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The nest offered a smart thermostat back in 2012; This was the year when smart homeowners start looking for smart thermostats. While ecobee first announced its Wifi enabled thermostat in 2008.  That opens gates for many other manufacturers to jump into this see and offer the technologically advanced product. From that time until now, Nest and Ecobee are going neck to neck. They are in close competition; this is why we are doing  ecobee3 lite vs nest e thermostat comparison.

The Ecoobee3 Lite was launched on October 17, 2016, while Nest E was launched in September 2017. So both of these thermostats are launched nearly simultaneously and have many similar functionality and features.

These two names stand out from the rest of the world because what they offer was different from others and much advanced. Nest E takes an edge because of its learning features; it was the first time such an AI-based product hit the market that could save more on every cost compared to others. On the other side, ecobee gained popularity because it was a technically advanced smart thermostat. At the same time, many other players like Honeywell Home are also trying to compete with these two giants but did not get any significant success.

You will be amazed to know that both of these giants upgrade their product and add multiple features later one. In this article, I am going to share with you the in-depth analysis and comparison of these both equipment. So let’s move on and have some in-depth information.

You might also like our recent posts on the 2 Best No C Wire Smart Thermostats That Work Without Common Wire and Honeywell WiFi Thermostat Reviews available on the separate page.

Who Is Ahead?

Ecobee3 Lite

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There are some specific features and benefits which are only possible with Ecobee3 Lite when viewed nest e vs ecobee3 lite. One of the largest draws to the ecobee system is the use of room sensors. These room sensors can manage the temperature of multiple zones or rooms and give functionality to have specific temperatures in the preferred room. These sensors are not included in the standard package but available separately. It has the edge over nest because of its under-listed features:

  • Room Sensor 
  • Apple Home kit Support
  • 3 years warranty
  • Touch Screen
  • Power adapter PEK included in the package 
  • A true multi-stage thermostats support more stages as compare dot Nest E

Ecobee Home and Away system is another remarkable feature that lowers energy consumption, especially when used with room sensors to sense the occupation.

Ecobee can save you money while profiling your home; it learns how your house heats up or cool down concerning the outside temperatures. Like hot summer, it will take more time to cool. This feature makes it possible to adapt a setting that quickly gets the temperature you like and will start heating or cooling before you arrive while calculating the exact time that your system takes to reach a specific temperature.

Ther is a new feature with the Peak Relief name that is designed to save on energy while adjusting your heater and cooling device according to the current electricity rates in your area. Definitely, it will lower the usage in peak hours. The thing that I like most is the comfort that you will not lose even you set your thermostat to follow the energy-saving schemes. During Ecobee3 lite vs nest thermostat e review, I figure out that it’s also possible to access these features on the mobile, and you can turn it off when you want.


Ecobee3 Lite is a popular thermostat for many reasons, and I consider that three major ones are its design, energy cost reduction, and compatibility with other smart home devices. I found it much pretty and elegant compared to mercury switch style square boxes, which were our earlier traditional thermostats, and we use our entire lives.

It is equipped with a high-definition touch screen display that makes functioning easy, and the right size allows you to select an option comfortably. A large screen size not only looks good when it lights up, but a person like me can see it from a distance. You can perform all the operations on the touch display that can on the mobile app.

Nest E

ecobee3 lite vs nest e
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The nest is famous because of its learning feature; it can remember every setting you use and bring you your favorite temperature without any additional settings and schedules. It becomes popular because of its learning ability, and many customers prefer it because of this feature. Until this moment, google nest thermostat is the only player in the market that depends on AI to learn your behavior and provide you the temperature you like. It eliminates the need for schedules and temperature setting again and again. During nest thermostat e vs ecobee3 lite, I found some benefits are only possible nest that are:

  • It’s a good learner 
  • Compatible with the majority of HVAC systems
  • C-Wire is not required in most cases 
  • A good energy saver
  • Ambient light sensor
  • dehumidifier support

While buying a nest, the room sensor support will provide you a lot of functionality, especially in this modern era. It will sense the temperature near the main unit area and other zones where you placed the sensors. It will not depend only on the main unit, which is the biggest limitation nowadays. While on the other side, its self-learning ability is amazing and can save you nearly 23% maximum energy bills.


It’s a design that looks great on the walls, and its size is petite, and dial comes into your fingers conveniently that will allow you to have a preferred setting. Nest E has a realistic approach, and the display is just a display; you cannot say it a robust or a stunning display. But it is capable enough of showing all the information nicely in a readable form. All you need to depend on the dial instead of the touch screen because of its feature missing n this basic unit of the nest. I figure out that you have to use the familiar outer ring to change the setting, and one may need time to become familiar with it.

Similarities And Differences

nest e vs ecobee3 lite


  • Nest e: 3.19×3.19×1.14 inches
  • Ecobee3 lite: 4.05×4.05×1 inches

Ecobee is bigger than the nest, but it did not look too big on the wall. I believe that its colorful display covers its size in good manners. Overall its shape gives it an elegant look, while nest E is a completely round-shaped thermostat. From this model onward, Ecobee starts following a single design that looks great becomes a symbol of modernization for Ecobee.


  • Nest e: 1 Pound
  • Ecobee3 lite: 1 Pound

Both are similar in weight; it’s easy to install these lightweight thermostats on the wall; they are lightweight; that does not mean they lack functionality. These small devices are packed with tons of features.


  • Nest e: 1 Year
  • Ecobee3 Lite: 3 Years 

Ecobee3 Lite is a clear winner here, you are investing a reasonable amount to buy a smart thermostat, and with a warranty of 3 years, your investment will remain secure for this long time. However, both are quality devices and single-time investment, and manufacturers enjoy an outstanding reputation in the market, but I always stay and prefer to buy extended warranties.

Touch screen

  • Nest e: NO
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

The touch screen allows us to select the desired options and menus quickly. The touchscreen brings a lot of convenience in operations, and setting a schedule also becomes effortless, quick, and hassle-free. Nest e is a most basic variant of the nest, but unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a touchscreen. So if you have to select a thermostat with a touch screen, then go for Ecobee three.

Mobile App

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

Both of these thermostats connect with the mobile app, mobile apps are quick, and thermostats remain responsive to a new setting and when you prompt for reports and fetch temperature data. Both the apps are different from each other. Manufacturers focus on the user-friendly app, which easies to navigate and quick to launch and trigger alerts in real-time.

Voice Control

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

It is possible to add voice control to both devices; these can integrate with many AI-based home assistants. I found them easy to configure and quick to respond when a voice command is given. This feature allows us to control the thermostat while watching TV or during cooking with mouth words. Definitely, it’s a feature that brings a lot of ease to life.

Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT 

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

Both of these thermostats are compatible with the most commonly used AI-home assistants. It can connect with your existing voice control system; no up-gradation is required.

Apple HomeKit

  • Nest e: No
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

Ecobee is a thermostat for Apple lovers, its a basic thermostat and comes with apple home kit support. The people who are using apple phones and apple home kit always love to add a new device that can connect with the apple home kit and it’s one that is fully compatible with the apple home kit.

SmartThings, Wink, Etc.

  • Nest e: Limited
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

Ecobee 3 lite has a lot of flexibility, and there is a vast support list that usually household users do not need, but it’s available. On the other side, Nest is limited. It’s supporting but to a limited extent.

Room Sensors

  • Nest e: Yes, Available separately
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes, Available separately

Support of room sensors provides flexibility to manage the temperature of different rooms and zones with a single thermostat, and you remain connected with all of that small device. Ecobee room sensors have an awesome range of 50 feet, and you can monitor and regulate the temperature of different rooms while adding room sensors.

Learning Algorithms

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 Lite: No

The nest is a learner. It can learn from your schedule what temperature you like in a specific part of the day and then access the outside temperature. Inside an environment like temperature humidity, it starts to provide you with the ideal temperature automatically. You will not need to program it anymore.

Humidifier & Ventilation Support

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

If your heat and cooling system are made to provide these features, then surely both thermostats can enable humidifier and ventilation that you can choose to allow from thermostats or app, and even you can ask your home assistant to turn on any of these features.

Dehumidifier Support

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 Lite: No

While using Nest, you can control your dehumidifier through your thermostat; this is a great feature that will add your thermostat control device, and all remain available on the app or through voice control.

C-Wire Required

  • Nest e: No, but may require with few systems 
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

The nest is the most advanced thermostat that is made to get power from the red wire. However, many systems are still not compatible with this requirement. You will need to install a C-Wire or a power adapter, so before buying one, check the compatibility of your system with the selected thermostat. If not working, then you need to buy a power adapter separately. I recently explored this topic, “No C Wire Smart Thermostats” please go through it to better understand.

Comes With Power Adapter 

  • Nest e: No
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes (PEK) included in the package

No need to worry about the c-wire. Ecobee comes with a PEK in the package where you do not find a C-Wire in your installation. You can use this solution to supply power to your thermostat. 

Wifi Connectivity

  • Nest e: Stable
  • Ecobee3 lite: Stable 

Both of these thermostats are equipped with trustworthy wifi connectivity hardware, which will never lose connectivity. I tested both of these for a longer time period and found that they always remain connected and responsive.

Geo-fencing and Motion Sensors

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 lite: Yes

These facilities are available in both, and they can detect your presence through geofencing and motion. When you are using ecobee, it can also detect you through the room sensors.

Multi-stage heating and cooling

  • Nest e: 2 stages of either heating or cooling, and 1 stage of the other
  • Ecobee3 lite: 2 stages of heating and 2 stages of cooling simultaneously

The ecobee supports more stages of heating and cooling than the Nest Thermostat E. For both conventional systems and systems with a heat pump, the ecobee supports 4H/2C in heat pump systems, but the same Nest Thermostat E limitations apply.

Ambient light sensing

  • Nest e: Yes
  • Ecobee3 Lite: No

The learner has this feature that will provide you with a more comfortable environment while you are sleeping. It can sense from ambient light that it’s time to rest and turn on the preferred sleeping mode.

HVAC Options

If we look behind, ecobee3 was not equipped with the functionality of humidifier, dehumidifier & ventilation. But now Ecobee has pushed out ad firmware and software updates that allow users to control all three from the ecobee thermostat, and this feature also can be accessed through voice control and app. So if you have to add these features or plan to add them in the future, then stay satisfied that ecobee can control these devices.

While on the other side, the Nest E thermostat can control these, but on a limited basis, you cannot run both ventilation and dual humidifier. That is a limitation that ultimately pushes you to look for further advanced thermostats. 4H, 2C isn’t going to be an option for you; it will cause your problem if you are already using these systems and upgrade to Nest E with either system. 1H, 1C, or 2H, 1C, however, will work just fine.


You will feel limited when it comes to controlling and thermostat of the nest. During nest e vs ecobee3 lite comparison, I found how hard it is to set up a thermostat without a button and touch screen display. I use Nest E alone, but I was ok at that time, but now, it surprises me when I compares both. Nest E has some limited controls over the thermostats, and scheduling can be cumbersome and a non-ending task with just dial and press. 

If you want to set up all from the mobile or want your thermostat to control all on your behalf, you will definitely not feel any problem like me. When I was using it, I was enjoying its functionality. Nest app is a straightforward and simple app.

On the other side, Ecobee3 lite is equipped with a fully functional touch screen, a user-friendly interface, and the most modern app. Here I found that ecobee3 lite has a different approach. It’s equipped with a touchscreen and also comes with a fully functional app.

Compatibility With 3rd Party Apps

Ecobee is compatible with 75+ apps and works with all of the famous options, and also works with Apple Home Kit while on the other side Nest E only works with few famous options and Apple Home Kit support is also not available in this model that is really a limitation.

It’s not a drawback for Alexa users, but yes, it is for those who are stick to apple and want to use their thermostat through Apple Home Kit.

Compatibility With Other Smart Home Devices

When it comes to integrating with other smart home devices then here Nest E has an advantage. It’s highly compatible with another nest smart home device, and in combination, they work great. 

It can sense you through the camera, while such features are not possible with ecobee3 lite when it is integrated with nest cameras. The nest is making a variety of smart home devices, and all can integrate. 

Energy Reports

The ecobee is the winner here because it is a device that record as well as analyze HVAC data for the full 18 months and detail analysis report help you better to optimize your thermostat for better energy saving.

It’s an energy data analysis tool called Home IQ and is accessible VIA the web console. You can access it from any device and can view different reports. It has a report of weather impact that shows how much cost you are incurring due to change in weather or saving due to weather, as well as it shows you efficiency reports.

Nest E only records the data and not the tool available to analyze the same, so only based on data can you hardly make any further decisions to optimize your use. The nest is only able to record the data of 10 days and does not provide any analysis. It shows the visual of the times your system turned on or off. Nest also send home report every month via Email. It also has a database of setpoint adjustments where you can see a history of ten days.

When it comes to reporting, my first recommendation is Ecobee, nest tries to compete in this feature, but it’s too behind.

Installation of Nest and Ecobee Thermostat

These thermostats are simple to install and come with a step-by-step guide, which is built-in in the app, so there is no need to consult with the books and go through installation instructions. Just open the app or respective web portal; after that, you will find an installation guide that will lead you to step by step in installation and make the whole process easy.

Google Nest thermostat is a BIY installation that is easy to set up and shouldn’t take you very long to install and run the first time. From box opening to turning on your system the first time with nest should only take between 25 to 30 minutes.

While ecobee makes the installation pretty simple and straightforward, the PEK installation may take some time; if you follow the video instructions, you will surely deal with it in a matter of minutes. In most cases, users bring thermostats online after thirty minutes.

Either you are installing the Nest or Ecobee, you need to remove the old thermostat and then start following their video guide, and if you are stuck somewhere, you could get help from the support. I figure out that most of the time spent removing old thermostats and installing base plates while the rest of the process is easy.

What are the degree variances of the two units?

I love to share my thoughts on this topic because my personal experience is quite different from others; here it is:

When you are using ecobee with the room sensors, you can expect a temperature variance of 1 to two-degree maximum. Without room sensors, it can be anywhere between 2 to 3 degrees.

While on the other side with the nest, you should expect a 3 to five-degree variance in temperature. I think this is the reason Nest all more temperature sensors in the later models.

All thermostats will have a degree variance, but the Ecobee3 Lite has one of the lowest.

Do Nest and Ecobee Work Without Wifi

Everything will remain normal, and you just lose the connectivity to the app on your mobile or tablet. Many people think that these devices stop working, but it’s not the case. They work similarly as they do when they are connected to Wifi. Just mobile applications stop receiving fresh data. You can still control your thermostat physically if you want.

Final Thoughts

Both are the entry-level devices in ecobee3 lite vs. nest. I definitely go for ecobee because it offers more features, comes with three years of warranty, and supports more than 75+ apps. There is nothing that one cannot do with this thermostat.

I prefer to buy a nest only because of its learning capability. Then you need to know that while integrating IFFT Alexa and Ecobee, you can somehow automate many of your ecobee thermostat processes. 

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