The newest connected device I'm writing about is also one of the most unique ones I have had the pleasure to test. Leeo (US$99) is billed as a Smart Alert Nightlight, a device that you plug into a wall socket where it keeps tabs on any beeps coming from your smoke or CO detectors, and also monitors temperature and humidity in the room it's in. If an alarm goes off or if ambient conditions exceed some pre-defined limited, not only are you informed via an app, but you can have friends or even emergency responders informed that something's wrong.
So what's the point? Well, a lot of us are away from our homes a good deal of the day, so we can't hear a smoke alarm going off if we accidentally left an appliance on, or a CO monitor beeping if the furnace suddenly goes on the blink. Leeo listens for those alarms, then notifies you if anything out of the ordinary happens.
Leeo's an attractive little device, a truncated cone about 88mm wide at the front, 60mm at the back, and about 27mm thick. A North American wall plug is on the back, and the front features a small grid of holes. Around the back of the truncated cone is a translucent white plastic through which LEDs can create almost any color light. The light can act both as an alert and as a nightlight.
It's an unobtrusive device with a smart premise - you can't hear smoke and CO detectors when you're not at home, so Leeo provides a set of electronic ears to always be listening for those beeps. Anytime they occur, you're going to be alerted via an app and can also have neighbors, friends, or emergency responders contacted automatically. This is all done without a monitoring fee; all you need to do is sign up for a free account and then have the device plugged in and connected to your home Wi-Fi network.
Setting up Leeo was a breeze. You basically just plug it in, wait about a minute until it becomes "aware" of the surroundings and goes through some startup processes, and then use the app and Bluetooth to set up an account and make some initial settings. Since Leeo connects to your Wi-Fi network, you'll need to select that network in the app and then provide the app with the Wi-Fi password.
Once the system is up and running, you'll get an up-to-the-minute look at the temperature and humidity that Leeo is seeing in the room where it is installed.
Leeo works best if you have smoke detectors that have a way to be tested - like pressing that little button so you can hear it beep incessantly. Why? Well, the app provides a way for you to test Leeo's "hearing" by letting it "listen" to the smoke and CO detectors.
This is also the point at which you can enter in phone numbers for friends and family who might be able to check to see if flames are indeed shooting out of your home.
Once Leeo hears the beeping or siren, it will let you know. The app provides a notification as well as a way to listen to the siren via Leeo's microphone for verification.
What's interesting about Leeo is that I'm betting you could also use it to listen for other connected alarms - Piper, which I reviewed back in April of 2014, watches for motion and then sets off an earsplittingly loud siren if it sees it. Although Piper also provides notification via its app, Leeo would be an excellent companion and backup notification method.
Lest we forget, Leeo is also billed as a nightlight, and it performs that function admirably. As with the Philips Hue LED lights and most other color LED lamps that are app-controlled, there's a color picker in the Leeo app for selecting the color and brightness of the nightlight. For my testing, Leeo was in a blue bathroom, so I gave it a weak blue glow (see image at top of post). Leeo has an ambient light detector built in as well, so it can be told to turn off the LED when it is light out, then turn it on at night.
One thing I was kind of surprised with was the lack of IFTTT integration for Leeo, considering that most other connected devices seem to jump on the IFTTT bandwagon. That's about my only beef with Leeo right now, although it's not a showstopper.
Leeo is a welcome addition to the connected devices market, bringing a set of electronic ears to your home with which to notify you or others of any smoke or CO detectors that have gone off. It has perhaps the easiest setup of any connected device I've reviewed to date, and the price is right in line with other devices on the market. This is the perfect product for anyone who wants to start automating their home, but doesn't want to jump all in at the present time.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible