Ring Floodlight Cam REVIEW Put your fears at ease with this total security solution
Security is always important for homes, but it’s never more important than when you know your family might actually be at risk. When you learn that a dangerous individual is going to be released from jail and might have reason to come to your property, you want to do everything you can to protect it. We’ve had really good luck with Ring video products and so I decided I wanted to add one of their other products to our ecosystem to ensure complete coverage of the front of our home. The Floodlight Cam is the perfect solution for this problem.
The Ring Floodlight Cam is the world’s only motion-activated HD security camera with built-in floodlights, a siren alarm (110-decibel), and two-way talk. It is available in two colors — white and black — and you can get the Floodlight Cam as a single unit or 2-unit package. The camera provides crystal-clear HD video with a 140-degree field of view, 8X zoom, and a 270-degree field of motion that allows you to detect motion around corners and monitor blind spots easily. The two ultra-bright LED floodlights (1,500-lumen LED bulbs that have a 3,000K color temperature) that are triggered by motion — or manually through the app — make it very easy to keep watch over your property. There are dual sensors with object and facial detection and ultra wide-angle motion sensors that can cover a very large, customizable motion zone.
Just with the Ring Video Doorbell, the Floodlight Cam sends instant alerts to your smartphone, tablet, or PC whenever motion is detected. You can also access a Live View video stream from the app and control the camera, lights, and siren. The app is iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10 compatible.
The Floodlight Cam is meant to replace existing wired floodlights and connects to standard junction boxes. Ring does a really great job of making their products easy to install for beginners. They provide descriptive instructions and video tutorials too so that people can wade through the install with little problems. Unlike the Doorbell, you don’t connect the camera to the app until the light is installed because it doesn’t have power until it’s installed. If you have a floodlight you are replacing, you can easily install this without a professional electrician’s help. Even though we had an existing floodlight, we hired an electrician to assist with the installation of the Floodlight Cam and as it turns out, it’s a good thing we did because our electrician found that there was something out of code. It was a quick fix, but something I wouldn’t have known to look for.
The first step to the install was to remove the existing light. You want to make sure and remove the mounting plate from the lighting fixture, too. The mounting plate for the Floodlight Cam takes its place. Next, you prep the Floodlight Cam by loosening the light fixtures. This will give you access to the mounting screws on the base of the unit. You will then pull the exposed wiring through the mounting plate’s gasket located at the base of the plate. You will need to cut a small hole in the rubber to run the wires. Ensuring that the mounting posts are level with the ground, you will want to secure the mounting plate to your chosen wall using the provided screws and screwdriver. You are welcome to use your own tools if you wish (an electric drill would actually make the install quicker if available).
NOTE: Our electrician drilled a hole through the mounting plate so that the wires wouldn’t be exposed. There is a gasket at the base of the plate that can be used, too.
Ring provides an S-hook so that you can hang the Floodlight Cam from the bracket while you affix the wires to the fixture. Now, I want to pause here to say that during our install, the electrician found that the combination of the existing wires and the extension from the fixture ended up being a little too much wiring to store behind the fixture. As a result, the Floodlight Cam wouldn’t fasten to the mounting plate. He had to trim the wires up a bit so that it wasn’t a wad of wiring. I would suggest that before you connect the wires that you try to find out if you have too much wiring so that you don’t have to retrace your steps.
Another really nice feature of the Floodlight Cam is the connector system that Ring put in place for installation. There is a clip-like connector attached to the wiring extension for the Floodlight that allows you to simply slide an exposed wire into it to make a wired connection. With the Floodlight Cam, you want to connect the earth wire to the screw post on the floodlight itself and then attach the live and neutral wires through the connector. Once your wires are connected you will snap the connector into the mounting bracket and then attache the Floodlight Cam to the mounting posts.Your lights might come on automatically at this point and it’s now time to complete the in-app set-up.
The in-app set-up is really very painless. There are far fewer steps to setting it up than the doorbell. You will tap add ‘set up device’ on your dashboard screen (if you already use Ring) and then select Floodlight Cam from the list of devices. Next, you will name the device. I would suggest labeling it by its location. Even though you have already installed the camera at this point, you will be given some video tutorials about the installation process and instructed to press the set-up button on the top of the camera. This will prepare the Ring network and you will connect to it just as you would a WiFi network. Once you are connected to the floodlight, you will return to the app and the rest of the network set-up will happen in the background. Once the camera is connected to your network, you can customize your security preferences in the app and the installation process is complete.
As much as I love the Ring Video Doorbell, I think I like the Floodlight Cam even better. It provides very prompt notifications when there is motion, the field of motion is 100% customizable, and the video feed on it is crystal clear — day or night. I love knowing that my property is well monitored with this remarkable piece of technology. The siren, while a nice addition, I don’t feel is particularly necessary. It’s loud, but not deafening, and I would think the light kicking on might be enough of a deterrent. Plus, you can only trigger the siren manually. The light settings are pretty impressive to me. On the device dashboard in the app, you can turn them on or off manually. In order to have them triggered by motion, you have to have this toggle in the ‘off’ position. Then, you tap on ‘Light Settings’ in the menu and set up the Motion Zone for the lights. You also have the option to have the lights stay on turn on and off according to specific times of the day. I really love this customizable approach for outdoor lighting because you have a lot of control over it as opposed to just having the lights kick on and off with motion. To me, the lights really become a part of the security solution for your property.
The Motion Settings provide you with more options for coverage than the doorbell does. With the doorbell, you can only select a range for the motion detection. So, within its field of view, you can select up to 30 feet outward from it. While this works great for the doorbell, the Floodlight Cam is meant to detect for security purposes so you can set your motion sensitivity for your given area. This is great because you won’t pick up small things like birds flying by. But, you have a neighborhood cat that walks by, the camera will still detect that. Setting the Motion Zone is fantastic, too, because it’s done graphically. You are shown an image of what your camera sees and then you can drag the mapping tool around until you have the motion zone lined up. I love this real-life option as opposed to just a range. Last but not least, you can set up a schedule to disable motion alerts. Let’s say that you are always home between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m., but you want your home monitored while you sleep and while you are away at work. You can set up a rule that will disable motion detection while you are home so that it’s not constantly registering your personal movements. I personally don’t want to take any chances so I leave detection on 24/7, but I could see how some people might find that helpful.
Finally, the video quality is absolutely amazing. It showcased powerful 1080P HD and really does a great job with all types of lighting. You can pitch to zoom into your certain areas of the video feed and even call out to someone that might be near the camera. The two-way audio works great as a family intercom as well as causing intruders to have small heart attacks. And, if you don’t have a video doorbell, you can use it to communicate with delivery people, too. Ring does provide excellent video recording support, but only on a paid subscription basis. Their cloud-based program is called Ring Protect starts at $3/month and will provide you with the added sense of security coverage through their 60-days of stored video recordings from your device. If you are concerned about your home security, I would recommend adding the expense to your monthly bills for this because it works very easily and at a moment’s notice, you can recall important events through the app. For more information on Ring Protect Plans, click here.
CONCLUSIONS As a security solution, I don’t think you can get much better than the super user-friendly Ring Floodlight Cam. It’s easy to install, connect to, and operate. From the moment I had this installed, I really did feel much safer. The worries I had about our potential trespasser quickly faded since our property is covered in Ring security solutions.
Originally published at macsources.com on November 7, 2017.