There aren’t nearly as many choices in the smart smoke detector space as there are in the smart thermostat space however choosing the right smoke detector can be even more important that choosing a smart thermostat because your family depends on it to protect you from harm.
In this review we cover both the Nest Protect Battery Powered Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector & The Nest Protect Hardwired Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector.
What is the difference between the nest battery powered smoke detector and nest hardwired smoke detector and which one do you need?
You might think all smoke detectors are battery powered, but actually new building codes and some regions of the country have been requiring that all smoke detectors be hardwired for years. But there are many places where battery powered smoke detectors are still the norm. Our favorite battery powered smart smoke detector that we’ve tested is the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm.
Functionally there is almost no difference between the nest protect battery powered smoke detector and the nest protect hardwired smoke detector. They have all the same features and do all of the same things. If you are building a new home you should use the hardwired smoke detectors because they will need fewer battery changes and are often required by newer building codes. You should also note that even hard wired nest protect smoke detectors have batteries, this is so that you are still protected with battery back up in the event of a power outage.
If you are replacing the existing smoke detectors in your home you will need to replace them with the type of smoke detector that was originally intended for your house. You can check by pulling off the existing smoke detector and looking on the back side of the smoke detector, if there is no wiring then you need a battery powered nest smoke detector. If you pull off the existing smoke detector and it is wired or has junction box and electrical wiring behind it that you can tap into you should use the hardwired version of the nest protect smoke detector.
Review Of The Nest Protect Smoke Detector
Why do we like the Nest Protect Smoke/CO Detectors?
I currently have the nest smoke detectors installed in my home, and have had them installed for several years and they are amazing, they have been very reliable and I’ve never had single issue with any of them. But before we cover more about what is great about nest smoke detectors I want to shed a little light on the some darkness on the interwebs.
I’ve read some top amazon reviews that paint the nest protect in a negative way and one review caught my eye that went so far as saying “I left a bucket of kerosene soaked rags in my basement and they caught fire and the nest protect didn’t work” Just click on the link and scroll to the #2 review that is posted on for the nest protect review on amazon. That is actually what is written and I couldn’t even believe it.
First off where can you even get kerosene anymore? Why would you have kerosene soaked rags, and why would you keep kerosene smoked rags in your basement? Seriously I’ve seen kerosene lamps, gone camping and used camp stoves and all around I am pretty damn handy, but I’ve never come across in my entire life a reason why someone would have the need to store a bucket of kerosene soaked rags in their basement.
If you can explain why someone would have kerosene soaked rags in their basement please let us know in the comments below I would love to hear more.
The kerosene soaked rags review seems like a fake review to me and there are a few other 1 star reviews that hit the top 100 reviews that all seem very suspicious as in they are the only review or one of only 2-3 reviews the poster has ever done and they were all negative. So don’t trust everything you see on the internet.
Why do I think these reviews are fake and why does it matter?
Well I think it’s most likely competitors that have been selling millions of smoke detectors for years that wish they had thought of a smart smoke detector a decade ago but were making so much money of the traditional smoke detectors making something better did not appeal to them.
But the reason that I think it’s fake is that we’ve worked with partner companies that have installed hundreds and thousands of nest protect smart smoke detectors throughout homes across the country and I haven’t heard of an issue like this from any of them.
The only issue that I have heard of is that if you change your wifi network password, it will take you a little while to transfer over all your nest smoke detectors to the new wifi settings. However we have few tips and tricks for that we will share below and may even create a seperate blog post for that can help you avoid this very minor inconvenience, that only happens when you change your wifi network password.
Why I have Nest Protect Smoke Detectors in my home
In my home I installed the nest protect hardwired smoke detectors because they are the smartest smoke detectors on the market that work with other nest products. The nest protects can be controlled and viewed from the same app as the nest thermostat.
My favorite feature of the nest protect smoke detector is the countdown it gives you before alarming which has been useful several times when something your cooking starts smoking.
Something that gave me peace of mind was one day I got an alert on my phone that smoke was detected in the kitchen when I wasn’t there. My wife had forgotten about something in the oven and it started to smoke. I called my wife to make sure everything was OK, which it was but the nest smoke detector automatically started streaming the nest camera we have in our kitchen to my phone so I could see everything going on real time.
The automated alert to my phone also connected to the nest thermostat and automatically shut down the furnace to prevent spreading smoke throughout the house. The extra actions of streaming the incident live and preventively shutting down the furnace had me sold on the nest smoke detectors as a worthwhile investment. It makes you feel you have more control of a stressful situation and provides you with the tools to react to the situation if needed.
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Detector Features
The nest protect provides both smoke and carbon monoxide protection
Works with home wifi networks
Provides interconnected smoke detector protection
Loud alarm but also plays and audible voice to tell you where the fire is located
Automated low battery alerts on your phone, no more annoying beeping at 2am.
Self test function
Ability to test or silence from the app on your phone
Remote monitoring and status updates
Prevents false alarms with countdown till alarm time and improved sensors that won’t be triggered by bathroom steam
Works other smart devices to increase safety.
Nest Protect Provides Both Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Protection
With the nest protect there is no need to buy a separate carbon monoxide detector, as it has a carbon monoxide detector built in. Carbon monoxide is a silent, and odorless killer, most people don’t even wake up when their house is filled with carbon monoxide, which can be caused by a faulty furnace, fireplace or water heater. Even leaving your car running in the garage can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Nest Protect Works With Home Wifi Networks
The nest protect works with your standard home wifi network, no need for any additional smart home hubs or connection devices. Just install download the nest app follow the on screen instructions and use your phone to connect your smart smoke detector to your wifi network.
Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors Have Interconnect Safety Built In.
Most old style battery powered smoke detectors that are more than 5 years old are not interconnected meaning they don’t communicate with each other. The old style smoke detector will alarm when smoke is detected but they don’t communicate with the other smoke detectors to alarm throughout your home.
If you have interconnected smoke detectors like the nest protect smoke detectors when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected by one of your smoke detectors all of the smoke detectors will go off alerting you even if you are in another room in your home. The larger your home is or if your a heavy sleeper this interconnected feature becomes even more important. Most local building codes now require all new home construction to have interconnected smoke detectors because the added safety saves lives.
Nest Smoke Detectors Interconnected Voice Announcement
Another great feature of the nest protect is that it will announce what room the fire or smoke was detected in with a voice when the alarms are sounded. This can help you orient yourself in the confusing situation of a middle of the night smoke detector. It can also help buy you time to get out of the house or help your family members because you know where the fire is located. When you set up the nest protect smoke detectors, you give each one a name and a location where it is placed to help you in the event of an emergency.
How does nest protect interconnect work?
When you set up your smart smoke detectors on your wifi network and program them in the nest app, the interconnect between the nest protect smart smoke detectors is automatically set up. The interconnect feature between the smart smoke detectors is built into the detectors and will function even if your wifi or internet is not working.
Nest Smoke Detectors Provide Automated Battery Alerts
Almost everyone has experienced the annoying low battery beep from old smoke detectors. It can be hard to tell which smoke detector battery is low and you don’t get any warning before the smoke detector battery needs to be replaced.
With the nest protect smoke detectors the app will show you the battery levels and provide you with reminders on your phone when you need to replace the batteries before they are critically low. This prevents that low battery beep from ever happening and lets you know exactly which batteries need to be replaced.
Nest Protect Has A Self Test Function
With the nest protect smoke detectors you can go into the nest app and test your smoke detectors at any time to check the smoke and carbon monoxide sensors, the alarm, the wifi connection, the voice alerts, battery levels and the wifi connection.
The nest protect will automatically test the sensors, battery and wifi connection throughout the day. and you can initiate a test of the alarm, and voice alerts by pushing a button in the app. It is recommended that you test the alarm and voice alert once a month.
You Can Silence Alarms With Your Phone With Nest Protect
This is one of the best features because you no longer need to climb a ladder or use a broom stick to turn off your smoke alarm if it goes off accidentally. With the nest protect smoke detector if you have a false alarm from smokey food in the oven you can turn off the alarm using the nest app.
You Can Monitor Your Home Remotely With Nest Protect
The nest protect wifi smoke detectors are connected to the internet, this means you can check up on your home from your phone from anywhere in the world. As long as you have an internet connection on your phone you will get alerts on your phone. If you have a pet at home having a smart smoke detector adds peace of mind knowing that you would get an alert if smoke was detected even if you were away so you could call a neighbor or the fire department.
The Nest Protect Has High End Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Sensors
The sensors inside the nest protect were specifically engineered to prevent false alarms but also provide accurate smoke and carbon monoxide detection to keep you safe. The nest smoke detectors are specifically calibrated to prevent false alarms from non fire events that occur in a home like a steamy bathroom.
Nest Protect Works With Other Smart Devices To Keep You Safe
The nest protect works with several other smart devices to help keep you safe and can be used to make some of your other smart home devices even smarter.
The nest protect works with the nest thermostat in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide detection to turn off your furnace to prevent the spread of fire.
This feature has come in handy as I mentioned above to prevent spreading smoke throughout the house if you end up burning something in the oven.
What really impresses me is that it will turn off the HVAC system if it detects carbon monoxide to prevent spreading the deadly, odorless gas throughout your home. Since Faulty furnaces are one of the leading causes of carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s also nice to know that if your furnace is the issue at fault the nest protect and nest thermostat can turn off the furnace instead of continuing to pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home.
Nest Protect Works With Nest Cameras
When the nest protect detects fire, smoke or carbon monoxide if you have a nest camera it will automatically begin streaming a live stream of your nest camera to your phone so you can see if there is a fire.
Nest Protect Works With Phillips Hue Light Bulbs
When smoke is detected by the nest protect if you connect your Philips hue bulbs to your nest account your phillips hue bulbs can automatically turn on to alert you of a fire but also to provide you with the lighting you need to escape your home.
You can connect your philips hue bulbs and nest products by logging into your philips hue account here and following the on screen instructions.
The nest protect delivers a lot of technology in rather inconspicuous package. Most of the time I never notice it’s even there. But in those times of need it delivers a superior experience. The integration with other nest products and smart home devices is really what makes this a top choice for smart smoke detectors for your home.
Make Your Nest Protect Installation Easier: Tips & Tricks
If you are setting up multiple nest protects, unbox all of them and set them up on the wifi network before you place them in each room. This will help save you time and going up and down the ladder while setting up the smoke detectors in each room. Just make sure you use post it notes or a mark the back of the smoke detector so you know which smoke detector should be placed in which room.
Take a picture of the QR codes or Device Codes on the back of the nest and store them in a safe place or in a folder on your phone. If you ever change your wifi network password you will need these to setup the nest protects on your new wifi network password. Having the device codes handy allows you to avoid getting up on a ladder to re-scan the codes.
If you end up not taking a picture of the codes but get a new wifi network or wifi router your nest protects will automatically connect to the new wifi network as long as you use the exact same wifi network name and password and you don’t have overly restrictive security settings.