Product Review: Inhabitat tests out the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat

August 31, 2016 by  
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Honeywell’s Lyric Wifi Thermostat is a smartphone-connected device that allows you to regulate the temperature of your home while you’re there or on-the-go. Because you can control it via the Lyric app , it gives you the flexibility to start cooling your place down as you leave the office on a hot day, or to shut the system down from 30,000 feet in the air if you forget to switch it off before leaving to catch your plane. Like other programmable thermostats, it can be set up on a schedule so that it maintains a comfortable temperature during the times you’re usually at home while switching the system off during times you’re not. There’s also a handy geofencing feature that allows you to map off a radius around your home so that the system can detect that you’re nearby using your phone’s GPS system and start heating or cooling your home to your preferred temperature. A thermostat that knows when you’re almost home? That’s pretty cool! RELATED: VIDEO: How to save money and energy with a programmable thermostat Design-wise, the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat is one of the most visually pleasing models on the market, although you have to admit that its round form factor does look pretty similar to the Nest’s (a competitor that rings in at about $50 more at $249). On the other hand, it should be noted that Honeywell came up with the first round thermostat way back in 1953, so maybe they’re just getting back to their roots. With a pristine white face wrapped in a sliver of silver, the unit is almost like an artpiece or accessory for your wall. The minimal touchscreen buttons light up in a cool blue, giving it an even more soothing appearance. In the box: The unit itself, a battery, two screws and anchors for mounting, instructions and an optional wall plate. Setting the device up was a breeze, although I should note that since I live in an apartment with no existing in-unit thermostat system, I was unable to actually install the thermostat as you would if you were actually going to use it to control your heater and air conditioner. Instead, I simulated the installation process using a wall adapter, so this part of my review is based solely on the ease of setup, rather than how the device actually regulated the temperature in my home. The first steps are downloading the Lyric app and connecting to your WiFi, and after that, your phone guides you through the entire setup and installation process. Although I wasn’t fiddling with any wiring or anything like that, I was still able to appreciate the step-by-step instructions that popped up right on my phone to guide me through the installation process if I was. It even asks you questions along the way so that you can tailor the experience to your particular system, taking the hassle out of fumbling with an instruction manual and leafing through the parts that may or may not apply to you. The whole thing took me about 5 minutes to complete (though you would probably need to spend at least 20 if you were actually following the steps). One thing I did find was that the touchscreen buttons were not quite as responsive as I wanted them to be and I had to press down harder than I’m used to doing on my smartphone. Luckily, there’s not much need to use the buttons on the unit itself after setup since you can just use your phone to make any changes, or simply rotate the face of the unit clockwise or counterclockwise to turn your temps up or down. The Lyric app itself is intuitive, easy-to-use and starts up in a matter of moments. The Lyric WiFi Thermostat is also fully compatible with Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo and other home ecosystems. In terms of energy and cost savings, Honeywell’s energy savings calculator estimates that I stand to save about $142 per year on my energy bill (based on my zip code) using the Lyric WiFi Thermostat. That means that in addition to keeping my home comfortable and reducing my power usage, I could also make back the $199 spent on the Lyric Thermostat in a little over a year. To learn more about how the Lyric Wifi Thermostat can help you slash your energy bills, check out the video above or visit Honeywell’s Lyric Connected Home website here . + Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat Editor’s note: The Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat was supplied to this writer free-of-charge by Honeywell in exchange for an unbiased review. Photos: Honeywell and Yuka Yoneda

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Product Review: Inhabitat tests out the Honeywell Lyric WiFi Thermostat

Typhoon Lionrock drenches Japan, leaving at least 10 dead

August 31, 2016 by  
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Typhoon Lionrock slammed Japan’s northeastern shores on Tuesday , leading to flooding that killed at least 10 people. The town of Iwaizumi in Iwate Prefecture on the eastern coast of Japan ‘s main island suffered the most flooding. There, more than 1,100 people evacuated their homes, and the town’s prefecture disaster prevention office reports that at least 400 people have been rescued after being stranded by the rising water. Rescue and recovery efforts are ongoing. The storm began as a tropical depression more than 10 days ago miles off the southeastern coast of Japan, building strength over time as it traveled northwest toward land. While over the ocean, the storm reached maximum wind speeds of 135 miles per hour, classifying it for a time as a Category 4 Hurricane, but Lionrock lost some of its power before making landfall. Lionrock crossed Japan late Tuesday night and its winds dropped to 35 miles per hour, turning it into a low pressure system. Related: Japan’s Hanazono Kindergarten was designed to keep kids safe during typhoons Nine of the flood victims were found in the Ran Ran retirement home in Iwaizumi after the nearby Omoto river flooded the single-story structure. Another man’s body was found elsewhere in the prefecture, bringing the current death toll to 10. A second home for the elderly, the Friendly Iwaizumi, was also flooded, but caregivers were able to move residents to the building’s second floor to avoid the rising water, saving their lives. Four people are missing and some 700 still stranded, according to local officials. The storm system continues to produce heavy rains as it continues on its path, and some parts of northeastern China have already felt the effects. However, with the storm once again so close to land, it is not expected to regain its former hurricane force winds. Still, as many as 26,000 Japanese residents are recommended to evacuate their homes, as further flooding is still possible. Via CNN Images via NASA Goddard Rapid Response Team , NASA/NRL and Weather Underground

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Typhoon Lionrock drenches Japan, leaving at least 10 dead

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