Okay, so maybe my headline is bit over the top. The Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight isn’t a robotic fire extinguisher (although Leeo CEO and co-founder Adam Gettings’ background includes designing robots for SWAT teams and other first responders). But the Leeo really can prevent your house from burning down, and that renders this $100 nightlight very inexpensive indeed.

A smoke detector can save your life and property if a fire breaks out, and a carbon monoxide detector can save your life. But if you’re not home to hear those alarms go off, they’re not very useful. One alternative is to install a home-security system that provides remote monitoring, but ADT, Vivint, and similar companies charge at least $15 per month for that service.

Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight

You can control the brightness of the Leeo’s nightlight feature using the app on your smartphone or by rotating the collar on the device itself. 

Buy a Leeo for $100 and if it detects your smoke or CO detector going off, the Leeo service will send you a message via the app, complete with a recording of the alarm sounding off. Touch one button to call your local 911 (local to your home, not to where you are at the time), or touch another to indicate a false alarm. Update: Leeo can now also listen for the sound of a water leak detector firing off.

If you don’t take action immediately, the Leeo service will robo-call your emergency contact list until someone not only answers, but takes action (since the call could go to voicemail). The call will play the recorded sound and ask the person to press 1 if they think it’s a smoke (or CO) detector, to press 2 if they think it’s a false alarm, or to press 3 to hear the sound again.

The app message (see example below) informs you of the location of the alarm, but the robo-call does not. I hope Leeo changes that in short order, because if the people on your contact list also have Leeos, or if you have more than one home with one, the person answering the call won’t know where the emergency is. I also hope Leeo finishes the Android version of its app soon, because I don’t have an iPhone. Today, the app works only with the iPhone 4S or later, with iOS 7 or later. it can also be controlled by a fifth-generation iPod touch. I used my wife’s iPhone 5 to evaluate the Leeo.

How it works—and how well it works

Here’s how it works. Open a free Leeo account and install the Leeo app on your smartphone. Plug the Leeo into an electrical outlet, preferably in a hallway where your smoke or carbon-monoxide detector is located. Launch the app and it will use Bluetooth to pair your phone with the Leeo. The final step is to provide the app with your Wi-Fi router’s password, so that the Leeo can join your home network.

Leeo Nightlight

Leeo sends this message via its app when it detects a smoke or carbon-monoxide sensor sounding off. 

The Leeo is equipped with a microphone and sensors for temperature, humidity, and ambient light. The microphone is tuned to recognize the specific frequencies and audio patterns that smoke and CO detectors generate when they sound an alarm (a Leeo spokesperson told me there are UL-standard frequencies that all smoke and CO detectors produce). And in my tests, the Leeo was able to distinguish between the two alarms.

Leeo (the company) states the sensor’s range at 75 feet, and it was able to pick up my CO detector’s alarm from more than 50 feet (in a bedroom on the other side of the house). You might want more than one Leeo if you own a very large or a multi-storied home. The app supports multiple Leeos and can determine which one is sending an alert.

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