Traditional outdoor flood lights, known for their ability to emit intense light in a wide beam, are ideal for illuminating driveways, pools and every other part of your property. Most floodlighting fixtures use a motion sensor to automatically turn on the lights when motion is detected, but if you want to know who or what triggered your lights, you need a smart camera.
The smart floodlight camera combines an outdoor spotlight and an outdoor surveillance camera in one device. These devices use Wi-Fi to connect to your home network and allow you to control it with your phone and in some cases with your voice. Most durable sport designs that can handle any type of weather.
However, not all floodlight cameras offer the same features. For example, some of the more expensive models have smart detection and recognition capabilities. Others offer extensive support for third-party smart devices and platforms. We cover everything you need to know about choosing a smart floodlight camera below, but be sure to check out our reviews for more specific information on each option.
Ring Floodlight Wired Pro . Camera
light at any time of the day (or night)
Most smart floodlights cameras use dual LEDs to light the road, although there are some models of single floodlights that we like as well. A typical bulb in a smart spotlight outputs anywhere from around 500 to 3000 lumens; The combined brightness of two bulbs in dual LED configurations usually outperforms single bulb models. For context, a 3,000-lumen LED bulb is roughly equivalent to a 200-watt incandescent bulb.
Smart floodlights usually don’t use replaceable bulbs, but you can expect them to last anywhere from 15,000 to 30,000 hours of use.
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Any model worth its salt can respond to motion and sound events, but some fixtures even allow you to dim lights and/or create custom lighting effects. If you use Alexa, Google, or Siri voice commands to control your smart home devices, make sure your Floodlight Cam supports independent voice controls for the lights and camera. You should also make sure that it can stream video feeds to a smart indoor display such as the Amazon Echo Show or the Google Nest Hub.
take a look around
No less important is the camera element of a smart flashlight, which allows you to see what is happening outside. It offers many of the same features you get with standalone outdoor security cameras, including the ability to respond to motion detection events by turning on lights, sending an alert, or recording the event.
Cameras typically have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radios that you can use to connect the device to your home network, and feature weatherproof enclosures that protect them from the elements. If you have a lot of smart devices on your network, consider choosing a dual-band camera that can connect to either the widely used 2.4GHz Wi-Fi band or the less crowded 5GHz band.
Most floodlights cameras record 1080p video, but a handful can go up to 2K. While you get a sharper picture from a 2K camera, smooth video streaming at this resolution requires a strong network connection. Moreover, HD videos require more storage space and may lead to more expensive cloud storage fees; We detail these fees in each of our reviews. Look for a camera that offers a wide field of view and uses High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to improve contrast as well.
Many cameras use infrared LEDs for black and white night vision, but some use special sensors that use low ambient light to capture color video at night. Either way, you should make sure that your Floodlight camera can record clear video up to about 30 feet away.
Highlighting potential thieves and intruders can be a good deterrent, but some situations require stricter measures. If you live in an area where package theft or vehicle break-ins are common, look for a spotlight camera that has a built-in siren that you can activate from an app or software to go off when it detects motion. You should look for a siren with a volume somewhere in the 100 decibels range (or higher if you live near a busy road). Blinking lights are also ideal for letting your visitors know that you are aware of their presence.
Make sure your flood camera has a two-way talk option that allows you to talk to anyone out there. And if you want to play a custom voice message, look for a form that lets you pre-record messages. Doing so can help make it feel like you’re at home even if you’re not.
Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera
Other features to consider
If you use Alexa, Google, or HomeKit to control your smart home, choose a floodlit camera that works with the platform of your choice so you can run routines and set it to interact with your other smart home devices. Or find a model that supports IFTTT apps; IFTTT enables you to set up integrations with a lot of third-party apps and smart devices.
Some floodlights have a microSD card slot that you can use to store local video recordings, but others require you to pay for a cloud subscription to access them. If you require access to your video from anywhere, cloud storage is the way to go, but other than that, you can get away with local storage. Even better, look for a model that offers both local and cloud storage options.
Finally, installing a flashlight cam is fairly easy, but wiring installations require you to deal with high voltage electrical wiring. If you are not comfortable with this, consider hiring a professional for installation. Or you can opt for battery-powered fixtures; It requires absolutely no wires, but you will likely need to charge it more frequently depending on the accuracy of the recording and the amount of use.
For more information, check out our Readers’ Choice Awards to see which security cameras and brands other PCMag readers trust. Once you’ve found the right camera, head over to our tips for setting it up. And for a more advanced way to monitor your home, whether indoors or out, see our picks for the best smart home security systems. Finally, check out our story on how to set up a DIY home security system if you want to save on subscription fees.