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Best known for building smart controllers for stand-alone air conditioners, Cielo now offers a smart Wi-Fi thermostat for your home’s HVAC system. While its MSRP is $169, the Cielo Smart Thermostat was marked down to $129.99 at the time of this review, including at Amazon post Prime Day.
Given its black, shiny, squarish industrial design, it’s clear that Cielo sought to build a device that looks a lot like an Ecobee product. It has a smaller touchscreen, but it’s sleek and attractive in a way that doesn’t draw too much attention. And Cielo does a lot of things right: You can control its smart thermostat at the thermostat itself— a built-in proximity sensor causes its display to light up and switch to a control screen when you approach— with Cielo’s app, or through a variety of smart assistants: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, SmartThings, and even IFTTT.
Cielo also provides a very DIY-friendly installation process. The kit comes with everything you’ll need to get started: Anchor screws, a backing plate, and a power adapter if your HVAC wiring doesn’t include a C-wire. A step-by-step installation guide provides clear instructions, with the app and the thermostat itself guiding you through the final steps.
Wiring the Cielo Smart Thermostat is a straightforward process, thanks to the clearly marked wiring plate, and I didn’t encounter any issues with the installation. One minor complaint is the touchscreen’s sensitivity seemed a bit off when I typed in the password on the touchscreen to add the thermostat to my Wi-Fi network, and it took a few taps to get it to respond to some of the characters. This was less of an issue in day-to-day use, but Cielo’s display is not quite as responsive as the Ecobee3 Lite I compared it to.
Once the hardware is installed and you’ve connected it to your home network, you can configure it through the app if you prefer. Initial configuration is basically just telling it two temperature points—when to heat and when to cool—and you can just leave it at that. For more precise control, the Cielo works with preset modes for Home, Away, Sleep, and Pets, where you can adjust those two temperature setpoints accordingly.
Curiously, scheduling works only within those presets; you can’t set just temperature targets for specific times of day or night. So, instead of programming the thermostat to have your HVAC system seek to hit a temperature of 72 degrees at 9 a.m. and 74 at 10 p.m., for example, you must program the Home and Sleep presets to your desired temperatures and then set the times you want those presets to kick in. It’s logical enough, but it might take some getting used to if you’re accustomed to making detailed schedules for temperature changes.
The Cielo Smart Thermostat is a good value
The Cielo Smart Thermostat also supports geofencing, so you set temperature targets when you’re away and when you return to save energy while ensuring your indoor climate is always comfortable. You won’t get an algorithm that learns your comings and goings, as the top-of-the-line Nest Learning Thermostat does, nor will you get remote sensors that can help to eliminate hot and cold spots the way that and several Ecobee models do, but Cielo’s product costs a lot less.