ecobee3 vs ecobee3 lite

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.0.47″ custom_padding=”0|0px|0|0px|false|false”][et_pb_row custom_padding=”0|0px|0|0px” _builder_version=”3.0.106″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.0.106″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_image src=”” alt=”Ecobee3 vs Ecobee3 lite” _builder_version=”3.0.106″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.106″]Ecobee took its most-sold model ecobee3 and slightly reduced the number of features, as a result, they produced ecobee3 lite, which is substantially cheaper than ecobee3. Meanwhile, it keep most of the ecobee3’s features  to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.

Detailed tech info comparison 

Name Ecobee 3 Ecobee 3 lite
Part# EB-ecobee3-01(1st gen)
EB-STATE3-02(2nd gen)
Size(LWH) 3.93 x 3.93 x 0.86 in 4.05 x 4.05 x 0.84 in
Weight   13.6 oz
HVAC compatibility �Conventional (2H/2C)
�Heat pump (4H/2C)
incl. 2-stage auxiliary heat
�Gas, oil, electric
�Dual fuel
�Humidifier, dehumidifier, ventilator,HRV or ERV
�Conventional (2H/2C)
�Heat pump (4H/2C)
�Gas, oil, electric
�Dual fuel


Bulit-in Sensor �Temperature
Room sensor Y Y
WiFi connection 3 radios – 915MHZ, ZigBee (via
expansion slot), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz
802.11 b/g/n @ 2.4 GHz
Inbox ecobee3 thermostat
Remote Sensor with detachable stand
Power Extender Kit
2 trim plates (small and large)
Quick Start Guide
Installation Guide with wire labels
Mounting screws and drywall plugs
Double-sided adhesives
ecobee3 lite thermostat
ecobee3 lite backplate
Install guide
Wire labels
Drywall plugs
Power extender kit(PEK)
Large trim plate



Power C-wire C-wire
Standy by power(watts) 1.06 0.81
Apple Homekit Y Y
Amazon Alexa Y Y
Google Assistant Y Y
Smartthings Y Y
MSRP $249 $169

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Similarities for Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 lite

The thermostats are very similar. They have a big variety of smart feature any homeowner can enjoy.


Both units have a beautiful and ergonomic design. If you are looking at two thermostats at a distance, you won’t tell the different of them. They feature a touchscreen, on which you can adjust the settings if you don’t want to control your HVAC/AC from your smartphone. The controller looks like a square with rounded corners. ecobee3 lite is about 3 square mm bigger than ecobee3, which is insignificant difference.

The attractive design of these thermostats gets high scores from the users. It suits any décor. The downside of the ecobee3 thermostat design is that it comes with a white backplate. The black thermostat doesn’t look 100% perfect against a white back plate. However, it’s a matter of taste, and the manufacturer now offers trim plates instead.


Both thermostats have the same installation options. They require a C-wire. If you don’t have a C-wire, both units come with Power Extender Kits (PEK). You’ll find screws, wire labels, and drywall plugs in the box. The units come with a detailed installation guide. If you are still unsure of your ability to install the thermostats, you can find many detailed installation videos online.

If you don’t have a C-wire, you may not be able to install the thermostats on your own. Some users take advantage of professional installation, which costs additional money.

Home/Away – Geofencing

Both thermostats use the geofencing option to know when you are home or away from home. This helps them set the right temperature for the best energy efficient results.

Follow Me Mode

The Follow me mode uses room sensors to follow you from one room to another and set the temperatures in different rooms according to your preferences. For example, when you come from the bedroom to the living room, the thermostat increases the temperature in the living room because it’s colder than the bedroom.

Room Sensors

Both thermostats are compatible with remote sensors, which can measure the temperatures in the rooms they are located in to keep your most comfortable.

Remote Access

Both thermostats work with Ecobee app,on the iOS or Android devices via WiFi 2.4GHz, which allows you to control the units remotely. No matter how far away you are, as long as the Internet is working, you can turn the thermostats on and off as you see fit.

How to access your Ecobee thermostat on smartphone? All you need is 3-step.

  • Download the app to your iPhone or Android device from the respective app store.
  • Launch the Ecobee app.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to register your account.

You can also use the web portal to control the temperature, set the schedule, view weather forecast, and change the settings/preferences.

Virtual assistant support

Both thermostats work with Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, SmartThings, and IFTTT, so you can give the units voice commands and connect them to your favorite devices and programs.

Major Differences for ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite

HVAC Compatibility

Unlike ecobee3, ecobee3 Lite doesn’t support dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and ventilation within the HVAC system.In case your HVAC system has these options, you have to say “noâ€?to the Lite model.

Both ecobee3 and ecobee3 lite support over 95% of all cooling and heating systems in North America. If you aren’t sure if your system is compatible with one of these models, you can take advantage of the ecobee compatibility checker. All you need to do is remove your old thermostat and check the wires.

  • Conventional and Heat Pump HVAC Systems(check W1, W2, Y1, Y2 wires)
  • Boiler System (W1, W2). ecobee3 lite supports heating boiled and forced air cooling in one thermostat. This is called a two-transformer configuration.

Room Sensors

ecobee3 model comes with one room sensor in the box. ecobee3 lite thermostat doesn’t have a sensor included. The set of sensors costs about $79 for a two-pack. One sensor in the box is often insufficient, so ecobee3 users end up buying the two-pack anyway.

Wireless connection

ecobee3 have support 3 radios for wireless connection: 915MHZ, ZigBee (via
expansion slot) and IEEE 802.11 b/g/n @2.4GHz, but ecobee3  lite only support IEEE 802.11 b/g/n @2.4GHz.



The most important difference between these two thermostats is their cost. In fact, it’s the reason why ecobee3 lite is becoming so popular. It’s simply more affordable than the other model.

  • ecobee3 with one-pack sensor MSRP – $249.99
  • ecobee3 lite MSRP- $169.99

It’s important to note that you can get energy star rebates for both of these thermostats from energy company. You can save up to $100 base on your location.

Which One Is Better For You?

One real difference between the two thermostats is the support for dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and ventilators. If your system has these options, you have to settle for ecobee3. If it doesn’t, you can go for the ecobee3 lite thermostat, and save some money.

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