Today we’d like to remind folks of the considerable importance of smart sensors and detectors. I’m talking about devices like smart smoke detectors and smart carbon monoxide (or other gas) sensors, which could easily save your life under the right (that is, wrong) set of circumstances. These devices are therefore must have items in any connected home. If you’ve been thinking of joining the smart home revolution and haven’t quite started yet, you couldn’t choose a better place to begin than with smart sensors and detectors. If you’ve already taken the plunge in other smart home areas but have yet to add smart sensors to your home, or if your existing sensors and detectors are in need of updating, keep on reading to learn about a few great options that are currently available at Best Buy.


The Case for Smart Sensors and Detectors

There’s no better reason to add smart sensors and detectors to your home than the fact that they could quite possibly save the lives of you and your family. This truth applies whether you employ old fashioned (non smart) sensors and detectors or their more modern smart counterparts. However, in the case of smart sensors and detectors, there are many useful features that you simply won’t get with their older and more basic cousins.

For instance, smart sensors and detectors feature app-based control via a Wi-Fi (or Bluetooth) connected smart device, opening up a broader range of communication and warning possibilities than has ever been available before. As such, you could receive a warning about a carbon monoxide leak in your house while you’re busy at work and your family is still at home. If such a situation was to occur, you could then call your family and warn them to get out of the house immediately (if they haven’t also got the appropriate app installed on their own smart phones and already received the warning).

Similarly, if there’s a fire in your home when nobody is there, wouldn’t you rather get an immediate alert from your smart smoke detector via your smart phone in the earliest stages? This way, you could call your local Fire Department and send them on the way that much quicker than might otherwise be possible. In many cases, by the time a fire is noticed, the damage is already done and it may be too late to save anything or anyone.

As you can see, having smart sensors and detectors set up as an early warning system in your home that can alert you to a problem no matter where you might be could very easily make the difference between life and death to you and your loved ones. A number of additional features and benefits offered by various smart sensors and detectors will be explored in the section that follows.



Key Features to Look For in Smart Sensors

Many smart home products today offer a wide variety of useful features and benefits, and smart sensors and detectors are no exception to this rule. However, do keep in mind that not every feature will necessarily be present in every sensor or detector. The following list (which is certainly not exhaustive) is therefore meant as a general overview of some of the features you might want to look for with your next smart sensor purchase:

  • Easy Installation – Many smart home products are becoming easier and more intuitive to install by the day. Depending on whether your smart sensor or detector is battery powered or wired in, you may be looking at a setup process that takes mere minutes. Key steps here typically include downloading the appropriate app to your smart phone, connecting your chosen product to your home’s Wi-Fi network, and ultimately allowing your smart phone and sensor to sync up together to begin their communications. It frequently is just that easy.
  • Smart Connectivity – Whether via Wi-Fi or through Bluetooth, smart sensors and detectors conveniently talk to your smart device to provide you with the information you need as soon as you need it.
  • App-Based Control – Smart home products of all varieties provide users with a freely downloadable app that generally works with (at the very least) iOS and Android based smart phones and tablets to provide real time alerts and messages as well as complete control over the device. If you’re in the market for a new smart sensor or detector of any kind, it’s always good to learn as much as you can about the specific product’s app beforehand to discover what kinds of information and features that app provides.
  • Compatibility with Other Smart Home Devices – One example of this is the Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm, which is conveniently compatible with other products from Nest (specifically the Nest Thermostat and Nest Cam). Other smart sensors/detectors may also have compatibility with different products from the same manufacturer or with larger smart home ecosystems such as Apple HomeKit or IFTTT. Similarly, voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant may also offer compatibility with your smart sensor of choice.


Smart Examples of Smart Sensors

Possibly the smartest example of any individual smart sensor or detector currently on the market is the one I just mentioned above—the Nest Protect Wi-Fi Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm. The version that I’ve linked to here is Nest’s battery operated model, but there’s also a wired-in version of this product as well (for those that prefer not to depend on batteries). The only difference I can find between the two models is that the wired-in version includes a special backup battery in case there’s a power outage. Other major features of the Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm include a Split-Spectrum Sensor (with the unique ability to detect both fast and slow-burning fires), a 10 year Carbon Monoxide Sensor (that can recognize and locate the presence of CO (which is equally as toxic as it is invisible), and a helpful capability called Nightly Promise (essentially a battery monitoring feature that gives you the “green light” that your battery is good to go for the night). But that’s not all. In fact, there are numerous other great features with this product as well, and I would advise learning all about them by reading Shelly Wutke’s in depth article from a few months ago entitled Nest Protect is a Smart Solution to Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Worries. This article will give you all the information you need to know to decide whether the Nest Protect is right for you.


Also of possible interest to you is the Airthings Wave Wireless Radon Gas Detector. With its free iOS and Android compatible app and Bluetooth connectivity, this detector is ready to provide you with all of the details regarding radon gas levels in your home. View daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly levels of this potentially dangerous gas, and be alerted to poor air quality in your home via an alarm that’s both audible and visual. The Airthings Wave Wireless Radon Gas Detector even records up to one full year of pertinent data, along with providing the current temperature and humidity levels in your home. It’s also noted by users as being easy to set up and use, so odds are you’ll be happy you got it.


Well, that’s all I’ve got to say about these excellent safety-bringing devices for now. At this point I suspect you can easily see the incredible value in them. To see more of Best Buy’s selection of Smart Sensors and Detectors, be sure to click on the preceding link and check out what’s available. You just might be able to sleep a whole lot better at night once you do your smart sensor homework!


Leo enjoys writing about everything from secret agents to tech toys and gadgets to professional hockey. Find his reviews and other product related commentary right here on the Best Buy Blog and his latest hockey rants at