Today we are going to review the Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi smart weather station. In this review, we will dissect exactly why it’s ascended to become one of the best-selling weather stations on Amazon.
Ambient Weather has cemented themselves as one of the leading weather device retailers on the web. While you can find a host of brand-name stations for sale through their website, the company also sells its own line of weather instruments on Amazon.
Ambient Weather is most notably renowned for consistently finding the perfect balance between features and affordability within their lineup of weather stations. Their latest model, the WS-2902C, lives up to those same expectations.
While we’re still partial to the Davis Vantage Pro2 or the Vantage Vue for near professional-grade accuracy, The WS-2902C is our top pick under the Value Weather Station category—and the sheer number of features at this price point has made it our Editor’s top recommendation overall.
We were pleasantly surprised to see the weather station do so well in terms of accuracy when compared to the Davis stations (arguably the gold standard in personal weather stations). Ambient’s decision to include features like UV and Solar data (something you’re paying extra for on the top-of-the-line Vantage Pro2) and user-friendly internet connectivity via WiFi makes this hard to say no to.
It measures all the weather data most of us would ever need—inside and outside temperature and humidity, barometric pressure, rainfall, wind speed and direction, plus UV and solar radiation. Better yet, it’s the only weather station we’ve found that has a useful Alexa/Google Assistant integration, and you can even use IFTTT to trigger actions on other smart devices based on the measurements from the sensors.
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Installation of the station couldn’t be any easier, as it's an all-in-one sensor suite and most of it comes pre-assembled. Even if you’re mechanically troubled, you should have no problem putting this together. There are very few parts to attach—just the anemometer, wind vane, and the funnel for the rain gauge, and then mounting it on top of a pole on your home or in your backyard. That’s it.
Remember to follow our siting instructions when installing your station. You can see below we have the unit installed on a temporary mount just for this review. We normally recommend using the Ambient Weather EZ-30-12 stable mounting kit to get the most accurate readings from your sensor.
Other than a few adjustments and removal of protective stickers, you’ll have this done in less than an hour. This just leaves you to set up the desktop console, which is equally as easy.
One thing that makes all this possible is the excellent directions. The station is accompanied by one of the most readable and easily understandable weather station manuals I’ve seen. After setting up many of these, I can tell you at times it can be a pain. Poorly written manuals make it worse, but that’s not the case with this model.
I was pleasantly surprised to see this model hold up so well against the Vantage Vue, however, expect a little more variability in terms of accuracy. But, keep in mind that the WS-2902C retails for approximately half the price of the Vantage Vue. Temperature and humidity readings were ever so slightly off from the Vantage Vue, and winds were reasonably accurate. However, its response to barometric pressure readings didn’t seem as precise. Rainfall readings also seemed to vary further from our Vantage Vue station and true conditions.
At this price point, these accuracy variations from the higher-end stations should be expected. Don’t think our less than stellar accuracy reviews mean the station isn’t a worthy option—it is one of the most accurate value priced weather stations we’ve tested so far, period.
Plus those looking for accuracy are going to be willing to pay more anyway, whereas the vast majority of consumers won’t—or frankly don’t need to.
The unit sends updates to the Internet every 60 seconds, with a 16 second refresh time to the console. The outdoor sensor has a 330ft wireless range to the console and is powered by solar panels that charge a supercapacitor for operation throughout the day with batteries used as a back-up so you receive accurate measurements 24/7.
Internet connectivity is where this weather station shines, and all but wipes the floor with the competition. Of course, you’ll get the connectivity with Weather Underground, Weather Bug, and Weather Cloud, but that’s to be expected of any weather station these days. This model does plenty more than that.
Ambient Weather has also created their own cloud reporting platform called the Ambient Weather Network. Davis does something like this. However, it’s limited to a closed system and reporting to Weather Underground and the National Weather Service’s CWOP program. Ambient takes it a step further.
With the Ambient Weather Network, you’ll be able to view real-time and historical data from your computer, smartphone or tablet at any time. You can create customizable alerts and integrate your weather station with IFTTT to control external devices like sprinklers and lights. You can also use Amazon Alexa and Google Home to ask about current conditions, something that as far as we know, only the Netamo Weather Station can do, but in a limited fashion.
In 2020 Ambient Weather has upgraded the best-selling WS-2902A. The WS-2902B update added additional sensor support, and now the WS-2902C has a new, user-friendly layout on the display console, which makes the wind information easier to read. The station now supports a combination of up to eight WH31 thermo-hygrometer sensors, and WH31P probed thermometers. One indoor and one outdoor PM2.5 air quality sensor can also be added to the system. However, the readings from these additional sensors do not display on the console. The console instead acts as a hub to connect the sensors and display the data on AmbientWeather.net. If you want to add additional sensors to your station and have the sensor readings show up directly on the console, look at our premium recommendation—the Ambient Weather WS-2000.
Ambient Weather WS-2902C vs. the WS-2000
You might be wondering what the difference between the WS-2902C and the WS-2000 weather station is as they look very similar. Both models do have the same sensor array, but some upgrades make the more expensive WS-2000 worth the extra price.
Most notably, the WS-2000 has a premium full-color HD TFT display with much better viewing angles than the color film LCD of the WS-2902C. Setting up the WS-2000 with WiFi is more straightforward as the settings are entered on the console, rather than an app.
The WS-2000 can be upgraded to include more sensor types compared to the WS-2902C. The WS-2000 supports a combination of up to 8 additional thermo-hygrometer sensors, probed thermometers, and soil moisture sensors. Four leak detectors, a lightning detector, and indoor/outdoor PM2.5 sensors can also be added to the WS-2000 system. The data from these sensors will show up directly on the console and the Ambient Weather cloud platform. Unlike, the WS-2902C where the additional sensors don’t have a read-out on the console.
Lastly, the WS-2902C has the indoor thermo-hygrometer-barometer built into the display console, whereas the WS-2000 has a separate sensor, so you have more options for placement.
What We Really Liked
We are big fans of the WS-2902C’s connectivity options. With smart homes all the rage, it’s becoming ever more important for this functionality to be present in devices where the data they collect could be potentially useful. Weather data can be used in a variety of smart devices, whether they be thermostats, sprinklers, blinds, switches, and so forth.
We’re also impressed with the construction—at this price point, the instrument housings on other stations can sometimes feel cheap. We didn’t get that impression with this weather station.
Something that we haven’t mentioned so far in this review that really impressed us is the after-sales support and warranty from Ambient Weather. We didn’t run into any issues ourselves, but we’ve heard from other customers that have had some minor problems, and they’ve been more than satisfied with the response time and the level of support they’ve received. In fact, the CEO, Ed, has frequently been known to take care of any support requests personally.
There is also a very active Ambient Weather user group on Facebook where owners of Ambient Weather products share photos of their setup, troubleshoot any issues together and offer advice to new weather station owners. This model also comes with a 1-year warranty for complete peace of mind.
What We Didn’t Like
There isn’t much not to like about this package, as the updated WS-2902C weather station revision has addressed our previous concerns at the lack of expandability options with the capability to now connect additional sensors.
If we had to list any negatives, it would be the limited viewing angle on the display console. It can also be hard to read if direct sunlight hits the console. You’ll need to spend a little bit of time to find the perfect position for the display to view the read-out clearly.
The viewing angle on the display console might worry some users. However, with the connectivity to Weather Underground and Ambient Weather Network, you’ll find yourself using your smartphone to view the data most of the time anyway.
Are There Better Alternatives?
At this price point? No. The WS-2902C's feature list blows all the other value weather stations on the market out of the water and competes head-on with some of the professional weather stations. If you’re willing to spend a little bit more, our premium recommendation is the WS-2000 from Ambient Weather. With the WS-2000, the additional sensors will show up directly on the display console, and it comes with a full-color HD TFT display tablet. The upgraded console alone is worth the extra price—it’s the best we’ve tested.
Should You Buy It?
It’s a definite yes. Ambient Weather has done a fantastic job in packing a ton of features into an affordable package. We’re especially captivated with its connectivity options, which of the stations we’ve tested so far is best in class. The seamless setup and smart home integration will have the whole family taking on a new interest in the weather.
It’s easy to see why this weather station has become so popular on Amazon. For the price, you’re getting incredible value. And with accuracy that is close to that of the Davis Vantage Vue, you really can’t go wrong here.
Ambient Weather WS-2902C Review Summary
Ease of Installation
Ease of Connecting to the Internet
Value for Money
The Ambient Weather WS-2902C WiFi weather station is the perfect model for weather enthusiasts who need a reliable, user-friendly and accurate weather station without breaking the bank. The accuracy of the station isn’t up to the same standard as the more expensive Davis Vantage Vue or Pro2, but at this price point, the WS-2902C cannot be beaten for value.