luxgeo1100728680orig

LUX/GEO smart thermostat review: Not technically smart, but still high-tech

The LUX/GEO skirts the middle ground between smart and, well, dumb, thermostats. It supports geofencing, but relies on the user setting its schedule instead of machine learning algorithms. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for people who like to maintain total control over their space.

Installation

Set-up for the white, retro-styled, plastic LUX/GEO is similar to most of the smart thermostats we’ve tried. You need to know your wires (Y, G, W, R, B, and if available, C) and use the guide to put the wires in the right place on the thermostat. The LUX can run on two standard AA batteries in the event of a power failure.

As usual, you must use the smart phone app to guide you through the set-up, although the LUX/GEO also supports a browser-based interface for control. You’ll first have to use Wi-Fi to connect directly to the thermostat, but the set-up worked nearly seamlessly for us. The LUX can support multi-stage, 2-stage heat/1-stage cool heat pumps, and multi-zone HVAC systems.

Features

Lux Products

The LUX/GEO might not be the most sophisticated thermostat, but its app is top shelf.

As mentioned, the LUX/GEO isn’t a smart thermostat in the strictest sense of the word, but it does connect to your Wi-Fi network and is particularly effective at controlling your heating and cooling schedule. The LUX/GEO can accommodate some of the bells and whistles of smarter thermostats—connectivity with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem and the Amazon Echo, for instance—but not IFTTT, Google Home, or smart vents. While it lacks a motion sensor, it does let you schedule up to four temperature periods per day. On the other hand, you can simply change modes between home and away, or just let the geofencing detect when you’re out.

The geofencing worked reliably during testing, but the best aspect of the device is its interface. The LUX/GEO provides a wealth of information about your HVAC usage, all in an easy-to-access, easy-to-read format. A timeline keeps track of HVAC activity to help calculate cost. It might seem strange, but this wealth of information made the whole set up more appealing. With the LUX/GEO set up the way we wanted it, it informed us we were using our A/C at the height of summer, on average, less than two hours a day. More thermostats should incorporate this feature, because it turns that nebulous concept of money and energy savings into visible hard data.

Lux products

The LUX/GEO doesn’t look as sophisticated on the outside as it is on the inside.

Bottom Line

The LUX/GEO isn’t the sexiest or smartest thermostat in the bunch, but it works well and has some impressive features that make it a huge step up from a traditional boxy thermostat. It’s also considerably cheaper than the higher-end smart models, while offering much of the same functionality. My favorite aspect of the LUX/GEO, by far, was the information the app gives me about HVAC use. So, it’s not necessarily the thermostat for those who want to fix it and forget it, but for direct control over your heating and cooling, this is a solid choice.

IDG Insider

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« How to download YouTube videos: 4 things you need to know

NEXT ARTICLE

Oculus drops Rift and Touch prices, selling a $399 bundle for the 'Summer of Rift' »
author_image
IDG Connect

IDG Connect tackles the tech stories that matter to you

  • Mail

Recommended for You

How to (really) evaluate a developer's skillset

Adrian Bridgwater’s deconstruction & analysis of enterprise software

Unicorns are running free in the UK but Brexit poses a tough challenge

Trevor Clawson on the outlook for UK Tech startups

Cloudistics aims to trump Nutanix with 'superconvergence' play

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Poll

Is your organization fully GDPR compliant?