Honeywell Lyric

Honeywell (yes, Honeywell) has announced their own smart thermostat to compete with Google's Nest. The Lyric, which was first leaked in April, has now been officially announced and is priced at $279. It has some visual kinship with the round Nest and thermostats of old, but it has some different tricks up its sleeves.

Visually, Lyric resembles Nest in terms of its round design with a circular display in its center (though it's not terribly large). Inside, the device uses Wi-Fi to connect to a mobile app (iOS and Android versions have been announced) so that users can set their heating and cooling temperatures inside their dwelling to their desired levels.

Lyric's biggest bullet point is its use of geofencing. In basic terms, when a person leaves their home with their smartphone, the Lyric senses when they depart and adjusts the temperature inside to a level designed to save money. When that same person makes the return trip home, the Lyric again detects when the person is getting close and adjusts the temperature again to make sure that the home is comfortable again when the home owner enters.

Honeywell adds:

The Fine Tune feature factors indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and weather into its algorithm, enabling it to provide the most comfortable temperature for homeowners. No other do-it-yourself Wi-Fi thermostat on the market today does that.

While the Honeywell Lyric is already available to purchase by professional heating and cooling contractors, it will be sold to the general public, via Lowe's, sometime in August.

Source: Honeywell


Reader comments

Honeywell turns up the heat with the Lyric smart thermostat


My Honeywell WiFi thermostat is already pretty smart. This takes it to a new level. For me, it's a level I don't see necessary.

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It probably won't turn off. That would cause issues in severe climates. It would adjust to a user set threshold. Also, I'm sure you could set your spouse's phone up on it too.,

i can think of several reasons why it would need to continue to heat or cool even if both spouse/significant other and yourself are gone. teenage kids, house sitters, babysitters, someone said pets, just to name a few.

That's what I said.. It wouldn't turn off as pipes could freeze, or mold could grow depending where you're at or the season.

We'll have to see specifics, but I'd find it hard to believe you couldn't set a min setback temp, or over-ride (hopefully with a code to get into the interface) directly on the unit; else wait until the teenager/babysitter call to your phone. Some pets live outside, another 10-15 degrees one way or other isn't going to mean much inside, where shade is ample.

i disagree. anything more than a 8 degree variance (especially in the cold) could and in my case would overheat your compressor in your AC unit. talk about learning things the hard way. this heat is killer already this year.

Is your dog as tall as a person? The Nest detects movement in front of it, you have to be about the same level as the thermostat for it to "see" you, not like a standard motion detector which detects movement 180 degrees around. No "smart" thermostat is going to be perfect by any means.

In addition, my dogs (giant and thick coated) wouldn't appreciate it if the thermostat let the house get warmer when I left.

It may not seem necessary but i decided to test it out with nest and I'm saving an extra $10 to 15 on my monthly bill. It depends on the weather.

Wow.. that just makes me not even want to consider these things. I thought savings would be a little more. $10 - $15 for an almost $300 device doesnt seem all that. Will take over 2 years to recoupe the cost of the unit but i suppose as long as it lasts it would be alright. I am just concerned about longevity. old thermostats lasted forever cause they were VERY basic. Who knows how long these will go.

This is just in the couple months of me having it. supposedly that amount will get higher after a longer time. But if you don't mind programming your own thermostat every week or month then by all means just get one of those. I just didn't have time with kids and scheduling, plus this thermostat also does other things like adjust for weather, if your home or not, if the thermostat is in direct sunlight it will adjust accordingly, it has a new feature that when temperature has reached its level the fan stays on but compressor shuts off to help save energy and still push the cold air. It also has other things like heat pump balance which minimizes the use of auxiliary heat and other stuff. But yea, if its too expensive to then its too expensive. After a year most people save a lot more then what I'm saving. My unit is still learning and before summer started my savings was around $22 every month.

well thats encouraging. Its not that its too expensive. but if the benefits and savings dont out weigh the price, its just another gadget. Sound like it may be worth a deeper look.

I definitely understand. It took me a while before I finally bought it. And I got it with a discount plus a giftcard and I also needed a new thermostat. But I did plenty of research and read many reviews.

Also keep in mind that his timeframe is 2-ish months... and those 2 months have been spring time. Probably the least often time of the year that you use utilities. Imagine the savings in winter/summer that he'll see!!

Many utilities will give you rebates for installing a nest. Some will outright send you one for free if you switch to them as an energy supplier. Green Mountain Energy has a deal where they'll send you a nest free, plus a 50 dollar voucher to buy light bulbs and crap on their site, if you use them as an electricity supplier. I took the deal, got my rate per KWh locked in for a year, a nest and they ended up sending me 100 bucks in vouchers for some reason so I bought a whole house energy meter that tells me how many KWatts I'm using at any time.

I don't have a baseline for what I used pre-nest, since I just moved in last year, but a free nest is bound to save me some money. So convenient to have, I was going to buy one anyways, free was a better deal though.

I'm taking part in a beta to test one of these(not this particular one). However, it would've been nice if Honeywell used a beta program to step into a new market, beta testing can be very successful for a company that is producing a new product that they don't already have a foot into.

Yeah Honeywell sure doesn't have a foothold in the thermostat market yet...

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So how many smart thermostats does Honeywell have on the market??? I'm curious, as I'd like to look into their 'other' line that they have so much experience in making. A thermostat, and a smart thermostat...two totally different animals with different operating configurations.

They are available to professional installers. That means they should be getting installed and tested.

The current Honeywell smart thermostats run everything through a central server- that goes down, you can't talk to your thermostat.

I prefer the look of Nest but I love the fact that this shows the days forecast. I wish Nest would simply show the current outside temperature. Geofencing is another nice touch especially when you leave the house as far as when you're returning, wouldn't really be enough time to make a real impact on the temperature of your house.

And what if you're getting closer but just gong to a mate's house for a few hours. The heating comes on but it's just burning gas for no one to benefit. I have to admit I don't understand these smart thermostats, especially when they cost a small fortune.

Or we could just stay in the past with those circle ones you have to guess the temperature with and keep the house at the same temperature all day long.

No, I agree that those really old ones are rubbish. Mine cost around £30 (free with my new boiler really) and has fantastic programmable temperature settings for weekend and during the week, or any weekdays plus weekend. Or I can just press the button that says "away mode" and it disables the heating. Couldn't be easier, and plenty of control. Don't need to spend hundreds of pounds for that.

The geo-fencing thing may be the wrong way to go about it but I am sure that by 2020 every brand new thermostat will be a variation of the "smart" thermostat.

Also if Honeywell is getting into the smart thermostat game it means that every other maker of thermostats will follow suit, so you better stock up on the "dumb" thermostats now because they will quickly become a thing of the past.

That's a good point if I'm at my next door neighbors house, my system would continue to waste money thinking that I may be home.

I have a Nest and it's really useful for me. My wife is a Nurse so her schedule is constantly changing making a programmable unit is useless. I would always forget to change the temp when she was working, wasting money. The auto away feature or just being able to change the temp through the app has definitely been a money saver for us.

You got that right. I love my Nest. My wife is constantly forgetting the thermostat and our schedule varies depending on the month. Also sometimes were taking care of the kids and putting them to sleep and getting up to adjust thermostat would wake them up so adjusting it without making a noise by walking near them is perfect. If this was cheaper than nest I would give it a shot. too bad

There is no way that this functionally should cost $280! Move on nothing to see here!

I think we need a comparison post. Lyric vs Nest vs Ecobee. (Ecobee is ugly but extremely functional).

I want to get one of these super smart thermostats. (Although I think the black one is more my style)

But I wonder if it will provide any energy savings for me. I work at home (so not much benefit from the "away" features of these things, for me). And I've got a brand new, very high efficiency HVAC system that came with a programmable thermostat (no WIFI though) with it programmed for energy savings as far as day/night settings. I just can't see that I can get more savings, when I don't leave the house for more time than walking the dog.

(Yes I am old and don't "hang-out" with friends, besides my wife)

If you work from home I really don't think this will provide any benefits to you. I have a Nest and one of the good features it has, is once my my Central Air stops blowing, the system knows to keep the fan blowing to get the rest of the cold air out of the duct work. Reduces the waste and continues to cool the house more efficiently. Small feature but is smart, definitely not buying a smart thermostat for it.

I know this is contrary to their marketing but I wouldn't be so sure this is saving you money. Part of what an AC does is dehumidify the air. If your house is less humid, you can be just as comfortable at a higher temperature. Continuing to run the blower when the compressor is no longer running will cause all the moisture on the evaporator coil to be blown back into the house, raising the humidity, meaning you'll want to set the thermostat lower than it actually needs to be if the house was properly dehumidified.

Nice point. That is something that I had not considered.

I don't have a nest (as you may have gathered from the first post). But I just flipped a dip switch on the control board of the furnace. That keeps the house fan running an additional 80 seconds past the point the compressor shuts off (thermostat click). I too, considered that I have freshly cooled (and dehumidified) air in my duct work that never reaches the humans in the living space if the fan shuts off simultaneously with the compressor. Thus some additional fan time gets all of "cooled and dehumidified" air into to the actual living space (and the location of the thermostat). Thus hopefully reduces the frequency of cycles.

So I like what you say. It makes sense entirely about the humidity control. But I bet whether or not which would be better I think depends on how often people come and go in the house (and how "leaky" the house is). If I had kids running into and out of the house constantly, I think your theory would work better. But at my house the door is opened as infrequently as possible for a boring couple and a lazy dog (and I am quick about getting in and out! I think about these things). Infiltration from outside is the only substantial way the air inside gets re-humidified* . Once a particular volume of air has cycled through the A/C unit a couple of times, it will remain de-humidified as long as it remains in the house. Most of the humidity will get removed permanently via the condensation drain tube (and dribbles outside or down the drain).

So optimum may vary depending on varables of a particular household.

*unless you have a steam room and indoor hot tub in an air-conditioined space, but if you've got private steam rooms running in your house.... party on dude

The only possible good news I see here is that with more competition, maybe these things will finally get proper pricing. They are both way too expensive vs. potential cost savings for most people IMO. It would take a long time for me to save almost $300, so I'll wait.

Exactly right. The break-even point is too far out to make this a wise investment. If it takes me three years to break even at today's prices, it makes more sense for now to sit and wait for the price to drop. A year from now this generation might be $150, or the next generation might have more features that tip the balance...

Nest is only $229 and if you keep an eye out you can get deals like the one now where you can get Nest for $183 from amazon with a coupon code.

I just bump the thermostat down or up when I leave and bump it back up or down when I get home. Do it enough and it becomes second nature. I have never cared about the 10 minutes it takes to get to temperature.

Having said that I like the style of this over the Nest simply because the wall my thermostat is on is white. It would blend in better. I want the thermostat to blend in, not stand out.

Try living in Minnesota. In the coldest parts of winter and the warmest parts of summer it can take an hour to move the 8 degrees I setback.

Lyric resembles Nest by being round? I'm pretty sure round thermostats have been around for over half a century.

So when I leave the home it turns down the temperature even though my wife and kids are present at home? Geo fencing feature sounds good but not sure how practical it is for most times. I guess most people will just turn it off.

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This device looks good however i think i will give it time to mature through updates. I am a former Nest owner "Former" The Nest was a great device for heating. Once summer hit i switched it to Cooling and i would set my temp to 73 and let it begin the cool down. Once it hit 73 it kept running and would not turn off. After looking through the Nest forums i found other people having the same issues. Nest did confirm they are have Base plate issues and had a Beta test plate in the testing process.

With that being known i returned my Nest for a refund and am waiting for another Ver. of Nest or maybe even this device. "Nest Buyers Beware"

Here's the interesting thing-- most of the existing Honeywell smart thermostats already communicate back to their central server for information, and I'm guessing that all of them already support home/away schedules.

They could mimic this geofencing today just by updating the app to report your location back to the server- if I'm home, run my normal schedule. If I leave, cut to my Away settings, even if it's the weekend, and don't cut back to my Home setting at 7PM if you see that I'm 2 hours away.

It would be nice to get a firmware update to the unit in my house to make it clearer what's going on, but they could fake it with temporary holds and temperature shifts without a lot of programming.