Programmable Thermostats

Reviews of digital programmable thermostats

Lux Products TX1500E Smart Temp

Click Here to Find the Best Price on Amazon for the Lux Products TX1500E Smart Temp

List of Specifications:

  • 5-1-1 programming and 4 periods per day
  • Large Display with electroluminescent back light
  • Swing control (up to 2.25 degrees in 0.25 degree increments)
  • Temporary override
  • Vacation mode
  • Keyboard lockout
  • Lux speed dial for quick programming
  • Battery change warning
  • Filter warning
  • Can cycle fan
  • Relative humidity monitor
  • Energy Star approved
  • 1 year warranty
  • Price $40 (use the link above to check the latest price on Amazon)

Compatibility:

  • Central air, heating only, cooling only, single stage heat pumps, 2 wire hydronics, gas
  • 1 stage heating and 1 stage cooling

Review

The Lux Products TX1500E Smart Temp Programmable Thermostat is a good quality thermostat that has sold well over the last few years. It costs about $40 and comes with an Energy Star approval and a 1 year warranty.

The Lux Products TX1500E is a 5-1-1 device. This means it gives the user 3 program slots – weekdays, Saturday and Sunday. And for each of the 3 program slots you can program 4 periods in the day. For those people with a job with regular hours not being able to set a program for each day of the week is not such a big issue. The basic idea behind programmable thermostats is to match the heating and cooling of a house with the comings and goings of the inhabitants in order to cut out waste. If your schedule during weekdays doesn’t vary then a 5-1-1 programmable thermostat can do as an effective a job as a 7 day programmable thermostat. Indeed some people prefer it because it means fewer programs to set up.

There are, however, several other useful functions on the Lux Products TX1500E. It has temporary override to let you quickly change the room temperature if you are a bit hot/cold or you want to stay up late. Temporary override lets you suspend your programmed settings until you turn the override off. The Lux Products TX1500E, unlike the more expensive Honeywell RTH7500D and Honeywell RTH7600D, has a vacation mode that lets you set a program that allows the HVAC to just tick over while you are away. You can set the vacation mode on a timer so the normal settings are returned to on the day of your return.

Other features on the Lux Products TX1500E include swing control, filter change warning, battery change warning and keyboard lockout. An interesting feature on the Lux Products TX1500E is that it has a relative humidity monitor. It cannot regulate humidity control devices but it can tell you whether the humidity in a room is too high or too low. To keep strand woven bamboo flooring or hardwood flooring safe, for example, the relative humidity has to stay within 30% and 60%.

Installation of the Lux Products TX1500E Smart Temp Programmable Thermostat is straight forward. The device can be installed onto most 24V heating & A/C systems including 1 stage heat, 1 stage cool, gas, oil, electric or single stage heat pump systems, 2 wire heat only hydronic systems and MilliV systems.  The Lux Products TX1500E cannot handle 2 stage heating and 2 stage cooling or multi-stage heat pumps.

As with many Lux Products thermostats the Lux Products TX1500E features a patented speed dial system for quick programming. There is a backlit display to let you quickly check the temperature, filter status etc.

Drawbacks

The Lux TX1500E is the third best selling programmable thermostat on Amazon so for the money it is hard to talk about drawbacks. Yes the device does have limited compatibility and yes it lacks several features such as 7 day programming, auto change-over and smart response/recovery, but this is to be expected when you only pay $40 for a programmable thermostat.

One thing that could be improved on this model of programmable thermostat is that it could be made to draw its power off the HVAC power instead of depending on batteries. However, it is not a device that quickly drains batteries.

Amazon Reviews

There are 102 reviews on Amazon.com for the Lux Products TX1500E. Of the 102 reviews, 62 people give the thermostat a 5 star review and 6 people give the device a 1 star review.

A number of reviewers mention that they had decided to buy the Lux Products TX1500E because the thermostat got good Consumer Report reviews.

One reviewer mentioned the fact that the vacation mode effectively adds another program slot to the Lux Products TX1500E making it a 5-1-1-1 device. Another mentioned that Lux Products were very helpful when he asked them a question about swing control. A number of people noted the usefulness of being able to check the relative humidity in a room.

On the negative side, one reviewer bemoaned the lack of auto switch-over that automatically changes from heating to cooling and vice versa to make sure a steady room temperature is maintained even during seasonal changes of weather.

Many of the reviews deal with people’s experiences of installation. Many people managed to get the thermostat working in under an hour while others struggled and felt that the instructions could be better. This is pretty much the same for all reviews for programmable thermostats. It is essential to read the instructions before attempting installation and it is essential to know exactly what types of heating/cooling system you have in your home.

Also some people complained about short cycling. This is because the default setting for the swing control is 0.25 degrees. This needs to be increased to prevent short cycling.

Keynote Quote:

“Overall,  I am very pleased with the Lux 1500E. It feels well built, has a nice display, and a competitive price. Add Lux’s great customer support, and I’d highly recommend it. ”

G. P. Stern

Mon, January 17 2011 » Lux Products, Under $50

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