Smart Weather Stations – What, Why, & Which Ones To Buy
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Smart WiFi weather stations provide more accurate weather data and forecasting than generalized regional forecasts. This can help in a variety of ways, which include planning outdoor activities, gardening, and home maintenance.
Historically, however, there were few models to choose from and those available were quite expensive. Thankfully, advances in technology have now made smart weather stations accessible to anyone!
Smart home automation has led to the availability of sophisticated home weather sensors at reasonable prices. If you are interested in weather trends and forecasts, or you just want to level up your smart home, a smart Wi-Fi weather station may be worth looking into.
In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about these automated weather stations – “the what, why and which ones to buy…”
What Is A Smart WiFi Weather Station?
A Smart Weather Station is a device that collects weather-related data in a particular location, such as your home or business, and transmits that data wirelessly to a mobile app or web-based application.
These weather stations include sensors that typically measure variables such as temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction and precipitation. Some of these weather stations can correlate with other regional and national weather data to accurately provide a local weather forecast, as well.
Accompanying smart apps allow you to access your home weather station, not only from your home but virtually anywhere in the world.
Benefits Of A Smart Weather Station
Some people may question why a smart weather station is even needed for your home at all. Especially when you likely have a weather app in your pocket. In this section, we’ll show how you can actually benefit from owning a weather station and why you might want one.
- More accurate weather data. Since your weather station is reading weather conditions in your own backyard, it can provide more accurate local weather.
- Real-time weather alerts. You can usually program your weather station to alert you when certain weather conditions arise.
- Easy to read weather data. You do not need to be a weather expert to interpret the data and predict the coming weather. Smart technology does that for you.
- Plan your gardening. Use the data from your weather station to plan your gardening operations, such as seed planting, watering schedules, and protecting delicate plants from predicted harsh weather conditions.
- Manage your home’s internal heating and cooling system. Use the weather station’s data and triggers to control your home’s internal environment and automate your home comfort levels.
- Contribute to regional weather forecasts. You can oftentimes configure your smart weather station to share its data with local weather centers to provide more accurate weather data for your entire region. Some people find this to be a fulfilling hobby.
- An educational tool for your child. Many children tend to start finding weather reports and extreme weather events interesting at a certain age. For my son, it was at about 7 years old. This is a great time to encourage their interest in something educational. Who knows, maybe they’ll be a meteorologist one day!
- Finish off your smart home. If you are creating a fully integrated smart home environment, a Wi-Fi weather station is an awesome addition.
Whatever your reason for purchasing a smart weather station, they are just a really cool tool to have. If you’re a weather nerd, you might even say they’re a great toy!
What is an Echo Show? Read all about it here…
What Are The Best Smart Weather Stations?
We’ve meticulously reviewed the best options for smart WiFi weather monitoring systems and it all came down to 4 models. Read on for detailed descriptions and comparisons.
|Top Top||Ambient Weather WS-5000 Ultrasonic Smart Weather Station||PrimeEligible||View On Amazon|
|Top||AcuRite Atlas Professional Weather Station||PrimeEligible||View On Amazon|
|Top||Ambient Weather WS-2000 Smart Weather Station||PrimeEligible||View On Amazon|
|Top||Netatmo Weather Station||PrimeEligible||View On Amazon|
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:
Netatmo Weather Station
The Netatmo Weather Station is a very popular choice of Wi-Fi weather station with a reputation for being reliable, easy to set up, and user-friendly.
Netatmo is a French-based company that specializes in developing smart home equipment and writing intuitive software and interfaces for these devices. While they manufacture many other devices, they are best known in the states for their smart Wi-Fi weather station.
Netatmo Weather Station Features
- Indoor and outdoor environmental data. The weather station monitors the indoor and outdoor temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and air quality. The air quality information may be important if anyone in your family suffers from respiratory issues such as allergies and asthma.
- Remote weather data access. You can easily monitor the weather at your home even if you are not at home. You can receive the data remotely on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- Analyze historical data. The smart weather station records data which can be accessed to monitor weather trends via a graphical representation or if you want to know what the weather was like at home while you were away for a time.
- Real-time weather condition alerts. Alert triggers can be customized for both indoor and outdoor conditions, with notifications sent to your smartphone. Ventilation alerts will inform you when the air in your home is becoming stale, and you need to air out your home.
- Accurate weather forecasts. The weather station provides a 7-day weather forecast so that you stay prepared.
- Voice controls. The weather station is compatible with Alexa and with Apple’s Siri via the Apple HomeKit.
Reasons To Buy The Netatmo Weather Station
- Price point. The Netatmo weather station is very affordable, especially for the basic version.
- Easy setup. The weather station is very user-friendly and has a simple setup process.
- Integration with smart home systems. Netatmo supports both Alex and Siri, allowing you to use voice commands to inquire about things like temperature readings. You can also create smart home automation with the use of Apple’s HomeKit.
- No specialized mounting is required. The units stand on any stable, flat surface, so there is no need for a lengthy installation process.
Reasons To Avoid The Netatmo Weather Station
- Very basic. If you are looking for a comprehensive smart weather station for your home, the Netatmo may not have enough sensors and data collection capabilities to satisfy your needs. A more all-encompassing weather station may be more appropriate if you are looking for more extensive data.
- More purchases may be required. You’ll actually have to purchase additional instruments to expand the weather station for more complete information. The rain gauge and anemometer (for wind direction and speed) aren’t included with the basic weather station.
The Netatmo is a great entry-level smart weather station, or if you are looking for basic weather data to include in your smart home system. The price makes this WiFi weather station affordable for most people.
Ambient Weather WS-5000 Ultrasonic Smart Weather Station
Ambient Weather is a US-based company that has been producing high-quality home weather stations for more than 20 years. Their most impressive is the Ambient Weather WS-5000. It’s arguably the most advanced consumer-grade home weather station currently on the market.
With the Ambient Weather WS-5000, you’re getting a professional-grade smart weather station with a comprehensive array of high-quality WiFi-enabled sensors. The features and components in the WS-5000 are advanced enough to provide comprehensive weather data and forecasting for the farming, aviation, or just your run-of-the-mill smart home.
Ambient Weather WS-5000 Features
- Full-function weather station. The WS-5000 WiFi is a complete weather station with no other add-ons required. The kit includes an ultrasonic sensor array to collect wind data, an electronic rain gauge, an indoor and outdoor thermo-hygrometer-barometer, and a full-color display.
- Durability. The weather station sensory array has no moving parts, including the wind data sensors. This means less to go wrong and lower maintenance costs.
- Real-time updates. The sensors monitor and update the weather conditions every 5 seconds, providing accurate real-time data.
- Smart home integration. The WS-5000 is compatible with smart home systems, including Google Home, Alexa, and IFTTT.
- WiFi connectivity. The smart weather station connects to the internet via your WiFi network to provide remote access and to collect weather data from other weather services.
- Ambient Weather community. Join the Ambient Weather community and view weather data from other weather station stations worldwide.
Reasons To Buy The Ambient Weather WS-5000
- Solar power. The outdoor wind sensor and thermo-hygrometer are solar-powered, so there is no need to constantly change batteries in the unit.
- No Moving parts. Without the need for bulky moving parts, you’ll reduce the likelihood of something breaking or needing maintenance.
- Light sensor. The unit measures the UV index and warns when levels are dangerously high. It also measures local sunrise and sunset times.
- Long-range WiFi connectivity. This unit has a longer WiFi range than many of its competitors on the market. It has a line of sight range of 1000 feet but can communicate over 300 feet in most other conditions.
- Records indoor and outdoor environments. The WS-5000 comes with indoor and outdoor sensors, but the weather station supports up to 8 additional indoor temperature, humidity, and air pressure sensors which you can purchase separately. These additional sensors provide environmental monitoring for individual spaces in your home.
- Weather network integration. Your station can connect to Weather Underground, WeatherCloud and PWSWeather to share and receive data for better forecasting.
Reasons To Avoid The Ambient Weather WS-5000
- Price. The WS-5000 is not an inexpensive home weather station, which may discourage some homeowners, but the functionality offered by this weather station is worth the higher cost.
- Too much information. The Ambient Weather WS-5000 may offer more weather data than you need. If you are looking for a simpler smart weather station to integrate into your home, this unit is not for you.
- Requires special mounting. The WS-5000 requires specialized mounting fixtures, which come with the kit but require more work to install than some other systems.
From the perspective of someone interested in both smart home technology and weather, this unit makes a lot of sense. The professional-grade equipment provides durability, reliability, and accuracy with the added support of both Google Home and Alexa makes it a complete package.
AcuRite Atlas Smart Weather Station
AcuRite is another US-based smart weather station manufacturer with a range of weather station models for various levels of weather monitoring and connectivity.
The AcuRite Atlas Smart Weather Station is their most impressive model, with 7 total built-in sensors. The Atlas is also compatible with both Google Home and Alexa.
AcuRite Smart Weather Station Features
- Full array of sensor technology. The AcuRite Atlas provides you with accurate and real-time temperature, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, UV index, light intensity, barometric pressure, and rainfall totals.
- Includes HD Display. The high-definition display offers a clear and easy-to-read view of your weather data from any angle. And with the optional battery backup, you can rest easy knowing your data and settings are safe in the event of a power outage.
- Personalized Weather Forecasts. AcuRite’s patented self-calibrating technology uses atmospheric pressure data from your location to give you hyperlocal weather forecasts up to 12 hours in advance.
- Integrates with the Weather Underground Community. Connect easily to the Weather Underground community, allowing you to share your unique weather data with over 250,000 personal weather stations across the world.
Reasons To Buy The AcuRite Atlas
- Price. The AcuRite smart weather station is competitively priced as an entry-level home weather station. If you are looking for a reasonably priced system with all the bells and whistles, this may be a good choice.
- Accurate temperature readings. The solar-powered aspirated fan provides highly accurate air temperature recordings.
- Self-calibrates. The weather station self-calibrates according to your location and altitude. The unit can, in some cases, take up to 14 days to self-calibrate but once complete, the readings are very accurate.
Reasons To Avoid The AcuRite Atlas
- Questionable durability. The outdoor unit may not be as durable as, for instance, the Ambient weather stations.
- Limited WiFi range. The maximum WiFi range is 330 feet, and obstacles such as walls and trees will limit this range to a lower effective distance.
Ambient Weather WS-2000 Smart Weather Station
Another amazing option from Ambient Weather is the WS-2000. This automated weather station is a great choice if you’d like to avoid the steeper price tag of the WS-5000.
Your sacrifices might be minimal, depending on how you look at it. You’d be giving up WS-5000’s ultrasonic sensor array, for a bulkier unit that may be slightly less accurate with more moving parts. Your rain collection cup is also significantly smaller and your RF range is shorter with the WS-2000.
Ambient Weather WS-2000 Features
- TFT full-color monitor. Allows you to monitor your home’s indoor and outdoor weather conditions on a clear, well-laid-out display.
- Wireless integrated sensor array. The wireless integrated sensor array on the WS-2000 measures wind speed, wind direction, temperature, humidity, rainfall, UV index, and solar radiation.
- Imperial and metric unit support. Switch between imperial units and metric units of measure, depending on your preference.
- Smart home system integration. Integrates with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT for other 3rd party system integration.
- Enhanced WiFi connectivity. Connect to regional and global online weather communities to view share and view weather data from your community, region, or globally.
Reasons To Buy The Ambient Weather WS-2000
Most of the reasons to buy the Ambient Weather WS-2000 are similar to the WS-5000, but a few other nuances of this system set it apart.
- Value for money. The WS-2000 is not much higher priced than many other entry-level smart weather stations, but the quality and level of monitoring are exceptional for the price.
- Customization. Up to 8 additional thermo-hygrometer and air, 2 air-quality sensors, 1 lightning detector, 1 soil moisture detector, and a leak detector.
- Supports encrypted WiFi communication. It helps to maintain security on your home WiFi network.
- Replacement parts are readily available. Buy your spare parts directly from Ambient Weather. Their documentation and product support is good, and most parts can be replaced by the average user.
Reasons Not To Buy The Ambient Weather WS-2000
The reasons not to buy the WS-2000 are more irritations than reasons not to buy the WS-2000 weather station.
- RF distance – Your line of site range on this unit is about 330 feet under perfect conditions with zero obstructions. You’ll likely need to keep the station within about 100 ft of your display.
- Bulky parts – When compared to the WS-5000, there are more moving parts with more that can go wrong. Maintenance and repairs will, therefore, be more common. This is especially true in areas with extreme weather.
What are the best Alexa-compatible weather stations?
The Netatmo, Ambient WS-2000, Ambient WS-5000, and AcuRite Iris are all compatible with Alexa. While Netatmo may have a more seamless integration, the Ambient Weather stations are far superior.
What are the best Google Home weather stations?
As far as Google Home weather stations go, the AcuRite Iris, Ambient WS-2000 and Ambient WS-5000 all have Google integration. The Netatmo smart weather station does not support Google Home.
Are there any Apple Homekit-compatible weather stations?
There are 2 Homekit weather stations to choose from, that are worth mentioning. One is the Netatmo and the second is the Eve Weather. The Eve offers a more seamless integration, but Netatmo has a few more features.
Helpful Resources For the Weather Enthusiast
Smart weather stations are amazing tools for monitoring conditions with hyperlocal accuracy. Whether for utility or hobby, your purchase should hopefully be more well-informed with this article.
Personally, I would go Ambient all the way. My favorite weather station is the Ambient WS-5000, but I wouldn’t hesitate to opt for the WS-2000 to save a little money.
Take the next step in smart home upgrades and install your own home smart weather station!