Nest Smoke Detector

Starting with the phrase “Protection shouldn’t be annoying”, the creative inventors at NEST have done it again.  First they made  the Nest Thermostat (click here for the video), one that actually saves you money on your energy bills, and us uber stylish, and now they come out with a smoke detector that is equally as great.


Have you seen the new Nest Smoke Alarm?

Have you ever set off the smoke detector while cooking? I know I have.  When the darn thing goes off, I reach up (I’m 6+ feet tall) and twist the shrieking detector right off the ceiling, and take out the battery.  Sometimes I go to bed before remembering to put it back, and that is a huge no-no.  In fact over 70% of smoke detectors fail to go off because of missing batteries or some other reason.

Or, how about hearing that chirp, chirp, every few minutes when there is a low battery.  First you have to find which one is actually making the noise, and then I do the exact same thing.  Take it down, remove the batteries, and go unprotected for up to a week while I find time to hook it back up.

Well, no more.  With the new Nest Protect, all the old problems of a smoke detector go away, using a little technology, and some cool modern styling.

How the Smoke Detector Works

The smart people at Nest have separated the detection part from the alarm part and made a bunch of no-brainer improvements.  It uses both color, sound, and a human voice to let you know there is a problem.  Detecting both Smoke, as well as the odorless and colorless CO2 gas.

If you have multiple units they all link together via Wi-Fi, and you can even monitor them from your cell phone.  It’s a new take on an old technology.

Nest Smoke Detector Colors

The Nest Detect comes in two colors, black and white.  You can get the white one anywhere (Like, but you can only get the black one from the Nest website (see link at end of article.)

Nest Ring Colors - blueThe Nest detector also has a special LED ring on it that changes color based on the situation.  Most old smoke detectors only have a little red light that flashes every so often.

Not the Nest.  It’ has a large colored LED ring that changes color based on the situation.

  • No Color – Most of the time the nest smoke detector doesn’t light up.  That’s OK.  It’s still is working properly.
  • Blue ring – The blue light shows that Nest Protect is active and ready to be connected or tested.
  • Green ring – It is green immediately after setup to show everything is OK.  It also turns green immediately after you turn off the lights for a few minutes signaling that is is active and ready.  Also, it will turn green after an alarm showing that things are returning to normal.
  • White ring – This is the nightlight feature, and comes on when the room is totally dark, to briefly light your way.  This feature is called Pathlight, and is really cool.  I’m guessing the people at Nest have a new product based on this coming soon.
  • Yellow ring – This is a pre-alert – notifying you by both color and voice, that something is up.  It may be that the batteries are low, or it could be that there is an actual fire.  Either way, the color helps you to know what is going on.
  • Red ring – The red light means that Nest Protect has detected dangerous levels of smoke or carbon monoxide. A red light is accompanied by a loud alarm sound and a voice alert telling you what and where the danger is.

How the Smoke Alarm Works

The Nest unit has a two stage alarm, as well as using a real human voice, and colored lights to tell you what is going on.  Old style smoke detectors just make a crazy loud beep.  Not the Nest detector.  It first tells you, in English, that there is a problem, using clear easy to understand language:  “There is smoke in the hall”.  If you have just burned a steak, you can wave your hand at the unit to dismiss the alert.

If however it is a real fire, the notification will escalate, and a loud alarm (one that you expect from a smoke detector) will go off, alerting you where the fire is, and telling you to get out.

It also uses the red color to tell you that either there is smoke or high levels of CO2.

Smoke Detector Batteries

You can get either a battery operated one, or one that runs off 120 volts.  Most houses use a battery operated smoke detector, but I actually have one in my hallway that is hardwired.  I put one in every bedroom (where people sleep), plus one in the hall, one in the family room, and one near my furnaces.

Installing the Nest Protect

Other Cool Features

If you have more than one Nest Smoke Alarm, or a combo of the Thermostats and smoke alarms, they all talk to each other and work together.  What?  How is that possible?  Let me explain.  Say one of the smoke detectors signals there is smoke.  The Nest system works together, alerting you, and turning off your furnace in the case of an alarm.

Plus, if you have more than one detector, they all work together.  One in the kitchen senses smoke, it will signal the one in the hall or bedrooms telling you that there is smoke in the Kitchen (even if your Wi-Fi is down).  Very Very Cool.

Where to buy a Nest?

If you are looking for one, the best place to get it is Nest Protect Smoke + Carbon Monoxide They are most likely to have them in stock, and ship really fast so you can have one in just a couple of days with no hassle.  If you want a black Nest, you have to order it right from


4 Replies to “Nest Smoke Detector”

  1. These are really cool, do you happen to know if the wireless interconnect they use is in compliance with the City of Austin building code for Smoke/CO alarms? Thanks!

    1. I really don’t know that. But I’m sure if you contact the helpful people at nest the will help you out.

  2. Have you seen the new Nest Smoke Alarm?

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