Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector [Review]

Nest protect red

CES 2014 gave us a look at a lot of cool new technology. The big trends from this years show were wearable technology, 4K and smart homes — and one of the leaders in smart technology is Nest.

Nest unveiled its Thermostat in 2011. I’ve been using mine for a year now and I love it. Now Nest is out with its newest device, the Nest Protect. It’s a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. I now have a couple of them in my home.

Take a look at my video review of the Nest Protect.

The Nest Protect is a smart device that gives you status updates through your mobile device or web browser. It’s also ‘smart’ in its features. The Nest Protect comes in two different models. A wired version which also has battery backup and a plain battery version. Both come in black or white and cost $130 dollars.

Yes, that’s a steep price for a smoke and CO detector, especially when you can run down to a store and pick one up for about half the price. So let me go over some of the ‘smart’ features.

The Nest Protect has an early heads up warning system. This means if you’re cooking and burn something, the smoke detector isn’t immediately going to start blasting that piercing alarm sound. Instead you’ll see the inner circle light up yellow and you’ll hear a voice letting you know there’s some smoke, and where it is. If you know it’s not serious, just wave a hand at the Nest Protect several times, and it silences the warning. If the smoke increases and you don’t override it, then it sounds the emergency alarm. The same thing will happen if it detects rising CO levels.

Another feature of the Nest Protect is what they’re calling ‘making you a nightly promise. Plain and simple, when you turn off the lights before going to sleep, you should see the inner circle glow green for a second or two. That means everything is working fine including the batteries. This again can all be checked using the app as well. It’s a self monitoring system. If the light is yellow, it could simply be your batteries are running low. All you have to to is push the inner button and a message will let you know what’s not quite right.

The Nest Protect also helps you see in the dark. This is my wife and kids favourite feature. Pathlight works as a night light. At night if you walk under the Nest Protect, it briefly lights up to help you see. Nest says the high efficiency LED lights are set to low brightness and shouldn’t drain your batteries or waste energy.

A couple of last points, if you have more than one Nest Protect, they do communicate with each other. If there is an emergency then all the Protects will sound their alarm. And if you have the Nest thermostat, the Protects actually improve the auto away feature, thus helping you save some extra money on heating and cooling.

For the peace of mind the Nest Protect offers me, it’s well worth the $130 price tag. Is it safer than a detector you can buy at many stores for at least half the price? No, all smoke and CO detectors have to meet strict standards. But the Nest Protect gives me the sense of feeling safer, whether justified or not. And I can’t put a price on that.

Let me know what you think. Are you interested in smart home devices? What other home item would you like to see get the ‘smart’ status?

  • K

    Just got one recently. Works fine. Now I’m debating whether I need to get the thermostat although I already hae a programmable one at home…

  • Hugh

    I have had the Nest for close to 2 years now, as soon as it was made available in Canada. I replaced a programmable thermostat with the Nest and never looked. The fact that you can control the thermostat without being in the house is simply awesome. Now I’m debating if I should get a Protect… 🙂

  • Chrome262

    I too have the Nest, and I love it, its saved me cash and I agree, being able to check the temp before you go home is great. Also, it tells you if anyone is home, but looking at the away feature. It also has lets the fan run a while after cooling to spread out the cool air (i also use it to check on my home network lol). I am thinking of getting the protect as well, the only issue I have is that because of standards, the CO monitor will expire after 7 years, it may still work but it has to be replaced, so in the end you have to get another one. Thats fine but if you get more than one its a problem. But with future updates promised to make it even more integrated with the Nest and future products it could be the beginning of a whole home monitoring.

  • Awesome review Kris. Looks pretty bad ass.

  • Jake

    Have had one for a month now. So easy to use, and so easy to setup. Love the fact that I get notifications when I’m away if there are any problems.