Ecobee3 vs Ecobee3 Lite: The Real Battle

Surely it’s becoming harder for you to find the difference between ecobee3 vs. ecobee3 lite. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve broken the two thermostats down so you can see for yourself which ones better.

ecobee3 vs ecobee3 lite

Challenger #1


The ecobee3 was the original model, and it came at price. How does it fare up against the Lite?



Challenger #2

ecobee3 Lite

It doesn’t provide as many features, but it’s considerably cheaper than the previous model.

ecobee3 lite

 ecobee3ecobee3 Lite
Mobile AppYesYes
Room Sensors3232
Smart RecoveryYesYes
Smart Hub CompatiableYesYes
Voice ControlYesYes
HVAC CapabilityHeat pumps, electric systems, gas systems, oil systems, ventilators, humidifiers, and dehumidifiersDoesn’t support ventilators, humidifiers, or dehumidifiers
BuyFind Best PriceFind Best Price

#1 – Ecobee3

Challenger #1 


The ecobee3 smart thermostat provides you with intuitive heating and cooling. 

The device knows when the heating should be turned on, and when it’s time to turn it off.

The thermostat makes judgments about your heating or cooling depending on what the weather is like outside, your energy profile, and thousands of other data points. 

Because of this, the thermostat can save you up to 23% on your average energy bills.

This smart thermostat comes with one smart room sensor, which lets the thermostat know if people are at home or not and which rooms they are in. 

Altogether you can combine up to 32 smart room sensors, which should be enough even for bigger homes.

When it comes to integrations, the ecobee3 performs amazingly it’s compatible with multiple smart home products, including SmartThings, Alexa, HomeKit, and much more. 

To make things even better, they can combine with nearly all HVAC systems.

Key Features

  • Saves up to 23% on your energy bills
  • Installs in 30 minutes
  • Works with all major voice assistants
  • Works with 32 room sensors
  • Voice control
  • Remote control

What Other People Say

One customer claimed it was the best item they had ever brought for their home. At first, they were skeptical about the money-saving abilities, they thought it was just a gimmick. But, the ecobee3 helped them identify the cold spots in their home and make the right adjustments.

Another person was also very impressed with the unit. They found it worked best when they added 2 or more smart room sensors. This helped them to better detect temperature changes. They installed the thermostat themselves and found it very easy.

Final Verdict

If you have a lot of cold spots in your home the ecobee3 is a great place to get started. The multiple room sensors help you detect areas of concern. The thermostat will then use its intelligence to help solve the problem.

It was also great to see a large list of integrations, this made it easier to connect your smart thermostat to your smart home.

The installation was easy, but some people found it pretty difficult, it really depends on your technical knowledge.

What We Liked

  • Very intuitive
  • Easy to manage
  • Comes with a power extender kit

What We Didn’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Scheduling can get confusing

#2 – Ecobee3 Lite

Again the ecobee3 Lite claims to save you up to 23% off your energy bills, which is huge. 

This is down to the Eco+, which helps to supercharge your savings. 

The ecobee3 lite is also compatible with up to 32 room sensors, which help monitor activity and locate cold or hot spots.

The thermostat was designed to help you gain optimal comfort throughout your home without having to spend a fortune. 

It provides you with advanced controls that enable you to adjust the temperature from anywhere in the world.

You can also use the home and away feature, although you’ll have to activate this manually; unless you have the smart room sensors.

Another nice thing about the ecobee3 lite works with all major smart home products, such as Amazon, HomeKit, Google, and SmartThings.

This thermostat has to be hardwired but also includes a power extender kit to help you install the thermostat with ease.

The most considerable problem with the ecobee3 lite is the lack of geofencing, which was available in their previous model.

Key Features

  • Saves 23% on energy bills
  • Apple HomeKit integration
  • Works with Smart room Sensors
  • Easy installation
  • Voice control
  • Power extender kit included

What Other People Say

One customer said they brought this thermostat to replace their Nest thermostat. Nest didn’t support their new AC system. They loved how the thermostat connected to SmartThings and worked with Google Assistant.

Another customer couldn’t help but tell people how much they loved this thermostat. They struggled to install the thermostat at first, but the support team was super helpful. They loved they could control the system with Alexa or Apple HomeKit.

Final Verdict

The ecobee3 Lite almost offers all the advantages of the ecobee3, but for about $100 less. This is making it one of the go-to options for people on a budget. The main problem is, it doesn’t work with any type of humidifiers, dehumidifiers, or ventilators.

It was really nice to see the smart thermostat working with things like Apple HomeKit, Alexa, SmartThings, Wink, and IFTTT. So, if integration is something you’re looking for, there are no better thermostats than ecobee.

What We Liked

  • Great design
  • Works with room sensors
  • Multiple integrations

What We Didn’t Like

  • No battery back-up
  • Poor verbal commands

Things They Have In Common

As you can imagine the two smart thermostats have quite a lot in common, so let’s talk you through some of them.

Both smart thermostats have a 3.5-inch touchscreen display. The display is neatly laid out and displays information like the time, and the temperature inside and outside. 

To change the temperature on the display you can use the neat touchscreen slider on the right-hand side.

They also both use the same app, which is to be expected. But one thing to note is the ecobee3 lite is it doesn’t have all the features of the ecobee3, which means things like geofencing won’t work.


Another thing worth mentioning is how easy the thermostats are to install. They claim to take around 30 minutes, but this really depends on how competent you are at DIY.

Other simulates include their smart home integrations. They both support the big-name smart hubs and voice assistants.

The smart thermostats also work with up to 32 smart room sensors, which help you control the temperature of your home.

The last thing worth mentioning is they both come with a three-year warranty. This means both devices give you peace of mind if anything goes wrong.

Ecobee3 Vs Ecobee3 Lite: Head To Head

As with all my Vs articles, I like to put the two devices head to head; it really is the best way to find out which is best.

So, let’s put the ecobee3 vs ecobee3 lite to find out which one you should go for:


When it comes to compatibility there aren’t many differences, they both connect to the same smart home products.

This is great because you don’t have to think too much about how the thermostats will integrate with your home.

That being said, there is a big difference you have to consider before you make your purchase. The ecobee3 is compatible with a large number of HVAC systems, so you shouldn’t have any problems with compatibility.

On the other hand, the ecobee3 Lite doesn’t offer the same. You see it doesn’t work with Humidifiers, Dehumidifiers, Ventilators

So, if you have any of these things already installed in your HVAC system or you’re planning to add them soon, your best option is to use the ecobee3.

Winner: ecobee3


The best thing about both of these smart thermostats is they are extremely easy to install. On average they will take you 30 minutes to install, but this can vary from person to person.

Most people feel the ecobee3 lite is the easier of the two thermostats to install. This was down to the smart thermostat having fewer parts to it.

Another thing was it’s slightly lighter than the ecobee3, which meant you could hang it places that can’t take much weight.

Other than that, both thermostats use a 24 VAC 2A line, this means they are not compatible with high voltage systems. But this shouldn’t be a problem if it’s for home use.

Winner: ecobee3 Lite

Home And Away/Geofencing Features

The home and away modes are available on both smart thermostats, but because the ecobee3 lite does not come with a room sensor, it must be activated using the app.

The room sensors let the thermostat know if anyone is at home or not. If no one is detected in the home, the thermostat will automatically adjust its settings to ensure you save money.

But there’s another more considerable disadvantage with the ecobee3 lite, and that’s the lack of geofencing.

The ecobee3 lets you set a virtual perimeter around your home to let the thermostat know when you’re about to return home. The app sends the signal to the smart thermostat using Wi-Fi technology.

When the signal is detected it will tell the thermostat to power down, or get started again.

Winner: Ecobee3

Final Verdict: Ecobee3 Vs Ecobee3 Lite

It’s kinda a tough choice, but you’d have to go for the ecobee3, especially if compatibility is what you’re looking for. 

You see, it can combine with more HVAC systems than the ecobee3 lite, which makes it the favorite between serious HVAC users.

That being said, if you’re not looking for all the fancy features and just want to save yourself some money, then what better option is there than the ecobee3 lite. 

It’s about $100 cheaper and nearly offers all the stuff.


Frequently Asked Questions

The biggest difference between ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite is the HVAC compatibility. The thing is, ecobee3 lite does not work with a number of HVAC systems, which can cause you troubles down the line. If you’re not sure what these differences are, be sure to check out the article above.
The ecobee3 lite doesn’t automatically detect occupancy, this means you need to manually activate the home and away mode on the mobile app manually. That being said, you can purchase the wireless room sensor. The wireless room sensor detects motion and temperature in your home, it can then send a signal to the smart thermostat to let it know if people are home or not.
It depends on what you’re looking for; if integrations are what you’re looking for the ecobee thermostats are better. They combine with a lot of third party products like HomeKit, which Nest does not. But, if you’re looking for intelligent heating and cooling solutions, you might want to look at Nest. Most people claim they have better intelligence than any other smart thermostat. If you want to learn more about the thermostats, you should check out this ecobee vs Nest review.
Yes, ecobee is worth every penny, especially if you consider how much money you can save in its lifetime. On average the smart thermostat can save you up to 23% on your energy bills. This means the savings can really add up over time.

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