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Honeywell Unveils Lyric, a Competitor in the Smart Thermostat Race

In case you have not noticed recently, “smart home” products are the hottest thing this side of automation. Companies are literally flooding the market with gadgets, trying to build their own unique ecosystems inside of your home. It is for that reason we see things such as Honeywell’s new Lyric, a smart thermostat, that does not seem all that different from the competition based purely on aesthetics, but is in terms of useful features.

On the surface, the $279 Lyric looks like a more expensive Nest thermostat. Like Google’s Nest, it leverages geofencing to detect when people are not around, and is also configurable with a companion application. Honeywell says its ace in the hole, though, is Lyric’s Fine Tune feature, which factors indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and weather into an algorithm that calculates an optimal home temperature. Beat that, Nest.

The company says that is a first for self-service thermostats. 

You would expect any home thermostat more than $200 to have intuitive controls, and the Lyric delivers on that front. It has a touchscreen display, which allows you to perform maintenance or access weather information, plus built-in LEDs to indicate temperature adjustments are in progress. Both features power off by default, activated by the built-in proximity sensor.

Interested in picking one up? You will have to wait a while. The Lyric is available to heating and cooling contractors now, but Honeywell says it will not launch retail units until August.

Via: MarketWatch
  • Yes, ‘that’ guy.

    You literally mean “figuratively flooding the market”.

  • Cowboydroid

    Is this a joke? Honeywell spends years suing Nest, and now outright copies them?

    No, I am absolutely not interested in their product.

  • Andrew Sharrow

    The marketing materials seem to be backwards:

    “Like Google’s Nest, it leverages geofencing to detect when people are not around”
    Nest doesn’t do this. I have one, and wish it did. Nest uses motion sensors to determine if you’re around.

    “Honeywell says its ace in the hole, though, is Lyric’s Fine Tune feature, which factors indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, and weather into an algorithm that calculates an optimal home temperature. Beat that, Nest.”

    This is the part Nest does already. It has since day one, I believe.

  • imronburgundy

    “Lyric’s Fine Tune feature, which factors indoor and outdoor temperature,
    humidity, and weather into an algorithm that calculates an optimal home

    Pointless as I’ll just set my Nest to whatever temperature I think is comfortable.

  • vaporware

    • Indianajonze

      well its out now so im not sure how this qualifies as vaporware…
      read that last line again

  • Dave

    I’d have to see some sales figures before I believe this stuff is the new hot trend. I’d buy an iphone before I bought something like this.

  • Raven

    The problem with all of these “smart” thermostats is that they are still just a single point of sensing. I have a nice timer based thermostat now and it keeps my living room just fine, but my master bedroom or kitchen are often too hot or cold so I have to go bump it up or down. Why don’t they add some distributed sensor modules that can wirelessly tie in and then it can figure out an appropriate average and take action. Bonus points for occupancy sensors in the remotes so that it knows if I am in the other rooms or not. I would be willing to pay $300 for a system like that, but no way would I pay $279 for this one.

    • needa

      they kind of have that. but you would need to do some duct work before it would make a difference. in order to fix the issue you would need to put baffles in your lines that get too much air, so the airflow can be restricted. booster fans in the lines that do not get enough air. and then tie all of that into your system with added thermostats and such.
      i have looked into this as my house does the same thing.

    • Gr8Ray

      A nice option that mostly solves that problem is to get a thermostat with smart fan control, that will run the fan at regular intervals to circulate the air without running heat/cooling, so the whole house stays fairly uniform in temperature. My previous thermostat had this, before I upgraded to a “smart” thermostat, and I really miss the feature. I think the other newer Honeywell “smart” thermostats have it though, so I’m assuming this one does as well.

      • Raven

        Hmm, that is great point. I use my “manual fan on” switch on my timer based thermostat quite often now for that purpose. It would be nice if that was automatic independent of the heating/cooling. I would also hate to loose the easy manual control of it that I have now if I got something like a Lyric or a Nest where it may be buried in a menu in the interest of having a minimal button design. I may have to look for that feature in one of the other Honeywell “smart” thermostats.

      • needa

        there are a lot of variables that come into play with that. where your intake is in relationship to the rooms that get the most air, and where the thermostat located within that parameter is also a factor. if you have a house that has a fair bit of leaks… then turning on the fan will draw in more of the air from the outside that is going to change things more quickly. thus making your unit turn on much more often. it is better than nothing for sure. but will it mostly solve the problem is another thing all together.

        • Gr8Ray

          I think if you are looking to buy a thermostat like this to save money on heating and cooling, and you have a system that is THAT out of balance and leaky, you are just wasting your money. There are a lot of rebate and tax incentive programs out there to assist with fixing those issues though.

  • needa

    this ‘geofencing’ is a huge huge deal. it would save me fifty bucks or more a month from december to march, and thirty a month from the end of may to mid september. i have got to get me one. luckily i know that all you need is the name of a contractor and a supply house that carries it to get one of these. then walk in and say that he/she/they are doing a job at your house and you needed to purchase so they can install. or just act like you work for the guy. supply houses are your friends folks. they want to make money also. i do all of my own repairs. this winter i had to get a blower motor for my hvac. i walked into a supply shop and just dropped the name of a plumber i know. act like you belong there and you will have no problems.
    i just called my local fergusun supply, the largest honeywell dealer in the states, did the name drop thing and got the skinny. they just got the “flyer from corporate today”. the ‘kick-off meeting for it is tomorrow”. the “dcs (read: distribution centers) will have them next week”. paraphrasing here: they will be allocated out to the individual stores. so they will be in limited supply at the get go.

  • S.Ober

    I already have Ecobee best on the market IMO

  • “Interested in picking one up? You will have to wait a while.”

    I thought this was immediately available via authorized Honeywell contractors and available via retail channels beginning August? I’m getting an HVAC system installed this month and will try to get this, I think.

    • Guy Pierce

      Where does it say only authorized Honeywell contractors can pick it up? Did you even read the article?

      • I did read the article. And twenty others. There is more information available than what’s here.

        • Guy Pierce

          Link please!

          • I’ll just say that the Verge has this info – I’ll let you find the link. Don’t wanna drive DL’s traffic over there too easily. 🙂

          • rawr

            We already do go for news that isn’t moto-centric.

          • Right but they’re both covering this story, so my statement stands. I’m just trying to be stand-up here is all. An obvious google search will take you right there. 🙂

          • needa

            i talked to the supply house. they will have one ready for me to pick up, and i am nobody to them, on the 23rd. read my comment above that starts with geofencing. the answers are there.

  • yummy

    So we’ve officially run out of nonstupid names for our projects. After security consultants, I would say brand namers are the biggest huckster snake oil salesmen on the dollar store internet

  • Lucky Armpit

    Lazy society comments aside, there ain’t no way in hell I will spend $279 on a “smart” thermostat when my $30 timer-based thermostat does the same job just fine. And if I’m too cold/hot, I simply walk over to it and press one button. Voila, temperature adjusted. This whole home automation craze is a little…. well…. crazy.

    • needa

      if it saves money… it saves money. i would make a bet that you do not enter and leave your house, or go to bed, based on the timer of your thermostat. depending on how extreme your temps are in your area… it could save a lot of money having something like this. or at least something that can be controlled from the phone.

      • Lucky Armpit

        We have general times that the thermostat raises/lowers the temperature based on leaving for work, going to bed, etc., that works well for us. I see your point, but our experience with energy-saving devices for HVAC has not been good. Where we used to live, the city would optionally install a device on your HVAC that would turn the compressor off (but continue to run the fan) in the summer during peak energy times. This would put less strain on the grid while supposedly saving you money. We didn’t try it for long because the compressor would turn off for hours at a time, and the house would quickly heat up because the HVAC fan did nothing but circulate warm air. When we’d come home from work about 5:30, the inside of the house was over 80 degrees… and the compressor would run for hours and hours to bring the house down to 76, completely negating the savings of turning the compressor off for a few hours… and sometimes costing us MORE money/month than if the HVAC kept the house at a constant 76 all day. The house was built in 2000 so it’s not like it was an old inefficient house.

        • needa

          i see your point on the hvac having a hard time getting things back to normal. i have a similar situation here, and have gone through years of trial and error along with bills raging from $110 -$450 a month. i live alone, never walk through my hallway where the thermostat is, and i have a non-existent schedule from day to day. sometimes i am gone for days at a time and never think about the thermostat. having something like this that uses phone location for ‘set it and forget it’ would be priceless for me.

          • Lucky Armpit

            I hear ya on the $450 utility bill. Ours was consistently over $400 in the summer months but went down by almost $150 (literally) when we had the HVAC serviced for the first time in 10 years. The guy unclogged the drain line and cleaned the cooling fins off the heat exchanger outside. Incredible what a little maintenance will do. In your situation, I can absolutely see how something like this would be of a benefit for you.

          • needa

            i am so happy to see that i am not the only one with hvac nightmares. i have been through it all right with ya, and i totally feel your pain.

      • epps720

        I agree. I have a Nest thermostat which is great for my situation b/c my wife is a Nurse who’s schedule is constantly changing. We would always forget to adjust the thermostat when she left so with Nests Auto-Away feature and the ability to change it via an app is great for us.

    • ckeegan

      Airwave alone in the Nest thermostat will pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time, if you ask anyone who knows anything about HVAC systems. As someone else said, unless your schedule does not vary at all, auto-away is no-brainer feature that your $30 thermostat cannot do. http://support.nest.com/article/What-is-Airwave

  • Guy Pierce

    Good thing my dad is in HVAC! I’ll have him pick me up one.

    • Android_09

      How does that make him more capable of getting one than a normal person…

      • They’re available now to authorized Honeywell contractors.

        • Guy Pierce

          All heating and cooling contractors.

      • Guy Pierce

        “The Lyric is available to heating and cooling contractors now…”

        • This was an update to the article in case anybody comes back here and wonders….

  • epps720

    Or if you want to save $100 you can pick up a new Nest


    • Android_09

      or if you want to save 200 + you can just get a normal thermostat. 🙂

      • hfoster52

        You price them out? And looking at my heating and cooling bills over the last 2 years with this I can say that I have probably saved the cost over programmable one.

      • bkosh84

        Or you could just deal with the thermostat you have now and not change it at all! *Mind. Blown*

    • jmodawg

      Thanks epps! I just applied for the Amazon Rewards card, got the deal plus a $60 Amazon credit for applying so out the door I paid $136.02 for my new Nest!

  • Jack

    A Honeywell, wifi enabled device in your home = NSA Spy gadget.

  • mrjackson

    Honeywell’s other wifi enabled thermostats require a monthly subscription, check for that before buying.

    • Mike Sims

      Not mine….

      • mrjackson

        Maybe they’ve changed it then. When i was shopping for one they did have a monthly fee for remote access.

        • Gr8Ray

          They don’t anymore.

    • Dane Carpenter

      Neither does mine. I just use Honeywell Total Connect 2.0 to talk to both upstairs and my downstairs thermostats when I’m at home and away from home.


    • rawr

      Nice try Larry Paige.

    • antwonw

      Mine doesn’t either. I have the Honeywell Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat-RTH9580WF.

  • Looks nice.

  • normmcgarry

    The website is horrible! Doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in the actual product itself.

    • rawr

      What website? The news source? Hardly has anything to do with Honeywell.

      And if it is Honeywell’s you are talking about, they are a company who has been making thermostats since 1885, I don’t think the website is an indicator of their thermostat prowess.

      • hfoster52

        Their Total Connect website and Home Security App are horrid. Haven’t checked out this stuff yet.

  • Brian

    Hopefully it will include a hold temp feature the Nest sorely lacks and won’t require you to disable the option to run the fan only to power it for units without a dedicated power wire.

    • apingaut

      can’t you just set it to “remain home” or “away”?

    • hfoster52

      What? If you set the temp it just runs at that temp. If you keep setting that temp it will learn to always put it at that temp at the time of day for that day. You can go in and program it. Or better yet walk up and turn the dial or use your phone to adjust.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    “Interested in picking one up?” — I dunno Kyle. As soon as I get a comparison review from Droid Life…. I’ll know 🙂