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Ambient Weather WS-2902 Review

The WS-2902 is an outstanding mix of accuracy, reliability, and price

By Ed Oswald

Updated on:

ambient weather WS-2902C
Ambient Weather WS-2902
Ambient Weather WS-2902
Ambient Weather WS-2902
Our Score

The Ambient Weather WS-2902 is surprisingly feature-packed and accurate, given its price. Many of the cheap wireless home weather stations we've tested had issues that prevented us from genuinely recommending them. The WS-2902 does not.

The WS-2902 isn't as accurate as the WS-5000 or Davis weather stations, but it's also less than half the price. The connectivity is a standout feature at its price point, with full smart-home capabilities thanks to IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa support. Like the WS-5000, connecting the station to AmbientWeather.net allows you to share data with Weather Underground and access weather station data through the app or a web-based portal.

If you can't justify the price of other weather stations on our list, the Ambient Weather WS-2902 is the best budget model available. The LCD display console in the WS-2902 is much improved over previous models. When we tested the WS-2902A, the console suffered from readability problems beyond a 30-degree angle, which is far less of a problem now.

The WS-2902 weather station has all the features you'd expect including indoor and outdoor temperature and humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, and barometric pressure. A nice surprise is the inclusion of a fairly accurate UV/light sensor, something you typically don't see on other home weather stations even in this price range.

Date of our Original Review: August 2018 using the second generation A model. Updated in 2020 based on the fourth generation C model.

There are many choices regarding home weather stations, especially for budget models. But with these cheap weather stations come compromises, and that’s why I was skeptical of Ambient Weather’s claims about the WS-2902.

(Editor’s note: Ambient Weather’s latest update to its popular budget station now refers to the station as the WS-2902. The WS-2902C appears to be no more.)

Ambient Weather claims the WS-2902’s sensors are nearly as accurate as the Davis Vantage Vue but have far superior smart home and connectivity features. It’s also half the price of the Vantage Vue, yet still American-made (right here in Pennsylvania, no less).

Such bold claims should be considered with skepticism, but they seem true. AmbientWeather.net, the WS-2902’s cloud-based Internet portal, is far superior to other web and app dashboards.

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are both supported, so you can ask for your station’s conditions by voice. IFTTT is also built-in, and you trigger other smart devices to do things based on the readings your station collects.

For the most part, the WS-2902 lives up to the hype. While most sensors perform well, the Vantage Vue still has the advantage. The LCD console is pretty basic — one of the places Ambient Weather had to compromise on to keep the station cheap — but still better than the Vantage Vue and other stations twice its price. For the casual weather observer, the WS-2902 is perfect and one of the best budget personal weather stations available, without question.

Setting up the WS-2902

Ws-2902c console

The WS-2902 instrumentation includes all your basics, like indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, and rainfall. We were pleasantly surprised to find a UV and light (solar) sensor, usually only found on mid-grade and pro-level weather stations.

The large 3-inch by 6.75-inch display console is also another highlight. Back in 2021, Ambient Weather redesigned the display to show the most commonly sought information, like temperature and rainfall, more prominently. It’s a welcome change as the previous console had a narrow viewing angle

The sensor suite of the WS-2902 is an “all-in-one” sensor array, and installation is simple. The weather station ships to you primarily pre-assembled, with only the wind vane, anemometer cups, and the rain gauge funnel to attach. Install the batteries, put them on a mast of some kind, and you are up and running quickly.

We love the directions — they’re written in a way that is easy to follow. That’s what speeds the process along. Downloading the app helps you install the connectivity options, but you can do it through the web-based portal.

Once that’s all set up, you can view your station remotely through the app or the website. You can connect your WS-2902 to Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant. or IFTTT and share your data with Weather Underground.

AmbientWeather.net now allows non-owners to access station weather data through its front page, and the station is set to be public by default. There is an option to make your data private, however.

High-end features at a budget price

WS-2902C UV light sensor

The WS-2902’s low price would lead you to believe that this would be some middle-of-the-road weather station, but it most definitely isn’t. Ambient Weather has packed a good deal of functionality into the WS-2902. The smart home capabilities work well, and the accuracy exceeded my expectations.

Temperature, humidity, and wind readings matched my Davis Vantage Vue well. The rain gauge typically performed to our expectations, although with a tendency to overcount rainfall in downpours.

We had one issue with the barometric pressure sensor, which seemed to react aggressively to fast pressure changes, requiring us to recalibrate it more often than we’d like. Our experience appears unique, so this may have been a faulty sensor in our review unit.

The WS-290C has a far longer update interval than Ambient’s higher-end WS-5000, at 16 seconds for outdoor sensors and just over a minute for indoor sensors. That’s relatively slow and might pose an issue in quickly changing weather conditions.

But where Ambient Weather has not cut corners is in construction. Generally, it doesn’t appear any less well constructed than more expensive stations. I’m surprised, to be truthful, considering most stations in the same price range as the WS-2902 look every bit the part of a cheap station.

The radiation shielding that protects your thermometer/hygrometer from direct sunlight seemed to work better than my Vantage Vue in preventing false temperature spikes.

Ambient Weather also includes a UV and light sensor in the WS-2902 sensor suite, which isn’t often found on stations of this price. The company allows a more considerable margin of error than Davis for its UV and solar radiation sensors with the Vantage Pro2, so I’m assuming they are lower quality.

Ready for the smart home

ambientweather.net graphs

Ambient Weather’s stations report their data to AmbientWeather.net, the company’s cloud platform. You can access your data through the web portal or an app available for iOS and Android.

IFTTT support makes this the cheapest full-featured weather station to support smart home connectivity. We used the data from the light sensors to control our lights during the evening and had no issues during the test.

Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support can also be activated, allowing you to ask your digital assistant to read out your current conditions. For Alexa, ask “Alexa, ask Ambient Weather for the indoor/outdoor weather report,” or ask for weather information for a specific date. With Google Assistant, it’s similar, say, “Hey Google, Ambient Weather indoor/outdoor weather report.”

Word of warning, however, every measurement is reported back. For example, there’s no way to ask for specific information, like the day’s highs and lows or the daily rainfall.

The WS-2902 is a budget favorite

Having tested so many weather stations, coming across a surprise like the WS-2902 is rare. Usually, price is the most significant factor in determining whether a weather station will be good enough.

The Ambient WS-2902 was the first to break the mold. Most of the sensors hold up against mid-range weather stations in terms of accuracy. The connectivity support is the best of any station we’ve tested, which is why Ambient stations score highly in that department.

Of course, if you’re a discerning weather watcher, the accuracy isn’t there like with the WS-5000 or Davis’ Vantage Vue. But for the casual observer, this is the station to buy.

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Ed Oswald

Ed Oswald has nearly two decades of experience in technology and science journalism, and specializes in weather stations and smart home technology. He's written for Digital Trends, PC World, and TechHive. His work has also appeared in the New York Times. When he isn't writing about gadgets, he enjoys chasing severe weather and winter storms.

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We have experience with all the products and companies we recommend here on TWSE. Our review staff includes degreed meteorologists and scientists, some of whom have owned the products they review for several years. Our staff has reviewed home weather gadgets for over a decade both on TWSE and elsewhere.

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A weather station or gadget must score highly in our scoring metrics in several key areas, including accuracy, value, durability, ease of use, and feature set. We accept products for review, but we do not accept compensation in exchange for a positive review.

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9 thoughts on “Ambient Weather WS-2902 Review”

  1. I had a Acurite for several years and since it was in need of a replacement. I chose the Ambient WS2902D as my number 2 son had a couple at the ranches and he said he was happy with them. Got it, set it up and got the first rain. Two inches in my old style glass tube. Only 1.2 inches in my 2902. Ouch that is not good. Only recording 60% of what fell. Well Ambient tech said I need to spray the funnel with silicone to let the rain slid down into the catch pan and record. Did that and another rain of 1″ and .59 recorded on the Ambient console. Then tech had me do a test the Ambient uses to validate measurements. That test failed just like the real world recording, only it was an improvement, console showed .28 and the correct should have been .39. Then Ambient went silent on me. Can’t get anyone on the phone as you wait and wait and then get a “leave your name and number” and never get a call back. Last I got from Ambient was a email that said if the test failed he would be working on getting me a new sensor. Never heard from them again. I had bought from Amazon and my 30 day return policy had expired. So here I was stuck with a weather station and wasn’t getting correct reading. My question to you Ed is did you do any testing on all these units to see if they were recording correct rainfall amounts. That is my main purpose for having the weather station, rainfall recording. All the other readings are good but for my benefit rainfall is the most desired. So I pleaded with Amazon and they gave my an exception to the 30 day rule and I returned the WS2902D. Now I am researching to see what weather station I should buy because I want one.

    Reply
  2. The wind speed multiplier formula for calibration is a little confusing. My weather station is on the side of my garage. The garage roof peak is 15′ and the pole is about 4′ higher than the garage, so, 19′ off of the ground. My garage is an attached garage, 20 feet wide, and the w-station is about 20′ from from my two story house. The house peak is approximately 26′ tall. How do you do the formula? 4 x (15 – 4) = 44? The value in the system doesn’t go that low.

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  3. Yes, you are correct on the parts. They come from Ecowitt in China. The assembly occurs here in Pennsylvania and I believe in Ambient Weather’s old manufacturing plant in Arizona too.

    The software side is completely Ambient though.

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  4. Hi, I love your website and really appreciate the quality of your reviews. I do want to note that, according to Nielsen-Kellerman’s website, https://nkhome.com/nk-brands, Ambient Weather products are manufactured in China. This is not to criticize products made in China, but I thought I should bring it to your attention.

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