LED stands for Light Emitting Diode - the newest, most energy-efficient form of lighting. Unlike standard incandescent bulbs that use a large amount of energy to power (much of which is wasted as heat), LED bulbs require very little, converting 95% of their energy use into light.
Less energy use reduces the demand from power plants, decreases greenhouse gas emissions, and saves you money. Click to learn how much our ENERGY STAR certified LEDs will help you save.
Low voltage heating/cooling systems are the most common, requiring 24-volt power. All of the Wi-Fi thermostats offer here are compatible with low-voltage systems.
Direct line voltage systems use 110 VAC to 240 VAC power. This would include electric resistant baseboard heating systems or radiant heating. The thermostats offered here are not suitable for use with direct line voltage heating.
Millivolt systems are often natural gas wall or floor heaters that do not use any electricity. Only one of the thermostats is millivolt compatible.
Some thermostats need 24-volt power to be provided through a common-wire ("C-wire"). In some cases, a "C" wire is required, and in other cases it is only recommended. If a wire is attached to the "C" terminal behind the thermostat, you have a C-wire already installed. If a C-wire is not present, one can be installed, but professional installation is recommended.
Conventional one stage heating and cooling systems are either "on" or "off". All these Wi-Fi thermostats will work well with these systems.
Conventional two-stage systems have both low and high speeds. To tell if you have a 2-stage system, if the wiring behind your thermostat is attached to "y1" and "y2" terminals, you have a one-stage system. If the wiring is attached to "w1" and "w2" terminals, you have a multi-stage system. Most Wi-Fi enabled thermostats are compatible with two-stage systems.
Compatibility with heat pump systems that have auxiliary heat will vary by model.
Sometimes dehumidifiers, humidifiers, and energy or heat recovery ventilation systems that must also be controlled by the thermostat. The ability of thermostats to control these other systems will vary by brand and model. Often professional installation is recommended in these situations.
If unsure about compatibility, online compatibility checkers are available on many of the product pages, or consult with a qualified HVAC professional.
These devices allow your home to become smarter, often allowing you to communicate with the smart thermostat in new and innovative ways.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, for instant, allow you to change the temperature by talking, instead of having to use your smart phone or walk over to the thermostat. These usually require having an Amazon or Google device in your house, though the ecobee4 allows for voice control without integration with a third-party device.
Apple HomeKit, Wink, and Samsung SmartThings are hubs that facilitate the control of numerous devices from different brands using a common interface, including lights, thermostats, and appliances.
Due to new technology and great variety, shopping for LEDs online is different than shopping for standard bulbs in-store. How do you know which LED is right for you? Just like with standard bulbs, the same considerations apply - will it fit, will it be bright enough, and what will it look like when illuminated?
To select the right LEDs for your needs, ask yourself the following:
1. What bulb style and base do I need? Arguably the most important consideration, you need to choose a bulb that fits! Determine which bulb style (general use, decorative, globe, etc.) and bulb base (E12 candelabra base, E26 medium base, etc.) will work in your lamp or fixture.
2. How bright do I need the bulb to be? It is a common misconception that watts = brightness, when in fact, wattage simply refers to how much energy is used to power a bulb. Instead of watts, look for lumens to measure the brightness of an LED. More lumens = more light output.
3. What color temperature do I prefer? The color that a bulb emits is determined by color temperature on the Kelvin scale. The lower the bulb is on the scale, the more yellow and warmer the light. Bulbs higher on the scale emit light that is bluer and cooler.
The styles of light bulbs fall into a handful of broad categories, each of which has a letter value. For example, general use light bulbs are in the "A" category. Following each of these letters is a numeric value, representing the width of the light bulb in eighths of an inch. Therefore, an A19 is a general use light bulb that is 19 eighths of an inch wide. The higher the numeric value, the larger the diameter of the light bulb.
The base of a bulb refers to its connection to the lamp or fixture it fits inside of. The most common base is an E26 medium screw base. Click to learn about other common bulb styles and bases.
It is a common misconception that watts = brightness, but it is in fact lumens that measure brightness. The higher the lumens value, the brighter the light. Here's some history.
In 2007 the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) included provisions to improve the efficiency of general use light bulbs by at least 25%. Pre-EISA, a 1,600 lumen general use incandescent lamp would typically consume 100 watts of electricity, but post-EISA a general use lamp could consume no more of 72 watts of electricity. Click to learn more about common lumen ranges, LED and incandescent bulb equivalencies, and how to choose the right LED bulb for you.
The correlated color temperature (CCT) is the color of a bulb, measured in degrees Kelvin. The lower the value, the "warmer" (more yellow) the color of the light. The higher the value, the "cooler" (more blue) the light. The most common color temperature is 2,700 degrees Kelvin (soft white). Click to learn more about color temperatures and how choosing the right one can make all the difference in your home.