Device Review

NEST Protect Smoke + CO alarm



If you think about it, the only thing in your home alerting you from a fire is the smoke detector you haven’t touched since last year; it just sits there, offering a sense of security in the back of your mind.  For the past several decades, home-installed smoke detectors haven’t changed all that much. They’re all white, circular in shape, and annoyingly beeps at you when its batteries are low. Most don’t even detect poisonous, invisible gases such as carbon monoxide.

Nest’s Protect changes this market with a revolutionary smoke/CO detector that looks more elegant, includes “smart” features, and offers a few creature comforts.  With a battery or wired option, the Protect is a good choice for those seeking smart home connected detectors.



The Nest Protect has a rounded, square design featuring a white mesh cover with plenty of holes to allow for smoke detection.  It features a microphone and a multitude of sensors including one for carbon monoxide, heat, humidity, occupancy, and ambient light.  In the center of the device, there is an on/off button bordered by an LED ring that glows in different colors to signal different meanings:

  • Green indicates Nest’s “Nightly Promise” notifying you that the Protect diagnosed its sensors and batteries and all is in good, working order.

  • White is a path light that will light up your way in the dark using its occupancy sensors.

  • Yellow acts as a warning to alert potential fires in your home such as slight smoking. The Protect will also speak aloud where the potential danger is coming from.

  • Red means that there are dangerous levels of smoke or carbon monoxide.

One of the main features of the Nest Protect is its ability to connect to WiFi, allowing for a multitude of more advanced features.  For one, it can connect to the Nest app on your smartphone. With the app, you can now designate each Protect device to a particular room in your home so that it can notify you where the smoke or carbon monoxide is stemming from in the case of an emergency.  Another really handy feature that you don’t get in traditional smoke detectors is the alerts you receive when you’re away so that you can get alerted to any dangers inside your house. With WiFi, Protect is also able to keep up-to-date by upgrading its software.

Furthermore, because this is a smart home device, the Protect works seamlessly with other Nest and Lutron Products.  In the case of a smoke or CO detection, the Protect will communicate with other smart home devices like the Nest Cam and Lutron Smart Lights, starting video recording and turning on lights automatically.



Nest Protect is a pricey product that sells for $119 each. Not only do you need to purchase multiple alarms for a home, but they also need to be replaced every 10 years because of the need to replace the sensors.
Additionally, because the Nest Protect doesn’t feature a red signal wire that many other smoke detectors use to communicate with, it will be unable to synchronize with other smoke detectors that utilize signal legs.
In terms of appearance, although the Nest Protect is sleeker and more modern than the white, circular slab, its square shape may require a paint touch-up to refinish the ceiling.


Although the Nest Protect comes at a hefty price of $119 each, it is definitely a worthy replacement for your current smoke detectors.  It looks great, offers more than just a smoke detector, and can connect with other smart home devices, not to mention its slew of features such as path light and status reports. Nest’s app is extremely simple and straightforward to use like always and keeps users notified of activity at all times. So, if you’re ever in the market for a connected smoke detector, definitely be sure to check out the Nest Protect.