What are the difference between using a smart thermostat and a temperature app?

Here is Chad Morris, I am a beginner of smart home product. I want to buy some smart home products, like bulb converter, home hub, and struggling whether I should buy a thermostat. Is it worth to buy a thermostat only for recording temperature?

What are the differences between using thermostat, sensor and a temperature app (use the temperature sensor in your mobile)? As there is also temperature sensor in our mobile, can I just use the mobile app and IFTTT to triger the further action?

To me, I am a home user, so accuracy is not so important to me, 1-3 degree error is acceptable.

A thermostat wouldn’t just record temperature. That would be a thermometer.

A thermostat is what would control your heating and cooling.
You can add sensors around your home to read the temperature and have the thermostat react based on those readings.

Is there any way for me to use my spare mobile as a sensor to record the temperature and trigger the air-conditioner for cooling, heater for heating the room by IFTTT?

Only if your spare mobile has a temperature sensor. Generally, they just get weather information for outside. If it happens to be able to see and record temperature changes inside your home, then you could likely do it using SharpTools and Tasker directly, no IFTTT needed.

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If a $25 thermostat from the hardware store won’t do the job, buy a smart thermostat, like the Ecobee 3. It will make you more comfortable and save on energy costs.
Temperature control involving IFTTT or cobbled-together solutions involving the Internet are not likely enough to be reliable enough for HVAC, and tend to be Very Slow to react.
Lighting control is a fairly trivial convenience, and you can do it more easily and at far less cost without a hub, using X-10 devices.
The rest of “home automation” is simply a hobby.

They still make these?
I’m sure I can find a box of 8 track tapes for those interested…

@EldRitch, you had to know that was coming:grinning:

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Sure enough, but hey, for the limited use of casual lighting control X-10 is one-third the cost of ST, and the OP sounded like budget might be an issue.
My only motivation for removing the few X-10 devices I have is that they put a LOT of RF on the power line, and that’s not good for high-end audio.
Otherwise, X-10 has been working fine for years for me (with Zero software issues and no unexpected reboots that make it stop working).
I’ve got an ST hub for Keen Vent control anyway, and have already pissed away 30 hours or so discovering things that don’t work well, if at all, so IF (big IF) the GE stick-on-the-wall light control works with Z-wave plug-in dimmers, I can finally ditch the X-10. I won’t even tell the ST hub about the dimmers, if possible, because I have no interest in “smart” lighting.

You probably should have purchased the keen hub to go with the vents and used their app to run them.

I want good temperature control over the Keen Vents for one of my rooms.
I tried using the Ecobee3 sensors, but the lag time in communicating with the ST hub was 15-30 minutes, and only middling-reliable.
I’m now trying out a ST Temp sensor with Rule Machine to control that vent.

That’s useful to me! Thank you.

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Is it okay to use devices from different brands? Will there be any difficulties in terms of the compatibility between devices?