THE BEST SMART THERMOSTATS 2017
The days of the dull white plastic thermostat are coming to an end with the introduction of smart thermostats. Today, we are going to give you a run-down of the top smart thermostats currently on the market in 2017.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Display: 5.3cm, 24-bit colour LCD display, 480x480 resolution at 229 pixels per inch (PPI)
Sensors: Temperature, Humidity, Near-field activity, Far-field activity, Ambient light
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz); 802.15.4 (2.4GHz); Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Colours: Stainless Steel; Copper; Black; White
Dimensions: Display: Diameter 8.4cm, Height: 2.7cm; Base: Diameter 7.7cm, Height 1.2cm
The Nest is an easy-to-use smart thermostat that learns from your daily habits and adjusts your heating settings accordingly. The system will adjust itself to your daily routine from the moment you’ve gone to bed to the time you’re normally up in the morning. In addition, the Nest’s app shares location information with the thermostat, which sends an alert to your thermostat once you’ve left your home to turn your heating off, or to power it back on once you’re within a certain perimeter of your home. You can also benefit from the on-board presence detection, which simply tracks motion and detects if anyone’s home to make heating adjustments.
The product itself is constructed of glass and a circular metal rim. At one simple twist and pushing in the unit via its glass front, you can connect the Nest to your WiFi, as well as provide location information, details of your heating set up and the preferred temperatures for your home. Out of the box, the Nest comes with everything you need to not only fit the device but also set up the thermostat. You should consider contacting an engineer to fit the thermostat. However, if you are up to speed with your DIY skills, you can install the device yourself.
You can pick up the Nest today for £279, which includes installation and all bundled goods. Whilst the Nest is one of the most polished smart thermostats out there, it also comes at a higher price compared to other smart thermostats.
British Gas Hive
Display: Chrome dial, integrated buttons, interchangeable casing
Sensors: Temperature, movement sensors etc. purchased separately
Connectivity: Wired broadband connection only
Colours: Dulux frames available in a whole range of colours
Dimensions: Product length: 11cm; Height: 16cm; Depth: 11.5cm; Width: 15.8cm
British Gas’s Hive may not be quite as attractive as the Nest, but you still benefit from modern and minimalistic design features. This time you have a control knob and physical buttons on offer, which make it extremely easy-to-use. In addition, you also massively benefit from its own iOS and Android app, which is great for setting schedules for your day-to-day life, as well as keeping an eye on your energy use.
There’s a high chance that if you’re a British Gas customer, you’ll be using this thermostat already. It’s recommended that you have the Hive system installed by an engineer due to the three pieces of kit that come with it: a boiler receiver, an internet router hub, and the thermostat itself. The slight drawback with this device is that it needs to be wired to your internet, instead of the use of WiFi.
The app itself is also incredibly easy-to-use, along with its added control of Hive smart home products, including light bulbs, motion sensor, window/door sensors, smart plugs and plug sockets.
EDF Heatsmart by Netatmo
Display: E-Paper display
Connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz)
Colours: Interchangeable, using 4 colour adhesives (supplied)
Dimensions: Product length: 8.3cm; Width: 8.3cm; Depth: 2.2cm
The EDF HeatSmart (brought to you by Netatmo) takes on the smart thermostat market with their minimalistic-design, which features a Plexiglas exterior and a simple e-ink display. Whilst the Nest and Hive both boast a high-class design, this thermostat is a go-to option for those looking for a small and lightweight smart thermostat for their home.
You have the choice of setting up the device so that it’s either wireless or wired. You can use the Heatsmart as a wired replacement to your existing thermostat by using the same wiring, which can be done with some basic DIY skills, or through an engineer if you’d prefer the extra peace of mind. The wireless option allows you to power the device using AAA batteries, which gives you the benefit of using your smart thermostat in any chosen room.
The accompanying app for the HeatSmart will ask you five simple questions upon installation to create a schedule based on your day-to-day activity. This includes similar features to the Nest and Hive, where you can determine when your heating is turned on or off.
You can pick up the HeatSmart thermostat from EDF today for only £199, which also includes installation.
Tado Smart Thermostat
Display: LED matrix display
Sensors: Temperature; Humidity; Ambient Light
Connectivity: 868MHz, Mesh (6LoWPAN)
Dimensions: Smart Thermostat: 10.4x10.4x1.9cm; Internet Bridge 8.1x2.7x2.2cm; Extension Kit 10.2x15x2.8cm
The Tado smart thermostat’s award-winning design comprises of an LED-matrix touch display. Unlike the Nest, the Tado works with 95% of heating systems so you’ll have to check whether your system is supported. It’s a clever little device, which not only uses geo-fencing, but also learns the layout of your home and works out the heat capacity to better adjust its settings. In addition to this, you can also set up the thermostat to turn on your heating at specified times, as well as set temperatures.
The geo-fencing element of this device works extremely well when paired with your smart phone via its app. Geo-fencing creates a virtual boundary around your home, which sends a signal to your Tado thermostat and switches on your thermostat whilst you’re about to return. The app is fully programmable, which allows you to override any settings or automatic features.
The app gives you all the usual programming features for your thermostat, along with all the relevant information about your energy use and can manually override any automatic settings. Like most smart thermostats on the market, the Tado has huge energy-saving capabilities. However, your input and use of the device will affect how much money you can save, so it’s best to keep a close eye on your manual settings and compare costs to the automatic settings created by the app.
Honeywell Lyric T6/T6R
Display: LCD Display
Dimensions: T6: 10.3x10.3x2.8cm T6R: 10.8x10.3x6.8cm; Receiver box: 11x11x4cm
The Honeywell Lyric T6 is an easy-to-use thermostat, which includes geo-fencing functionality much like the Tado, as well as compatibility with Apple’s HomeKit and the Amazon Alexa. This device has slightly limited programming options, but benefits from additional controls with its dedicated app.
The Honeywell Lyric comes with a touchscreen that gives you a full range of controls to alter your heating settings. Due to its compatibility with Apple’s HomeKit and the Amazon Alexa, you can also use your voice via Siri or Amazon’s Alexa to turn your heating on and off, as well as a whole range of options through your iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPad.
A slight drawback with this thermostat is the inability to use the geolocation mode at the same time as your programmable time and temperature modes. It’s difficult to understand why these features haven’t been rolled into one, but if you want to go for the more intelligent option to change your heating automatically, its recommended to use geolocation.
The thermostat is available in wired and wireless table-top (T6R) versions. Its recommended to use a professional installer due to the box contents, including the boiler-connected unit which needs to be connect via the mains.
Which Thermostat is right for me?
That’s a hard question to answer. Choosing between smart thermostats is a matter of personal preference. Due to the number of smart thermostats now available on the market, you are faced with so much choice to cater for your thermostat needs. Looks can be deceiving, so make sure you choose a thermostat that offers all the features you need, rather than the best-looking design.
If you’re looking for a thermostat you can leave to do its job with little interaction, the Nest, Honeywell and Tado are probably your best choices (that’s if you can see past the higher price tag for the Nest). If you’re looking for a thermostat that offers more manual control over your heating schedule and an easy-to-use interface, then the Hive stands out.
Last of all though, if all you want is a basic smart thermostat that offers all the functionality of a smartphone app to control your heating and the ability to create schedules, the Heatsmart is your go-to device.