HomeKit support finally coming to the UK thanks to overdue launch
Honeywell may have had an Apple HomeKit thermostat in available in the US (the Lyric Round), but support in the UK has been rather lacking. Now, with the launch of the Lyric T6 in the UK, Honeywell finally has a HomeKit product for us to play with.
The Lyric T6 joins the company's growing range of smart thermostats. It's a product that's designed to replace your existing thermostat, giving you control for your entire house; if you want to control your heating room-by-room, you'll need the more powerful (and more expensive) Evohome.
HomeKit support is the most exciting part of the T6, letting you control the thermostat simply by speaking to Siri. If you've got an Apple TV, you can even use voice commands when you're away from home, with the media player acting as a bridge.
In the demo that I saw, HomeKit instantly converted the command to turn up the heating to the thermostat.
With the launch of iOS 10 and Apple's Home app, the Lyric T6 can integrate into your scenes, too. For example, you can have lights turning on and the heating turning up when you arrive home.
Honeywell has confirmed to me that both IFTTT and Amazon Echo (Alexa) support are due to be launched in the coming weeks, matching the control provided by Evohome. Control is also available via Honeywell's dedicated Lyric app. It's got a simple interface, with a dial control letting you quickly set a temperature. I think it's neater than the newer Evohome app, which makes adjusting the temperature a bit of a faff.
Honeywell has baked some clever options into the app, too. I like the holiday mode, which will turn your heating off on a specified date, and then back on on another date. Geofencing is also built in, with the Lyric T6 able to keep track of all family members via their phones, so the heating will only turn off when the last person leaves home. Neatly, you can manually set the geofence radius so that the Lyric T6 only turns on and off when you want it to.
Heating control can also be done directly from the touch-screen thermostat, too. Honeywell has said that it designed the unit to be 'classic and timeless'. It means that the thermostat is, perhaps, a little plain by today's standards, but it's less likely to age and look out of place as with some smart models. In either case, the Lyric T6 is unobtrusive and will sit neatly in any home.
Honeywell is selling two versions of the Lyric. First, is the regular T6, which connects via wires to the boiler receiver box. This option is best for people that already have a wired thermostat in place. The other option is the T6R, which is independently powered and communicates wirelessly with the boiler receiver box. Neither version supports stored hot water systems, and they're for central heating only. The T6 costs £179 and the T6R costs £200, and you'll need to pay for installation separately.