When it comes to smart thermostats, two popular brands stand out from the rest - Nest and Ecobee. Today, we’re looking at the Nest Thermostats E and Ecobee3 Lite. Both of these big names offer advanced technology and features that you won’t find with other smart thermostats.
If you’re interested in adding a smart thermostat to your smart home, make sure to read our detailed comparison below. You’ll be surprised by the differences that Nest and Ecobee3 Lite have!
|Nest E||Ecobee3 Lite|
|Dimensions||3.19×3.19×1.14 inches||4.05×4.05×1 inches|
|Apple Homekit compatibility||No||Yes|
|Compatibility with other smart devices||Limited||Multiple|
|Warranty||1 year||3 years|
|Price||Check price||Check price|
Nest Thermostat E vs Ecobee3 Lite - The Similarities
Both come with an app
Both have voice command control
Both have humidifiers & ventilation support
Both provide energy reports
Both have stable wifi connectivity
Both have geofencing and motion sensor features
Nest Thermostat E vs Ecobee3 Lite - The Differences
Schedule Learning Technology
One of the features that makes the Nest E popular compared to its competitor Ecobee3 Lite is its capability to learn your schedule. Everytime you make an adjustment, Nest will record it. And over time, these recordings will help Nest learn your schedule and preferred temperature settings. Nest will never stop learning - it will continue to evolve and respond to your preferences.
Some people that have regular schedules will appreciate the automatic nature of control, but others with varying routines may find that the thermostat seems to get out of sync with their desired temps.
Ecobee3 Lite, on the other hand, offers a conventional way of scheduling. You can set your desired temperatures and schedules such as sleep times or when you arrive home. The settings are fixed unless you change them.
Nest E has a round, modern look that blends well with any decor. It’s made of sturdy material with a stainless steel outer ring. When your system is cooling, it lights up with blue color and when it’s heating, it gives off an orange color.
Compatibility with Other Smart Home Devices
Are you a fan of smart home automation? Then you need to consider which thermostat is compatible with your existing system.
Nest E works perfectly with most AI-based assistants like Google and Alexa. However, it doesn’t support the Apple HomeKit.
Ecobee3 Lite, on the other hand, works fine with all of the popular AI-based assistants. It also has a built-in Alexa speaker!
If you’ve been searching for smart thermostats to buy, then you’ve probably already heard about C-wires. The question is, do you really need one? Before we answer that, let’s take a look at the wiring requirements for the Nest E and Ecobee3 Lite.
If you need a thermostat without a c-wire, then you better go with the Nest E. Nest uses the power stealing method to avoid the hassle of installing a c-wire.
Ecobee, on the other hand, cannot be installed without a c-wire. But no worries, it comes with a power extender kit (PEK) with a complete installation guide that you can easily follow.
So back to the question, is a c-wire really necessary? A C-wire is generally recommended to provide a stable power to your heating and cooling system. While Nest uses power stealing to avoid the hassle of c-wire installation, it can often lead to erratic behavior of your system.
The safest installation is to add a c-wire to prevent future problems. If you prefer Nest, then you need to buy a separate add-a-wire kit. Ecobee already comes with a PEK so you’ll already have everything you need.
Ambient Light Sensing
Multi-stage heating and cooling
Energy Report Analysis
Both the Nest E and Ecobee3 Lite offer an energy report feature but the Ecobee performs better than the Nest. Nest E can only record 10 days worth of data and will not provide any analysis.
Ecobee3 Lite can record up to 18 months with analysis through its Home IQ tool. This is free of charge and you can access it anytime through the web. The Home IQ tool also has the System Monitor, Weather Impact, and Home Efficiency feature which makes it superior compared to Nest E.
How to Choose the Best Smart Thermostat
Compatibility With Other Smart Home Devices
Ease of Control
Hi, I’m Christy, and I’m an electronics engineer by profession. I have taught in a university for 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in cognitive radio and worked for a company to develop wireless medical devices. Currently, I’m doing research for a doctorate degree in engineering using a wireless sensor network for smart agriculture. I’ve been active in our local IoT community, IoT Cebu, where I participate in conducting talks about Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and DIY home automation using Wi-Fi and ZigBee devices.