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Millivolt thermostats are used to regulate millivolt heating systems, which are different from the popular low voltage systems and the electric powered line voltage systems. A millivolt heating system is usually a floor heater or a wall heater that doesn’t use electricity; for example a gas fireplace or a gas powered wall heater. Millivolt systems are regulated using thermostats specifically designed for the system, commonly known as ‘millivolt thermostats’.

In homes across USA, there are currently 3 types of heating systems in use.

  1. Low voltage systems (like furnace, boiler, heat pump)
  2. Line voltage systems (like baseboard heaters)
  3. Millivolt systems

A thermostat is always designed to cater one type of system, and they can not be used interchangeably.In this article, we write about millivolt thermostats and review them in detail. Before delving into thermostat models, let’s first have a quick overview about millivolt systems.

Millivolt type heaters are rare these days and no one installs a millivolt system in a new construction. About 90% of the heating systems used in America are low voltage types like a furnace heating system or a boiler type or a heat pump system. However millivolt systems are still found in older constructions and people continue using those millivolt heaters.

Popular Millivolt Thermostat Models

Now that we’ve seen a bit about millivolt heating systems, let’s see the different millivolt thermostat models available to choose from. As I write above, millivolt systems are found only in older constructions. So you don’t have too many choice here, and you won’t find WiFi enabled smart thermostats compatible for millivolt systems.

Note: If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you may find this article on wiring Nest thermostat for millivolt heater very interesting. Nest thermostats or any other smart/WiFi thermostats are not suitable to be used with millivolt heating systems. This guy Chris Vale tweaked things to use Nest on his gas fireplace.

Honeywell CT53K1006

This model from Honeywell (CT53K1006) is a non programmable thermostat, designed specifically for millivolt systems like floor fireplaces or wall furnaces. This model has two wires Red and White, and is compatible with standard 750 millivolt systems (and lower, say 550mV or other voltage levels ).

CT53K1006 is mercury free and is safe to use. There are 5 temperature set points, starting from 50 degree F, range upto 90 degree F (incrementing 10 degree for each set point in between). So you can set 50, 60, 70, 80 or 90 degrees on this thermostat model.

Highlight: As I noted above, CT53K1006 is a specifically designed millivolt thermostat. Such thermostats are guaranteed to work with most of the millivolt systems. There are thermostat models designed for both 24 volts and millivolt systems alike, which may not be compatible with all types of millivolt systems out there.

Looking for a simple, digital thermostat with no hassles of programming associated with it? Then, have a look at Lux products Co’s one of the simplest digital non programmable thermostat, the LUX DMH 110. 

LUX DMH110 has been designed for people who stay alone or stay at home for most part of their day and do not require a high end programmable thermostat. This type of thermostat lets you set a temperature for as long as you want. It will continue to control the heating system at the set temperature until there is a change in command. 

LUX DMH110 is affordable and looks good even in its conventional design. You can be assured of an electronic accuracy while you enjoy the simplicity of a manual traditional thermostat, with LUXDMH110. It can be used for both heat and cool operations and has a slide switch to select the operating mode. 

It is compatible to work with most 24V heating and A/C systems like heat/1 cool: gas, oil, electric or single stage heat pump systems, 2-wire heat-only hydronic systems hot water baseboard and radiator, millivolt systems (wall heaters/furnaces and gas fireplaces).

This was a brief introduction of the product, if you feel it’s the right one for you then, read on, as we describe its features. 

Design 

LUX DMH110 sports a rectangle shaped design with dimensions being 5″ x 2 3/4″ x 1″. Even though the thermostat is seized a little larger than an average thermostat, but the user interface is quite impressive. On the front panel you can see a digital display, two slide switches and some push buttons. 

Since the thermostat can be used for both heating and cooling, one of the slide switches has been provided to choose the heating/cooling mode. In case, you want to turn Off the heating/cooling unit, you can place the switch on the “OFF” position. Another Slide switch has been provided to control the fan settings. You can set it either as ON or AUTO. These slide switches not only give an aesthetic look to the thermostat, but also adds to the convenience of use.

In order to change the set temperature two soft, Up/Down push buttons have been provided with arrows indicating the same. In the middle of these two buttons is a “Save” push button, that is a one touch solution to saving energy. It automatically increases the temperature by 5 F when in heating mode, and lowers the temperature by 5F when in cooling mode. You can easily return from the save mode by just pushing the button again. 

Display

 LUX DMH110 has a fairly large backlit digital display. The backlight activates once any of the push buttons are pressed. It goes out after around 10 seconds. The font is pretty readable and clear. It gives the basic information like the ambient temperature and the low battery indicator to remind you to change the batteries. The ambient temperature will be displayed on the screen, once you press either of the up/down buttons. The temperature can be displayed in either Fahrenheit or Celsius format, based on your choice of display. 

Temperature Precision

The operation of LUX DMH110 does not involve any complex procedures. Just get up to the thermostat and use the up/down button to set the desired temperature. The thermostat will use this input and maintain the room temperature at this set point. You can set the temperature anywhere in the range of 450F to 900F. The electronic accuracy gives precise temperature control for maximum efficiency. 

Temperature Swing

You can adjust where the temperature difference between the values where the heating/cooling system should start and then shut down. This temperature difference called the temperature swing can be adjusted by the users in this LUX DMH110 model. 

You can choose a temperature swing that has a value in the range of 1 to 9. The little “save” button, which by default is used to set an automatic energy efficient temperature, can be used to set the temperature swing as well.  

Just long press the “save” button, and a single digit number will appear. This number is the set temperature swing of your thermostat. If you want to alter this, use the up/down buttons till you reach the desired value. 

Clicking Sound

The clicking sound of a manual thermostat can be a trouble maker while in a silent room. This thermostat does have a clicking sound each time the thermostat turns on and off. The sound is however soft when compared to other manual thermostats. 

Temperature Calibration

LUX DMH110 comes accurately calibrated from the factory, but comes with an customizable option of changing the offset room temperature. This comes in handy, if there is ambiguity regarding the displayed room temperature. 

You can manually offset the temperature value up to ±5F from the original value. 

Compatibility

LUX DMH110 is a low voltage thermostat and works with bothe heating and cooling systems such as : heat/1 cool: gas, oil, electric or single stage heat pump systems, 2-wire heat-only hydronic systems hot water baseboard and radiator, millivolt systems (wall heaters/furnaces and gas fireplaces). 

However it should NOT be used with:

3 wire Hydronic zone valve systems, line voltage systems like elelctric baseboard heaters, Multi stage heat pumps.

Installation

Installing LUX DMH110 is quite easy and requires basic tools like Screwdrivers, wire stripper / cutter etc. The unit comes with a detailed instruction manual that guides you through the entire installation process. If you are familiar with house wiring and stuff, you can easily carry out the installation. 

Make sure you follow all the guidelines before you select a place to install your thermostat. 

Power Source

LUX DMH110 is a low voltage thermostat, but does not power up directly from the source. You will need to use 2 AA batteries to power up the thermostat. A decline in the battery will be shown in the display through a “low battery” indicator. This is a gentle reminder that it’s about time to replace the batteries. 

LUX DMH110: Simple yet Energy efficient 

If you stay at home for most part of the day and are comfortable with a single temperature setting, LUXDMH110 is  a good option to consider buying. It is an energy efficient package with a simple working. Apart from accurate temperature control, the advanced features help in saving you few good energy units. 

Before we wrap up the article, let us have a quick look into its pros and cons. 

Pros 

  • Sleek Design with soft push buttons
  • Large, bright backlit digital display
  • Adjustable temperature swing
  • Adjustable temperature offset value
  • One push energy “Save” button
  • Low battery indicator

Cons:

  • Does not power up directly from source
  • Size looks a bit large
  • Clicking noise, though not loud is still prevalent

First Alert created and launched their first ever home product, a commercial smoke alarm in 1958.  Since then, they have produced different home safety units and have made a name as America’s one of the most trusted and reliable brand. 

In the October of 2015, ventured as a smart Thermostat producer that can be integrated into the digitally inter connected homes. 

Therm 500 Onelink offers all the basic amenities like W-Fi connectivity, temperature control through Onelink app and sophisticated programmable modes that adjust the temperatures to maximize comfort and efficiency. 

There is much more to this little smart wonder from FirstAlert, which we shall discuss here in detail. 

The colourful touch screen Display

Therm 500 Onelink from first alert is sized at 1.2 x 5.2 x 4 inches and weighs around 1.55 pounds. One of the striking features of this Thermostat is its beautiful, colourful display. The font sizes are readable, icons pretty easy to understand and the menu easy to navigate. You can read the display even if you are several feet away across the hall. The touch-screen works very well, provided you press at the right spot. 

All the important information about the room temperature, current time, working mode of the HVAC system etc can be learnt via a glance at the screen. There are up/down touch buttons on the screen to set or change the temperature. 

The screen brightens up when it is touched for changing or viewing the settings, the brightness of which can be set according to your convenience. You can dim or bright up the screen at any time. This makes it easily readable at any time of the day without being harsh on the eyes. 

You can set wallpapers and screen savers too; either choose from the already in built wallpapers or set custom wallpaper. You will need to download the app for uploading the custom wallpaper from the SD memory card. The screen saver gives a digital photo frame feel to the screen when the Thermostat is sitting idle. 

The touchscreen can be locked via the automatic screen lock option. This prevents wandering hands from accidently resetting the whole system. The fan icon shows two options once it is pressed: the auto and the on mode. When the fan is in “ON” mode, the fan will continue to run even in OFF mode, while in “Auto” mode, the fan works only when there is a cooling or heating demand. 

The Thermostat comes with an inbuilt humidity sensor, which senses the humidity of the room and displays the value on the screen. You can then use the dehumidifier of your AC to dehumidify the room. The Thermostat, however, keeps a control on the temperature so that the room is not cooled over the set temperature.  

The Onelink App

The android/iOS app for the Therm 500 Onelink Thermostat has been designed to be very user friendly. Once you download the app on your device and connect it to the Thermostat via Wi-Fi, you will be bombarded with all the necessary information. You can keep monitoring your energy usage and choose a program that will give you the most efficient results.  This helps in reducing the energy costs, and saves energy from being wasted. 

You can create a 7 day schedule with 4 periods for each day. The app also lets you control the schedule from any part of the world. You can be returning from office and setting a temperature to make your room cosy, or you could be turning OFF the Heating system after you’ve forgot to switch OFF before leaving the house. 

You can also send messages to the thermostat from your app, personalize and give names to your Therm 500 Onelink Thermostats placed at different rooms of your home (to distinguish between them). 

The trigger Home/away feature lets your thermostat know before hand the timings or day when you are out or at home. This helps in maximizing your comfort. 

Apart from viewing the indoor temperature and humidity, the app also lets you view the outdoor temperature and humidity level. It also sends weather forecast for the next 2-3 days, to help in scheduling your programs for the coming days. 

Amozon Alexa on your command!

Love Alexa? You will be glad to know that all you need to do to change your temperature settings is just ask Alexa. The Therm 500 Onelink Thermostat is compatible with amazon Alexa. With simple commands like “Alexa set the temperature to 64 degrees Fahrenheit/ Lexa incease the temperature by 5 degree Farenheit / Alexa cool the room”, the indoor room temperature can be set without going through the pain of taking out the mobile app or going physically to the Thermostat to make the change. Howevr, if you just say “Alexa, cool/heat up the room”, then it will decrease or ncrease the exisiting temperature by 2 degrees by default. 

Safety comes first!

Following their age old tradition to keep your homes safe, first alert Therm 500 Onelink Thermostat sends E-mail alerts to its users, whenever the indoor temperature exceed or drops below the preset temperature therholds. This avoids unnecessary damage of your HVAC systems.   

Quick and Easy Installation

The Onelink Therm 500 unit comes with an illustrated installation manual that guides you to get through the installation process. Check if you have 5 wire connection, if yes then installation will be a piece of cake for you, provided you are an experienced technician. We always strongly recommend that you take  a professional help for installation of the Thermostat, if you aren’t familiar with house wirings. 

Timely maintenance reminder

One thing we often forget or overlook is the proper maintenance of our HVAC system. With FirstAlert’s Therm 500 Onelink Thermostat you need not worry about missing out in cleaning the air filters. The Thermostat sends you a reminder every time it senses a need to change the air filter or a need for overall maintenance.  

Link multiple Therm 500 Onelink Thermostats via cloud

If you have multiple heating/cooling zones at your home, then you can use separate Thermostats for the different zones. In order to control multiple Thermostats, connect them together via cloud so that all of the Thermostats will show up on your Onelink app. You can then control them independently. 

Auxiliary heat lock out function

The Thermostat has another distinctive feature where the heat pump ramps the heat up such that the auxiliary heating system does not need to be started, unless it gets very cold.  The auxiliary heat lockout feature lets you choose a temperature below which the Thermostat will not start the auxiliary heating system. 

Power Source

The Therm 500 is a low voltage Thermostat and hence works with 24 volt direct power supply. There is no battery backup. Therefore, in case of power failure, it will go off. Once the power is restored, it will reboot to its previous settings. There is a SD card slot, which can be used as back up for replication of the settings and security.  

This was a general brief review of the Therm 500 Onelink Thermostat from the house of first alert. Before we wrap up the article, below are some of the important pros and cons of the product. 

Pros:

  • Rich, colourful touchscreen display with customized wallpapers and screensavers
  • 7 day  (4 periods per day) programming and remote controlling of indoor temperature through the Onelink app
  • Responsive and backlit touchscreen display
  • Alert for air filter change and maintenance 
  • Auxiliary heat system can be locked out for a certain degree of temperature
  • Easy to use and understand user interface
  • Lock screen option to prevent wandering hands from resting the program
  • Gives a 2-3 heads up through a weather forecast which helps schedule a program better. 
  • Listens to Amazon Alexa

Cons:

  • Not compatible with other voice assistants like Ok Google or Siri. 
  • No battery back up
  • The process of changing the wallpaper and screen saver is complex

Ever since “Ecobee” produced the first ever smart thermostat in the year 2007, it has become one of the popular thermostat models.  While the pioneer model had only Wi-Fi capability, now the latest models are embedded with much more features. 

LUX KONO is one such smart thermostat loaded with latest technologies and comes as a successor of LUX GEO. We have already reviewed LUX GEO in one of our previous articles; you can check it out here. 

This article describes the features of LUX KONO. 

LUX KONO was first made available on May 2, 2018. It is one of the latest smart thermostats from the house of LUX Products Corporation, which boasts of providing “zero degree of difficulty” and ultimate comfort. 

Invite this stylish thermostat at your home to add comfort while subtracting the energy usage.  The changeable decor cover snaps, allows you to personalize the colour of the thermostat to suit your likings. More of the design details will be discussed in the coming paragraphs of this article. 

The KONO smart thermostat works well with your voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, via the cloud. It comes powered with home and away GEOfencing technology that controls your home comfort automatically by sensing your phone’s location. 

KONO’s smart technology is compatible to work with forced air, gas, oil, electric furnaces (up to 2H/1C) and A/C units with “C” wire connection. For the heating systems, you can install KONO with or without the “C” wires depending on the type of the system. 

The easy scheduling feature of the KONO iOS and android app is another plus for this thermostat and it estimates the energy usage and utility cost. 

Let us now discuss some of its important features in detail. 

Design 

LUX KONO has been designed keeping in mind the ease of use. LUX KONO looks similar to Ecobee 4 and measures approximately 4.5×4.5×1 inches(HWD). Its minimalistic yet stylish design blends in with any wall. The square shaped thermostat has a display screen and a brushed aluminium knob on its front. This knob makes controlling and selection of options an easy-breezy affair. You can use it as it is or personalize the front colour to suit your wall by placing the snap-off front covers. These covers come in 5 different shades: deep blue, hibiscus red, midnight black, sea green and true white. In case, none of these colours match your wall, you can use the paintable front plate, which comes at around   15$. This removable face plate snaps on and off quite smoothly.

Overall, when compared to the KONO’s counterparts like ecobee and sensi, it has a more visually appealing design and texture. 

Display

The LUX KONO sports a 1.7”×1.7” LCD white back lit display. Once you turn or press the knob the display lights up for a few seconds. The display of this stylish thermostat unit gives all the basic information at one glance. You can check the set temperature by just turning the knob. The display by default shows the current room temperature, time and date, heating or cooling mode. It also shows whether the fan mode is on, the humidity of the room etc. 

A menu is displayed with 4 options once the knob is pressed for a few seconds. The white backlight of the display makes it readable at any given lighting condition of the room. The fonts and icons used are quite good and easy to understand. 

Programming and Operation

LUX KONO App offers both single temperature/default set temperature option and a day-by-day custom scheduling option.  

The programming of LUX KONO is quite a cumbersome task, if you want a day-by-day custom program. The byzantine programming approach may make programming seem like an uphill task for the first time. However, once the Wi-Fi is set up and the app installed successfully, it works just fine. 

The brushed aluminium knob makes selection of modes and changing the temperatures very smooth. The temperature can be increased or decreased to the desired temperature by just turning the knob clockwise/anticlockwise direction. There are no other push buttons or knobs, so the whole operation is handled by this single knob. This sometimes makes the operation a bit fuzzy. 

To activate the menu option, you need to press the centre of the knob. A 4 option menu pops up on the screen which lets you make schedules and set mode preferences. 

The KONO App interface is smooth and user friendly, and is same as that for LUX GEO. All the installed KONO thermostats of your home are displayed in the front page itself. Choose the thermostat you want to control and then set the temperatures accordingly over the home wi-fi. 

However, when it comes to scheduling your thermostat, the app user interface is not so user friendly, in the terms that it becomes quite a troublesome task to set a schedule from scratch.

 One of the features of the KONO app which comes in really handy is its energy usage prediction tool. It tells you how much energy will be used when you set a particular temperature. Here you can compare between two temperatures as to which one would be more energy efficient. This helps in choosing a set temperature wisely. Not only this, there is also a provision to set timers for heat on/off or cool on/off according to your schedule. 

You can also use web console to control or operate the thermostat, apart from the KONO app. 

Installation

Installation of LUX KONO is pretty straight forward. With the elaborate user manual in hand and a basic knowledge and experience in low voltage wiring, you can easily set up the thermostat at your home. For homes with HVAC Systems sans C-Wire, this unit comes with a wiring bridge. One thing to take note of while installing the KONO unit, is the labels given at the back of the unit. Some of the sockets are not labelled so as to use this with conventional furnaces and heat pumps. This may make installation a bit tricky.

Compatibility 

LUX KONO is a low voltage thermostat and is designed to work with forced air, gas, oil, electric furnaces (up to 2H/1C) and A/C units with “C” wire connection. 

LUX GEO Versus LUX  KONO

Once you take a look at the specifications of GEO and KONO, you will see both have nearly the same characteristics. Both are compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, and Google Home but the LUX KONO is  compatible with apple home kit as well. 

 The design of both are however drastically different. While GEO has a rectangular not so stylish look, KONO’s design is sleek and sharp with changeable face covers, and a symmetrical sturdy body. 

LUX GEO can be powered in three different ways: battery, micro USB and direct 24 V power. LUX KONO on the other hand can be powered only through the 24V direct line. 

LUX GEO is compatible with: Conventional 2 stages heating and cooling, Heat pumps with up to 2 stages cooling and heating, Heat only hydronic systems with three wires, Gas millivolt heaters. 

LUX KONO is compatible with: Conventional 2 Heat and 1 Cool Systems, Heat Pumps with up to 2 stages heat and 1 stage cooling, Oil, electric, or gas furnace. 

 

LUX KONO:  The sleek and stylish smart thermostat 

No doubt, the design of this modern smart thermostat is LUX KONO’s main USP. It has great features like voice assistant compatibility, GEO fencing, energy prediction capability that help you to use your heating/cooling systems in the most energy efficient way. 

Let us take a quick look at the pros and cons of LUX KONO before we wrap up this article. 

Pros:

  • Modern stylish design
  • Customizable removable face plates
  • Voice assistant compatibility3w2w
  • GEO fencing allows home/away options
  • Predicts energy usage for a particular temperature

Cons:

  • Lacks compatibility with smart home hubs like Samsung Home, IFTTT. 
  • Cumbersome 7 day Programming

More than a century old, Lux products corporation is one of the leading companies which produce reliable and innovative thermostat models. Lux win100 is one of its versatile product, that is basic yet a handy little gadget. 

This article gives a brief about the features of LUXWIN100 Model. 

The highlight of this product, is that it has been built to work for heating and cooling units which have their own power back up. So make sure your HVAC device restarts automatically after a power failure, before you invest in this unit. 

This line thermostat is compatible with 120 Volt, 50 Amp plug, 60 Hz portable space heaters and window air conditioners only. 

Even though it is a digital thermostat, it offers versatile 5-2 day programming options. Although you cannot set a separate schedule for each day of the week, it gives you the option of setting separate programs for the weekdays (Monday-Friday) and weekends (Saturday-Sunday). A total of 4 temperatures can be set for a day. 

The control panel consists of a radial dial, 2 push buttons and a slide switch, all covered under a flap in front of the thermostat.  

The control speed dial makes programming a breeze. There’re 4 options which can be selected by simply turning the dial to the desired position. The “hold” and “next” push buttons help navigate and set temperatures.  We will discuss more about it in detail, in the later part of the article.

Once you close the flap, all you see on the front of this device, is its digital display and two buttons right next to it. 

The digital display is quite small and gives only the basic idea of the room temperatures, day and time. Next to it are 2 up and down push buttons, to increase or decrease the set temperature.  

This was just an overview of the product; let us get into the details of the products now. 

Design

The design of this 8×5.5×2.2 inches thermostat is very basic. It has a small digital screen on its front along with the up down buttons placed sideways to the LCD screen. 

Below this you will see a flap, which when opened consist of LUX’s patented speed dial and few push buttons. Speed dial has been designed to make programming an easy affair for everyone. You can select between the heating and cooling option through the slide switch provided right beneath the speed dial. There is a reset button also, which erases the program whenever you wish to set a new one. 

The push buttons are made of soft plastic and looks durable. All the buttons, the speed dial and the slide switch have been labelled clearly, that avoid confusion among the users. 

For accurate temperature control, an external temperature sensor has been provided, which looks like a small antennae place on top of the unit. Make sure it is set straight up before you use the device. 

There is also an ON/OFF switch placed to the right side of the unit, that helps you turn on and off whenever required. 

A socket has been provided on the front panel itself, where your heating/cooling system is to be plugged in. 

All in all the design is very simple and portable. If you are not a fan of fancy designs in thermostat and are looking for a conventional one, this is an apt option. 

Display

The display as already mentioned is a small LCD screen, placed at the top of the front panel of the thermostat. It displays the current temperature, day, date and time. The temperature can be set either in Celsius or Fahrenheit. It also mentions whether the thermostat is working for a heating or cooling unit. If it is working for a heating unit, it will show “heat” on the display. Similarly if it is working for a cooling unit, it will show “cool” on the display. 

This small display hence, provides all the information at a glance. Also, while changing or setting a temperature, the temperature will be displayed on the LCD scree. After you have set the temperature, it will switch back to displaying the current room temperature. 

Programming

In order to make programming easy, LUX patented a speed dial, which has been incorporated in this thermostat. The dial can be set to four positions namely: “set week day program”, “set weekend program”, “set time and date” and “RUN”. 

As this is a 5-2 day programmable unit, you can set a program for 5 weekdays and 2 weekends in a group. This means, for say 5 weekdays, you will have the same program and can set temperature for 4 different programs for a day. Similarly for the 2 weekends you will have the same routine. It makes programming less complicated for people with a steady routine. 

Once you set the program, turn the knob to the “run” position, and the thermostat will start controlling your unit accordingly. 

Also, in case you want the thermostat to hold on to a temperature but you do not want the program to get altered; you have the “hold” button. 

Reset” button has also been provided in case you have to erase the program memory and chart out a whole new program. 

The “up down” keys, at the side of the display help in advance/reduce the temperature or day/time. 

You can change the set temperature of a particular period at any time, by just using the temperature override feature. It helps in altering a set temperature without disturbing the whole program. 

In case of a power failure, stay calm, the unit comes with a battery back up that memorizes your program and restarts it when the power gets restored.

Compatibility

LUX WIN100 is a 120V/60Hz line thermostat which is capable to take load of up to 15 Amp. It is compatible with 120V window air conditioners and portable space heaters only. Make sure your device has an auto restore feature, before you buy this thermostat unit. 

Keep in mind that, it does not work with the conventional 24 Volt systems or hydronics systems or heat pumps.  

Installation

Installing your LUX Win100 thermostat is not a big deal. All you need is a small screw driver and a thorough reading of the manual. Read the warnings and installation instructions very carefully before you try to install this unit. This unit comes with 2, G13A size 1.5V battery back-up which needs to be activated before using the unit. You just follow the instructions in the manual and are good to go. While carrying out installation make sure, that the device is in “OFF” position and that the plug fits into the receptacle properly. 

 

LUX WIN100: A basic unit that saves energy

As you now might have got an idea of the features of this unit, the programming options help you save almost 33% of the energy. The easy programming also saves a lot of time that gets wasted in learning the complicated programming models. 

Also, the sleek, basic design makes this unit portable and easy to install. All in all, it is a good buy at a decent budget. 

While we wrap up this article, let us go through its pros and cons, for the last time. 

 

Pros 

  • Display shows the temperature either in F/C format of your choice
  • Battery back up to remember the program in case of power failure
  • Easy to use speed dial for smooth programming
  • 4 period for a day
  • Separate program for weekends and weekdays
  • Can be used for cooling and heating unit
  • Portable design
  • Easy installation
  • Temperature override feature

Cons:

  • The window AC and the poratable space heaters need to have an auto restore option. 
  • Small display
  • No separate program for each day of the week

Air conditioners have become an essential part of our home these days.In USA, many modern homes use centralised HVAC system, which takes care of air conditioning during the summer. However, there are still many homes which use individual units like split air conditioners or window ac units. In this article, we review Sensibo Sky – a smart  WiFi based air conditioner controller, which can be used to control individual air conditioner units.

Sensibo Sky can be used to set schedules (7 day scheduling option), turn the AC On/Off from anywhere using smartphone, save energy by efficiently managing the heat pump and a lot more. 

A centralised HVAC system can not be regulated using AC controllers like Sensibo. If you’ve a central system like a furnace based system or a boiler setup or a central heat pump, you’ll need a thermostat to regulate the system. You’ve got great choices like Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell RTH9585WF, Emerson Sensi and a lot more.

Any other type of individual air conditioners (which has an IR/Infra Red based control) like a ductless split ac/window ac/portable ac or a wall mounted model can be efficiently regulated using smart ac controllers like Sensibo or the competing model Tado.

Sensibo Sky Review

What Sensibo sky does is very simple to explain – it makes your air conditioner smart with features like 7 day programming, wifi based control, voice control with help of smart home hubs like Alexa, Google home, smart phone app based control from anywhere in the world, location based on/off, energy usage reports, and finally the most useful feature energy savings.

If you are keen on energy saving, then you must own a smart device to control your AC unit. Sensibo sky is one of the best options available to teach your old AC new tricks. Even if you do now have the latest smart ACs, this smart controller will easily connect with your conventional AC.

The key highlight of this product is its Wi-Fi capability. It uses your home Wi-Fi to control the AC unit of your home. Whether it is a remote controlled window AC or a split AC, use this clever little device, and make your life easier. The minimalistic design aims at easier installation and use.

The 7 day scheduling feature gives you control over the temperature of your room. You can set as any schedules you want for a week, that suit your convenience and at the same time help you save some good bucks. You can control this unit from anywhere, through either an Android phone or iOS device or web. The humidity and temperature sensor sends you up to date report of the climate of your room. This helps in maximum utilization of the controller to achieve minimum energy usage.

You can also add it to your IFTTT smart home hub or pair it with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Turn on your AC with just a command to  Siri or Alexa or Google.

This was just an over view of this product. Let us dig deep into its features!

Design

The Sensibo sky comes in a small rectangle package with its body mainly made of plastic material. This 3.2”×2.2”×0.8” (HWD) little controller weighs around 1.4 ounce and comes in two colour variants: cloudy white and dark grey. The small size adds to the ease of use and portability. It comes with a peel off sticker at its back, for easy wall mounting.  

A blue LED indicator has been provided, which blinks while pairing with your phone, and once paired becomes stable. You can find this indicator at the top part of its front face. It is “S” shaped and blue in colour. The power jack at its back is provided along with an Ethernet port.

The Sensibo Sky App Interface

The Sensibo sky can be controlled through the “Sensibo” app which is available in either Play store(for an Android device) or Apple Store (for an iOS device). The app is designed for smooth navigation and is easy to comprehend by any one.  

The main screen gives a quick information about the temperature and humidity of the room, and in case of an enabled geo-fencing, it also tells you if anyone is at home.

You will see some icons on your main screen like “pencil Icon” to edit the device location ,”Clock Icon” to edit /create time-based changes, the “Geo Marker” to create/change location based settings and the gear icon that takes you to the other settings related to the controls like selecting a climate react feature or setting a geo fencing radius etc.

You can also have a look of the temperature of a particular room’s AC by tapping on the “room” option, given at the top of the main screen. This will also give you information like the time left for the AC to turn on or off.

The App is well built where all the important information are easily accessible. It offers quite a few control features. Let us have a look at them too.

The Sensibo Sky Control Features

Once you login to the app, using your credentials, you are set to experience the wonders of a smart AC. You can set the temperature or turn off the AC from anywhere. Like, while on your way back from work, you can set a timer after which the AC will turn ON, so that you enter into a cool room, or in case you forgot to turn OFF while leaving the house, you can command the AC to turn off, anytime. All these through your Sensibo APP.

Another remarkable control feature of this smart product is its unlimited 7 day scheduling. It lets you take control of the climate of your room. Explore the endless possibilities of being comfortable while saving energy.

The Sensibo app has a unique climate react feature, which when turned on, will maintain the temperature of the room, according to the humidity, temperature and other comfort parameters. It takes off the load of setting appropriate schedules. This is beneficial for people with crazy and hectic schedules, to manage energy efficiently without compromising on the comfort.

Geo-fencing which is a relatively new concept has also been incorporated here; however the device lacks motion sensing. Enabling Geo-fencing gives the benefit of automatically turning OFF and/or ON by using the phone’s location. For example, if you are (your phone) somewhere nearer to the geo-fence radius, it will detect and turn on the AC before you reach your room.

Sharing is Caring, and Sensibo Sky knows it!

For each Sensibo sky device, each AC is paired and is controlled through an app, where a particular user gets access after they log in. A home or office will have more than one AC users.  Keeping this in mind, Sensibo Sky allows you to share the app login credentials with others as well, so that they can enjoy the comfort of your smart AC through their phones. If someone like your parents wants an access to it, you can share it with them. This way you care for them, while giving them the full control over the smart AC.

Voice Control and Smart Home Hubs

Sensibo Sky can be paired with your Amazon Alexa, or Google Home hub. You can also use Siri shortcuts to command Sensibo to turn the AC on/off, or change the temperature. Tell Alexa to switch on the AC using voice commands like “Alexa, turn on living room“, while you comfortably sip your cup of coffee, without actually getting up and finding the remote.

Sensibo works really well with Alexa and Google home. However, Sensibo is not currently compatible with homekit (officially). They’ve provided “Siri shortcuts” compatibility as an alternative to Apple iphone users. If you’ve Apple homekit ecosystem in your home, you can use homebridge as an alternative to make sensibo do tasks via homekit.

Sensibo Sky is compatible with IFTTT (If This Then That) protocols, which you can use to create your own command recipes or automation.In addition, Sensibo has an open API which has many extensions and community supported integrations like SmartThings. Homebridge for homekit is one such example where sensibo open API is used to create unofficial compatibility for homekit.

Compatibility

Sensibo Sky is designed to turn any of the traditional air conditioner unit like the split AC, window AC, provided they have IR sensors.

Installation

Installing Sensibo Sky is a breeze. First and foremost you need to download an app from app store or play store. Just download the app, and you are ready to pair it with your phone. To pair the controller with the AC unit, all you need to do is point the remote towards the phone or device. While pairing the “S” indicator will bilnk. Once paired, you can see the blue indicator get steady.  The controller comes with an adapter and an Ethernet cord. Connect them accordingly.

The app will guide you through the rest of the procedure. In case you get stuck with any step, the excellent Sensibo support team is ready to assist you anytime.  They are quick and fix your problem as soon as possible.

Sensibo Sky: A sensible way to cool down your room!

To wrap up, installing Sensibo sky at your home, is like giving your Traditional AC , a modern make-over. If you have an old AC, which works fine, and need not be replaced by the new smart ACs, which can cost you heavy bucks, buy this controller and get all the essential smart features.

It not only makes control easier, but saves you a lot of energy as well. Once you get used to the programming, and work out an efficient schedule, you can save up to 40% in your electricity bills.

Let us have a quick look at its Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Simple, robust design
  • Easy to navigate and use App interface
  • Can be easily wall-mounted
  • Climate react feature helps in figuring out the appropriate temperature
  • Can be paired with Amozon alexa, google and Siri shortcuts
  • Supports Geo-fencing and IFTTT
  • Share the device between your loved ones

Cons:

  • Little pricey
  • Does not have motion sense
  • Works with AC units with IR sensors only

If you’re looking to replace your old thermostat with a new smart or WiFi thermostat, you may face the problem of adding a new C wire/common wire (if your current thermostat wiring doesn’t have one in place). We’ve clearly explained everything about C wire in our detailed guide. If you don’t have a c wire in your current wiring (between the furnace and thermostat), the best solution to add a new wire is to use a C wire adapter – like Venstar Add a Wire kit or use a 24 Volts C wire transformer.

A C wire adapter (common wire adapter) is basically a small electronic device, which re-purposes the existing wiring between your thermostat and the furnace, to add a new wire to the system. This new wire will serve as the C wire or common wire to provide necessary power to the thermostat. Installing an adapter is pretty easy and can be finished within 30 minutes to 1 hour time. Anyone who knows how to change an electric bulb, will find it easy installing a c wire adapter.

A C wire transformer is basically a 24 volts step down transformer adapter, which has to be plugged into a mains outlet. This device has 2 output wires which should be connected to the thermostat. If you have an outlet point somewhere near the thermostat (most transformers comes with 25 foot cable) , you can easily solve the C wire problem by connecting one wire to the C terminal and the other wire to Rc terminal of the thermostat.

C wire adapter or transformer ?

The installation method is entirely different for a C wire adapter (like Venstar) and a C wire transformer. A C wire transformer is quiet easy to setup as you just need to plug in the device and connect two wires to the thermostat. The problem with a C wire transformer is, you need to have a plug in outlet near to your thermostat location. Another issue is the long cable running inside the room (not hidden inside the wiring conduits), which tampers the visual beauty of your room interiors.

On the other hand, a C wire adapter is always hidden inside the furnace circuit box. There will be no wires running through the rooms or any such things that affect the interior aesthetics. A c wire adapter re-purposes the existing wires between the furnace and the thermostat. But the installation takes more time & a little effort compared to a c wire transformer. You’ll need to open the furnace circuit box, make some connections (according to instructions provided in the adapter kit), attach the kit onto furnace box, and finally make some more connections on thermostat terminals.

I’ll explain how to install both the devices using images and videos below. Let’s begin with a C wire transformer and finally move on to C wire adapter.

How to install C wire transformer ?

I am using Fyve C wire transformer as an example to demonstrate the installation process. Fyve – is one of the best selling and popular c wire transformer model. You’re free to buy any other model you feel good.  Take a look at the Fyve c wire transformer image given below.

24 volts c wire transformer
Fyve – C wire transformer – Source

The installation process is very simple. A C wire transformer has two output wires; connect one wire to Rc terminal and the other wire to C terminal of your thermostat. Once you finish this connection, plug the transformer to your mains power outlet. The installation is complete now and the thermostat will be powered upon switching ON the power outlet.

C wire transformer connection – Source

Watch the video given below and you’ll get a better idea of the installation process.

How to install C wire adapter

As I mentioned before, installing a C wire adapter is a perfect option as it leaves nothing externally visible (like those wires in the case of transformer). I am using Venstar – Add a Wire adapter to demonstrate the installation.

Steps of installation: The installation is divided into two sections; 1) steps at the thermostat 2) steps at the furnace circuit board

Note: Make sure to cut mains power to the furnace and the thermostat before you begin installation.

Installation steps at the thermostat:

The Venstar Add a Wire kit has the Venstar device (which is to be attached on furnace circuit board) and a wire pair (which is to be connected to thermostat terminals). This wire pair is simply a wire splitter, where a blue wire is splitted into yellow and green wires

  1. Open the thermostat plate and make the following connections
  2. Remove the wire on ‘G’ terminal and connect it to ‘C’ terminal
  3. Remove the wire on ‘Y1’ terminal and pair it with the ‘Blue’ colored wire on the wire pair. Enclose the open pairing with the caps provided.
  4. Connect the ‘Green’ wire (on the wire pair) to ‘G’ terminal and ‘Yellow’ wire (on the wire pair) to ‘Y1’ terminal
  5. Close the thermostat box.

Installation steps at the furnace circuit box

  1. Attach the venstar device onto the furnace circuit box (you can drill the screws provided into the mounting hole)
  2. Connect the ‘Red’ wire from venstar device to the ‘R’ terminal of furnace circuit board
  3. Connect the ‘common wire’ (in brown color) from the device to ‘C’ terminal on furnace circuit board
  4. Remove the wire on ‘G’ terminal (in furnace circuit) and connect it to ‘C’ terminal on furnace circuit
  5. Remove the wire on ‘Y1’ terminal (in furnace circuit) and connect the ‘Yellow’ wire from venstar device into the Y1 terminal.
  6. Connect the ‘Green’ wire from venstar device into the ‘G’ terminal on furnace circuit.
  7. Now there is one wire left on the venstar device, a ‘Blue’ colored wire. Pair this ‘Blue’ wire with the wire we have removed earlier from ‘Y1’ terminal, and close it with the caps provided.
  8. The installation is finished, close the furnace box and you can power the furnace now.

The video given below clearly explains how to install Venstar Add a Wire adapter kit.

So we have seen how to solve the C wire/common wire problem using a 24 volts transformer or a C wire adapter.

If you’re researching online to buy a new thermostat, you may have stumbled upon the term “C wire” or “Common wire” many times. Just like many other folks, you might be confused “What is a c wire?” In this guide on “thermostat c wire” – we explain everything you need to know about the Common wire,  known popularly as the C wire.

The purpose of a C wire is to ensure continuous flow of 24 volts AC power supply to the thermostat.

Back in the olden days, thermostats were just on/off switching devices and they used to draw the necessary power from the heating system itself (be it a furnace or a boiler). There was no need for the thermostat (old models) to be turned on 24/7, as they had nothing much to do while the furnace is not working.

Modern smart thermostats and WiFi enabled thermostats are feature rich, and they do continuous monitoring of weather, closely watch furnace performance (for energy savings), they have voice control, gps based features like geofencing, and they can be controlled from away places via internet. All these features demand the thermostat to be functioning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all the year. Thus modern thermostats require a continuous power supply and the C wire or Common wire is required for most thermostats to ensure 24 volts AC supply continuously.

Note: You might be thinking the R wire (Red wire) from furnace is already a power line and why a C wire is required! Well, the R wire is a power source but it does not ensure a continuous supply when the furnace is OFF. The C wire is more like a neutral wire (in electrical terms) and it completes the electrical circuit between the furnace (or any heating system) and the thermostat, thus ensuring a flawless power supply to thermostat even when the furnace is OFF.

How to know if you’ve C Wire

To know if you already have a C wire in your home wiring, there are two ways.

  1. Look at the backside of your thermostat
  2. Look at the circuit board of your furnace (heating system)

Examine Backside of your Current Thermostat

The easiest way to know if your home wiring already has a common wire is to examine the backside of your current thermostat. To do this examination, you may remove the face plate and take the thermostat out of the wall. Now you will see wires coming into different terminals of your thermostat marked R, W, Y, G, Rc, C, O/B etc. Look specifically for a wire attached to the terminal marked ‘C’ (as shown in the image below).

Caution: Before removing the face plate of thermostat, make sure you’ve cut the power supply to the thermostat (and the furnace/heating system).

Common Wire - Thermostat
“C Wire” coming into thermostat – Look “Blue” wire in ‘C’ terminal – Source

In the above image, a “Blue” coloured wire is coming into terminal marked “C”. Usually “C wire” or the Common Wire will be a blue coloured wire. But there is no particular standard for thermostat wires, so it can be any color like Yellow, Brown, Green or any other color.

If you see a wire of different color, say Yellow in the ‘C’ terminal of your current thermostat, most probably it should be your ‘C’ wire. You can verify this by opening the circuit board of your furnace, and make sure the same color wire is connected to the ‘C’ terminal on the furnace circuit board.  Take a look at the image given below.

C Wire in Thermostat
Yellow color wire connected in ‘C’ terminal – Source

In some cases, your old thermostat may not have a ‘C’ terminal. In such cases, there are chances that a ‘C wire’ is already in place but left unconnected. Look for any wire that is tucked away behind your thermostat. If there is any such wire, verify it as the common wire by examining the circuit board inside your furnace.

Examine Circuit Board of your Furnace/Heating System

In USA, the most commonly used heating systems are gas furnace, boiler or a heat pump. Some households use a combination of gas furnace & heat pump. In any case, your heating system will have a circuit board with terminals marked similar to the thermostat like R, W, Y C, O/B etc. You can identify/verify the common wire by examining this circuit board. Take a look at the 2 images given below.

Furnace Circuit Board - C Wire
C wire from furnace circuit board going to thermostat – source

If you observe the terminals, you can see two wires are tapped from ‘C’ terminal. The ‘black’ color wire is part of the set that goes to the thermostat. The ‘white’ color wire is part of the set that goes to the condenser unit. In another image given below, you can see the same C wire going to the thermostat terminals side.

Furnace common wire or c wire
C wire from furnace to thermostat – Source

I hope that was very clear! You now know how to look for a c wire or common wire in your heating system wiring. If you already have a C wire in place, you just need to connect the same C wire to the new thermostat (when you replace the old model). It is very simple and pretty straight forward. Read the installation manual of the new thermostat you buy and wire the device accordingly.

What if you don’t have Common Wire

If you don’t have a C wire running from the furnace, you’ve the following options.

  1. Install a new C wire
  2. Use a C wire Adapter
  3. Choose a thermostat that doesn’t need C wire or has an alternative solution

 

 

 

Since 1914, LUX has produced a wide range of thermostats from manual to smart. These come in decent budget and are filled with lots of features. One of its products LUX TX500Ua promises great features at a fair price. We shall give a detailed review about its specifications and features in this article.

LUX TX500Ua, can be used for a wide range of 24 volt single/multi stage heating systems as well as single stage cooling system. However, these cannot be used for line voltage heating system like electric baseboards.

It has a simple design, with the control push buttons secured inside the front panel. Only the temperature up/down and hold buttons can be seen on its front panel.

This programmable thermostat can be used to program different schedules for the weekdays and weekends(5- 2 programming). Not only this, you can also set a separate schedule for each day of the week in its 7 day programming option. The number periods for each day can be selected between 2 or 4 periods.

In case you do not need a routine, and want to change the temperature manually, this thermostat has the provision for that too.

The thermostat program is protected from the unauthorized hands, through the keypad lockout option provided.

The large display is quite useful to get an idea about the room temperature and helps to program effectively. It is designed to be read in any lighting conditions, as it is provided with backlight.

Another unique feature is its programmable air filter timer, where you can set the time after which the thermostat would remind you to change the air filter. This boosts the timely maintenance of the machine.

This was just an overview of the product; let us dig deep into the features of this programmable digital thermostat.

Design

If we talk about the design of LUXTX500a, it looks pretty standard. It comes in a rectangle shape, with the dimensions being 5.38x 3.38 x 1.1 inches. It has a LCD screen on its front and three long push buttons placed just right below the screen. The two of the push buttons are the “UP/Down” buttons, which are clearly indicated by the respective arrows. Between these two buttons, there is a “hold” button, which can be used to hold the room temperature at a set value, for as long as desired.

The push buttons are made of resilient semi soft plastic and hence are easy to push and use.

There are 3 slide buttons and two other push buttons too. These have been securely placed under the cover of the front panel. You will have to remove the cover every time you want to set/reset the fan, system or other settings related to the control.

Display

The LUX TX500a display provides all the vital information needed at one glance. You can see the room temperature on its one side and the set value on its other side. Other than this, it displays the mode, time, day and other options. You can read it under any lighting conditions as it has a backlight, which turns on for 10 seconds once any of the front panel buttons is pressed. It is long enough to see the current temperature and program. In case, there is a need for prolonged back illumination, you will have to press any of the buttons while the back light is still on. This will reset the 10 second timer, so that the screen will be illuminated for an extra 10 seconds.

Programming & Operation

LUX TX500a offers a variety of programming options, which makes the operation easy. To start with, once you remove the front cover, you will see the various options to control the system.

If you have a blower fan connected to the heating system, then you have the choice to choose between the “auto” mode and “on” mode, for the fan operation. The auto mode runs the blower according to the need and is an economical option to choose. However, if your home requires constant operation of blower fan, then you have the liberty to choose the “on”mode. It will run the fan continuously.

The system controls include: “heat”, “cool”, and “off”. While the heating and cooling system can be selected by switching to “heat” and “cool” modes, you can turn off the HVAC system by selecting the “off” mode.

There is an easy provision to change the system settings like day/time, temperature program, air filter program and run option, all these through a sliding switch. This means there is no need to scroll down a menu and make the change in settings, a tedious process.

All you will have to do is slide the switch to the required settings, you want to change, and use the UP/DOWN and hold button to set a value.

In case you have an electric heating system whose heating coils have become inefficient, LUX TX500a provides an option to accelerate the heating process through the “emer” or emergency heating button.

Now, these were the highlights that accentuate its easy and efficient operation. Let us move on to its programming options.

As already mentioned, this thermostat provides the user with a flexible programmable memory. You can choose the programming styles (5-2, 7 or manual) that suit your routine.

The 5-2 day programming style enables you to set a temperature program for the weekdays and weekends in two different combined process. This means you can schedule different temperature settings for the 5 weekdays and 2 weekends.

In 7 day programming, you can create a different schedule for each day of the week. The manual option is for those who do not want the thermostat to follow a specific routine and are comfortable in changing the temperature manually according to the current condition.

This thermostat also provides the user to choose from 2 or 4 periods for a day.

Another great option and minimizes effort is the “copy” feature. This copies the routine of a day to another day. It eases the process to programming the same schedule for 2 or more days.

Set temperature can be changed whenever necessary through the temperature override option, whereas the temperature hold option allows to set the value at a particular temperature for a long time.

Apart from programming the temperature settings, this thermostat allows its users to set the temperature swings and calibration, in the unlikely case of the inaccurate and inefficient working of the thermostat.

Even though the thermostat comes properly calibrated at the factory, and need not be altered, there may be cases when it needs to be changed. The thermostat allows you to add or subtract 5F from the room temperature in such cases.

Installation

If you are someone who is handy around the house and are familiar with wiring, the installation of this 2 wire thermostat will be easy for you. The instruction manual has a well described installation guide.

In case you need to use the heat blower fan, you will need to use the third “c” wire and connect it to the fan.

Compatibility

This thermostat boasts of being a universal thermostat, meaning it is compatible with all the HVAC systems. Except that it is not.

We can say it is compatible with almost all the HVAC systems which include:

Most single-stage 24-volt, heating and cooling systems, 1 stage heat / 1 stage cool: gas, oil, or electric systems, Single-stage heat pump systems (without auxiliary or emerency heat), 2-wire hydronic (hot water) zone valves, Millivolt heaters (including wall heaters / gas fireplaces).

NOTE: IT is NOT compatible with:

120/240 VAC line-voltage systems (without a transformer, Multi-stage heat pump systems (with auxiliary or emergency heat), 3-wire hydronic (hot water) zone valves.

Power Source

LUX TX500a is dual powered. This means it can be either operated with 2 AA alkaline batteries or can be powered by directly wiring to 24 V source.

These were the significant features of this budget friendly thermostat from the house of LUX products.

Let us take a quick look on to its pros and cons, before we wrap up this article.

Pros

  • Large, backlit display
  • Easy to use function buttons
  • Operation can be understood easily
  • Choice between 7 day, 5-2 day and manual programming
  • Choice between 2 or 4 periods for a day
  • Program can be prevented from unauthorized hands, by locking it
  • Temperature override  and hold option

Cons

  • Pretty basic and standard look
  • The front cover is hard to open
  • Need to frequently open the front cover to access the control buttons

 

When we mention about smart thermostats, NEST and ECOBEE are the two names that pop up in our minds. Even with their splendid design and the lucrative features tailored for complete comfort, they come at a cost that is sure to burn your pockets.

Needless to say, their high price makes us think twice before investing a hefty amount on them. Hence, companies thrive to manufacture affordable alternatives to these thermostats. The LUX GEO WH Wi-Fi  is one such smart thermostat model.

LUX Product Corporation, on June 22, 2015 released on of its smart thermostat model, which had almost every smart feature and would fit in to a decent budget range.  Being true to their philosophy of designing products that ensure comfort and easy access, this thermostat will not disappoint you.

With the price it comes, it has various features which make it no less than a smart thermostat.

The Wi-Fi enabled LUX/GEO thermostat is the first of its kind to be truly powered by batteries. You can choose which power source you need for your LUX/GEO thermostat. You can either use batteries or use the C-wire to get power directly from the source or even use a micro-USB cord to power up this thermostat. If you use the C-wire or USB to power up, this thermostat can be used with Amazon Alexa enabled devices too.  

This 7 day programmable smart thermostat gives you 2 options: either set 2 periods for a day or set 4 periods for a day. This gives the flexibility to program the schedule in our way. The dial placed on the front is used to change the set temperature.

The LUX/GEO thermostat can be used to control the HVAC systems like Conventional heat & A/C up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool, heat pumps with up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool (including aux/emergency heat),3-wire heat only hydronic systems (hot water, baseboard and radiator)and Gas millivolt heater. It cannot be used for line voltage heaters like an electric baseboard.

The geo fencing feature of LUX GEO thermostat is another of its main feature that sets it apart from its high priced competitors. This feature tremendously helps to reduce the energy consumption in the long run.  

This was a brief overview of LUX GEO thermostat, let us dig deep into its various features.

Design

When you compare the LUX GEO thermostat with the Nest Learning and Ecobee 3, you may not like the look of it. It is rectangle in shape with 5.8(W) x1.5(D) x 3(H) inches and looks like a basic thermostat. One good thing is that it can be mounted in any way, either horizontally or vertically. It has a 2 x 2-inch LCD display on one side and the other side has a 2 inch diameter dial. The dial side is rounded off at the edges. The thermostat thickness is about 1.5 inches and this means it will project a bit more than a normal thermostat.

This model gives you the option to choose between its two finishes. One is white with pearl chrome accent and the other one is black with black chrome accent. It is one of those few wi-fi enabled thermostats that give you such choices!

Display

The 2 x 2-inch LCD display of the LUX GEO thermostat is quite large and displays all the vital information. The LCD screen is backlit, so you have visibility at all times. You can control how long the screen needs to stay lit. It can either stay all day long or just automatically turn off after 5-15 seconds.

The interface kind of looks like an old school model with the large, blocky, black and white fonts used to display the information on its LCD screen.   You can make selections on screen using the dial. It is simple to use and hence the temperature settings can be changed by anyone.

The display prompts whether the thermostat is being used with a heating or cooling device, the room temperature, the set temperature, the date, whether the wi-fi is connected or not, among many other things. You can navigate through its settings and learn a lot more.

Program and control options

Since this is a programmable thermostat, and not a self learning thermostat, you will have to program the temperatures, which is good, if you do not have a fixed routine.

It gives you the liberty to choose whether you want it for heating or cooling. Also, if you select the auto mode, it will automatically toggle between cooling and heating systems, once you have set the appropriate temperatures.

Also, for each day you can schedule temperatures for either 2 periods or 4 periods.

The round dial does the selection for you. You will have to press at the top of the dial to select the desired option from the menu. In case you want to go back to the menu, press at the bottom of the wheel.

The control can also be done remotely, when the Wi-Fi is enabled. You will have to install the LUX  GEO app on your android/iOS device to completely control the thermostat from virtually anywhere.

This means even if you are away, you can set the schedule in a way that you get to enter into a cosy home, after a long tiring day.  

You can also lock the temperature settings, such that it is free from wandering and unauthorized hands. The LUX GEO app has a collection of energy profiles to choose from, so that you program and control the thermostat in the most economical manner.

Once the Wi-Fi is enabled, you can control multiple LUX Geo thermostats installed at different rooms in your house through the APP itself.

There is also an option to control LUX GEOS installed in different houses, through the APP.

This control feature is great, if you are a constant traveller.

Geofencing feature

LUX GEO, as you can guess from the name itself boasts of the one of the newest feature trending in the market and that is the geo fencing feature.

Geo fencing feature lets you choose a virtual fence around your house. The thermostat here is connected to your phone or tablet through Wi-Fi, then when you(that is your phone) moves away out of this fence, the thermostat turns up the AC or heater to a more energy efficient temperature.

This is a great one, especially when you have random in and out schedules. It avoids reprogramming every time you enter the house.

In case, you do not need this feature, there is an option to disable it also. This is what makes this thermostat so flexible in its operation. You can personalise the settings according to your needs and convenience.

Compatibility

This thermostat is ideal for a HVAC unit like Conventional heat & A/C up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool, heat pumps with up to 2-stage heat/2-stage cool (including aux/emergency heat),3-wire heat only hydronic systems (hot water, baseboard and radiator)and Gas millivolt heater.

However, if you want a smart thermostat for your eat pump with (Y2) two compressor stages or a line voltage heating systems (120/240) like an electric baseboard, LUX GEO is NOT for you.

Installation

 The LUX GEO thermostat has a bi-directional mounting design. This enables to install it either horizontally or vertically. It also comes with a 24V C-wire, which can be used for powering it up. You can also install this thermostat without the C-wire. This thermostat’s installation process is a bit different from its NEST and ECOBEE counterparts, where you only have to  insert the wires to their respective slots. Here while installing the LUX GEO, the wires need to be screwed to their respective places.

Other than that the installation process is quite basic and can be done easily by following the installation guide that comes with this product.

Power Source

One of the main highlights of this thermostat is its ability to power up fully using only 2 AA batteries. It can be powered up by any of the three methods, which include: battery source, direct line source through 24V C-wire and a USB micro plug.

So even if you do not have the provision to install the unit with the C wire, you always have the option to power it up with 2 AA batteries.

Cost

With all the features it possess, it is almost like a smart thermostat. The only thing missing is a touch-screen display.

For all its features, the price is quite reasonable when you compare it with the high end smart thermostat producers like the NEST and ECOBEE.

Go for it, if you want a smart thermostat in a reasonable price.

Quick Overview:

Let us now discuss the pros and cons of the LUX GEO Thermostat briefly to conclude the article.

PROS:

  • Geo fencing
  • Reasonable price
  • Simple design and easy to use interface
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Can be controlled through LUX GEO app on you Android/iOS device
  • Energy settings suggested to minimize the energy bill
  • Available in 2 colour finish
  • 7 day programming with the flexibility to program either 2 or 4 periods per day.

CONS:

  • Does not support many home automation hub like IFTT
  • Amazon Alexa is enabled only when the C-wire is used.
  • The black and white, blocky font n the LCD display looks outdated

All in all, the LUX GEO gives you the luxury of a smart thermostat without giving you a hole in your pocket