Last updated on March 16th, 2016
The Honeywell Lyric has joined the growing chorus of smart thermostats!
Update: Lyric is now available via Amazon.com and many other retailers and HVAC professionals!
Honeywell, famous for many things including being the first to cram thermostat controls into a circular shape, is late to its own party. Nest (now owned by Google) has been there for a few years. While Honeywell sicced its lawyers on Nest over a number of design trademarks and patents, Nest ran ahead and made its name synonymous with smart thermostats.
Perhaps Honeywell has realized that if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. Today we welcome Lyric, also known as “is that a new kind of Nest?”
I kid, I kid.
Honeywell’s previous entry into the smart thermostat market, the RTH9580WF, is a capable and well-designed thermostat (read our review here). We here at Smart Thermostat Guide were fans of Honeywell’s last smart thermostat, but it’s just like PC. vs. Mac all over again: sure, the PC is more customizable, but Mac has that marketing sizzle.
We are optimistic about the Lyric. Putting Honeywell’s thermostat legacy into a stylish package ought to be a winner, assuming customers can be convinced that the Lyric is worth $30 more than the already-established Nest.
Here’s a 1-minute long promotional video demonstrating the Lyric’s features. Honeywell is clearly taking aim at Nest’s “learning” algorithm by playing up the “your schedule isn’t that predictable” angle.
What We Know About Lyric
- Available: Now via HVAC contractors, retailers in August 2014
- Retail price: $280 ($30 more than the Nest!)
- Control from: App (iOS and Android) or wall unit
- “Geofencing” feature: By tracking your location, the Lyric can start heating up your home before you arrive
- “Fine tune” feature: The Lyric takes into account weather ,humidity, and current inside temp
- Glowing ring: The unit casts a blue or orange glow behind it, depending on which system is running (I really hope this can be turned off)
- HomeKit support: Lyric is compatible with Apple’s new iOS 8 home automation standard (coming fall 2014)
The most interesting feature in this list is what Honeywell is referring to as “geofencing”. Rather than learn what times you leave and come home like the Nest tries to do, the Lyric simply tracks your location via your smartphone and behaves accordingly. This is a great feature for people with irregular schedules. If your schedule is such that you often come home at an unpredictable time and find the house freezing, the Lyric might be a great addition to your home.
What We Are Wondering About Lyric
- What’s the advantage over the Nest? For an extra $30, that “geofencing” better be pretty reliable and awesome to live with. Does the Lyric allow for tight control over temperature swings? (Nest does not, but this was one of the Honeywell RTH9580WF’s advantages.)
- Will Lyric offer data and usage logs? The lack of usage data (and comparison to others in your region) was our chief complaint about the RTH9580WF and a distinct edge Nest and Ecobee thermostats had over the Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat.
- Will Lyric support a detached temperature sensor? Many thermostats are not ideally placed, and many homeowners would like to see a thermostat monitor the temperature in a room other than the one it’s in.
- Will Lyric save users money? Smart thermostat marketing tends to be about convenience over seeing massive savings on your heating bill. Still, the Leaf system has encouraged many a Nest owner to put on a sweater and we’d like to see the same in the Lyric.
- Does Lyric require a C-wire? The Nest has an infamous incompatibility bug in systems without C-wires.
Stay tuned – we are eager to learn more about the Lyric and stack it up against the Nest this summer.