Recommendation for smart smoke alarms? (Konnected System)


(Rich Heimlich) #1

Hey guys. I’m just getting my awesome Konnected system finalized and it alerted me (no pun intended) to a couple problematic items in my setup. Two of them are my 13 year-old smoke detectors that honestly look MUCH older and also, frankly, look like they really wouldn’t even work!

Anyway, I’d like to replace them with a unit that is, of course, compatible with Smartthings, is wired, has all the different types of smoke detection and carbon monoxide detection, etc. It should also have battery backup, I THINK. I say that as the previous owners of the house installed battery-driven FirstAlert units RIGHT NEXT to the wired units (these are the same people that put in the wired units). I assume there must have been some fire regulation saying detectors need to be battery driven and not wired? However, my Konnected system IS on a battery backup so I’m not even sure that’s needed, but seems it couldn’t hurt.

What products should I be looking at?


(Erik) #2

If you don’t care about hardwired, the ONLY Z-Wave smoke detector (and thus native integration with SmartThings) is this First Alert one: https://smile.amazon.com/First-Alert-Z-Wave-Detector-Monoxide/dp/B00KMHXFAI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1532088602&sr=8-3&keywords=zwave+smoke+alarm

If you are cool with installing third party smartapps and device handlers, then the Nest smoke detectors, along with the NST 5.0 smartapp will also integrate, and allow for hard wiring into existing interconnect systems.

There is a third (risky) option, but is the path that I took before they went AWOL, is Halo smoke detectors. They are native Z-Wave and powered with battery backup. Mine work fine, but nobody can get a hold of them anymore and retailers all pulled them from their shelves and won’t sell them. Everyone suspects that there is an issue but nobody really knows. So I wouldn’t really recommend them at this point.


(Mark) #3

Yikes. In general, smoke/CO detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Also, regular testing of detectors is recommended; you obviously don’t want the first time you realize it’s not working correctly to be when there’s actually a fire!

So I don’t use konnected, but isn’t it intended to be a bridge between a (dumb) wired alarm system, including smoke detectors, and SmartThings? In other words, you’d want to replace your old smoke/co detectors with new dumb ones that are wired into your alarm panel. Then konnected handles the link to SmartThings, essentially smartening up your dumb detector.

Go to the konnected website, in the help section there’s a great article on smoke/CO detectors and konnected, including recommendations for replacement models.

You would have to check your local regulations to be sure, but in the US I believe most jurisdictions do require that smoke alarms are hardwired with battery backup.

There may be some smoke detector models powered by low voltage, which could be coming from the alarm panel. In that case, your smoke detector could continue to work if you lose power I guess. But for many modern smoke detectors that are powered by mains wires, if you lose power and it doesn’t have its own battery backup, the detector WILL NOT WORK. A battery on your alarm panel would be of no use in that situation.


(Mark) #4

Nest protect uses a wireless interconnect, even the devices that are hardwired for power.

Halo actually uses WiFi, if you use the native halo app. Or zigbee (not z-wave) if you pair it with SmartThings. It can’t use both peotocols at the same time. And I agree, do NOT purchase a halo device (if you can even find one for sale), there’s an active thread in this forum where there is some very concerning (circumstantial) evidence that the company is essentially out of business, there’s some defect in their devices, or possibly both.

If it’s just that the company is belly up, then I think the device should continue to work fine while in zigbee mode and paired to a coordinator like the ST hub. The WiFi mode wouldnt work, since it connects to halo cloud. And the device itself would (hopefully?) continue to work locally.

If the devices are defective in some way, then obviously they should be replaced with another model. The major problem is that Halo has been completely silent, so no one knows WTF is going on.


(MarkTr) #5

My understanding is that this is true for new construction. For the rest of us, in MD the deadline just passed to switch to sealed 10-year battery smoke detectors - I’m guessing other jurisdictions are going the same way. Maybe this means no more PSAs from fire depts about changing your smoke detector batteries?


(Mark) #6

Best bet is to always check your local fire/building code regulations. Why assume or guess when it comes to fire and life safety? :slightly_smiling_face:


(Rich Heimlich) #7

Thanks. Didn’t realize that was there.

You would have to check your local regulations to be sure, but in the US I believe most jurisdictions do require that smoke alarms are hardwired with battery backup.

Unless I misunderstand how mine work, I’m 99% sure that they are 100% driven by the panel which now is a Konnected panel. Two wires are ground and hot and two wires are data. Thus, I’m also fairly sure that mine will work in a power outage (which I plan to test after everything is 100% setup). The last step I have is figuring out something wonky in the wiring for these two detectors from the old panel. For some reason the two detectors have two power lines each (red/black) but are wired in a way that suggests SIX data lines, which clearly isn’t right. Still decoding what the point of all that was.


(Michael Poepping) #8

I would appreciate any guidance anyone can offer regarding how to configure the SmartThings Hub V3 to provide the wireless interconnect between two Halo Smartlabs smoke/CO detectors. I bought two Halos back in June, one for upstairs and the other for the basement, planning to use the Halo WIFI interconnect so I didn’t have to fish through a hard wire for interconnect between them. After Halo went belly up on 8/1/2018, the interconnect no longer works without the Halo cloud site. I just bought a SmartThings V3 hub and successfully added the two Halo’s to it, but the wireless interconnect between the two Halos does not work. I saw some mention in other posts of setting up “virtual alarms” with a SmartApp but have not found enough specific information to understand what that means or how to do it.