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