Thursday, February 28, 2019

Nest Protect

I feel sorry for the little smoke detectors that came with my house. I'm sure they worked incredibly hard over the years, valiantly sitting watch around the house ready to detect smoke with total vigilance. All they asked was a yearly battery replacement and self-test. Then my family comes in and, like an Initech business consultant, I start asking "What would you do here?". Next thing you know, the kitchen smoke detector has been retired to the tool closet and a Nest Protect is sitting watch in its place.

The big question is, why would the average consumer want to purchase a Nest Protect at $110 over the traditional puck style smoke detector which costs around $25? Does the Nest Protect offer $85 worth of value over the puck? In my opinion, it does. To begin with, the Nest Protect has a sleek and stylish look boasting a square design with rounded edges, and a stainless-steel mesh cover that looks not only looks great, but gives smoke and CO2 a bunch of access points for better detection.

The Nest Protect is also an essential part of your smart home deployment, as it can alert you via the Nest app when smoke and/or CO2 has been detected. Just a few hours after installing a Nest Protect in the kitchen, the girls decided to cook some fried chicken on the stove. I was at rehearsals when the Nest app alerted me that smoke had been detected. The girls later told me that the Nest Protect announced that smoke had been detected and if it continued, the alarm would sound and that it would be loud. In cases like this, when there's just a little smoke due to un-vented cooking, the alert can be silenced via the app or by physically pressing the button on the device. If there's a large amount of smoke, however, silencing will be disabled.

The Pathlight feature on Nest Protect is very handy. Pathlight is like a night light that turns on when you walk by, so you don’t need to stumble around in the dark. So, when Nest Protect detects you walking by in the dark, i it will illuminate
a soft white light in order to help you find your way. Ten seconds after you pass by, Pathlight turns off.

If you have a Nest thermostat, then the Nest Protect can work in partnership with it. So, if the Nest Protect detects Carbon Monoxide, you have the option of allowing the Nest Protect to turn your furnace off via the Nest thermostat. This makes sense, as the furnace tends to be the primary cause of Carbon Monoxide emissions.

The one drawback I see with the Nest Protect is that it doesn't integrate with Google Home. I know that some folks out there want to have the ability to have the connected light bulbs turn red during an alert or perhaps have some bulbs turn on to 10% brightness when Pathlight detects movement. Those are minor concerns for me. While I hope that Nest offers Google Home integration in the near future, it isn't a deal breaker for me. I'll be deploying Nest Protect devices in other areas around the house over the next few months.

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