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Honeywell's Lyric System Connects Nearly Every Part of Your Home

LAS VEGAS—Earlier this year, Honeywell challenged Nest head-on with its Lyric connected thermostat. But the company knows that a smart home is much more than a thermostat and a few light bulbs you can control with your smartphone. At CES 2015, Honeywell showed off a slew of new smart home sensors and a smart controller featuring voice commands, giving you more options than you’ll ever need to make your home smart.

Starting with the Lyric thermostat, Honeywell is introducing a number of new devices, from door locks to smoke detectors to light bulbs, to the Lyric family. Managing them all is the new Lyric smart controller, a rectangular touchscreen device that you can put anywhere in your house. From it, you can control any connected device either manually or with voice commands. But more importantly, the smart controller lets you program “smart actions,” or a series of events that you want to happen all at once.

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Honeywell showed me this feature at CES 2015 and it’s quite remarkable. Saying “Hello Lyric, bedtime,” triggered the system to turn on the alarm system, turn off the lights, lock the door and bring the temperature down a few degrees all at once. I was impressed not only with the number of simultaneous actions it could complete, but also with how responsive Lyric was. I didn’t have to scream the command for Lyric to hear me, even on the noisy show floor.

Lyric also has a companion smartphone app you can use to control the system, but you won't have access to voice commands.

Over the course of 2015, Honeywell will release different parts of the Lyric system. The company will also have professional installers guide prospective buyers through the process of choosing which pieces and sensors they want or need. According to Honeywell, a team of experts is necessary for a system this comprehensive, especially since over time, Lyric will only continue to grow and expand its definition of what "smart home" really means. 

Valentina Palladino is a senior writer for Tom's Guide. Follow her at @valentinalucia. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide and on Facebook.