Recommended Thermostat

Can someone recommend a smart thermostat that can work well with openHAB? My heat/AC is nothing fancy, but is reasonably new.

Searching the forum brings up some suggestions, but most are at least 2 or more years old, so I was wondering if there were some updated recommendations.

Thanks in advanced.

Well, if you want to go all in, HestiaPi is a solution actually built using openHAB. I’ve one and I’ve been contributing pretty heavily to the openHAB configs. It’s a bit of a leap though and may be a little too close to DIY for some users. But the ability to customize everything is awesome.

Ecobee is pretty popular. If I wasn’t into HestiaPi and not against cloud based (Nest burned me) I’d be using it.

There are also a number of zwave devices though they are kind of old school looking and ugly.


Majority of people seem to be most comfortable buying some consumer off the shelf product.

Personally, I have hard time paying $100-200 for microcontroller + radio + few relays, so I built my own out of those parts.

No spying on me, and I have full control over functionality. :+1:

I’ve created a “software” thermostat. Using OpenHAB with a relay for heating and temperature sensor for the temperature.
You can make it as advanced as you want. For example you can use an IR blaster to control the AC.

But a little warning, it takes a lot of time. If you don’t have the time or skills, you’ll be better of with an of the shelf product. For example: a full blown independent, but controllable by OpenHAB, system you can use Honeywell Evohome. If you want little more controle, you can use a Zwave thermostat.
Every solution depends on your country your live in, kind of system you use (zwave, zigbee, knx, dmx, etc etc) and your time/wishes.

This is a fair warning, that I left out of my earlier post. I suppose why most people choose to go that route.

This is supposed to be (and probably mostly is) a somewhat more “open” solution, if you care about such things. Although, unfortunately the RPi is not really as “open” as most people think it is (locked down bootloader, etc.). I’m sure I’ll get flames from Rich for this, as RPi is a very common recommendation around here (quite unfortunately, IMO).

I appreciate what they are trying to do, but unfortunately it is just more marketing riding the “open source” wave of popularity, without actually being open in reality. I just looked them up to double check, and the headline on their website is “If you don’t have root access to your thermostat, someone else does” which is a laugh because really Broadcom and the RPi foundation are the only ones to have “root” on the device, as they control their locked down binary blob bootloader.

It’s all a bit of a point of order in the end, as I suppose (sadly, IMO) the majority of people simply do not care about such things. If more people did care, and vote with their feet/wallets, maybe we could become enough of a market force to urge manufacturers to release more actually fully open devices. But unfortunately, with popularity of RPi, that seems not to be the case. Yet I persevere, trying to drop as many breadcrumbs as I can, on the off chance of piquing someone’s interest. Cheers! :beers:

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You did directly reply to me. I’ll not participate in the debate except to say that sticking purley to “free” software and hardware comes at a very significant cost in both time and opportunity. I value my time more than I value having a bootloader that I can look at the source code for (which I’ll never do anyway).

I didn’t recommend HestiaPi because it’s free and open, though for all practical purposes it’s open in all the ways 99.99% of the users on this forum care about. I recommended it because I use it myself and it’s running openHAB (by default, there are other options available to run instead of openHAB).

Imagine that, someone recommending a product that uses openHAB on an openHAB forum. If the fact it runs in an RPi is a deal killer for you, that’s fine. But it’s still a valid recommendation for the rest of us who are not willing to pay the time and opportunity costs to be “pure”.


I have a Venstar ColorTouch, works great. Now that I have wifi in my shop I’m going to add another out there.

It’s not a smart thermostat that requires internet to work like EcoBee. If my internet goes down I can still control it using OH. That was a must for me.

Good luck!


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And I value my freedom more. Different criteria, different conclusions.

It’s not about “looking at the source” (to me) it’s about actually owning the device you spent your hard earned money on. It’s obnoxious (IMO) that these companies want to take your money in exchange for their goods, but that is not enough for them. They want to continue to maintain control. Oh, you thought that was your device? Haha, nope! Sucker! (not you, personally, just trying to make a point)

I think I conceded almost all of these points already?

Incidentally, on a personal level, Rich, I did not mean it as a personal attack. I know you are involved in supporting the project, they support OpenHAB, etc. which are all wonderful things. So, apologies for that if I hit a bit too close to home.

To me it’s not about being “pure.” It is about control (as I mentioned above) and also about potentially moving the market (as I had mentioned in my first post):

All I can do is try to raise awareness. It is up to each person to make their own decisions. I have found quite often that many people have never been exposed to the ideas of Free/Libre Software as the term “open source” seems to be bandied about much more often nowadays.

I know where you stand Rich, and as you replied to me recently in some other thread, often your replies include additional information not directed at the particular person, but you are trying to leave behind generally relevant information for others who may come along reading the thread later. Same for me here.

Cheers, buddy. :beers:

I plan on (when relevant) continuing to point out that there are other considerations and options out there, but as you are a quite valued forum member, I hope I don’t get on your nerves too much in the future when I do so. :smiley:

I think @TRS-80 is onto something.
I have until the last months stayed away from rpi as it is Broadcom.
No other chip producer has caused me more grief and required more workarounds over the years…

Anyways, the success of rpi is more the cost of the board than it is open source.
Of course, the use of Linux and Debian is helping to hold the final cost low.
The rpi SOCs must never be seen as quality products. They are most defiantely not. In my eyes rpi is just a continuium from Broadcom in what they are good at, and that is bullshit from some salespeople followed by frenetic catchup from some stressed out engineers.

Now to get back on topick: TS mentioned AC/heating and thermostat.
A litle more information would be great :slight_smile:

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What sort of detail?

I am looking to replace a traditional thermostat with something a bit more smart and can possibly be integrated into openHAB.

As much as the DIY thermostats look interesting, I am not really up for that challenge right now.

That looks interesting, I definitely like the idea of it having Wifi for integrations, but not requiring the internet to work.

Just so I know, but is Nest integration into openHab a complete no go these days? What about the Ecobee?

To be fair, the goals set for the original Raspberry Pi were to develop a low-cost computer for educational purposes, and they’ve done that while also serving a larger, secondary market. It would have been really easy for the RPi folks to abandon their vision in favour of chasing bigger money. Instead, they’ve kept their prices the same while increasing performance, and even went so far recently as to lower the MSRPs.

The Raspberry Pi’s contributions to education have been significant, from enabling young children to learn about computer science to giving university engineering students head starts on complex design projects. The RPi is far from perfect, but it has been the spark of inspiration for many current and future makers, designers, programmers, and engineers. I’m grateful for that, and I’m inclined to support the RPi Foundation’s efforts to inspire students.

I agree with Rich that most ZWave thermostats are ugly, but a few have cropped up this past year that actually look pretty decent. If you’re already into ZWave (or have been thinking about it), I’d favour it just because you know it’s locally controlled directly from your openHAB server.

Nest integration is a no-go, unless you had set up a Nest Developer Account before last summer (when they shuttered the program) and avoided migrating to the Works with Google account. There are rumours that Google will let private developers back in in the future, but it’s Google…so that could happen tomorrow, next year, or never. I’m a strong believer that consumers should buy products based on what they do today, not on promises of what they might do tomorrow. So if integration is important to you, I wouldn’t buy a Nest thermostat.

Lots of people are using the EcoBee here, but I don’t know much about it or its future.

Good luck!

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Yep, Zwave is how I am going with lighting, have a few in place already and plan to put several more in over the next few months. A google search for Z-Wave thermostats only produced some very “classic” (read ugly) thermostats. Do you have some suggestions on the not so ugly ones?

There are a few interesting ones on this list:

However, for me the winner would be the Honeywell T6 Pro Z Wave. It’s a recent addition to their T6 line, so I don’t know how readily available it is. I like that it’s designed to blend in and go mostly unnoticed.

Of course, it’s all subjective. I have an old Nexus 4 phone on my wall running HabPanel, so I may not be the best judge of aesthetics. :wink: up

I like the look of that Honeywell. But that makes me wonder if my existing Thermostat could interface with openHAB, it’s a Honeywell VisionPro 8000 series. No Z-Wave built in, but it does support something called RedLink and that has an internet gateway.

Anyone know of that is connectable to openHab?

I have no idea. You’ll need to search the community to see if it comes up.

the Venstar T2000 Thermostat has local control

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I’ve been using an Insteon/Venstar 2441TH integrated with OH for more than a year and it works great for my needs. I think that it cost around $75 US. It also has manual controls on the unit should you find a need, but in the time I’ve had mine I have not needed them since setup. I have both rule based programs and direct controls setup in OH. I use basicUI and Habpanel which works well for making manual adjustments on the fly.

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aka “marketing”

Yes, teaching an entire generation to be dependent on proprietary, locked down things, whilst masquerading as being “open”, how wonderful! What a creepy, Orwellian thought. :face_vomiting:

Do any kids in schools actually use these things? This could be sample bias on my part, as admittedly this is where I hang out (instead of around schools). But what I see is mostly people like us using them for HA and various hacking sort of things. Very few kids seem to me interested in this kind of thing, instead seeming (to me) to vastly prefer video games…

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I am using zwave thermostat, works fine with OH. Manual is here

Yes, students use Raspberry Pis, at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels (I work in the education field). No, RPis are not more popular than video games, and never will be. I’d suggest that many of the STEM-focused games/activities/toys you see nowadays were inspired by the RPi, but I don’t have any data to back that up.

I’m always happy to engage in positive and open-minded conversation, but if you’re going to resort to sarcasm and hyperbole when people disagree with you then I’m not going to respond further. There’s enough of that on the Internet and in the world, and it’s not what I’m looking for in this community.