There are many reasons why you’d want to track temperature or humidity. Perhaps you have valuables stored in your basement where high humidity could promote mold growth and may do damage. Or maybe you’re a gardener with a greenhouse where both temperature and humidity are critical to ensure you’re not stressing your plants.
For these types of uses and many others—including monitoring the temperature in vacation homes, RVs, cold storage rooms, and wine cellars, to name a few—we highly recommend you take a look at using a remote temperature monitor. While there are quite a few options to choose from, there’s one in particular that we’re big fans of, and that’s the Temp Stick wireless remote temperature and humidity sensor from US-based tech manufacturer Ideal Sciences.
The Temp Stick is a remote temperature sensor that uses WiFi for connectivity to help you monitor conditions from anywhere, 24/7. The sensor can alert you by text or email to your smartphone when temperature or humidity reaches dangerous levels so you can prevent expensive damage to your property or possessions.
So why do we give the sensor such high marks? Keep reading our Temp Stick review to find out.
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Setup Was Simple and Painless
The Temp Stick comes shipped to you with everything you need, including 2 ‘AA’ lithium batteries and adhesive Velcro to allow you to mount the sensor just about anywhere you want. The Temp Stick device itself measures only 3.5 inches tall and 1.25 inches wide. It’s also incredibly light—the included Velcro strips should have no problem holding the Temp Stick wherever you decide to mount it.
Installing the batteries and beginning the setup process is as simple as sliding the back of the device off, putting the batteries in, and waiting for the indicator light on the front to blink, indicating the device is in setup mode. You can use a computer or a smartphone to set up the Temp Stick as the installation process is web-based. For simplicity’s sake, we used our smartphone’s browser. We connected directly to the Temp Stick via its setup network and loaded the webpage per the instructions included in the box.
During this setup process, you’ll also create an Ideal Sciences account, which will allow you to view your data within the app and website, even when you’re not at home, at no additional cost. The process is straightforward as long as you have your network information handy. From here, you’ll want to download the free app (but you can also use temperaturestick.com to access your data if you’d like).
The App Makes Setting Changes a Breeze
While the web-based portal is acceptable and perhaps easier for those of us less smartphone inclined, we also tested the companion app. It’s essentially the desktop website optimized for the mobile screen. We found it incredibly responsive. The app doesn’t win awards for innovative design—it’s relatively bare-bones—but we don’t see this as a problem at all. The data is what’s important here. You can monitor current conditions, view a complete history of archived data, and easily change settings through the app.
We chose to change our reporting settings to a 15-minute interval, although Temp Stick recommends using every 60 minutes to save battery life. You can opt to increase the readings to as little as every five minutes, but only when the Temp Stick measures readings above or below a set value.
We understand this might be an annoyance to some, but there is a reason. Waking up the sensor in short intervals could result in abysmal battery life. We found this as an acceptable tradeoff to make battery changes an infrequent occurrence. While we haven’t had the Temp Stick very long to confirm, Ideal Sciences does claim up to a year of battery life on the 60-minute interval setting when using lithium batteries.
Plenty of Ways to Receive and Customize Alerts
If you’re investing in a remote temperature monitor like the Temp Stick, you’ll want it to provide reliable alerts straight to your phone when you’re on the move. The Temp Stick delivers its alerts either via text message or email to up to 10 different contacts. Alert options include temperature or humidity measuring above or below a set value, if the Temp Stick loses (or regains) connectivity to your network, and for low battery levels.
To start, we created an alert to let us know when our Temp Stick lost connection. To simulate losing connection, we removed the batteries to cause the device to stop reporting. Sure enough, when the Temp Stick servers could not contact our device, we received an alert.
We’re also big fans of the Temp Stick’s capability to alert up to ten people simultaneously for a particular event. For most of us, that is overkill—but for commercial applications, it is an attractive feature, for sure.
Accuracy and Reliability
Ideal Sciences claims that the device is accurate to within ±0.4 degrees Celsius. Humidity readings are accurate to within 4%, as long as the humidity is below 80%. Compared to other sensors on the market, the Temp Stick sports some impressive temperature accuracy. Even though the humidity sensor is less precise, it’s not a deal-breaker.
Both the temperature and humidity sensors are factory-calibrated, so there’s no need for you to calibrate the Temp Stick yourself. However, if you do notice readings drifting, you can self-calibrate the sensor within the device settings.
We didn’t have any trouble keeping the Temp Stick connected to our network, as long as we didn’t place it too far away from one of our mesh networking nodes. The same would apply to those using a traditional WiFi router. As long as you don’t place the sensor more than 100-200 feet from your router and you don’t have too many obstructions in the way, it should have no problem staying connected. Another option is to use a mobile hotspot. Many users connect the Temp Stick to a mobile hotspot to monitor their RV’s temperature and humidity, particularly when traveling with pets.
To test out the Temp Stick’s readings, we placed it by the Davis Instruments Vantage Vue console to see how readings compared. Davis’ sensors are pretty solid, and the temperature difference between the two was generally within one or two degrees of each other. The humidity sensor also fell within 4% of the Davis—which confirms the Temp Stick’s accuracy claims.
Alerts arrived through to our smartphones by text and email as expected within a minute or two of being triggered, which, while not instantaneous, doesn’t feel like a problem for a majority of uses that we’d envision our readers buying a Temp Stick for. If you need instantaneous alerts, you’ll have to opt for a powered unit, and you will spend quite a bit more, too.
What Can the Temp Stick Monitor?
There are plenty of use cases that we can think of, including:
- Monitoring the temperature and humidity at home for a comfortable living environment.
- Monitoring a damp basement to help prevent mold and mildew.
- Ensuring items such as wine, cigars, art, or guitars are stored at an ideal temperature/humidity.
- Providing early warning against frozen pipes.
- Greenhouse temperature monitoring to ensure optimal growing conditions.
- Using it as an RV temperature monitor to protect pets while on the road.
- Monitoring a vacation home or cabin when you’re not there.
- Ensuring food is kept at a safe temperature in a fridge, freezer, or any other storage area.
We’re only scratching the surface here. But the bottom line is, it’s super portable and versatile. We can see the Temp Stick becoming a vital tool in protecting you from costly mistakes and expensive damage. Add to this the fact that you can add an unlimited number of them through the website or app and monitor them all from the same account. Your budget only limits you. We’re thinking about buying another one ourselves.
What We Really Liked
For us, the best thing about the Temp Stick is that there are zero subscription fees to use the service and its portability. Since it is battery operated, there are no wires to worry about. The small size is perfect, and it can be mounted using just Velcro or mounting tape, as it’s that light. We also appreciate that the device can last for extended periods without changing batteries.
We also appreciate that the Temp Stick is American made with a US-based support team that provides free email and phone support seven days a week. Also included is a generous three-year warranty, which is more than what most smart home device makers offer.
What We Didn’t Like
There truthfully isn’t much that we don’t like about the Temp Stick. One area where we could see a possible issue for some users is the reporting interval. By default, the reporting interval is 60-minutes to maximize battery life. However, you can also set it to check-in every 30 or 15 minutes.
The only way you can get shorter 5 or 10-minute reporting intervals is if the temperature or humidity is above or below specific parameters, which you can easily customize in the settings.
For most applications, a 5-minute reporting interval should be more than adequate. If you need something more time-sensitive, you will need a wired (plugged in) temperature monitor instead. However, you will lose out on portability with a wired sensor.
Are There Better Alternatives?
We’d not necessarily call them “better” alternatives, but there are three devices that could make better sense to use in your situation. The SensorPush is far cheaper than the Temp Stick, but it only has Bluetooth connectivity, meaning you’ll need to be within the device’s range to monitor conditions and receive alerts. A WiFi gateway is also available, but that pushes the price up close to the Temp Stick. Also, the SensorPush only provides push notifications, whereas the Temp Stick can send text message alerts.
The MarCELL shines because it has cellular connectivity, which makes it great for remote monitoring (think your RV, a remote vacation home, etc.) For cellular connectivity, you’ll need an AC outlet (batteries are intended for backup power only), and there’s a subscription fee to consider.
Finally, the Ambient Weather WS-8482-X3 is a good option if you need multiple sensors at a low price with WiFi connectivity, but the console is a bit basic, and the accuracy of the sensors isn’t as good as what you’ll find in the Temp Stick.
You can find other options and reviews of these models in our remote home temperature monitor buying guide.
Should You Buy It?
The Temp Stick isn’t cheap. However, its accuracy, portability, and ease of use make it one of the best remote temperature monitors available. There are no subscription fees, and our experience with the Temp Stick was trouble-free. Longer-term owners say they go months at a time without changing the battery, and in the rare occasions where something did go wrong, Ideal Sciences’ customer support was helpful and responsive.
If you want hassle-free temperature monitoring with reliable alerts and you don’t mind spending a little bit more for quality—the Temp Stick is by far the best way to go.
Use our link below to get the Temp Stick at an unbeatable rate directly from Ideal Sciences.