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Tag: Google Nest Protect

How to Power your Smoke Alarm for a Decade on One Battery

If you’re tired of having to feed new batteries into your smoke detectors, you may want to consider this solution…

It was 2:15am last Wednesday. An annoying electronic chirp tore me out of sleep. Of course, one of my smoke detectors was proclaiming that it needed a new battery. I stumbled downstairs and waited impatiently for the next chirp to identify the cranky smoke detector.


Wait a minute… Didn’t I just replace the battery on that one less than a month ago?

Still half asleep, I ripped the battery out of the unit’s innards, threw the mess on my desk and went back to bed.

The next morning, I sat down with my cup of joe with the intention to order more 9-volt batteries. But something didn’t feel right. I picked up the plump disc and looked at the fine print. It was manufactured back in 2010. Oh… That’s not good.

It was past its 10-year life span, and still going?

Time for a new unit.

10-Year Battery that’s Baked into your Smoke Detector
As I performed my research, I quickly realized that there’s a whole smoke detector product line that features a 10-year lithium battery sealed into the construction. No need to ever replace the battery. One and done!

Some states require this type of smoke detector, but this upgrade seems like a no-brainer for anybody to buy.

I found some chatter online that these 10-year batteries may not actually last you the full decade. I think that’s still okay. If I can get 7 or 8 years of peace at night without ever having to hear a chirp again, I’d say it’s still a huge bargain.

There are any number of 10-year battery models to choose from. I went with a basic unit for my hallway:

Why this one?
(Wirecutter liked it.)


Don’t Forget my Google Nest Protect
For those who are paying attention to my previous thinking on smoke detectors, you may recall my passionate commitment to my Google Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. (In fact, I recently replaced my original unit which had reached its own end of life.)

So why am I still dabbling in old-school tech, even with an upgraded battery design?

Yes… my Google Nest Protect is our main line of defense, standing guard upstairs outside our bedrooms. I feel that’s the key location in our house, especially for a carbon monoxide detector.

I just haven’t yet committed to converting all of my smoke detectors over to the Nest Protect line. (It’s a bit of a costly project.)

And a twenty-buck solution from First Alert that should last us the better part of this decade felt like an easy move.

An integrated, multi-unit/smart-home set up will need to wait for a future post. Yes, I just bought myself another 10 years. But knowing me, I also don’t think it will take until 2031 to get there!

Stay tuned…

It May be Time to Say Goodbye to your Nest Protect

No tech lasts forever. Here’s what I did when my Nest Protect let me know that its ‘life’ was ending.

My Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm recently informed me that it was about to reach the end of its life and cease all operations. I received the sad message via the Nest smartphone app that communicates with it. My Nest Protect has been stationed on the ceiling outside our bedroom for the past six years.

It has glowed reassuringly green as I passed by it every night on the way to bed. (A yellow color ring would suggest that all was not well.)

Feeling like You’re in a Movie
When I got the news, I felt like I was in a slick sci-fi flick, and my trusted AI bot had informed me that it was time to say goodbye. Its makers had programmed its end, and there was nothing I could do.

Wait. Scratch that.

The year is 2048. It’s my grandson’s bot. They’ve been inseparable over the years, while my son was away for long stretches conducting critical science experiments on Moonbase Alpha. The bot walks up to the eight year old and presents the bad news. There are tears and a huge hug. But my grandson can’t accept it. There must be a way to save his life-long friend!

Cue the opening credits…

My Next Protect Experience
Costing $99, my battery-powered Nest Protect was an expensive investment as far as smoke detectors go, but it has provided peace of mind over the years. And the fact I could check its status on my iPhone was pretty cool.

It would also talk to me in a friendly voice as opposed to projecting angry chirps like most smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Of course, it did possess the important capability to project a mind-melting alarm if needed. (Thankfully, I’ve only been exposed to that dimension-ending sound during tests.)

One of its big selling points, that it wouldn’t chirp when it was time to replace its batteries, didn’t quite work out for me. My Nest Protect was simply supposed to tell me that. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, but over the years, I still got that blasted chirp… more than once.

And you should know that the Nest Protect is picky regarding what kind of batteries you feed it. It requires six Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries, which are super powerful and can keep the Nest Protect happy for long stretches.

So the Nest Protect does need a little extra love. You can’t just treat it like a cheap, throwaway detector. And yes, eventually it will be time to say goodbye.

But not for long.
I’ve decided to re-up my commitment to this tech relationship.

Time for a New Google Nest Protect
I just bought the second generation model. And it’s now part of the Google product line.
So, it’s the Google Nest Protect.
$119 on Amazon

  • It has a split-spectrum sensor. (I think that’s like a warp drive upgrade for smoke detectors.)
  • You can turn off a false alarm from the smartphone app.
  • Its ‘pathlight’ is brighter.
  • This model is supposed to last for up to a decade.

Return to the Happy Green Glow
I’ve got my new Google Nest Protect in place, and tech balance has been restored in the Lester home (for now).

If all goes well, our home’s new guardian will be around past 2030.

That said, something tells me a newer model will show up before the decade is out to attract my attention. We’ll talk more then!

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