Best Smart Thermostat
The Good Stuff
Built-In Wi-Fi. Time Period Control. Works with Alexa
The Not So Good Stuff
No Motion Sensor Technology. Requires the Use of Common Wire.
Price: $$Click Here For The Best Price
The Venstar Wi-Fi ColorTouch thermostat brings smart control of your homes climate settings into the 21st century. With its time period scheduler, built-in security features, expandable SD card, and the ability to upload up to 100 pictures to be used as wallpaper it’s definitely packed full of features that you don’t typically find in a thermostat. It allows you a lot of detailed control of the temperature and humidity in your home and it allows you the freedom to do this when you’re not at home. Gone are the days when you’d get to the office and kick yourself after realizing you’d forgot to turn on the air conditioner as the temperature outside climbed to 30°C.
This is also a thermostat you can have a lot of fun with not only because of the pictures you can upload as wallpaper that we’ve already talked about, but also because it’s fully compatible with Alexa. Alexa’s the handy speech assistant built into Amazon’s Echo device that acts as your personal assistant. If you happen to own one of these devices you can now use it to control your Venstar thermostat. In the old 1960s cartoon the Jetsons this type of technology was commonplace, but it’s amazing to actually see the predictions of the 1960s becoming reality today.
The Venstar Wi-Fi ColorTouch thermostat offers an impressive array of features that are highlighted below.
Color Touch Screen: The typical thermostat in most homes is boring and bland. Even the digital ones feature simple black and white LCD displays with basic temperature controls. This Venstar thermostat is light years beyond what you’re used to. It features a full color touch screen that looks very much like the tablet you probably use for everyday web surfing. You can control which items are displayed on your screen and you can change those at any time. It’s a very user-friendly design with the potential to make any visiting family members or friends jealous.
Changeable Faceplate: No two homes are alike as our homes are a reflection of our individual personalities (as well as our spouses of course). The folks at Venstar recognized this and that’s why they’ve included the option of switching between several different faceplates that match just about any decor. The only problem you may run into is disagreement between husband and wife over which faceplate is the best one for your home. There are easily changeable in a matter of seconds.
Slideshow: One feature of the design of this thermostat which I think really separates it from some of its competitors is the ability to upload and use up to 100 different personal pictures as wallpaper, or in a constantly changing slideshow. It’s sort of like having an intimate snapshot of your life on the wall at all times for any visitor to see. The concept is a unique one that’s certainly a welcome addition to a thermostat. It’s the type of feature that Apple is famous for – something that once you see you just have to have, but until they created it you would never have thought you had a need for it.
Access from Any Device: This is a very versatile thermostat which is not only easy to use when you’re in your home it’s also easy to use when you’re away from home. The unit has built-in Wi-Fi compatibility and you can download apps from both the App Store and the Google Play Store which allow you to control the unit remotely. It’s compatible with PCs, tablets, and smart phones. So whether you’re sitting in your favorite La-Z-Boy recliner and just want to turn the temperature up a couple of notches, or you’re at a business meeting out of town and you want to cool down the house before you come home you have complete control over both of these options.
Temperature Control Security: there’s nothing more frustrating than getting your home set at the perfect temperature only for someone to come along and decide it’s a little bit too chilly for them and decide to crank up the heat a little bit. With this system you’re the master of who gets to turn the temperature up or down. It has built-in security features that allow you to lock other people out after you’ve set the controls for various times of the day and week to your liking. You don’t have to worry about that teenager coming home from school and turning up the heat and turning up your energy bills – you’re the one in control now.
Noticeable Omissions: While this is a great little thermostat it does have a couple of noticeable omissions. You do have to hardwire this unit using a common wire set up in order for it to access the power it needs. Some modern thermostats do allow you to avoid this option by using batteries for complete control of the unit, but this isn’t one of them. The other thing it’s missing is compatibility with motion sensor technology. Some of the better thermostats on the market today actually allow you to place sensors around your home which can control the temperatures in your house room by room. Essentially the way these thermostats work is that when you leave a room they recognize that there’s nobody in that room and adjust the temperature accordingly to save energy. Unfortunately, the Venstar thermostat does not offer this type of option yet.
Responsive Touchscreen: The touchscreen on this thermostat is extremely responsive. There’s no lag time whatsoever between the time you access the controls and the time it executes your commands. It responds instantly and accurately. I remember my first tablet and the frustrations I experienced waiting for it to actually do something after I’d tapped on a button. In many cases there was as much as a second or two delay, which may not seem like a lot of time but when you’re in the moment it’s extremely frustrating. That’s not an issue at all with this touchscreen device.
Reliable Remote Access: There are a lot of smart home devices these days that allow you to control your home automation products remotely using apps, but all of these depend on the speed of your Wi-Fi connection and the reliability of the devices in your home. This thermostat has excellent remote response capabilities that react quickly to your commands. As long as the Wi-Fi connection in your home keeps working properly and the access on the other end where you are is working does as well you’ll have no problem controlling this thermostat remotely as if you’re sitting in your own home.
Nighttime Dimmer: While it may not seem like a major issue the fact that most thermostats have very bright screens can be a little distracting if you get up to go to the bathroom during the night. The Venstar Wi-Fi ColorTouch actually has a built in nighttime dimmer option which allows you to bring the screen light level down to something that’s more in tune with a house that’s in sleep mode. You don’t have to worry about being blinded on your way to the bathroom.
Some Other Sources
If you’re like me and like to see something in operation for yourself you may want to check out our videos below.
Venstar’s Introduction Video – Watch Video
Setting up Wi-Fi on Your ColorTouch Thermostat – Watch Video
- Along with being compatible with all of your smart devices the Venstar Wi-Fi ColorTouch is also compatible with Amazon’s Alexa service which is part of the Echo device. If you’re not familiar with this product it’s very similar to Siri and it allows you to control this thermostat using only your voice.