is also smart enough to adjust if you don’t follow your own plan. For example, let’s say that you set the thermostat to away mode during normal working hours but you come home early one day. The thermostat will recognize that you are home using motion sensors and swap modes from away to home – automatically. Ecobee also uses a feature called Follow Me. Follow Me is integrated into the sensors that makeup the Ecobee network. You can choose which sensors to include and to exclude. When you are including sensors, they will look for motion in different rooms in your house and make sure the room you are in is comfy.

They All Have Different Friends

Nest, a Google subsidiary, acquired the video surveillance company Dropcam. As far as working with other devices, Nest is a clear winner (though Ecobee is catching up). It works with everything under the Works with Nest umbrella as well as other smart home devices including their own smoke detector and the Dropcam Pro replacement, the Nest Cam.

Lyric is made by Honeywell and made Apple’s Homekit friendly list though it is not compatible with Homekit yet.

Ecobee3 is part of the Homekit program and it works with IFTTT. Through integration with IFTTT it can connect to other smart devices like Scout, SmartThings, and many more. It can also connect directly to SmartThings, Control4, Vera, and their open API.

They Are Different on the Inside and Outside

Nest has a built-in lithium-ion battery but is still wired. There are two ways to power Nest. You can use the existing thermostat cables or you can use the power cord and plug that is included with purchase.

Honeywell is also wired but features a replaceable battery with alerts to let you know when the battery juice is running low.

Ecobee3 requires a C (common) wire. If you don’t have this type of setup they do offer a Power Extender Kit. Reviewers say installation isn’t easy but don’t worry, Ecobee keeps a list of installers handy on their website so that you can call for help if needed.

Perhaps what makes Ecobee vastly different from Lyric and Nest is that it works using the thermostat AND sensors. The thermostat price includes one sensor though you can buy and add over 30 more if needed. The sensors should be placed within 45 feet of the thermostat and are used to make the thermostat more intelligent by taking temperature readings from around your home as opposed to reading the temperature at the thermostat and nowhere else. This is handy for homes that have hot or cold spots and also adds to the Smart Home feature as the sensors will help recognize if you are home or away even if you are not in the same room as Ecobee.

 Nest
Nest
Lyric
Lyric
ecobee3
Ecobee3
Extreme Temperature Alerts000
Filter Change Reminder000
Custom Temp Settings000
Away Mode000
Sleep Mode000
Weather Feature000
Mobile App Control000
PC Control000
 Nest
Nest
Lyric
Lyric
ecobee3
Ecobee3
Replaceable Battery000
Low Battery Alert00On Sensors Only
Size3" Diameter3.75" Diameter3.93" x 3.93"
LCD Display Size2.08" Diameter1.4" Diameter3.5”
Motion Sensing LCD000
iTunes App Rating2.5 Stars2.5 Stars3.5 Stars
Google Play App Rating4.32.84.1
Google Now Integration000
Apple Homekit Compatible0TBD0
IFTTT000
Integrates with Smoke AlarmNest Protect or via IFTTT0via IFTTT
WPA2 Compatibility000
Automated ModesYes, through learning.Yes, through geofencing.Yes, through Smart Home
Monthly Energy Reports000
Price$249.00$197.99$241.00
Free Shipping via Amazon Prime000
Purchase
Nest
Nest
Extreme Temperature Alerts
0
Filter Change Reminder
0
Custom Temp Settings
0
Away Mode
0
Sleep Mode
0
Weather Feature
0
Mobile App Control
0
PC Control
0
Nest
Nest
Replaceable Battery
0
Low Battery Alert
0
Size
3" Diameter
LCD Display Size
2.08" Diameter
Motion Sensing LCD
0
iTunes App Rating
2.5 Stars
Google Play App Rating
4.3
Google Now Integration
0
Apple Homekit Compatible
0
IFTTT
0
Integrates with Smoke Alarm
Nest Protect or via IFTTT
WPA2 Compatibility
0
Automated Modes
Yes, through learning.
Monthly Energy Reports
0
Price
$249.00
Free Shipping via Amazon Prime
0
Purchase
Lyric
Lyric
Extreme Temperature Alerts
0
Filter Change Reminder
0
Custom Temp Settings
0
Away Mode
0
Sleep Mode
0
Weather Feature
0
Mobile App Control
0
PC Control
0
Lyric
Lyric
Replaceable Battery
0
Low Battery Alert
0
Size
3.75" Diameter
LCD Display Size
1.4" Diameter
Motion Sensing LCD
0
iTunes App Rating
2.5 Stars
Google Play App Rating
2.8
Google Now Integration
0
Apple Homekit Compatible
TBD
IFTTT
0
Integrates with Smoke Alarm
0
WPA2 Compatibility
0
Automated Modes
Yes, through geofencing.
Monthly Energy Reports
0
Price
$197.99
Free Shipping via Amazon Prime
0
Purchase
ecobee3
Ecobee3
Extreme Temperature Alerts
0
Filter Change Reminder
0
Custom Temp Settings
0
Away Mode
0
Sleep Mode
0
Weather Feature
0
Mobile App Control
0
PC Control
0
ecobee3
Ecobee3
Replaceable Battery
0
Low Battery Alert
On Sensors Only
Size
3.93" x 3.93"
LCD Display Size
3.5”
Motion Sensing LCD
0
iTunes App Rating
3.5 Stars
Google Play App Rating
4.1
Google Now Integration
0
Apple Homekit Compatible
0
IFTTT
0
Integrates with Smoke Alarm
via IFTTT
WPA2 Compatibility
0
Automated Modes
Yes, through Smart Home
Monthly Energy Reports
0
Price
$241.00
Free Shipping via Amazon Prime
0
Purchase

More On Nest + Dropcam & Nest Cam

Nest works with Dropcam and Nest Cam as well as other home automation devices. Using devices like Nest Cam, you can integrate with both the Nest Protect and Nest Thermostat. If your Nest Learning Thermostat is set to Away, Nest Cam’s motion detection feature will be set to “on” but if your Nest is set to Home, the camera’s motion alerts will turn off automatically.

There are other devices in the Works with Nest Family as well. Devices such as Zuli, Hue, August Lock, Big Ass Fan, Scout, wearables, and more can communicate with your Nest Thermostat.

Buying a Used Nest? Version 1 vs 2 vs 3

We’ve had several readers ask about Nest version 1 versus the second and third generation Nest. More than likely any Nest that you buy will be the third generation as it was released in 2015. If you have the choice you should pick the latest version.

The latest version offers a larger LCD display. It is 40% larger than version 2.

It also includes a technology called Farsight which wakes up the device whenever there is motion. You can choose different faces as well. You can ask the display to show you the temperature, the time, and you can choose between a digital or analog clock face.

Third, the previous generation Nest would wake up only if you were within 3 feet of the thermostat.

Finally, it includes more intelligence about your furnace.

Comparing 1 to 2, Nest states that the 2nd generation Nest Thermostat is compatible with more heating and cooling systems than the 1st generation because it has two more connectors. What does that mean exactly? It means it can control more stuff.

What Can Version 1 Control vs Version 2?

 Nest V1Nest V2
HeatingHeating: 1 and 2 stages (W1, W2)1, 2 and 3 stages (W1, W2, W3)
Cooling1 stage (Y1)Cooling: 1 and 2 stage (Y1, Y2)
Heat Pumpwith auxiliary heat (O/B, AUX)with auxiliary and emergency heat (O/B, AUX, E)
Humidifier or Dehumidifier0(HUM, DEHUM)
Fan(G)(G)
Power(C, Rh, Rc)(C, Rh, Rc)
Nest V1
Heating
Heating: 1 and 2 stages (W1, W2)
Cooling
1 stage (Y1)
Heat Pump
with auxiliary heat (O/B, AUX)
Humidifier or Dehumidifier
0
Fan
(G)
Power
(C, Rh, Rc)
Nest V2
Heating
1, 2 and 3 stages (W1, W2, W3)
Cooling
Cooling: 1 and 2 stage (Y1, Y2)
Heat Pump
with auxiliary and emergency heat (O/B, AUX, E)
Humidifier or Dehumidifier
(HUM, DEHUM)
Fan
(G)
Power
(C, Rh, Rc)

More on Honeywell Lyric

Have more than one person living in your house? That’s fine. Lyric can go into Away Mode when the last person leaves the house for the day. Lyric can also sense when you are within a 7 mile range of your house. When it senses you are within range, it will set the temp back to your preferred temperature.

What happens if not everyone in your home has a smartphone? If your household members do not have a smartphone, they can walk over and set the temp manually. The lights on the unit will change color to make things easier. They turn blue when the air-conditioning is on, orange for heat, and green for energy saving mode. Beyond geofencing, Lyric has a few more cool tricks.

Do you want to make your house super hot and uncomfortable when guests are in town? She can do that too through her built-in custom settings feature on the mobile app.

[youtube id=”spu8KZvWxGw” width=”600″ height=”350″]

More on Ecobee Apple HomeKit

Ecobee3 was one of the first devices to be truly HomeKit-enable. You can control the thermostat and also setup scenes using Siri so long as you are running iOS 8.1 or later. It’s not all about Siri of course. You can also use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to monitor and control Ecobee directly. Right now Homekit is just getting started so there isn’t great value. But in the long run, Homekit aims to be a unified platform that allows you to control multiple smart devices through Siri.

*Updated 9/2/2015 to reflect changes in Nest’s Third-Generation Learning Thermostat.
*Updated 9/8/2015 to add Ecobee to the compare.
*Updated 10/5/2015 to add IFTTT and smoke alarm information.