A good home security camera is easy to install while offering surprising peace of mind. The Ring Floodlight Cam, $249 and available now, offers both.
The camera mounts where your old floodlight would have been - if you have a standard outdoor electrical box it will connect right into your current setup and it even worked with my older "pancake" style electric box - and it connects to your network via Wi-Fi. It works flawlessly right out of the box and all you have to remember is to not turn off the light switch (thankfully they include a sticker for your switch). Once it's set up you can make the cam react to motion and light up when it senses an intruder nearby or simply stay on all night, maintaining vigil over your car or fruit trees. It also includes a night vision mode that keeps an eye on things even in the dark.
The system will send notifications when it senses motion and a $30/year monitoring plan will keep video for up to 60 days. The video, as you can see below, is good enough to make out motion and possibly identify people but it doesn't quite offer enough resolution to read a license plate a few feet away.
Finally, like other Ring devices, you can speak to folks who are approaching the light through the app and even set off a siren that, while loud, will probably get swallowed in the sea of city noise. It is, however, nice to know it's there.
After using a number of these cameras, including the Netatmo Presence, I'm pleased with the durability of the Ring Cam. While it doesn't have Netatmo's sci-fi styling, the floodlight looks just like what it purports to be: a big light for dark places. Further, because there is no internal SD card the Ring is completely watertight, an issue that came up when I was running the Presence.
Ring did everything right. Unlike other camera solutions that are either standalone or must be installed into new construction, the Floodlight Cam is backwards compatible and very well made. The entire system installed quickly and works flawlessly (so far) although time will tell if it can survive Brooklyn rainstorms.
If you're in the market for a floodlight and high design isn't a concern this is the way to go.
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.