The smart thermostats, the ecobee 3 lite and the nest E, are thermostats designed to make your life more convenient as they are quick and easy to install, provide monthly energy reports to see exactly where your money is going and come with an easy to use mobile application. The nest e comes with the latest Bluetooth Low Energy protocol which is more reliable than earlier Bluetooth technology, learns your habits over time and comes with a frosted display design while the ecobee3 lite comes with a power extender kit which is ideal for houses without  C wires, supports the HomeKit and has an easy to use touchscreen. Which of the two thermostats is better than the other? We will compare the two smart thermostats against each other and help you to make a judgment as to which smart thermostat is best for you.

Alternatively, just skip to either the ecobee3 lite or the nest E on Amazon.

Table of Contents

Quick Comparison Table Ecobee3 lite Vs Nest E

FeatureEcobee3 LiteNest E
ImageEcobee3 lite Vs Nest EEcobee3 lite Vs Nest E
Room sensor included in packageNoNo
Dimensions (inches)4.05 x 1 x 4.05”3.2 x 3.2 x 1.1″
Frosted display designNoYes
Learns habits over timeNoYes
Bluetooth LENoYes
Power Extender Kit (PEK) includedYesNo
DIY installationYesYes
Voice controlAmazon Alexa, Echo and Echo dot, HomeKit supportNo support for the Apple HomeKit
Farsight FeatureNoNo
Resolution320 x 480320 x 320
Mobile appYesYes
Free monthly energy reportsYesYes
Web AccessYesYes
Color OptionsBlackWhite
Warranty3 years1 year
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Key Similarities Between The Ecobee3 Lite And The Nest E

Both devices come with the following features:

  • Both models use wireless communication for voice command control, as well as for the mobile application
  • They are both simple to install
  • The prices are almost identical. This does depend on where you make your purchase
  • Both models support Alexa, Google Home and IFTTT

Key Differences Between The Ecobee3 Lite And The Nest E

  • The ecobee3 lite is compatible with the Apple HomeKit. The nest E is not compatible with the Apple HomeKit
  • The nest e is smaller than the ecobee3
  • The room sensors are not available with the nest thermostats
  • The ecobee3 lite comes with a power extender kit to cater for homes without a C-Wire, unlike the nest thermostats
  • The nest e has learning technology unlike the ecobee3
  • The ecobee3 lite comes with a touchscreen unlike the nest 3 which comes with no touchscreen

A Comprehensive Comparison Between The Ecobee3 Lite And The Nest E Product Features

1. Installation

Both the Ecobee3 Lite and the Nest E are quite easy to install. These devices were designed and developed to allow any DIY enthusiast to install them quickly and easily. This means that there will be a high probability that you will not need to hire a professional and this will save you hundreds of precious dollars. The process of removing both products from the box and configuring them must take under 45 minutes for the average person.

All you need to do is to download an application in order to do the set up. The ecobee3 lite needs you to first download the mobile application, and then you have to link your system to the cloud in order to get services that will provide you with accurate temperature monitoring. The nest e also has a similar process. After that you will need to remove your old system, and you need to make sure that you have taken note of where the wires were connected. It is a very good idea to take a picture just to make sure that you do not mess up the order. Once you have removed your old thermostat, all you need to do is to install the backing plate to the wall. Take your phone and scroll back to that picture you took earlier on. Use this as a guide to help you put the wires into their right positions. After this you can simply put the faceplate back into position, and then boot the system.

The mobile application will be of great use as it will help guide you in a step by step manner to help finish the process. Through the setup procedure, you will be able to know how to activate the HVAC system, the controls, and the wireless network connection. It will definitely come in super handy for first-time usage.

It is important to note though, that if you make a mistake you may have to start over. This means that it is a great idea for you to make sure that you follow each step correctly to avoid having your restarting the whole process.

2. Weight

Both the ecobee3 lite and the nest e are lightweight devices. These devices come at a weight at 1 pound each. This is a great advantage as you are guaranteed that you will not have any problems to do with weight-related problems such as cracks later emerging at the point where you installed the device, or having to deal with very complicated workarounds. This small weight in these thermostats was made possible due to the advances in technology that allow for the components in these devices to become smaller and more efficient.

3. Mobile Application

Nowadays, virtually every smart device that we buy comes with an application. The ecobee3 lite and the nest e are no different. These devices come with mobile applications that are designed and developed to make the user experience quite pleasurable. They are available for both Android and iOS devices, and they are very reliable. They work quite well with the thermostats and any changes or settings you input are bound to be put into effect rather quickly. In addition, these applications are used to help you in the setup process. As explained in above, when installing the thermostats, all you need to do is to refer to the applications and follow the simple, easy to understand steps that are present.

4. Voice Control

Gone are the days in which we had to manually type everything we wanted to get done on tiny black screens. Nowadays, all we do is use our voices and our devices are immediately able to respond to our instructions. This feature is present in both the ecobee3 lite and the nest e. These thermostats can quickly and easily be integrated with most home systems such as Google Home, and Amazon’s Alexa. This feature allows for you to control the thermostat whilst reading, or even whilst watching television. This will certainly make your life much easier.

5. HVAC Options

The ecobee3 lite was originally shipped without the options to control a humidifier, dehumidifier or a ventilator. This was changed after an update was provided, and now the latest ecobee3 lite devices can use this feature. It is still limited, so you may need to consider other options such as the nest e. the ecobee3 lite does not allow you to control the dehumidifier setups so if you have such as system, then the ecobee3 lite is not for you. The nest e thermostats give you the ability to control all of the 3 systems, however this control is rather limited. You cannot have a dual humidifier or ventilation set up. Options such as 4H, 2C will definitely be out of the picture. Options such as 1H, 1C, or 2H, 1C will be available and will work just fine.

6. Energy Reports

Both the ecobee3 lite and the nest e devices are equipped with this feature. They do perform differently, with the ecobee3 lite offering more functionality than the nest e. The nest e only records that data and there is no tool that is present to analyse it. Just having data there may seem useful, but this is a disadvantage because you cannot just use raw data to make any meaningful decisions that will help you optimize the use of these devices. The nest only records data of up to 10 days with no analysis at all. All it does is it shows you the visual of the times your system is turned on or when it is switched off. The guys who manufactured this device could have definitely done a better job.

The ecobee3 lite provides a host of features. Unlike the nest e that keeps data for a paltry 10 days, the ecobee3 lite is able to record HVAC data for 18 months. It does not just capture data and leave it raw – it analyses this data and gives you a detailed analysis report that will help you make better decisions. These decisions will help you better optimize your thermostat, and lead to energy savings. It has an energy data analysis tool that is called the Home IQ. It is available via the web console, and it allows you to access the energy data from any device. It also gives information such as the impact of the weather on your bills i.e. whether you are saving because of the weather, or whether the change in weather has caused an increase in your bill.

6. Power

The ecobee3 lite and the nest e thermostats both use the C-Wire. If the C-Wire is not present, then no need to worry. The nest e has an included lithium-ion battery that makes it able to function without the C-Wire. This battery is charged with periodic “pules” to the furnace. This sounds like a very smart method , and it is, but the only problem is that some furnaces respond to this pulse by turning on and then immediately off. This is not good for energy efficiency. On the other hand, the ecobee3 lite has a power extender kit (PEK), and this provides power to the device if there is no C-Wire present. This saves pulsing the furnace, and avoids potential problems no matter which heating setup you use. This therefore makes it the safer option in our opinion.

We do recommend that you use the C-Wire where possible because it is overall simpler and more efficient to use than other workarounds.

7. Smart Home Integration

The ecobee3 lite and the nest e are quite different in this regard. The ecobee3 lite boasts support for a wide variety of smart home systems such as Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, IFTTT and the Apple HomeKit. This means that you are guaranteed that it will work with these systems if you plan to add them to your home at a later date. The nest e is much more limited. It only works with Amazon’s Alexa, Wink, IFTTT, and Google Home. This is a very big problem if you use Apple products and are a part of the Apple ecosystem. If you are part of the Apple ecosystem and would like devices that are Apple compatible, then the ecobee3 lite is for you.

8. Warranty

Technology devices are not perfect. Some technology devices come with fatal flaws that lead to the premature death of the product. This is an important aspect to be considered when you buy any form of technology. It would be utterly disappointing to buy a device, discover some faults after a few months and realize that the manufacturer does not provide any replacements for it or support for it. The nest e comes with support for a measly 1 year. The ecobee3 lite however comes with support with 3 years. This means that if you have any problems (due to defects) within 35 months of using the product then you can get support for your device. If you do get any problems with the nest e after a year then hard luck!

9. Remote sensors

Both the nest e and the ecobee3 lite have support for additional sensors to ensure that the rooms in your house have the same temperature. The nest e uses nest temperature sensors, as well as the nest protect some detectors. This is an advantage as they perform two functions of being both a sensor and a smoke detector.

The ecobee3 lite uses ecobee sensors to regulate the temperature. They do not have the added feature of smoke detection.

10. Display

The nest e is only available in white, whilst the ecobee3 lite is only available in white. This may be a deal breaker if you have a strong preference towards one of the two colours. In addition, the nest e comes without a touchscreen unlike the ecobee3 lite that comes with a beautiful touchscreen. The nest e is a bit smaller than the ecobee3 lite which may be an advantage if you have limited space.

11. Learning Algorithms

This is the main difference between the nest and the ecobee3 lite. The nest is like a student as it learns from your schedule, and takes not of the temperatures that you like. It automatically adjusts the HVAC system to your preferences.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Between The Ecobee3 Lite And The Nest E

1. Warranty

You need to ask yourself whether this is a great deal to you. The nest e comes with warranty for just a year. The ecobee3 lite comes with support for up to 3 years. This will ensure that you have a device that you can return to the manufacturer if you note any defects.

2. Smart Home Integration

Are you a fan of Apple products? If so, then go for the ecobee3 lite. The nest e does not support the Apple HomeKit. In addition, the nest e has limited support for smart home automation systems. It is best to choose the ecobee3 lite if you plan to add smart home automation systems in the future.

3. Energy Reports

Do you want to know exactly how much you are saving each month? If you are interested with such numbers, then it would be best for you to go for the ecobee3 lite. If you find this information useless, then either product will be okay for you.

4. Learning

The main difference between the ecobee3 lite and the nest e is that the nest e is able to learn from your schedule. It learns the temperatures you like and automatically adjusts the home’s heating or cooling system to adapt to your needs. If you would like to have such an experience, then go of the nest e.

5. Power

Does your home have a C-Wire? If the answer to this is a big YES, then either product will work for you. If the answer is a resounding no, then it is best for you to go for the ecobee3 lite. This is because it comes with the PEK which we explained about earlier on, describing how we feel that it is much safer than the system used by the nest e.

6. Touchscreen

Do you love touchscreen devices? If you do, then go for the ecobee3 lite. This product comes with a beautiful touchscreen. The nest e does not come with a touchscreen and may prove to be disappointing to you. If you do not really care about whether the interface is touchscreen or not, then go for either the ecobee3 lite or the nest e.


This article has explored the various differences and similarities that are present between the Ecobee3 Lite and the nest e thermostats. It can clearly be seen that the Ecobee3 Lite is the winner. This is because of the following key features that make it superior: it supports the Apple HomeKit, it has a touchscreen interface, it comes with a power extender kit which is ideal for homes without the C-Wire, it comes with comprehensive energy reports that record HVAC data for 18 months and that it comes with a 3 year warranty.

This, however does not mean that the Ecobee3 Lite is perfect for everyone’s home. We gave a list of factors to consider when choosing between the two thermostats. Make sure that you go through this list and see which of the two thermostats is ideal for your home.