Best Home Weather Stations
Some homeowners are interested in knowing all the metrics of the outside world. But, for those select few that are in dire need of that precious information, perhaps no device is better than a home weather station. For those interested in gardening, a home weather station is invaluable. You will be able to gauge when and how much to water your plants, when to plant, and how to avoid wind or frost damage. This type of device can display a plethora of data related to the environment and the weather based on the sensors that are integrated. For weather stations, though, you get what you pay for. If you are willing to spend the extra money, you can receive a model that is loaded with highly efficient sensors that will display accurate information on a wide range of metrics.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 16 hrs of research
Can transmit up to 1000 feet away
The LCD screen is updated every 2.5 seconds
Designed with a weatherproof cover
Top 10 Picks
1. Vantage Vue
Can transmit up to 1000 feet away
The LCD screen is updated every 2.5 seconds
Designed with a weatherproof cover
The wireless console can be hard to set up
Will require some computer skills to navigate
There is a reason why the Vantage Vue tends to be the go-to pick for consumers. Designed by Davis Instruments, it has an astounding amount of accurate sensors to measure nearly every metric a homeowner could want.Read more
All sorts of weather metrics are provided to you and this includes wind speed and direction, sunrise and sunset times, weather trends, humidity, and temperature.
Just a few of the integrations, to give you an idea of the performance, are worth it alone. One of which is the anemometer which will record wind speeds from two to 150 miles per hour.
Compared to the competition, this can deliver wireless transmission up to three times farther. All in all, it can connect up to 1000 feet away.
The 4.375-inch LCD display is not the issue and instead, it lies within the outdated software and the non-intuitive interface. This is probably the only area of concern.
With the USB interface, you can use a central weather service with this unit. For example, this could include WeatherLink or even Weather Underground.
Literally, the user interface is the only area of potential concern with this unit. Thankfully, once you get accustomed to it, the ride will be smooth sailing from there.
2. Kestrel 5000
It is waterproof and drop-proof
The most portable unit available
Features 14 meteorological parameters in total
The included features are not documented the best
While the second best model on this list is intended to be used as a handheld unit, it can work great as a home unit. With the addition of the vane mount, it becomes a full-featured weather station.Read more
In total, there are 14 measurements that this bad boy can handle. Among those, this includes dew point temperature, humidity, direction, pressure, wind speed, and altitude.
Without the additional mount, this handheld device can perform anywhere you go with it. Yet, with the Kestrel Vane Mount, it can perform exactly like a home unit.
Using the power of the Kestrel Link application, you can view real-time readings on your iOS and Android devices. Overall, it can communicate within 100 feet of your device.
One problem with this unit is the features are not well-documented and you will need to familiarize yourself with the sunlight-readable interface.
With the aforementioned app, you can see detailed weather information to better detect potential problems and simplify any weather reporting.
Several consumers rave about this model and the primary reason why is due to its portability. However, with the ability to be used as a home unit, this truly is an all-in-one device.
3. Vantage Pro2
Engineered to handle extreme weather conditions
The data updates every 2.5 seconds
Comes with a 40-foot anemometer cable
The software desperately needs to be updated
To use it, the software must be purchased separately
Davis Instruments is back on this list and this time, their Vantage Pro2 gets its time to shine. Of course, a more advanced and updated software could have propelled it to the top spot.Read more
With the wide range of sensors integrated into this model, which will calculate wind, rainfall, humidity, and temperature, among others, it can provide the information you crave.
The versatile sensor suite is not only customizable but also very accurate. In fact, it even sports an advanced rain collector for enhanced accuracy during high winds.
With the WeatherLink cloud platform, you have the capability of connecting the Vantage Pro2 to your smartphone, tablet, and even computer.
Included in this set is an easy-to-read LCD color display. That said, the integrated software definitely needs some tender, love, and care.
No, in order to download the information to your computer you will need to invest in the software and the data logger. But, it is worth it to receive the added convenience.
In terms of its sensors and extreme durability, this is one of the best and toughest models on earth. Some unwanted inconveniences aside, the Vantage Pro2 is a beast.
4. Ambient Weather WS 2902A
Designed with several sensors
Features an enhanced Wi-Fi connectable option
Also supports Wunderground and WeatherCloud
Could use a better backup system
Some buyers have reported performance issues
This is one the best total packages on the market today. Outside of its provided detailed metrics, it is also compatible with your smart devices and even Amazon Alexa.Read more
No matter what type of metric you are looking for, such as rainfall, the wind direction, humidity, barometric pressure, dew point, wind chill, or heat index, this system probably provides it to you.
One user noted how the accuracy tends to deviate when the temperature gets in the mid 30’s and another buyer claimed it struggled to measure accurate wind speeds.
The console itself will connect to your wireless router and the sensor array will connect to the console. In addition, it is compatible with Alexa and can connect to your smart devices.
What is nice is the included console display is both colorful and detailed. Overall, you could not ask for much more when operating this unit.
On your connected smart device, you can view historical data, conditions in real-time, and other alerts you set. Plus, you can use additional software such as WeatherCloud.
In spite of the fact that some buyers have had performance issues with this device, several consumers will adore its attention to detail and advanced wireless technology.
You can review your data history
The included application is free of charge
Sports a stylish and sleek design
Some performance issues have been documented
In spite of the performance issues from time to time, this is one of the more unique models on this entire list. Its sleek aluminum body works in conjunction with your smart device.Read more
On top of various weather measurements, such as the indoor and outdoor temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity, this can also measure indoor pollution levels.
Though most buyers found this to be of great performance, there have been occasions of users claiming the contrary. In specific, in regard to the wind measurements.
Even though hotspots are not supported, this has an extended Wi-Fi range of 100 meters and can connect wirelessly to your smart devices and even your computer.
The interface is the app itself and overall, users have seemed to enjoy using it. What is nice is you can view it on any device that it is compatible.
In conjunction with your smartphone, you can receive outdoor alerts and notifications straight from the weather station. As an example, you can receive ventilation alerts to notify you when it is time to air out your home.
This has landed on several top 10 lists across the World Wide Web and that is not by coincidence. In this modern world, it is almost imperative to sport the wireless connectivity that this possesses.
6. Ambient Weather WS-1002
Internet connectivity is not 100 percent
Designed with an all-in-one sensor
It is compatible with Alexa
Snow build-up can be an issue in the winter
There have been complaints about the humidity sensor failing
Much like the other Ambient Weather model on this list, this is loaded with wireless connectivity features. While you may have to worry about snow build-up in the winter, it performs well overall.Read more
All the essential metrics you look for in a system like this are here. This includes, but is not limited to, rainfall, wind direction and speed, humidity, and barometric pressure.
To ensure the utmost accuracy at all times, this features a radiation shield with passive aspiration. Overall, for the price, the precision and accuracy are very impressive.
This unit is actually not predicated on the use of the internet. That said, with a Wi-Fi connection, the console can receive and send internet data.
The full-color TFT LCD color display is easy to see overall. Plus, it outlines all the essential information you can see in a glance of the screen.
With the power of Wi-Fi technology, a lot is possible here. For example, you can send email and text alerts, download the data straight to your computer, and also utilize the entire unit with Alexa.
Some of the sensors on this model, such as the humidity sensor, have been known to have issues from time to time. All in all, though, this is yet another strong showing from Ambient Weather.
7. AcuRite 01014M
It is compatible with Alexa
Can connect up to seven compatible devices
Features backup batteries
The rain gauge is not easy to set up
Setting up an online account can be very annoying
With the use of AcuRite Access, you can actually connect this next model up to seven compatible devices. In addition to that, the backup batteries allow power during outages.Read more
While other home stations will deliver more advanced metrics, this still covers the essentials such as wind speed and direction, rainfall, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure.
One complaint from the consumer base has been the wind gauge could update with a higher frequency. Despite this, though, the performance seems above-average.
You can utilize your smart device to view the current information that this system is reading anywhere near your home. Also, this model is compatible with Alexa if you own that artificial intelligence device.
Once again, the app you use with this model is your interface. Because of this, it is like having your own personal weather station with you at all times.
With the use of the app, you can do so many extracurricular activities. For example, you can create custom alerts when certain conditions change and also share your data with friends and family.
What this model excels at is delivering you with vital information on a plethora of popular weather measurements in conjunction with your smartphone or tablet.
8. AcuRite 01036M
Can be used as a standalone unit
Relies on its sensors to collect organic data
Designed with PC Connect
The digital display has received some criticism
Registration and online setup are not intuitive
Back to back AcuRite models here and to be honest, they are a model of consistency when it comes to this technology. This model is one of their better standalone units, overall.Read more
The 01036M model from AcuRite is dubbed as a 5-in-1 model and it provides you with essential information outdoors such as the humidity, wind speed, wind direction, rain, and temperature.
AcuRite designed their model with what is known as self-calibrating forecasting. Because of such, it gives you the most accurate forecast for your exact location.
The integrated wireless sensor of this unit needs to be powered by four AA alkaline batteries or lithium batteries. Either way, you need to account for them yourselves.
Unfortunately, the user interface of this station has been. First off, the buttons can be prone to sticking and double selections. Secondly, the color display is actually just a color template plastered over a monochrome LCD display.
Thanks to the integration of PC Connect, this allows you to remotely view your data through your smart devices or computer. In addition, you can set up programmable alarms.
If you can forgive the rather deflating design of the interface as a whole, you can enjoy this for what it is. Of course, that is a device that is loaded with wireless features.
9. Tycon Power Systems
Sports a radio-controlled dock for enhanced accuracy
Has a wireless range of up to 330 feet
Runs on either AA batteries or lithium batteries
Not the best assembly instructions
The included software is badly outdated
While the software on this unit may bring you back to the Windows 95 days of computing, its performance is what makes it so reliable. As a user, you will just have to put up with the outdated software.Read more
It almost seems cliché at this point but once again, this provides you vital weather information such as the barometric pressure, total rainfall, wind direction and speed, and humidity (among others).
Again, this lives and dies with its performance. Thankfully, nine times out of ten, it is going to live with it. Due to the high-performance wireless data logging and the radio controlled clock, the accuracy is up to par.
Between the transmitter and the base station, the wireless range is around 330 feet. If you go beyond this distance, expect distortion and a lack of communication.
It almost feels like you are using a device from the 1990’s with the software of this unit. Because it only works with WeatherSmart, you have to deal with the clunky programming.
While not exactly wireless, with the integrated USB port, you can transfer the data from this unit to your home computer or another device. Plus, you can also upload real-time data to WeatherUnderground.
Those who are anal about updates will probably have a panic attack while operating this weather station. That said, it is difficult to argue with any device that offers consistent performance.
10. La Crosse Forecast
The display comes with a kickstand
Features an adjustable backlight
Displays both the heat index and dew point
It is nearly impossible to see the display at an angle
The performance has been questioned
Perhaps you are not interested in a unit that provides you with a high amount of features. What if you only are looking for the essentials such as temperature and the heat index? Well, keep reading then.Read more
All the basics are covered here and that includes both the indoor temperature and outdoor temperature, humidity, heat index and dew point.
As this could be classified as a budget option, you will have to deal with the performance issues occasionally. As one buyer noted, the calculated rain can be vastly inaccurate.
With no obstructions in the way, La Crosse claims that their model sports a transmission range of 300 feet. Again, this is accounting for no obstacles whatsoever.
Quite honestly, the dynamic full-color display is one of the better aspects of this design. In addition, the backlight can be adjusted to be either high, low, or off.
A basic model is on display and past the transmission range of the base unit and the receiver, there is not much to talk about in regard to its wireless functionality.
It is understandable that not everyone can afford a multi-hundred dollar unit. For those on a budget, this is as ideal as it gets as it still an impressive design, overall.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the primary features that set some models apart from others is the number of sensors that are integrated. See, a home weather station can only measure the data that its sensors can gather. For the most part, even basic models will sport common sensors. Some of these sensors can include a barometer for measuring the pressure of the atmosphere, an anemometer to measure the direction and speed of the wind, a humidity sensor, and a thermometer for temperature.
But, you will see most higher-end models integrate sensors beyond the ones just listed. For example, you may see some that can measure solar radiation and UV radiation. The latter could come in handy if you are worried about too much exposure to the sun as UV lighting comes directly from the sunlight. However, what about a heat index feature that will inform you of what the real feel is outdoors. Keep this in mind as not all stations will be equipped with the same amount of sensors.
While a weather station that has a plethora of sensors is nice and all, they also need to perform well. Each sensor is going to record different information so each one could perform a little bit differently. Quite honestly, it can be overwhelming to determine which sensors are accurate and precise and which ones are not. But, this is typically where you get your money’s worth. If you buy a cheap model, you can’t expect the accuracy to be as precise as it would be in a higher-end model. One tip is to glance through user feedback to see what others have to say. Some testers will compare the data they receive from one model to other models and this can helpful information to you.
However, you should also assess the refresh rate of the unit. All the previous metrics that were mentioned can change in a heartbeat and if your system updates once every minute, that may prove to be inefficient. Instead, look for models that update fairly quickly (with versions that do so every few seconds being the best).
If you analyze most of the weather stations in the world you may be surprised to learn that there are both wireless and wired versions. The reason for that is that most modern devices are equipped with wireless technology and transmit all the data via Wi-Fi. While this can be unreliable at all times, given that you are not relying on a wired connection, the convenience it provides is more than worth it. With a wired model, you will need to worry about all the cables and maintaining them.
Yet, there is more to it than simply determining if a model is wired or wireless. If it is the latter, you need to assess the transmission distance. This is one of the most important specifications to consider as the farther the transmission distance, the better. In case you do not know, this is referring to the communication range of the main console and the receiver. Ideally, you would like the starting point to be no less than 250 feet. Just remember, though, the higher the distance the more leeway you are provided.
When you are dealing with any technological device of any kind that sports a screen, you will need to assess the user interface. This is simply your interaction with the device. What you are looking for in an ideal interface is both high quality and an intuitive experience. For home weather stations, this will be with the digital console that comes with the unit. It is convenient when the detailed information is both easy-to-view and logically placed. To be “easy-to-view”, look for full-color displays that are made from an LCD display.
But, the included software is also a key point of assessment. Some models sport outdated software that feels like it belongs in the 90’s era of computing. Then again, other models will simply require your smart device to provide the interface with the accompanying app. In this case, ensure that the app is well-designed and not crawling with bug after bug. Of course, the good thing about apps is they should be promptly updated when issues arise.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
The million dollar question for these units always seems to be where the logical place is to install them. Well, it may be a little more complicated than you initially realize. The one aspect to remember is you need to install it where you will be provided with the best results and this is known as the siting process. You can have a direct impact on the accuracy of your unit, so keep that in mind. The tricky aspect is there are a plethora of sensors that can act a little differently.
While you could really create an entire guide on this topic alone, let’s keep it brief. As a few examples, you do not want to install it under a tree or an overhang as the rainfall data will be skewed. Also, avoid installing it in a location that could receive a wind tunnel effect. Oh yeah, and with the temperature sensor, never allow it to receive direct sunlight.
Other Factors to Consider
The current world we live in is predicated on technology and it has become the world’s lifeblood. Like it or not, this is the reality but it has its benefits. One such instance is with the ability to sync multiple devices together to allow them to communicate information wirelessly. With some home weather stations, you can do exactly that. Some manufacturers will have an accompanying app that will completely change the experience.
To put it in perspective, if you had your smartphone connected to the main unit, you could potentially view historical data of your information, look at weather conditions in real-time, and even set alerts for yourself. For example, you could be notified when the temperature outdoors reaches a certain number. That is just one example and when you really start diving into it, you will start to see the diversity of some of these units.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Can You Shorten or Lengthen the Sensor Wires?
As a bit of a disclaimer of sorts, this question is only alluding to models that are not wireless. That way, if you do happen to invest in a wired model and this issue manifests, you know how to deal with it. Anytime when you are dealing with wired devices, nine times out of ten, the wiring will not be a suitable length to you. Whether it be too long or too short, it is tough to get it just right. Even though it may simply be easier to merely hide excess wire, you could still shorten the wires without the accuracy being affected.
In terms of lengthening it, there may be limits to what you can do but most of the time you should be able to do so. No matter, always reference the operating manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.
q: What Are Some Common Uses for Dew Point?
Throughout this guide, you have heard reference to the term dew point a couple of times. It is yet another metric that some units are capable of determining. The question is, though, what good does it do to you to know what the dew point is? First off, for those unaware, the dew point is the atmospheric temperature at which water droplets can begin to condense and dew can be formed. This can be an ideal measurement if you were trying to predict frosts or precipitation. For both aviation and agriculture, this measurement can be vital.
In addition to this, if you have any sprinkler systems outdoors, this can help you determine the likelihood if there will be heavy dew overnight. If there is, you then will not need to worry about running your sprinkler system in the morning.
q: Can These Stations be Used at Higher Elevations?
Everything is fine and dandy when you do not live at a higher elevation but what happens if you do? Better yet, what happens if you are looking to use a weather station for your vacation home in the mountains? Well, at certain elevations, these units will stop working. However, it all depends on the models themselves. For example, one of the top models on this list, the Vantage Pro2 can be used upward of 12,000 feet in elevation.
Meanwhile, other units may be only to achieve around 6,000 feet before they begin to distort and malfunction.
q: Why Do You Need a Weather Station?
Admit it; this is a question that persisted in your mind a bit while reading this guide did it not? This is a fair question and to be perfectly honest, there is only so much faith you can put in the weather station. Even if you had no interest in knowing the advanced metrics of the outdoor world, knowing the exact temperature and humidity levels in your backyard can be useful information. But, wait, would not going online to view the weather in your area accomplish the same task?
Here is the main problem with that. Whether online or on the evening news is based on public domain data and is typically taken with weather stations at regional airports that may or may not be a bit outdated. This is not to say the weather is wrong, but installing your own station can enhance the accuracy.
q: What is a Solar Weather Station?
A solar weather station is exactly what it sounds like. A weather station that gets its energy from the sun. A rather important feature of these units has not been addressed yet and it is how the remote sensors are powered. In general, these sensors are either powered via batteries or with solar power systems. Either way, the batteries will deplete over time and will need to be replaced when this occurs. Yet, one that is powered via solar energy does hold a specific advantage over other methods.
It is simple; with a solar powered system, it will be able to provide energy for longer periods of time as it draws its energy from the big ball of fire in the sky. Then again, the panels themselves will need to be replaced over time and this is an added inconvenience. Yet, the dependability of this power source makes it worth it alone.