The Ecobee3 Lite connected thermostat is receiving a software update to make the device compatible with external temperature sensors. The Ecobee3 already ships with one room sensor for $199, but the $169 Lite version never did and still doesn’t. Ecobee says users who already own a Lite will receive an automatic firmware update while new units will ship with the sensor compatibility. A pack of two room sensors costs $79.
Room sensors are helpful for keeping an entire home at a comfortable temperature. Instead of taking the temperature of a single room, the Ecobee3 Lite can account for the whole house or floor. With both the Ecobee3 and Ecobee3 Lite now working with room sensors, there really isn’t a difference between the two, and you’ll likely be better off with the full version because it already ships with a discounted sensor.
That said, yesterday we wrote about the rumored Ecobee4, which is likely going to ship with a built-in microphone and speaker for Alexa voice controls. You might want to hold out before buying a new Ecobee thermostat, although the Ecobee4 will certainly be more expensive at launch.