As a small business consultant who assists clients with DIY projects, installing smart home devices is something I tackle on a regular basis. One of the most popular requests I receive is helping homeowners install a Nest doorbell camera to enhance security.
While it may seem daunting if you don‘t have lots of wiring experience, I‘m here to tell you that installing a Nest doorbell is completely doable as long as you come prepared. Follow this comprehensive, step-by-step guide and you‘ll have your new doorbell up and running in no time!
Step 1: Pick the Perfect Spot
When picking the location to install your Nest doorbell, there are a few factors to consider:
- It should be around chest level – this gives the best camera angle.
- Choose a sheltered spot under an eve or overhang to protect it from the elements.
- Pick a spot with good WiFi coverage to ensure a strong connection.
- Make sure it‘s near an existing doorbell transformer or wiring for power.
Ideally pick a location where visitors will be sure to trigger the motion sensor when approaching your door. Avoid pointing the camera directly into sunlight which could cause glare issues.
Step 2: Verify Doorbell Transformer Voltage
The Nest doorbell needs between 16V to 24V AC from your existing doorbell transformer to operate. Using a multimeter, check the output voltage of your current transformer before installing your Nest doorbell.
If the voltage is lower than 16V, you‘ll need to purchase a transformer with higher voltage output in the 16V to 24V range. The Nest Hello Power Connector makes this upgrade easy.
Having the proper transformer voltage is crucial – under-powered Nest doorbells can exhibit flickering, doorbell issues, and WiFi connectivity problems.
Step 3: Gather Your Supplies
Installing a Nest doorbell requires just a few supplies, most of which you likely already have:
- Safety gear like glasses and gloves
- Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
- Power drill with charger
- Drill bits (3/16", 5/32")
- Wire cutters/strippers
- Voltage meter
- Stud finder
You‘ll also need these Nest doorbell specific supplies included in the box:
- Nest doorbell
- Mounting bracket and plate
- Wall anchors, screws, and wire nuts
- Installation manual
Ensure you have all these items before taking down your existing doorbell system. Nothing slows down a project more than having to make extra trips to the hardware store!
Step 4: Turn Off Power and Remove Old Doorbell
Safety first! Start by shutting off power to your doorbell at the main circuit breaker panel. Test with a voltage meter to be sure power is off.
Next, remove your old doorbell button and chime box from the wall. Carefully disconnect the wiring and detach the doorbell from its mount.
Set aside wires to reuse and recycle the old doorbell components at your local e-waste facility. Now you‘ve got a clean slate for your Nest doorbell installation.
Pro Tip: Take pictures of the original setup for reference as you install the new doorbell.
Step 5: Install the Mounting Plate
The Nest doorbell includes a metal mounting plate that attaches directly to your wall. Hold the plate in the desired spot and pencil mark the screw hole locations.
Use a drill with a 3/16" bit to pre-drill holes into the wall material. This allows you to insert the included wall anchors more easily compared to drilling directly into the wall.
Line up the mounting plate and use a screwdriver and the provided screws to attach the plate through the pre-drilled holes. Ensure the plate is completely level using a bubble level tool.
Troubleshooting: For stud mounting, use a stud finder to locate studs and use longer screws to attach directly to the stud. This provides the strongest hold.
Step 6: Connect the Existing Doorbell Wires
Here comes the fun part – wiring up your new Nest doorbell!
Start by sliding the power connector attached to your existing doorbell wires into the slot on the back of the Nest mounting plate. This allows access to the screw terminals for connecting wires.
Attach the two low-voltage wires from your transformer to the two terminals – match wire colors if possible. Use the included tools to tighten the screws firmly and secure the connections.
Safety: Ensure no copper wiring is exposed from the connections. Place included rubber caps over terminals.
If you don‘t have existing wires, new low-voltage wiring will need to be run from the transformer to the doorbell location. Refer to Nest‘s wiring guide for diagrams.
Step 7: Mount and Align the Nest Doorbell
With wires connected securely, you can remount the Nest doorbell on the plate. Line up the bottom recess with the bottom tab and slide the doorbell down into place.
To adjust the angle, loosen the security screw on the bottom with the included tool. Rotate the doorbell until you achieve the optimal directional view. Re-tighten the security screw completely when properly aligned.
Finally, push the outer housing cover onto the base until it snaps into position. Check that you can only see the sleek exterior of the Nest doorbell – your installation is almost complete!
Step 8: Connect to Wi-Fi and Finish Setup
The final step is connecting your Nest doorbell to Wi-Fi and completing the software setup.
Launch the Nest app on your smartphone or tablet. Tap Add Product and select Nest Doorbell. Scan the QR code on the back to pair it with the app and your Wi-Fi network.
Follow the in-app prompts to name your device, adjust motion sensitivity, and manage linked accounts. Once connected, conduct a test ring to confirm it triggers a notification to your phone.
And that‘s it – you‘ve successfully installed your Nest doorbell! Customize motion zones and smart alerts to start reaping the benefits of enhanced home security.
Tips for a Successful Installation
Here are a few final tips and reminders as you embark on installing your Nest doorbell:
- Check doorbell transformer voltage to avoid power issues
- Turn off power at the breaker before touching any wiring
- Use the right tools and safety gear – avoid improvising
- Follow instructions carefully – Nest doorbells are well engineered when installed properly
- Ask for help if you get stuck – there‘s no shame in calling a handy friend or pro
Installing a smart home device like the Nest doorbell is very doable for the motivated DIY-er. Just take your time, be safe, and setup will be a breeze. Let me know if you have any other questions during your installation and I‘m happy to offer guidance!