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Of the five affordable programmable thermostats I've reviewed to date, Emerson's $43 1F78-151 -- sold on Amazon for $26 -- is the least interesting. Sure, it will dutifully adjust the temperature for you four times a day, but it really doesn't have much else going for it, and that makes it hard to recommend for purchase over most of its competitors.
To begin, the 1F78-151 doesn't come with a backlight like the Lux TX500U, the Hunter 44157, the White-Rodgers P200 and the Honeywell RTHL2310B. Of course, not having a "nightlight" feature isn't exactly a deal-breaker at this price range, but it would definitely make the small display easier to read -- especially in low-light situations.
This thermostat also feels cheaply made from its white plastic casing to its buttons and its display. I know, all of these thermostats cost at or under $30, so what should I expect? But some of these competitors really do stand out by comparison, especially the streamlined, backlit Lux TX500U.
To appear more minimal, many manufacturers attach a plastic covering to their thermostats. That way, you can flip open the covering when you need to access certain buttons and can otherwise keep them covered. Instead, Emerson's 1F78-151 displays everything up front in a way that looks cluttered.
Its default is also to flash the time and the current ambient temperature reading, something I find slightly annoying. I would much rather the thermostat display stay fixed and not alternate between different types of information. The Emerson 1F78-151 is decent, but I would consider the Lux TX500U or the Honeywell RTHL2310B instead.
Note: This thermostat is compatible with basic heating and cooling systems; click here for more details. If you have questions about installation, consult a professional.
|Honeywell RTHL2310B||Hunter 44157||Emerson 1F78-151||White-Rodgers P200||Lux TX500U|
|Price||MSRP: $25 Lowe's: $24.98||MSRP: $25 Amazon: $20.59||MSRP: $43 Amazon: $26||MSRP: $50 Amazon: $23.77||MSRP: $30 Amazon/Home Depot: $30|
|Batteries||Yes, two AAA||Yes, two AA||Yes, two AAA||Yes, two AA||Yes, two AA|
|Backlight||Yes, green||Yes, blue||No||Yes, green||Yes, blue|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||4.75 x 3.4 x 1 inches||8 x 6 x 1.6 inches||6.2 x 4.2 x 1.8 inches||6.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 inches||5.4 x 3.4 x 1.1 inches|
|Programmable||Yes, 5-2||Yes, 5-2||Yes, 5-2||Yes, 5-1-1||Yes, 5-2|