The latest addition to Honeywell’s family of smart thermostats, the Lyric T5 ($149.99) is an affordable option that offers some neat features, including geofencing technology to turn your heating and cooling on and off when you leave and return home, and support for Apple HomeKit, which allows you to use Siri voice commands. It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the original Lyric, and it lacks some of the features that you get with our Editors’ Choice, the Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation), but it’s $100 cheaper and works like a charm. It’s also super easy to install, making it a solid choice for smart home beginners.
Design and Features
The Lyric T5 looks nothing like its sibling, the Honeywell Lyric. Instead of a round puck shape it has a 4-inch square housing with gray trim and is 1-inch thick. The 3.5-inch (diagonal) touch screen is monochrome, not color like the Ecobee3, but its size makes it easy enough to read from across the room.
The T5 works with most 24-volt conventional forced air, heat pump, hot water, and steam heating systems. As with the Lux/Geo Wi-Fi Thermostat, it supports two-stage heating and cooling, but does not support humidifier and dehumidifier add-ons. For that you’ll have to upgrade to the Honeywell Prestige or Lyric devices, or consider a Nest, Trane XL824, or Ecobee3 thermostat.
The T5 lacks the humidity and motion sensors found in the round Lyric and Nest thermostats, and it doesn’t offer usage reporting like the Lux/Geo, Ecobee3, and Nest. But it does support Apple’s HomeKit, which means you can make it work with other HomeKit devices. HomeKit support also means you can use Siri voice commands to raise and lower the temperature and turn fans on and off. You can also use Amazon’s Alexa voice service to raise and lower the temperature. Missing is support for If This Then That IFTTT recipes, but according to a Honeywell representative, it’s on the way.
The touch screen is responsive and bright. It displays the current time and room temperature until you tap it, at which point you’ll see the time and temperature as well as a menu bar along the bottom of the screen, and plus and minus icons for adjusting the temperature set point. It also displays the mode (Heat or Cool) and the fan speed. The menu bar has Mode, Menu, and Fan selections. Mode lets you choose between Heat, Cool, and Off, and Fan lets you chose between On, Circulate, and Auto. In the Menu section you can configure Wi-Fi settings, adjust the screen brightness, lock the screen, and change the temperature scale (Fahrenheit or Celsius). Here you can also check your equipment status and device information (MAC and IP address, firmware version, and model number).
The Android and iOS app is the same one used for other Honeywell devices such as the Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector and the original Lyric thermostat. When you open the app you’ll see the T5 along with other installed Lyric devices on the home screen. Tapping the T5 takes you to a screen that displays the current room temperature in a large font and just above that is the outside weather in a smaller font. When you tap the weather you get a 12-hour local forecast. At the very bottom of the screen is a dial you can use to change the temperature set point using swiping gestures.
Below the temperature are icons for Fan mode (Auto, Circulate, On), Thermostat mode (Heat, Cool, Off), and Schedule. You can create schedules based on time and location. Time-based schedules can be set for specific days of the week, for the entire week, or for weekdays and weekends. Location-based schedules use geofencing to create Home and Away rules. To create a geofence rule, tap the Schedule icon and choose Location. Click Use Geofencing to set your location, then set the temperature that you prefer when you’re at home and the temperature you prefer when away. Here you can also set ideal sleep temperatures.
Tap the three-bar icon at the top left corner of the home screen to adjust settings such as geofence radius and to set high and low temperature alerts and air filter reminders via push notifications and email. You can also set vacation schedules, add new devices, edit account settings, and enable Adaptive Recovery (Smart Response), a feature that learns how long it takes for your system to come up to temperature and starts heating or cooling your home early so that it reaches the ideal temperature at the scheduled time.
Installation and Performance
As with most smart thermostats, the Lyric T5 is a snap to install. It comes with a mounting base with wiring terminals, mounting screws, and an installation guide. To start, I took a picture of my old thermostat wiring before removing it and connected the power wires to the R and Rc terminals, the heat wire to the W terminal, and the common wire to the C terminal. I snapped the T5 to the terminal base and it powered up immediately. I then downloaded the mobile app to my iphone.
You can set up the T5 using the mobile app or the thermostat’s touch screen. I chose the touch-screen option and followed the instructions to select things like system type (forced air, heat pump, etc.), number of heating and cooling stages, and fuel source (gas, oil, etc). Next, I configured the Wi-Fi settings, gave the T5 a name, and added it as a HomeKit device using the setup code included in the box. The T5 was paired immediately and I added it to my basement location.
The Lyric T5 always responded immediately to my manual and app commands to raise and lower the temperature, and followed my timed schedule without issue. The geofencing feature worked flawlessly, automatically switching to my Away heating mode and temperature when I left my geofence radius, and back to my Home heating mode when I returned. It followed my Siri voice commands to raise and lower the temperature and always reacted to my HomeKit scene to set the heat to 71 degrees while locking my HomeKit-enabled Schlage Sense lock. The T5 also responded immediately to my Alexa voice commands.
The Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat is a good choice for the budget-minded homeowner looking to control a heating and cooling system using a smartphone. It installs in minutes and offers a handful of smart features including Siri and Alexa voice control, and the ability to interact with other devices via Apple HomeKit. It also supports geofencing technology and will enter Home or Away mode depending on your location. Although the T5 performed quite well in our testing, it lacks many of the features that you get with more expensive smart thermostats including energy usage reporting, humidity and motion sensing, and support for dehumidifier and humidifier appliances. Our Editors’ Choice, the latest Nest Learning Thermostat, offers all of this, and it will create a schedule based on your heating and cooling habits, but it’ll cost you around $100 more than the Lyric T5.