Programmable Thermostats

Reviews of digital programmable thermostats

Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

Click Here to find the Best Price on Amazon for the Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

List of Specifications

  • 5+2 Thermostat with 4 periods per program
  • Adjustable swing control of up to 5°Fahrenheit
  • Mercury free display
  • Temporary hold
  • Vacation mode
  • Patented Lux Speed Dial
  • Filter change warning
  • Battery change warning
  • Pre-programmed Energy Star recommended settings
  • Keyboard lockout
  • Can cycle the air
  • Shows temperature in either Fahrenheit or Celsius
  • 1 year warranty
  • Price: $28 (click the link above to check the latest price on Amazon.com)

Compatibility

  • Forced air and central air systems and heat pumps without auxiliary heat. Also hot water baseboard and steam heat radiators, and 750 millivolt systems (gas fireplaces/wall heaters). 2 wire hot water systems only
  • Single stage heating and single stage cooling.

Review of the Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp

The Lux Products TX500E is the model down from the popular Lux Products TX1500E. It is very similar to this model. The main difference is that the Lux Products TX500E is a 5+2 thermostat whereas the Lux Products TX1500E is a 5-1-1 thermostat. In layman’s terms this means that the Lux Products TX500E has only 2 programs to set up – one for weekdays and 1 for the weekend. The Lux TX1500E is the next model up offering 3 programs – one for weekdays, one for Saturday and one for Sunday.

If you keep regular hours during the week and also get up and go to bed at the same time at the weekend then the Lux Products TX500E has enough programming sophistication to allow you to match your schedule with the heating and cooling in the home to save money.

As with the Lux Products TX1500E the Lux Products TX500E has a programmable vacation mode. This is designed to be used as an alternative setting for when you are away from the home on holiday. However, it can also be used as another program setting; thus, making the thermostat effectively a 5-1-1 device.

The Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp has useful pre-programmed default settings. These are settings based on Energy Star recommendations. If the default settings are followed Lux Products estimate it is possible to save $500 a year on your heating and cooling bills. These default settings only work if there is no other program in the device. They are useful to those new digital programmable thermostats as they can form the basis for settings. The closer you stick to the pre-programmed settings the more money you know you are going to save.

Another handy function of the Lux TX500E Smart Temp is temporary hold. This allows you to pause the programmed settings if you are too hot or too cold. It is a 1 button function. The hold remains until you press the button again or another scheduled period starts.

Despite the cheap price for the Lux Products TX500E it still includes an adjustable swing control that let you decide on a margin of up to 5° Fahrenheit (3°Celsius) within which the thermostat does not activate the heating or cooling. For many people this is an important function as it stops the HVAC clicking on and off constantly trying to maintain an exact room temperature.

Comparison with the Honeywell RTH221B

The Lux Products TX500E costs only $6 more than the Honeywell RTH221B and yet it is very much superior to the Honeywell thermostat – it offers more program slots and more functions. The Honeywell RTH221B has only 1 program slot and the only function is temporary hold. Whereas the Lux TX500E has 2 program slots and has not only temporary hold but also vacation mode, keyboard lockout and swing control. For the extra $6 the Lux Products TX500E Smart Temp is great value.

Drawbacks

For the price, the Lux Products TX500E is unbeatable value. It does however have its limitations. Firstly, if you have a changing schedule during the week this thermostat doesn’t allow the programming flexibility to fit your schedule.

Secondly, the thermostat is reliant on batteries. It is also limited to single stage heating and cooling systems. Generally speaking Honeywell thermostats have much better compatibility than Lux Products thermostats.

For those who like to wake up to a comfortable home and return from work to a comfortable home this might not be the most suitable programmable thermostat because it doesn’t have adaptive intelligent recovery. You have to manually fiddle with the settings so that the thermostat pre-heats/cools a room. This is a matter of trial and error and not as cost effective as a thermostat with PID technology (smart response, auto recovery, adaptive intelligent recovery).

Finally, the Lux Products TX500E doesn’t have a backlight so at night time it is necessary to turn on the light to check the settings.

Amazon Reviews

There are 37 reviews of the Lux Products TX500E on Amazon. 16 people give the thermostat the full 5 star rating; 11 people give the device 4 stars; 6 people give the thermostat 3 stars; 1 person rates it as 2 stars and 3 people give the thermostat the lowest score of 1 star.

On the positive side reviewers of the Lux Products TX500E mention how easy the device is to install and program. The general consensus is that the thermostat is reliable and easy to use.

Small criticisms include that the display writing is too small and that the thermostat only accepts AA alkaline batteries not rechargeable batteries. Another user wished that the thermostat would show the real temperature as well as the set point temperature.

A more serious criticism was made by one man who had bought a number of TX500 units and noted that they started to play up (the ‘on’ and ‘off’ buttons wouldn’t respond immediately) after 5 years. However, he notes for the cost you can buy 2 units at the same time and keep one as a backup.

Keynote quote:

“Bought this just a few weeks ago and hooked it up myself, nothing to it. The product works great and I was able to program in the settings that met my needs. I would recommend this product. Great product and you can’t beat the price”

Stuck with the pans – Kansas

Mon, November 7 2011 » Lux Products, Under $30