Okay full disclosure, I have had the Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector sitting around new in the box for at least a year and have never really been motivated to set it up but recent developments in the SmartThings community lead to a SmartApp which integrated the sensor, so I figured let’s give it a shot. Read through my review to see my thoughts on installation, the Lyric App and integration with SmartThings.
According to Honeywell “The Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector is an early warning system that notifies you on your smartphone when a leak is detected, or the temperature drops below a temperature of your choice. By catching it early, you may be able to avoid expensive repairs and loss of treasured items.” So, we get it it’s a leak sensor much like the many others on the market but slightly more expensive. The Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector connects to Wi-Fi not Zwave or ZigBee like we might be used to with other sensors. This means that it comes with some baggage…Namely an app and an account. Not really a big deal but who wants another Home Automation App? I certainly do not so it sat unused for a while until finally some integration with other systems in the Form of a SmartApp inside of SmartThings.
When you purchase a Honeywell Lyric Leak and Freeze Detector you get:
- One Leak Freeze Sensor
- Three AA Batteries
- Mounting Hardware
- Optional Cable Sensor
Not much of a surprise here except for the Optional Cable Sensor, this is a 4-ft. cable that plugs into the sensor body and extends the coverage area. In my use case I have the sensor on the floor in front of my hot water heater and the cable wrapped around the base of the water heater covering all sides. If someone wanted too, they could add on multiple cables to achieve a total coverage area of 500-ft.! This is a great addition to the sensor and really the only reason I was excited to use the sensor. I think this sensor cable should be something that all leak sensor manufacturers should include even if only an add on option because one of the biggest issues with leak sensors is they can only monitor for a leak in one area this sensor cables allows you to cover a much greater area. Sure, you can use some common sense with the placement of sensors to cover the most logical places a leak would start but why not take the guess work out completely which this cable does.
Setup through the Lyric App was straight forward, like many other Wi-Fi devices when it is first powered up it broadcasts it own SSID which you connect to with your mobile device and then give it your Wi-Fi credentials. What I did not like about the setup however was in the account creation there was an extra step of having to go to my email to verify my email address before being able to log in. I know that is not a big deal and is something we are commonly used to when signing up for accounts online but is not something that should be in an app forcing me to leave the app only to come back and continue.
Because of some previous experience with a Honeywell App for a Connected thermostat I did not have high hopes for what this app would look like. I remember commenting once that it looked like the UI for the thermostat app had been designed by a 5-year-old and had been programmed by a college drop out. Well I quickly saw that this was not the case with the Lyric App, it was slick and button presses made sense which leads me to ask…why the big difference in apps from the same company? Anyways in the Lyric App you get a nice easy to view screen with plenty or relevant information presented in a nice pretty package. Now I used the Lyric App once for setup and a second time to take some screenshots for this review, other than that I will not be using it as I want everything inside of SmartThings, but it is nice to know that the app is worth using. It might even make me install a Lyric Thermostat (temporarily because I love my ecobee4) to see what that interface looks like.
Inside of SmartThings the integration is much the same as any other leak sensor, so I was plenty familiar with that. One concern I had was latency caused by this people an API integration and not connected directly to SmartThings. Well I can say where the Lyric App left something to be desired, SmartThings picked up the slack, I got leak notifications faster in SmartThings than through the Lyric App!
Overall this is a pretty sold sensor although it does come with a big price tag. Now that it can be integrated with SmartThings I would recommend it to someone and I absolutely love the optional extension cables and the ability to add more on. This lends itself to a more DIY approach by taking some guesswork out of placement. In a nutshell its is a good sensor although in my opinion overpriced. As I am thinking about this is one thing that I forgot to mention is that it also has a humidity sensor in it which seems very accurate which is nice because other devices I have used with humidity sensor in them have been inaccurate.
Anyone else using this sensor either on its own or inside of SmartThings? Tell me what you think in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.