Which comes out on top in an Ecobee Smart sensor vs Room sensor duel? One of the popular smart home items these days is the smart thermostat. A smart thermostat is a fantastic way to heat, cool, and monitor your home all from your mobile devices. It can learn your schedule, turn itself down in your absence, and balance temperatures around your home to make for comfort while using less energy (very important).
Our extensive review shows that the Ecobee smart sensor comes out on top and is the best smart thermostat because it manages your home with the least amount of input. It is simple to use, and cheaper than higher-end Nests, yet it doesn’t sacrifice much functionality.
This review is based on its direct integration with SmartThings, I.e. the ability to add room sensors.
Therefore, we’ll take a look at the Ecobee smart sensor vis a vis a room sensor in detail and how these two compare when integrated together.
Ecobee Smart Sensor Vs Room Sensor
One of the top reasons why people buy a thermostat is to save energy. To a lot of people, this is reason enough to buy a thermostat, but, there are a lot of features that the Ecobee smart sensor offers its users while integrated to not just your room sensors but also your daily routine and lifestyle.
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat is a piece of equipment that can do almost everything you might want a smart thermostat to do. It has the requisite steep learning curve that enables it to serve you better. For anyone who wants deep-dive control over their energy use or robust integration with smart-home systems then we highly recommend this to you.
Compared to other smart thermostats, Ecobee has more features and it also has the strongest integration with Amazon Alexa. In addition to working with Amazon’s Alexa, the smart thermostat’s HomeKit platform and Google Assistant, plus IFTTT and Samsung’s SmartThings, so it can actually integrate with most homes regardless of which voice assistant you prefer or platform you use.
It has far more responsive glass touchscreen with really small touchpoints, could be a disadvantage to big handed individuals but fret not, your voice can always get the job done. A quad-core processor powers the Ecobee thermostat and it has dual-band Wi-Fi delivering faster, more stable connectivity.
There are some enhanced features for music lovers, it supports Spotify and Bluetooth 5.0 and lets you push music to an external speaker via Alexa. Give it a try and you’ll find this thermostat’s integrated smart speaker improved, delivering rich sound and a wider range.
- Customizable thermostat schedules.
- Included remote sensor for measuring temps in another area.
- Alexa speaker is actually usable now.
- Responsive touch interface.
- Works with Alexa, Google Assistant, HomeKit, IFTTT, and Smart Things.
- In-depth usage of history and energy reporting.
- The remote sensor still doesn’t measure humidity.
- Ecobee has a poor history of service reliability.
- It takes a long time to automatically switch between home and away modes.
What Are Ecobee Room Sensors?
Ecobee room sensors are an additional accessory that you can pair with your Ecobee smart thermostat which allows the thermostat to know the temperature of different rooms in your house.
The Ecobee room sensors detect temperature, and they also have motion sensors so it can tell when somebody is in that room. The presence detection(up to 60 feet), covers a wider angle to better know when you’re home or away.
Just so you know, it does come together with the Ecobee 4 thermostat, and you can also purchase them separately if there is a need to install more in your home.
How Do Room Sensors Work?
The SmartSensor comes with a nice magnetic base that can be attached. This allows you to place the sensor on a shelf, table, or wall, etc.
Once acquired, you need to pair the Ecobee room sensors with your Ecobee thermostat. Previously, you needed to be physically at your Ecobee thermostat to pair the old Room Sensor but now, all you just have to do is scan a QR code within the app for setup.
In regards to the motion and occupancy detection, the new SmartSensors allow for up to 140 degrees of horizontal detection and 100 degrees vertical. The old Room sensors went up to 120 degrees horizontal, and up to 30 degrees vertical. This increased detection allows for better presence detection obviously.
Lastly, the new SmartSensor also has a longer battery life compared to the Room Sensor as this allows the SmartSensor to last a couple of years with a single CR2477 battery, compared to 12 months of the Room Sensor using the CR2032 battery.
Unlike the room sensor, the SmartSensor does detect motion quickly, but that motion remains triggered for up to 35 mins before resetting. This is worthy of note as both the SmartSensor and old Room Sensor allow for remote temperature readings around your house.
They both use the same 915Mhz band to communicate back to the thermostat, but the new SmartSensor allows for up to 60ft, whereas the old Room Sensor allowed for 45ft only. This is a welcome change for those of us that would receive notifications of the sensor “has not been detected” or “has been reconnected”.
How Much Do They Cost?
A 2-pack of the Ecobee sensors on their cost $79 on Amazon. So if you already have an Ecobee3 or Ecobee4 smart thermostat, you’ll need to buy the sensors as they don’t come together in a single pack.
The good news is, if you don’t have an Ecobee smart thermostat already, you’ll need to get one as the Ecobee4 comes with a room sensor in the box to get you started, but if you want to buy more, there will be an extra cost. The Ecobee4 thermostat with a room sensor costs about $249 together.
Installation and Setup
The setup is simple, quick, and intuitive thanks to the excellent touchscreen interface and it e en goes smoothly if you own a C-wire. Note that after the initial setup, you can make use of the mobile app or the website to control the Ecobee. The touchscreen interface shows heating or cooling, current temperature, goal temperature, and also allows deeper menu choices after a successful installation.
How Accurate Are Ecobee Sensors?
Very accurate it would seem, as studies have shown that the Ecobee temperature sensor has a +/- 1.0F accuracy and is programmed to provide readings every 15 seconds. It will use the previous two values and average them into the current reading.
Will Ecobee Work Without Sensors?
Of course, Ecobee thermostats can work without room sensors. Note that room sensors are products that compliment the Ecobee thermostats. Therefore it was designed to function either with the room sensors or independent of it. Have no fear and enjoy these wonderful products at your own pace.
Can Ecobee Use Other Sensors?
Yes, it can. The maximum number of sensors the Ecobee can connect to is 32. It is very likely to increase with future Ecobee thermostats.
Regardless, the Ecobee thermostat effectively keeps track of the room temperature, making it comfortable and suitable for use.
How Does Ecobee Work With Multiple Sensors?
The more room sensors you own, which you can pair up to 32 sensors with one thermostat, the more information your Ecobee thermostat has to calculate a comfortable average. Despite the number of room sensors paired, it does not affect the accuracy of the result in any way, whatsoever.
Ecobee Sensor Placement
Finding a place to put the ecobee room sensor is a task that only very few people have been able to do correctly.
If you must place the ecobee sensors yourself then it is recommended by Ecobee to place the sensors about 5 feet high for optimal temperature measurement.
For optimal motion detection, sensors should be aimed towards the doorways and seating areas. The sensors should be oriented so that the little bee is facing up and to the right.
It is strictly forbidden to put a sensor directly in the kitchen because the temperature in the kitchen can fluctuate wildly if you are cooking or perhaps steaming something. As you might imagine, this could cause some undesirable reactions from the thermostat.
It is a better idea though, to place the thermostat somewhere on the outer edges of the kitchen.
There, it will still be able to monitor for motion in the kitchen, but the temperature it reads will be a much more moderate temperature since the kitchen air will have cooled by the time it gets to the other parts of the house.
The same sort of logic should apply to sensor placement throughout your home. Don’t place a sensor next to a drafty window or right next to an outside door. Don’t place a sensor in a place where it might get direct sunlight. It’s probably best to avoid putting a sensor in the bathroom even if you do spend a lot of time in there. A long hot shower is sure to fluctuate the readings of your Ecobee thermostat.
The Ecobee thermostat and its smart room sensor are one of a kind. It is energy efficient and saves a lot of cost to your home. I am sure you will find that the new ecobee smart sensor is a must-have compared to the old room sensor. Therefore, urge you to give it a try if you like, you won’t regret it.