Smart or dumb thermostats?

I'm buying a Hubitat for the new house I hope to move into next month. It is an old property and half of it doesn't have any heating in it apart from some fireplaces. The other half has gas central heating with radiators. So I plan to put in either another boiler for the other half, probably gas, but maybe wood pellet, with radiators.

I was looking into thermostats to use with Hubitat. Now searching the posts here, I notice some users are using "smart" thermostats, like Nest, Hive and Ecobee. What is the advantage of using such a smart thermostat, when the Hubitat is already smart enough with it's Rule Machine?

I was thinking of just getting some sort of simpler z-wave thermostat, along with Aeon MultiSensor 6 in each room, z-wave radiator valves, and some sort of z-wave extractor fans for humidity control in kitchen & bathrooms. I'm in the UK so don't need cooling.

Along with Rule Machine I can then replicate the functions of these smart thermostats, whilst not being tied to their proprietary clouds. Does that make sense? I hope Rule Machine would let me setup rules so that more occupied parts of the house can be warmer than the less occupied parts. Has anyone setup rules like that or have any advice on how to do that?

And can anyone recommend good z-wave thermostats which work with Hubitat?


I haven't connected my thermostats to Hubitat yet, Still xfering devices & automations over.

But I've had 2 of these CT101 Thermostats running on Vera/ST for the last few years and have been happy with them. I've just used rule engines to control them.

I have often thought of switching to Ecobee or Nest, But it would be basically a vanity decision, I don't know that I would gain much.

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Voice control through Alexa is one of the main interactions I have with my smart thermostat. Especially when changing the temperature in the middle of the night. I don't wanna use my phone and have a super bright light shining in my face. I'm not sure how Hubitat's Alexa support is regarding thermostat control. I've been waiting for the upcoming improved Alexa support before I try some of my more complicated devices, like thermostats and rgbw bulbs.

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Interesting choice of words.

I would still consider a z-wave thermostat to be β€œsmart” because it can be controlled wirelessly by a home automation system like hubitat. A β€œdumb” thermostat to me would be one that you have to change the setpoint on manually.

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I'd call the manual ones "dumber" :smiley:

I referred to them as dumb, more from the point of view that you let the hubitat do the smarts.

But having read the manuals of some of the z-wave radiator valves, many are also a bit smart, allowing the z-wave controller to load them with a weekly schedule, or to load the schedule manually by the user via phone app.

Obi2000, thanks for pointing out voice control, I had assumed Hubitat already did that. I guess without that we could just set the temperature of the nearest z-wave radiator valve, as the ones I looked at report the change back to the controller so that it can update the other radiators in the room.

I still have about 90% of my automations in SmartThings but steadily moving things over to Hubitat. Saying that, I have 2 Ecobee 3 Therms and I must say that webCoRE does most of the heavy lifting. I would recommend a regular Z-Wave Therm that allows for a standard weekly schedule. Then use webCoRE to over-ride the schedule based on real-time events.

This approached has saved me tons of money, IMHO. I went from a $600 Utility Bill down to $200.



My vote is for smart dumb thermostats, i had ecobees and ditched them as i was fighting its built in schedule all the time.
I use a Zen and a centralite perl.


I believe Tado is the popular choice in the UK. They make a smart radiator thermostat. My guess is most of the recommendations you receive around smart themostats are people with forced air heating (I too fall into that category). However, there in Toronto, many still do have radiant heat. It's a gentle heat that doesn't need much adjustment and doesn't respond as well to abrupt changes, such as away modes that don't last very long. At least that's the way it is with the cast iron radiators you still find here. Do UK radiators not respond this way?

There is a port from ST to HE for Tado

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Yes Tado is popular in Europe. But that would again tie me to the internet and also their propriety cloud and proprietary devices. I read Tado plan to add motion sensors to their system, but then I'd end up doubling up, needing their proprietary motion sensors, as well as those I'd want for my lighting, cameras, etc.

Researching all this a bit more, also made me realise that the Worcester Bosch CDI boiler in our new house does modulating heating control, using EMS, which is Bosch's proprietary version of OpenTherm.

I did find an EMS to OpenTherm converter.

But it does mean the z-wave thermostat I need to find has to support either EMS or OpenTherm, if I want to make most efficient use of my boiler.

Interesting Tado does support both. But I havent found any z-wave thermostats yet that support either.

You are right that radiators can take a little while longer to respond than forced air heating, at least that's my experience of my parents house which has forced air heating. But it also depends on the set temperature of the boiler. With my current non-modulation ancient 28 year old gas boiler, if I come into a cold house in winter, I can set the temperature to 10, rather than the usual 4 setting, and it gets the house warm pretty quick.

Rise from the dead thread.

Which of these do your like the best? The Zen looks pretty elegant, but I'm worried the simplified display might be a step back.

We're about modern/minimalist/contemporary in casa maxwell, so the Zen fits in and is less distracting than the perl.
My only gripe about it is the huge pixels that the display is comprised of, but then if you automate properly there is seldom need to interact with it physically.
The perl is sort of busy for my taste.

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Perfect. Thanks.