Chapter in this post:
Earlier, a question came in from my reader Lars, with whom I had already emailed weeks ago, because he needed a few tips to monitor his holiday home. He is currently concerned with the subject of smoke detectors and since he works with Apple devices, he wanted to know which fire detector models are homekit-compatible.
His question in a nutshell:
Hello, Jens! Covid-19 delayed everything a little, but I would like to tackle it now. Do you still have an idea for 3x smoke detectors that I can connect to the Apple Home Kit and monitor?
Yes, the Google Nest products are not inherently compatible with Apple HomeKit, but there is a simple and well-functioning solution to integrate all these Nest products into your HomeKit: the Starling Home Hub.
This small box virtually forms a bridge between HomeKit and Google Nest and so it is possible for Google Nest smoke detectors, surveillance cameras and other devices from the Nest family to appear in the Home app just like normal HomeKit devices.
The Starling Home Hub is available here and currently costs around 90 US dollars.
Why do I propose this route via a hub? Because I find the convenience and functionality of the Google Nest devices very pleasant. The Nest smoke alarms, for example, offer an automatic night light function, check themselves regularly for their function and offer interesting options when it comes to notification and coupling with one another.
This means that you are not immediately alerted to a possible fire with a deafening warning tone, but instead receive a warning in a human voice before the real alarm. This leaves enough time to temporarily mute the Nest smoke alarm if you just let your pizza burn.
In addition, it is the only smoke detector that - as far as I know - also has a carbon monoxide sensor and can therefore warn of this gas. This is interesting for everyone who runs a wood-burning stove or a gas boiler.
The also built-in fire spectrum sensor is able to detect both open fires with smoke development and slow-burning smoldering fires. This combination of CO sensor and fire spectrum sensor makes it unique in the ranks of fire detectors.
Anyone who, like me, finds this option with Hub and Google Nest smoke alarms interesting, can at Amazon or Cyberport Get a pack of three of the Nest smoke alarms. Of course, you can also buy individual Nest smoke detectors there, but you usually need several.
The "simpler" solution, without an additional hub, is of course available if the smoke alarms themselves speak to HomeKit. There are two models here that I would like to introduce. The order has been chosen deliberately and is to be understood as an evaluation. ;-)
Since I already have a number of Eve devices myself and find them quite good, I can do that Eve Smoke smoke alarms (right after the nest) recommend. Like the Google Nest smoke alarms, the Eve Smoke also have a self-test. The Eve devices not only react to smoke, but also detect smoldering fires through the heat sensors.
It should be noted with the Eve devices, however, that they work via Bluetooth and not via WLAN. For this reason, the range and the response time are slightly worse than with WLAN-based products. I have several Eve light switches and thermostats that work with bluetooth. With the thermostats, even with three floors in the half-timbered house, I had no connection problems. But both the thermostats and the smart sockets usually take a few seconds before they respond to a command. This delay means that many people avoid the Eve products.
If you have range problems, you can fix them with a special repeater from Eve, which is available under the product name "Eve Extend"is to be bought.
Advantage of the Eve Smoke: It can also be set so that only the heat sensor is evaluated. This means that it can also be used in the kitchen without causing false alarms for “smoky” dishes.
Another candidate I'd like to throw in the ring is the smart WiFi-based smoke detector from Netatmo. Unfortunately, this “only” has one smoke sensor and is therefore less suitable for bathrooms and kitchens - this is also shown on the Netatmo page. However, it has a regular self-test and can also send notifications via HomeKit and inform the user about a possible fire.
Among the three products is definitely that Google Nest smoke alarm the most comfortable choice. On the one hand, it reliably detects smoldering fires and normally burning fire. On the other hand, its CO sensor also indicates the dangerous carbon monoxide. This makes it perhaps the safest smoke detector in our selection. Only the detour via the hub is a minor minus point here.
Eve Smoke would be my second choice, as it has an additional heat sensor and can therefore detect smoldering fires. The possibility of using it even in smoky kitchens is another plus.
From my point of view, the rear brings up the rear Netatmo smoke detector. It fulfills all the basics, but that's about it.
Do you already use smart smoke alarms in your home? If so, which models do you use? I am happy about your input.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.
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