Nest Protect vs First Alert Wireless Interconnect?

Hey guys,

Was wondering if it’s worth buying the Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detector vs just going with one of those First Alert smart detectors ( or

It seems both can be connected to SmartThings? Does one have major benefits over the other? Especially in the context of the ST ecosystem?

I haven’t personally used either of those. I have connected kiddie alarms throughout my home and wanted a way to integrate it as well. I didn’t want to wire anything in for various reasons so instead I recently discovered Leeo. It’s basically a device that listens for the tone an alarm makes and signals you. It isn’t directly integrated with ST but is with IFTT so using that I was able to use the universal DTH and integrate it with SHM. It’s a nice little device and alternative in my opinion.

Thanks! Yea I’ve heard of Leeo but I’m not a fan of IFTTT + ST integration. Too much dependency and probable lag in my experience. Especially for as something as crucial as smoke/carbon monoxide, I wouldn’t want any sort of delays on notification. Especially while out of the house. Every second counts at that point. I never fully understood the benefits of Nest Protect compared to the ‘simple’ First Alert zwave-based smoke/carbon monoxide detector (especially considering you can get two of those for less than the cost of the Nest Protect…) but maybe I just haven’t researched it enough.

I’d like to listen in too, considering there’s a BB deal today. Is Nest Protect too much trouble for ST or too overly fancy compared to the ZCOMBO?

If I ask outside ST forum I bet people will choose Nest Protect because they don’t take ST into account…

The deal is exactly why I’m wondering if the Protect is worth the extra money in the context of using with ST. Why spend nearly twice as much (even with the deal) though if the zcombo would do the job perfectly fine with the ST monitoring it?

The first alert Z-wave devices, which include the Zcombo (your second link) and the Zsmoke, integrate directly with smartthings, the other first alert wireless interconnect devices (your first link) do not.

The Zcombo and Zsmoke only come in battery operated, not hardwired. Nest protect comes in either. I don’t have any nest devices, so I’m not familiar with how they integrate with ST; AFAIK it’s not direct, there are community developed solutions, not sure how well they work for the protect devices.

Thanks for clarifying? I thought that’s what I read about Nest Protect (that there are community developed handlers, etc…). So it sounds like the zcombo really is the best way to go here. BTW: I read that carbon monoxide detector placement is optimal at 5ft off the ground. All my current smoke [only] detectors are high up. For these combination detectors, what is the recommended placement height? I also would want to take into consideration the little ones messing around with (and potentially breaking or damaging) a new “toy” :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, is there a good wired equivalent of the zcombo or similar smoke/co-monoxide detector that will work directly with ST?

I’m in a single-floor condo unit (on the bottom floor) that’s about 1300-1400sq ft and has 3 bedrooms. Would one of the combo detectors be sufficient to cover the entire condo? Or would I want two (one in the hallway and one near or in the kitchen)? There are smoke detectors in each bedroom as well, plus a wired smoke detector in the hallway. Is it better to keep the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors separate? I want to make all my smoke detectors smart but am debating now if it’s better to go with smoke-only or combo units for every room…

I believe that’s a myth. A combo smoke/CO detector has to be on the ceiling to detect smoke optimally and they won’t have any difficulty detecting CO up there either.

Unfortunately not currently. You can keep an eye out for Halo, which doesn’t appear to actually be available yet, but might be soon and it uses Zigbee. Probably still would need a community-developed device handler to integrate it with ST though.

Not really, no. The NFPA says you should have a smoke detector inside and outside each bedroom, and a co detector outside each bedroom. Since you have other detectors already, does each one need to be replaced with a connected detector? I guess that’s up to you and how you intend to use them. Consider looking up what your local fire codes require as far as placement of smoke and co detectors in new construction.

I have a zcombo in each of the two bedrooms in my apartment, two dumb hardwired detectors outside each bedroom (one is smoke the other is smoke/co), and a Leeo to tell me if either of the dumb detectors goes off when I’m not home.

I don’t think it’s worth getting worked up over the “lag” introduced by IFTTT when linking Leeo to ST. For one thing, you can still get the alert directly from Leeo, and I hate to break it to you but ST is unreliable enough that there could be plenty of lag or even a total failure to alert without even adding IFTTT to the mix.

I have the protects and thermostats.

Pros of Nest, is it is a separate system so if ST is acting up I would still get alerts (redundancy), doesn’t help if Internet is out. A few other pros, like night lights and CO2 detection, nice voice warnings. It does really help with Nest presence detection. If you are not hardwired, they will communicate to each other over the Thread protocol.

Pros of Kiddie/First Alert, is I believe (don’t quote me) that if you have one Kiddie/First Alert zwave and the rest cheap kiddie alarms that are interconnected you will still get alerts through ST. You will lose he ability to isolate what room there is smoke from the App.

If you don’t use Nest Thermostats the value is limited. I like them and I would purchase them again. I have 7 so it was not cheap.

As for Combo units, most Building codes require 1 CO2 detector per floor where people sleep, in a central location. Co2 is lighter than air so you probably read at least 5 feet off the ground, ceilings should be fine.

Interesting. The con for me for protect were the price and the weird look if I try to sell the house.

Do you get wired/battery operated nest protect?

If I have 2 space for smoke alarms, should i go with both the same, or one of each for the laughs?@~@

Thanks for the info! Are there requirements for smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in or around kitchens? I’ll have to investigate this further. I wonder if Leeo/ST Integration is a current work in progress… are there any other siren/alarmed based sensors that will work with ST if Leeo doesn’t have this capability?

As I understand it (this may have changed/I may be wrong) but they all communicate via Thread, even the hardwired ones, as they don’t use the ‘interconnect’ wire at all.

I have a Nest Thermostat (Gen 1) and 2 Next Protects installed. To my knowledge, SmartThings does not have native support for Nest. However, the 2 systems can be integrated via IFTTT or various ST software projects that were released to the ST community. The nice feature of the Nest Protect is a spoken alert in the event of a fire that can be silenced within the Nest app in the event of a false alarm. The Nest Protect also functions as a night light and will automatically turn off the furnace/AC if you have a Nest thermostat.

The First Alert Smoke & CO Detector is much like a traditional detector, but has a direct Z-wave connection to SmartThings. This would provide an alert to ST which would notify your phone and could trigger other actions (ie. turn off your furnace).

Probably. Some of the standalone smoke detectors don’t communicate to others. Its becoming more popular now.


I think the square looks better than the round ones. They have a nice profile. Nest is more expensive and they don’t look or feel cheap. The standard ones I replaced them with felt fragile in comparison.

Nest-Manager is the best way to integrate Nest products into SmartThings. I find IFTTT slow and unreliable.

Nest protect and Rachio sprinkler system if there is a fire alarm it will turn on your sprinklers to help reduce spread.

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I agree with you to some degree about the IFTT piece. There is the potential for lag there, however it’s been near instant for me in testing, and the native Leeo app notifies me as well so not that big of deal. Also, I guess I don’t understand entirely because if you are concerned with delay or lag then relying on ST at all is a mistake as it’s reliability is sketchy at best for anything important. Ultimately it’s personal preference I suppose but I’d rather spend $25 to essentially integrate all 8 of my hardwired detectors than replace them all with z-wave or nests.