New to smart home, ecobee3 vs ecobee lite?

i got myself SmartThings for Christmas but really haven’t expanded past the starter kit yet.

I am considering upgrading to a smart thermostat and am looking at either the Ecobee3 or Ecobee Lite. Rebates in my area would make the Lite free and limit my out of pocket for the full version.

I have read the reviews for both and I am trying to understand why the wireless sensors for the Ecobee3 are big deal. From some of the reviews it makes it sound like if I have a hot or cold room with a sensor in there it is just going to make the AC or heat run more trying to compensate for a cold or hot room and thereby making the rest of the house hot or cold.

For frame of reference, my house is 2 stories and 5 bedrooms, 4 upstairs and 1 downstairs. It has 2 AC units each tied to their own thermostat on each floor. The one downstairs is in the living room and the one upstairs is in the gameroom. Both are open areas. Right now the bedrooms seem colder or hotter than those open areas (depending on time of year).

If I go with the full Ecobee3 and put sensors in the bedrooms would I simply be reversing the problem with the thermostat trying to keep the bedrooms a set temperature while the open areas become the hot/cold rooms?

If that is how it works then I don’t see the value of the full version over the Ecobee3 Lite. Can anyone offer some advice if I am mistaken on that issue? Thanks.

The sensors just provide another datapoint for the thermostats to use. If nothing else you can have the thermostat average the temp from itself and the sensor. You can also use functionality like “follow me” which uses motion detection capabilities of the sensors/stat to detect what rooms are in use and have their temperatures superceed temps from rooms where activity was not sensed. Finally, you can put in your own logic, and say something like only use your bedroom sensors (aka ignore temps from stats themselves in gameroom/livingroom) during the Sleep part of your program.

In a system like yours with independent units on each level, probably not as much value. However still nice to average out and better still if you think you might get into something like Smart Vents, where you can actually start to use the sensors to control vents for more granular comfort distribution (granted non-ecobee sensors/smart vents could do same thing).


I am in the exact same situation as the original poster. Our second level has three bedrooms and some other open area. Obviously this is caused by the direction the rooms face and the number of windows in each room, but the rooms all feel very different in temperature at any given time.

I even have a space heater in the baby’s room with the north and east facing windows. It feels very cold in the middle of the night when the master bedroom, most area including on suite bathroom and walk in closet, feels like it is an uncomfortably warm temperature. There are many variables, but I don’t see where simply having the temperature sensors by Ecobee will help at all. I can just put a motion sensor or multi purpose sensor in that room to see the temperature when I chose.

Getting an HVAC servicing would seem to be the wiser use of money for myself as well as the OP. They can possibly modify the airflow into the rooms.

It is frustrating, but a smart thermostat isn’t the answer without a modified HVAC system set to dual zones in just the upstairs unit, or some way to regulate air flow.

It is nice to see this topic as it is EXACTLY the same set up I have and issue I am having!

There’s not a big difference between these two models. In Ecobee3 Lite vs Ecobee3 Comparison, if you already own the the Lite version, there’s no need for an upgrade since the newer version doesn’t offer anything special or unique.

But if you’re just getting a smart thermostat, considering purchasing the Ecobee3 since it’s a newer version and offers more support and updates.