Best Smart Thermostat Option

I have had my ST hub and several devices for many years now. To be honest, I am not 100% convinced on the new direction that I have had people on here describe to me, but I also do not know if I want to completely start over.

With that in mind, I want a smart thermostat. I currently have 2 thermostats that do some logic, but no connectivity of any sort of management. I am looking for some advice on some of the best options. Of course I have ST now so I need to be able to connect it to ST now, but I’d like something that will work well with other smarthome hubs/products if I switch in the future.

I do not do anything complex with the thermostat. I think my initial “want” is to just be able to monitor my house and HVAC temp and be able to change it if needed. I did just buy a dehumidifier but it is only able to be managed with its own app, so not likely to be able to use it with ST. Otherwise, I do not really have any use-cases in mind but I am sure I will find some stuff to do with it once I experience it.

So any thoughts on good smart thermostats, especially that won’t cost an arm and a leg?

I basically had same requirements as you when I wanted one.

I have the 2GIG-STZ1 700 series Zwave thermostat with no custom handlers or extra features straight out of the box to wall. Basic functions of a typical thermostat, plus added bonus of setting a humidity % on it is great.

I have a dumb whole house dehumidifier (hOmeLab) on a Zooz ZEN15 plug that I tie into routines with the thermostat that works great. Just an idea for you if interested in doing something like that.

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I have 2 LUX KONOZ thermostats (Zigbee). Simple and does the basics and works very well. It comes in a few different colors too.

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I am based in the UK and I have been using a Secure SRT323 Z-Wave thermostat. I do need to use a custom device handler.
Recently I have also started using a Secure SRT321/SSR303 Z-Wave pairing for a different heating zone; again with a custom device handler that just about works.
Of course these are no use in North America where a different Z-Wave frequency is used.

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I just switched from a $150 Smart thermostat to a $40 Smart thermostat and it’s been working better than the more expensive one. Go figure.

As for exposing smart devices that aren’t native to SmartThings, I have some air purifiers that aren’t directly connected to SmartThings, but they are connected to Amazon Alexa so I don’t have to use the manufactures app. I setup SmartThings virtual switches (@TAustin style) with either contact or motion to turn On/Off via SmartThings Routines with Alexa Routines that can use either the contact or motion from the SmartThings virtual switch as the trigger to turn On/Off the air purifiers.


Great info so far, thanks.

I have never owned a smart thermostat and of course haven’t used one with ST. I did some brief looking and I see a lot about devices like ecobee, best, etc. I will need 2 of whatever I get. I see some of those that get down around $150 each, which isn’t awful, but I never argue with a good deal lol.

My new dehumidifier does have Alexa integration but I haven’t set it up yet. Most of my ST environment has been running for years and a a good bit of my automation doesn’t work anymore because of all the changes to ST. I’m still not happy about it but it’s what I have for now at least.

I’m hoping to be able to use devices that don’t require manual or custom workarounds and work as natively as possible. Some guys here on the forums here suggested I look at hubitat as a possible ST replacement but that’s another thread/subject.

Something that just occurred to me I wanted to ask. My ST hub is years old so must be a gen 1. Will I have compat issues with any of these thermostats?

Gen 1 was retired last year, so you must have a Gen 2. Gen 2 was introduced in 2015, so it’s pretty old. Post The model number from the label underneath the hub and we can tell you for sure.

If you want something that will also work with other platforms, I have and like the ecobee. You might also check with your power company: we got a $50 rebate for switching to a smart thermostat. :sunglasses:

Remember that at the present time no Z wave device will work with matter: it’s an IP based messaging protocol, and zwave doesn’t currently deal with that.

When you look at The prices, check what you’re getting.

Most ecobee’s come with one extra remote sensor that you can put in a second room/zone to help balance the heat. They also have several built-in sensors, including occupancy and in the top line model, and air quality sensor. So yes, the models are expensive, but you are getting additional sensor information which can be very helpful.

Two things:

  1. Be sure your selected thermostat is compatible with your HVAC system. Check the wiring diagram against the wires you have at the thermostat location.

  2. I will un-recommend Honeywell thermostats. Integration is cloud -to-cloud and not all capabilities are exposed even to the various Honeywell apps much less to SmartThings.

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I’ll concur with Helpful about Ecobee. One advantage is that it allows you to adjust the heating/cooling by remote sensor location and has good online functionality, above and beyond what ST does. It also has Alexa functionality (if you use Alexa). Although the new model prices are closer to the arm and a leg cost, the older models are usually heavily discounted. Several things to keep in mind with Ecobee and likely others:

  • Make sure the system is compatible with your HVAC system (as Hal pointed out):
    1. Most smart thermostats require either a common wire or have a battery. I try to avoid batteries wherever possible. In my case, which is fairly new construction, there was a common wire, but it was never connected, so I had to do a bit of rewiring at the air handler to provide the common voltage at the thermostat.
    2. Ecobee and probably many others are set up for one or two stage heating/cooling, which covers most systems; however newer HVAC systems have variable speed compressors and would not be compatible with many of the non-HVAC system manufacturer thermostats including Ecobee.
  1. As with Hals note, Ecobee, and I suspect most smart thermostats are cloud based, but during internet failure, it still operates like a normal thermostat. I’m assuming the other integrations would be disabled as well, but I have not tested that as my internet is fairly stable.
    ** Some observations of how Ecobee works (and keep in mind for others):
  2. Ecobee data value updates are not all real time, so while you can access the general output data realtime via ST, don’t expect it to update all of the data values more often than roughly every 15? minutes (e.g., I don’t use it for occupancy status, but can I do use the space temperature to control blinds closing).
  3. The remote sensor function works as advertised and helps address the issue of “hot” or “cold” rooms that you spend a lot of time in that are not where the main thermostat is located. The sensors aren’t cheap, and unfortunately use batteries though. In my case, the thermostat and one sensor were bundled together.
  4. Ecobee provides a lot of free online “energy” comparisons with neighbors, etc. Not truly energy use, but decent run time data, with interior and exterior room temp averages plotted overtime.
  5. Ecobee has vacation functionality via it’s app with dates! Something that ST is sorely lacking…
  6. As Helpful pointed out, Ecobee (and I think NEST) is eligible for utility discounts if you participate in one of their demand response programs.
  7. ST integration is generally good. I use Google and its integration is good, with one caveat, for a while (and may be resolved now), when you told it to change a temperature it would go into the “hold” mode with the new temperature, meaning it, might leave it at that temperature for longer than desired, depending upon how you set the “hold” mode up in Ecobee.
  8. One experience in multi-family housing is that one of my neighbor’s remote sensors showed up as one to connect. It wasn’t until after I realized that it was not mine, and mine did not need a new battery, that I was able to reject the option to add it in. The sensors each have a 5- or 6-digit alpha code, but it’s unclear if this is a significant security issue or not.
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Ecobee will work locally with HomeKit, but does require an active Internet connection to work with smartthings or with any voice assistant, including Siri.

Because it works locally with HomeKit, I am mildly optimistic that it may end up working locally with matter, in which case it might end up working locally with smartthings once both companies complete their matter support, but no promises.

Also, so far everything smartthings has released about the new architecture still indicates that an active Internet connection will be required for the smartthings app.

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Like I said, I am way behind on the current stuff now but what’s the deal with this “matter” you mention? Sounds like anew protocol. Is ST going to that or something? All of my devices are zwave, or at least the vast majority are IIRC.

My ST model number is STH-ETH-250, so isn’t that a Gen 2? Is this a potential issue with the new ST changes or buying any new devices? Like I said before, I am quite frustrated about ST constantly changing and much of my home automation no longer working, but at least the basics work and I really do not feel like investing a lot of time and $$ to redo everything.

I see Homekit mentioned, but isn’t that an Apple product? I will not be going down any Apple paths, so that one will be a non-starter for me.

I guess my plan is to try to use only devices that will work with ST and also be compatible with other common automation hubs in the event that I invest the time to switch.

So if Ecobee the consensus to possibly be the best option? I have no loyalty on these devices so I am open to anything.

Yes, V2.

I can’t say about any future compatibility issues one way or the other, but it actually has more onboard memory than the V3. I wouldn’t change until you know you have to.

Matter (formerly called Project CHIP) is a new inter-operability standard for the home automation industry that they’ve managed to get all of the big players on board for. That includes Amazon, Apple, Google, SmartThings, Philips Hue, Aqara, IKEA, and a bunch more. It’s a really big deal.

The idea is that devices with the matter logo will be really easy to add to any app with the matter logo and work with any voice assistant with the matter logo. So everybody’s really excited about it, with the hope that it reduces a lot of the consumer confusion about what to buy when they’re shopping. Especially for Wi-Fi devices, which right now are all over the place as far as what they’ll work with. :sunglasses:

Consumer Reports has a really good FAQ article on matter

Since you said you wanted a device it would be able to work with other platforms, and matter is all about working with multiple platforms, that’s why it comes into the conversation.

But if you get a Z wave device it doesn’t work with matter, so that’s no longer relevant. Any Z wave thermostat should work with any certified Z wave hub, so you don’t have to worry about that. Any Z wave thermostat you get now should work with hubitat or Homeseer or Vera/Ezlo or any other certified zwave hub if you decide to switch in the future.

If you get a Wi-Fi thermostat, you should definitely get one that is promising future support for matter, even just within a smartthings context.

And here’s the discussion thread in this forum about matter. Again, if you only have zwave devices it’s not really going to make much difference to you.

Matter - smart home connectivity standard (formerly Project CHIP)

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Thanks for the info. Is the assumption that hubs like ST and others will be able to support managing zwave, zigbee, and matter devices? I’d hate to have to replace all of my zwave devices.

I may look at ecobee a little closer to see what it would cost me to replace the 2 thermostats I have now. Still open to options but it sounds like ecobee has a lot to offer.

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I think the assumption is that each hub manufacturer will continue to support whatever combination of protocols they choose, including proprietary ones, but that many will choose to ALSO support Matter, at least one-way like ST will do, so that customers can buy a device with a Matter logo and feel confident it will work with the app and voice assistant they are already using.

Matter is not a messaging protocol like the others you mentioned: it rides a layer above that. It’s about message format, not frequency.

Think of the way SmartThings let’s Alexa voice command control Zwave devices now. Echos don’t have zwave radios. They don’t care what frequency ST uses to talk with your zwave switch. But ST and Alexa know how to talk to each other, and that’s enough for this use case. That’s the part Matter will make easier, because any Matter logo device will be able to talk to Alexa, Google, or Siri with exactly the same message because they will now all use the same Matter format.

But it should mean (if it works as described) that you can go to Amazon, find some random cheap smart bulb from some random Chinese company and, if it has the Matter logo, buy it and it will add easily and show up in app you already use. That would be good for everybody.

You can add that functionality to SmartThings in many ways. I have chosen to add it as location mode

You can set it up to a minute with @Mariano_Colmenarejo virtual calendar device

Anyway I am ecobee and SmartThings user for a some time. There are shortages on both sides, that can be fixed within SmartThings environment.


Maybe I am over simplifying, but I have zwave devices and I have never had any issues with any of them. I mean they just work. The only issues I have ever had are because of the changes to the ST platform, which makes things stop working.

I do get the whole “hub” concept though. ST may not have direct comms with a device but it can talk to the controller or service that does communicate with those devices. That is the “hub” concept.

Speaking as a network engineer, that’s actually kind of the opposite of the hub concept in the context of network engineering (although it is the way Samsung uses the idea of “hub” for its Family Hub refrigerator).

From an engineering standpoint in home automation a “hub” establishes the network that communicates directly with the end devices. It has matching radios. Your SmartThings hub has radios inside for both zwave and Zigbee. It also has the ability to connect via Ethernet (or WiFi for the V3 model) to the SmartThings cloud, which is how it communicates with the app on your phone.

The SmartThings Cloud (not the hub) is what communicates with all those other third party devices, either cloud to cloud or other company’s hub to cloud.

This diagram is for the new architecture. The SmartThings hub, if you have one (it’s not required unless you have zwave or Zigbee devices that don’t offer a cloud route) is that little square box in the upper left.

So what you were describing was really the big cloud in the middle. It can talk to the SmartThings hub and it can talk to other companies’ hubs through the “SmartThings API,” that gear image at the bottom left of the cloud.

The vast majority of SmartThings customers these days, certainly over 90%, don’t have a SmartThings hub. They have a Samsung smart television or other Samsung appliance. They could also have an Ecobee thermostat, Philips Hue bridge and bulbs, Leviton WiFi or Lutron smart switches, Meross smart plugs, a Ring Doorbell, an Aladdin garage door controller, a Yale WiFi door lock, and a bunch of other stuff, all without ever having a SmartThings hub.

Back in 2015, you needed a SmartThings hub to get started, which is probably where the confusion came. People thought of a hub as being the same as a location or even an account.

But by 2018 with the introduction of the new app that had all started to change. And now way more people don’t have a hub than do.

The new buzzword for all the stuff that happens in the cloud is “platform.” You have an account on the SmartThings platform whether you have a hub or not.

And “ecosystem” is the buzzword for everything you can connect to the SmartThings app: they are all part of the “SmartThings ecosystem,” regardless of brand or protocol. And again, regardless of whether you have a hub or not.

The SmartThings platform has the largest coverage of competitive IoT devices on the market, including Samsung devices and appliances.


Good explanation. That makes sense. Its pretty obvious that I setup my ST hub and devices years ago and was satisfied with what it did, so I have not spent a lot of time on it since. Over the past few months I found some things not working which is when I came to this forum to find out that ST had made a major change, and is now changing again. So now I’m left with picking up the pieces and trying to figure out where to go moving forward.

So in the model you described, the only purpose of a hub is for the radios to control devices like zwave, zigbee, etc. Otherwise, many devices now have their own management which the ST API can communicate with. I think all of my devices are zwave, except for a few which are juct communicating over TCP/IP. Unless I switch out all my zwave devices, I guess I will always need a hub. My biggest let-down was that I have an AD2Pi that I used so ST could use the hard-wired sensors all throughout my house. So I could use those sensors to build some automation in ST. Well that apparently stopped working a while ago and the AD2Pi guy no longer responds for support. So I lost all that automation and the ability to use the sensors. I’d like to get that back. I also used the Echo Speaks for announcements and such and of course that no longer works either.

I know this is not thermostat driven but I need to figure out my path moving forward since so many things have changed.

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This is true for most of us right now! :thinking:

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Have you looked into Konnected? That seems to be the popular solution for this kind of use case now. But they have said about Edge Drivers:

it is on our radar, but we are not actively pursuing it right now.

Instead, like a lot of groovy-based third party options they seem to be assuming many of their customers will switch to Hubitat if they want to keep using their product.

I guess it depends on which pathway costs more in setups like yours: replace all the sensors, or replace the hub for that purpose. Tricky.