Last fall Ecobee3 Lite launched as a more affordable version of one of the best HomeKit thermostats on the market. Now a free update is adding support for one of the main missing features ahead of a rumored new Ecobee4 version.
Ecobee3 Lite retails for $169 (currently $167 on Amazon) and originally shipped without support for Ecobee room sensors that make Ecobee stand out from its competitors. These room sensors track presence and temperature by room to approach home heating and cooling more intelligently.
Now a free firmware update rolling out is adding support for Ecobee room sensors at no additional charge. New Ecobee3 Lites will work with room sensors automatically. Room sensors are still sold separately at $79 for a two pack (currently $77 on Amazon), although Ecobee is selling a Smarter Bundle that for $233 that knocks $15 off the overall price.
Ecobee is also discounting the main Ecobee3 thermostat from $249 to $199 (currently $195 on Amazon). The thermostat itself is one sensor while the package includes an additional sensor and add-on sensors are available separately. You can read my full review including hands-on with Apple HomeKit integration.
Separately, leaks of the next generation Ecobee4 thermostat have also been surfacing and show a tweaked design that will likely include a built-in microphone and speaker for out-of-the-box Amazon Alexa integration. Ecobee3 already works with Amazon Echo for Alexa control, but new models could feature support without owning an Amazon Echo.
Ecobee also rolled out full HomeKit support to its room sensors to all users at the beginning of this year. This lets you use Ecobee room sensors as HomeKit sensors for temperature and even triggers for motion-activated automations in Apple’s Home app.