The Ring Floodlight Cam is a $240 smart floodlight that lights up your back yard and records video when motion is detected. The floodlight connects to WiFi and alerts you on your phone when motion is detected, so you can get a live view and even talk to anyone you find on camera. There is also a 110 decibel siren that you can sound to scare off a potential burglar or alert your neighbors.
You will need to pay $3 a month to store your recordings with Ring, after a 30 day free trial, and it will not record to a local storage location so this is a cost you need to factor into your purchase.
There are a lot of options for outdoor security cameras that connect to WiFi and even a decent amount pulling double duty as a flood light. At first glance it simply looks like a supercharged floodlight, so if you want to install it without letting someone immediately know that you have a camera that may be an upside.
Installing the Ring Floodlight Cam is simple if you already have a flood light in that location. You only need to connect it to power and tighten up the screws and you will be good to go. Setup is simple, taking a few minutes to connect it to your WiFi and configure the settings. We did not have a flood light in that location so we installed it from scratch and it was about an hour long DIY project, mainly due to the need to run new electrical to that location.
For most installations, you can simply use what is already in place. Since the camera is wireless, you don’t need to run any video cables, and because it connects to power you don’t need to worry about swapping batteries.
There are a lot of options to change the motion detection so you can choose to not get motion alerts for areas where there is a lot of foot traffic or street traffic. The customization here is very nice and it helps avoid false alerts. You can also change the motion sensitivity to trigger for people only or for any kind of motion. We had to move closer to the people only detection to avoid alerts from wind moving a small tree. Since we work from home, we choose to ignore motion during the workday.
Ring includes 1080P recording capabilities that are good, but it’s not going to look as good as a 1080P video shot on your phone. The Ring Floodlight Cam also has night vision so you can see well before the lights are on. When the lights go on or off, there is a small period where the camera switches to the best mode. The video quality is good, and will be usable if you need to share it with neighbors or the police, but it would be nice to see a little more detail. We do like that it is a very wide-angle camera so one camera can capture our entire backyard.
In addition to the automatically recorded motion events, you can also tap to go into a live view of the Ring Floodlight Cam, so you have on demand access to what it sees. You might want to check on your property, see when the pizza guy pulls in or see if there is any wildlife in your backyard. We like that we can sound a siren if we see someone in the yard or talk to them over the two way speaker.
One of the reasons we wanted a flood light camera in the back yard is due to an unknown person cutting through our fenced in yard to bother a neighbor. While we haven’t caught that person yet, it’s great to know that we have a system in place to get alerts and see what is happening. In the meantime, we’ve learned that our backyard is very popular with cats.
After the 30 day trial is up, you will need to pay $3 per camera or $10 for unlimited cameras a month ($30 annual or $100 annual) to record your videos. Without one of these plans, you still get instant alerts, live view and streaming video and audio, but that’s it. While the Ring monthly plan isn’t terribly expensive, and less than many competing cloud based cameras, it would be nice to have even 30 minutes of cloud storage included free. As it stands, make sure you plan on paying for recording.
There are some Ring Floodlight Cam smart home integrations with Wink, Wemo, IFTTT, SmartThings and others. The Ring Floodlight Cam is HomeKit compatible on the hardware side, and a software update will enable that connectivity later this year.
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