The Lux TX500U is my favorite all-around option for an affordable programmable thermostat, one that I would highly recommend. Available for $30 on Amazon, Home Depot and elsewhere, the TX500U is slightly pricier than the other basic models I've tested. But this one is worth the extra 5 bucks.
Its main display features up and down arrow buttons and a hold button, with everything else tucked behind a plastic covering that folds down with ease. The covering is pretty flimsy, and it popped off once when I wanted to make some adjustments t0 the program settings.
It does keep the thermostat looking pleasantly minimal, though.
The TX500U also features a Next button. This may not seem like a big deal, but it made it much easier to figure out how to create programs. Most of the models I've tested in this price range double up on buttons so that a Program button also acts as a Next button. Not so with the TX500U.
It also has a strong blue backlight that makes it much easier to read the display -- and the display itself shows both the ambient and the target temperature at the same time. It even labels them Room and Set so you can easily distinguish between the two. That means there's no switching back and forth between the current ambient temperature and other information as with the Emerson 1F78-151 and the White-Rodgers P200.
Definitely consider the Lux TX500U for a slightly modern take on a basic programmable 5-2 thermostat. It looks nice, it works well and it's pretty simple to use.
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|