Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Programmable Thermostats here.
The Honeywell Lyric wireless thermostat builds on Honeywell's extensive experience at the forefront of thermostat technology. It excels at temperature control and energy management with features that emphasize your comfort above all else. The unit is somewhat difficult to use, but it's backed by outstanding customer support services.
The Lyric's temperature control technology is impressive. This programmable thermostat works with the majority of 24-volt HVAC systems. If you have a multistage system, the unit supports up to three stages for heating and two stages for cooling. Multistage systems have different tiers of temperature control for increased efficiency. A useful feature called Fine Tune analyzes humidity, temperature and outdoor weather to make your home comfortable.
This thermostat has a temperature swing of 1 degree, meaning it activates the system if your home’s actual temperature is 1 degree higher or lower than the target temperature you've chosen. This small temperature swing is great for comfort, but the thermostat may not be as energy efficient as one with a higher temperature swing. You can also lock the interface so no one can change the temperature without your permission.
You can set a schedule that adjusts on a seven-day cycle so your system is only active when you are home. This helps reduce energy usage. You can program your schedule easily by creating shortcuts in the Lyric mobile app. Shortcuts let you choose a trigger and specify how the thermostat responds. For example, you can set it to automatically change heating patterns after you go to bed. You can also activate shortcuts manually.
The unit has an away mode you set by tapping the house icon on the front of the Wi-Fi thermostat. You can also link the away mode to your mobile phone's location via the Lyric mobile app and a process called geofencing. Geofencing lets the Honeywell Lyric detect when you leave or come home so it can alter your home's temperature accordingly.
This Honeywell device has a variety of onboard sensors that help optimize your heating system. The thermostat frequently checks your equipment for malfunctions and sends you Smart Cues when it's time to do routine maintenance. It also checks live weather conditions to prepare your system for temperature changes. A motion sensor detects when you approach and lights up the display for easy viewing. Unlike some other programmable thermostats with motion detection, the motion sensor does not have any effect on the target temperature in your home.
The Lyric has an attractive white face with a small black display in the center. You can adjust settings using the touchscreen interface, mobile app and a circular control around the outside of the unit. Like the best programmable thermostats, it connects to your Wi-Fi network so you can access the mobile app and other features.
The thermostat has very few physical controls, and it can be difficult to use for anything more than basic temperature adjustments. The Lyric mobile app’s user experience is similar to that of the thermostat's physical interface, except it allows you to adjust advanced settings as well. The device's poor interface detracts from its better features.
Honeywell provides many tools to help you set up the Lyric, such as tutorial videos on YouTube, but it doesn’t have a detailed user manual. Because of this, you must rely on the mobile app's sparse setup information or the YouTube videos. This thermostat doesn't require a C wire, so if you already have the correct wiring, you shouldn't have problems setting the thermostat up. You can install this unit on your own, but it may be best to have a professional do the work.
Technical support is the Honeywell Lyric's greatest strength. Good customer support is always important when setting up and using a programmable thermostat. If you decide to install the product yourself, Honeywell's customer support is invaluable. The company provides direct support through three major channels: email, phone and live chat. Company representatives are helpful when you need to troubleshoot your thermostat. There is also an online forum where you can get answers and chat with other Lyric users.
Of the programmable thermostats we tested, the Honeywell Lyric is one of the best for temperature control and customer support. Technology like geofencing and multistage temperature control increase its energy efficiency. Still, it can be difficult to set up, and it's not as easy to use as many of the thermostats out there. It also lacks physical controls, so you can only use the thermostat's interface for basic temperature control. The phone app is quite helpful, and you can use it to program advanced settings. Overall, the Lyric is an excellent choice, especially if you prefer to have a professional installation.