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Ecobee3 Lite cuts smart thermostat's price while keeping Apple HomeKit support

Ecobee on Monday launched the Ecobee3 Lite, a new version of its flagship thermostat that's cheaper than the original while retaining most of its core features.

The only things missing from the Lite are room sensors, and accessory compatibility, including humidifiers, dehumidifiers, and ventilators. The unit can't for instance detect whether a room is occupied. The benefit though is a much cheaper $169 pricetag, versus $249 for the regular Ecobee3.

The Lite otherwise features the same 3.5-inch color touchscreen and platform support, including HomeKit, Amazon Echo, Wink, IFTTT, and Samsung SmartThings. It can also be controlled with apps for iOS, Android, and the Apple Watch.

One difference with some other smart thermostats is ability to use hardwired power instead of batteries.

Ecobee is currently taking preorders for the Lite, which should ship on Oct. 31. Online shoppers will be able to buy it from Amazon, Best Buy, Home Depot, and of course Ecobee itself, but outlet sales will initially be restricted to Home Depot.