Nest Protect is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector that can alert you if it senses fire or smoke around the house, thereby allowing you to react on time. You can get out of the house or try to put out the fire.
Nest Protect does not only sound an alarm when there is a potential fire or too much smoke; it can also tell you what the alarm is about and where it is happening. The Nest Protect does not use any shrill sounds. Instead, it uses a human voice to alert you. And if you have several Nest Protect devices, all of them would speak so that you would know if there is a problem in the bedroom even if you are watching TV in the living room. The Nest Protect comes with a mobile app that allows you to be notified of potential dangers even when you are not home. You can also use the mobile app to silence your Nest Protect.
Nest Protect is also able to test itself so that you know it still works. It uses a split spectrum sensor that will tell you if the fire is a fast burning one or a smoldering one. It can also differentiate between steam and smoke, so you do not get needlessly alarmed when somebody is just taking a nice steaming bath. Nest Protect also doubles as a path light, making sure you see where you are going in the dark.
All that is well and good, until you see the price tag on the Nest Protect. It is steep, considering that you would probably need more than one Nest Protect to adequately protect your home.
Imagine this, the National Fire Protection Association says that you should have a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in every bedroom, as well as outside the sleeping area. You should also have a smoke detector on every level of your house. So if you live in a two-story house with four bedrooms, you would need at least six smoke alarms. You already need to spend more for these devices.
The good news is that there are alternatives to the Nest Protect that are not going to hurt your wallet as much. What are these alternatives?
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Roost Smart Battery
The Roost Smart Battery is a good option for those who already have old smoke detectors. Roost Smart Battery can make these old devices smarter. All you need to do is to pop one in and it will automatically connect to your Wi-Fi network. You will be notified via smartphone once your smoke alarm detects something. One battery lasts for three to five years and will tell you when it needs to be replaced. And if you have a false alarm, you can just turn off the alarm using your smartphone. If it is an issue that you need to look into but you are not home and cannot inspect things personally, the Roost app allows you to call your emergency contacts easily.
You also get to avoid those annoying chirps that tell you that you need to change the batteries on your smoke detectors. Instead of chirping, the Roost Smart Battery will just notify you on the mobile app.
The 2nd generation Roost Smart Battery sells on Amazon (Check the latest prices here!). A homeowner that already has six smoke detectors would not need to throw all of these working detectors away and still be able to use a smart smoke detector with Roost. Also, if you already have Roost and just needs a battery replacement, you can get the replacement at a cheaper price.
Works with IFTTT recipes
IFTTT recipes allow you to do more with your Roost Smart Battery. For instance, it can send e-mails or make phone calls when it senses smoke. There are IFTTT recipes that allow it to work with other connected devices such as Philips Hue light bulbs or Homeboy cameras. It can also work with Google services such as a Google Drive spreadsheet, or get notified if new IFTTT recipes are available.
Final say: Roost Smart Battery
The Roost Smart Battery is perfect for those homes that already have a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. You can still use your current devices, but still, make them smarter. The mobile app is fully featured yet very easy to use.
The thing is, this might be a budget option but it is not really a smoke alarm. So if you are moving into a new house, or have busted smoke detectors, you would still need to buy a smoke detector before being able to use Roost.
Another thing is that Roost does not have is the range of integrations that Nest Protect offers. Roost works with IFTTT recipes, but that is it. Unlike Nest Protect, the Roost Smart Battery does not have easy integration with Alexa, Philips Hue, Wink, Lutron, and Nest products. The good news is that there are IFTTT recipes that can help you work your way around that.
If you like Nest Protect because of its integrations with other smart home platforms and devices, then you would love Onelink Safe and Sound. This also doubles as an Amazon Alexa speaker, allowing you to use voice commands to control other smart home products even without buying an Amazon Echo. This device uses a high-definition speaker that can give you the deepest base and the clearest voices. You can have it play music, read the news, and even order pizza.
But more than that, it is a very capable smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that can send notifications to your smartphone, even telling you what type of alert is setting the device off, as well as the location. You can also use the mobile app to test your alarm, to silence false alarms, and even change the nightlight brightness and color.
Aside from needing to be hardwired (no battery option for this alarm), the only downside is that this comes with a premium price tag! However, if you consider the fact that it also doubles as a nightlight, and an Amazon Alexa speaker rather than just an old, boring and ignored the smoke alarm, Onelink might be a good choice for those who have connected home or likes the convenience of being able to use voice commands to work their appliances.
Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Interconnect Battery-Operated Smoke Alarm
The Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Interconnected Battery-Operated Smoke Alarm sells as single or you can get a three-pack. This smoke alarm talks to other Kidde smoke alarms using radio frequency so you get interconnected smoke alarms without having to rewire your home. An interconnected smoke alarm system means that when one detects smoke, all of your alarms would go off. You can also silence the alarms simultaneously.
The Kidde RF-SM-DC Wireless Interconnect Battery-Operated Smoke Alarm is not Wi-Fi connected, and you cannot control it from your smartphone. That is the bad news. But if you want remote control, you can connect it to a smart home hub such as SmartThings or Wink. Or you can just pop in a Roost battery in one of the alarms to have it connect to your Wi-Fi network.
Also, you need to remember that this only detects smoke, not carbon monoxide. For big houses, this is probably your best bet at having whole home protection without spending too much.
There are several smart smoke alarms that are generating buzz but are not yet available right now. One of them is the Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm. The Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm is also a Wi-Fi connected smart smoke detector that can notify you on your smartphone. The biggest advantage is that it includes a long-lasting battery that you would need to change every 10 years. There is currently no pricing information available for this smart smoke detector, and the company still has not announced any release dates.
Additionally, you have the Elgato Eve Smoke Connected Smoke Detector. This HomeKit enabled smoke and heat detector offers self-testing, Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone notifications, and, yes, a battery that could last a decade. With HomeKit, you can use scenes to make sure that your family is extra safe. For instance, you can set up your lights so that it turns on when the Eve Smoke detects fire, allowing you to see your way even without having to search for the light switch. Elgato Eve, however, is only available in select areas in Europe and is not available in the United States.
Aside from Kidde’s smoke alarm, you can also look into another budget option: First Alert 2-in-1 Z-Wave Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. Unlike Kidde, this can also detect carbon monoxide. While it does not connect directly to your Wi-Fi network, it can connect to Z-wave smart home hubs such as Iris and Nexia Home Intelligence. Doing this allows you to get notifications on your mobile phone.
Further read, OneLink vs Nest Protect
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!