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Expecting more from the Honeywell Lyric Round
Who doesn’t want to travel and yet maintain control of your home? Advances in technology have offered opportunities for the computer and cell phone industries to develop technology that can be controlled remotely. The problem is that most computer technicians are not normal people and have no idea what normal people need
By Ray Hanania
The idea that technology has grown so much over the years that you can control your entire life from remote locations and long distances sounds great, but it doesn’t always work.
One of the constant problems is the inability of the technicians who design the products to actually be human. What I mean is, these technicians with the “brilliant minds” don’t often live the way normal people live. Instead, they live vicariously through literature, perception and the drive to make money.
So, they produce products that sound great to them, and satisfy their limited needs. But the products they make fail across the board when normal, everyday people try to use them.
Honeywell, a company with a long history of designing products for consumers, has really struck out on a great idea that they couldn’t master. It’s the Lyric Round, a home wall thermostat that you supposedly can control from your cell phone using one of their Apps.
On the one hand, the remote control does work. But the downfall of the system is that apparently, most of Honeywell’s technicians don’t own normal homes with normal electrical designs.
Instead of making the Honeywell Lyric Round work with a typical homes electrical system, you have to use a AAA Battery. Not just any AAA Battery, but a “Lithium Battery” which is a little more powerful but is much harder to find.
You won’t find it at Walmart, Costco, Marianos or Jewel Osco, where normal people shop. But you might find it at the stores that sell this failed product like Menards, Lowes and Home Depot.
Without the battery, it doesn’t work. But the batteries are expensive and they don’t last longer than a few weeks, so you are constantly popping the Lyric Round open, pulling off the hole cover and unit from the wall, once you have installed it to replace your old analogue thermostat that worker perfectly fine.
The problem is that most homes don’t have the one electrical wire that systems need to power units like the Lyric Round. That’s why they designed it with a battery.
The Lyric Round costs $199, plus tax. But during the year, you will probably spend about $75 to purchase replacement batteries that last only a few weeks.
Again, the reason they put the battery in the system is because they know that the system won’t work on most homes because the typical thermostat lacks a C-Wire.
There is a Y wire. There is a G, R and W-wire.
But, no C-wire. And that lack of a C-Wire creates a problem for 90 percent of homeowners who own homes that weren’t built in the aftermath of the release of the iPhone 4!
If you go online, you can read a lot of reviews complaining about the Lyric Round, the absence of a C-Wire and other problems like the only way to access your Lyric Round is using a cell phone.
Hey, people. Believe it or not, not everyone has a cell phone. And, not everyone has room or space on their cell phone to download another App.
But why would a Honeywell technician or designer care about the problems average people will have with their products when places like Best Buy (really call Best Buy “Worst Buy” because there is nothing “Best” at all about “Best Buy.” Best Buy wants you to buy the junk because they profit quickly off of it and then move on to something else.
So when Best Buy puts their arm around a product, you have to take pause and really look closely.
But that’s why I waste money on crappy products so you don’t have to waste your hard earned money.
Honeywell really went out of style generations ago. The Lyric Round pretty much explains why.
I removed the Lyric Round this morning to save on the multiple Lithium batteries I have to buy every month to keep it working. And I replaced it with a Nest Learning Thermostat. It was easy to install (although the screw locations for the backplate that goes on the wall is different. But I managed to secure it to the wall to cover the old spot where the dysfunctional Lyric sat worthlessly.)
The Nest Learning was easy to install. It doesn’t require batteries or a C-Wire. THANK GOD!!!!! It manages to get power from the existing 4 wire system that most homes have.
It’s a nice design and easy to operate, although I really did like the Lyric App which offered easier temperature controls. I’ll get used to the Nest App though. It’s not intuitive. Once you connect the Nest to WiFi and download the App and then create an account, you have to get a “key” and input into the App.
Unfortunately the literature that comes with the App is pretty worthless and you have to research the shit out of it online before you learn how to get the “key” and then input it into the App to make some of the features that should be displayed automatically finally appear.
Who thinks up this stuff? Stupid computer geeks who don’t know anything about normal people!
But at least I don’t have to worry about more hassles with the Lyric from Honeywell. That was a HUGE disappointment, although in fairness, they were quick to contact me to offer help. By then, though, I didn’t need help. I needed solutions, and Lyric just can’t provide that.
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Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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