We always like to get LUX CEO Rob Munin’s perspective on the industry. He works with so many partners, attends industry events and participates on great industry tradeshow panels. We had the opportunity to sit down to speak with him about his view of the thermostat market and what the future holds for HVAC.
- What current trends are you seeing in the thermostat market?
The thermostat market continues to evolve with more choices in the connected or Wi-Fi segment of the business from trusted names in HVAC. This is good news for contractors as they start to rely on longstanding names like LUX and other traditional thermostat companies for a broad range of products.
- Have these trends been changing from previous years? How so?
It’s all about connectedness right now. Consumers are inundated with connected home messages from asking Amazon Alexa about the weather to controlling their home comfort from their smart phone. Putting control into the consumer’s hand is at the forefront for many of today’s manufacturers. Those manufacturers that can do that in a simple, easy-to-use way will win the race. The thermostat market is taking a leadership role in delivering feature-full functionality in product solutions that are easy to install for the contractor and easy to use and monitor by the homeowner.
- How should wholesalers view these current trends?
The push for a connected home provides a great opportunity for wholesalers. The opportunity is training their customers – when the contractor is comfortable with connected products, the selling to end users becomes easy. Contractors need to be up to speed on products in the market, how they work, how to install them and, most importantly, how to sell them.
Manufacturers who partner with wholesalers to ensure their staff and customers are trained in their products are the key to success. At LUX, we have NATE certified trainers on our team and a course for further education. LUX also offers a deep team of support from technicians through product experts and engineers who are all accessible to support customers.
- What do you see happening in the thermostat market over the next 5 years?
Similarly, to what the past few years have brought, we will continue to see smart home connectivity continuing to explode. What we may see are less new entrants into the category of comfort controls and more of a refinement and evolution in the technology from the brands that have become widely known in the space. The ability to deliver more holistic information to users on savings and service along with more seamless integrations with evolving automation hubs; the continuation of making life easier and more comfortable are the things we’ll be seeing.
What does this mean for thermostat companies? It’s about innovation, but we’ll also need to keep our eye on our history of delivering quality, reliable home controls. Even with the increase in functionality and the maze of in-home connections, the thermostat still needs to meet its primary purpose – to keep a home’s comfort in check. At LUX, we are committed to offering a broad range of products that can address the innovation need of the early adopter and still serve the “not quite there yet” end user.
- What is one of your favorite LUX products?
KONO Smart features patent-pending interchangeable decorative face plate accessories in trend-setting home décor finishes to ensure a perfect look in any project. The intuitive control works with its easy grip-turn-and-push knob to make it a breeze to control. Lastly, the LUX Home and Away Aware™ feature automatically adjusts the temperature to a preset preference when leaving or entering the custom set Radius on the LUX mobile app. This feature also ensures effortless energy savings.
KONO Smart works with most residential HVAC systems and comes with the LUX Power Bridge for virtually universal power options. The KONO smart offers a standard product finish with a black base and Jet-Black faceplate and is Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa compatible. KONO Smart will be available for the summer cooling season.
In addition, LUX offers the LUX/GEO. With its sleek design, the LUX/GEO is the only WiFi thermostat that can be installed with true-battery power and dual mounting positions – horizontal or vertical. It boasts the largest temperature digits and the control wheel interface and free Android/ iOS App offer intuitive functionality both online and at the device. The GEO can be powered by system power C-wire, micro USB plug or AA lithium batteries. The GEO sets up quickly on any home WiFi system but it can easily be used without a WiFi connection.