Honeywell’s Lyric thermostat doesn’t just learn, it adapts. The coolest smart thermostat contender we’ve seen since Nest, Lyric adjusts a home’s temperature based on proximity, not predictability. It’ll actually be part of a broader network of smart home devices that also will fall under the Lyric moniker, but the thermostat will be the first device in the line. Using a technology the company calls geofencing, the connected thermostat keeps tabs on members of the household through their Android or iOS devices. Geofencing uses the location of your smartphone to automatically turn the Lyric thermostat into energy saving mode when a home is empty, and then senses when you are coming home and heats or cools the house to your preferred temperature.
Temperature also can be managed using the unit’s round control dial on the thermostat itself. A novel proximity feature signals the display to turn on only when a homeowner walks up to the Lyric thermostat. A soft halo of light in orange (heating), blue (cooling), or green (away/energy savings) momentarily illuminates around the thermostat to indicate it is making temperature adjustments. Users also can view a 12-hour weather forecast from the thermostat.
The Lyric app, available via the App Store on iTunes and Google Play, enables mobile control of the system. The app’s features also include one-touch shortcuts for customized lifestyle settings such as sleeping in, entertaining, or working out. Smart Cue pop-up alerts signal when to change a filter and if and when your furnace needs servicing; they also can connect homeowners to service professionals. Another nice touch is an optional text notification when someone in your family hits the proximity threshold or arrives home. The Lyric thermostat is available now via professional heating and cooling contractors, and will be available at retail stores beginning in August 2014 for $279 (MSRP).