Written by Mascha

In what ways can a smoke detector be powered?

Smoke detectors run on batteries or on AC power. You need a power point for a smoke detector that runs on AC power, while you can place a battery-powered smoke detector wirelessly. The lifespan of a battery-powered smoke detector depends on the battery type. In this article, we'll explain the differences between smoke detectors that run on AC power and the different battery types.

Batteries vs AC power

Smoke detector on batteries


You mount a battery-powered smoke detector to your ceiling or wall in any desired location in the house. You don't need a power point to set it up. There are smoke detectors with replaceable batteries and smoke detectors with an integrated battery. A smoke detector with an integrated battery usually lasts about 10 years, but you have to replace it in its entirety after that. In the case of smoke detectors with replaceable batteries, you only replace the battery when it's almost empty.

  • You don't need a fixed power point to mount the smoke detector.
  • The smoke detector gives a signal when the battery is almost empty.
  • After a while, you have to replace the batteries or the smoke detector yourself.
Smoke detectors on AC power

Power grid

You connect smoke detectors that run on AC power to a power point in the ceiling. This ensures that the smoke detector will be powered at all times. Smoke detectors on AC power always have a backup battery in case there is a power failure. You don't have to replace this battery as often, because it runs out less quickly. If the power fails, the detector switches directly to the batteries so that you'll still receive a timely warning in case of fire.

  • Because the smoke detector works on electricity, you don't have to change the battery as often.
  • A smoke detector that runs on AC power lasts about 10 years.
  • You can only place these smoke detectors in places with a power point.

Replaceable batteries

Alkaline batteries

Smoke detectors with replaceable batteries have a hatch to insert the batteries. These are often AA or AAA batteries, but there are also many smoke detectors that can fit a 9V block battery. The lifespan of these batteries varies from 1 to 3 years. After this period, you'll need a new battery. So keep in mind that if you buy a smoke detector that lasts 10 years, you may need a new battery up to 5 times.

  • A smoke detector that runs on replaceable batteries is relatively affordable.
  • To use the smoke detector for a long time, you'll regularly need new batteries.

Integrated battery

Lithium batteries

Smoke detectors with an integrated lithium battery have a long lifespan of 10 years. They last quite a long time, but you need a new smoke detector once the battery is empty. This is because you can't change the battery. The longer lifespan of the integrated battery makes this type of smoke detectors a bit more expensive, but you won't have to buy new batteries.

  • A smoke detector with integrated batteries lasts about 10 years.
  • Smoke detectors with an integrated battery are relatively expensive.

Did this help you?

We only use your feedback to improve the website, we won't respond.
Thanks for your feedback
Article by:
Mascha Smoke Detector Expert.

© 1999 - 2021 - Coolblue B.V.
Rating by costumers:
Kiyoh 9.2 / 10 - 20,115 reviews