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Ring Floodlight Cam review
Posted on 15-Oct-2017 15:22 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Ring, the company that makes smart doorbells expanded its offering in New Zealand with the introduction of their latest Floodlight Cam. As the name implies the Floodlight Cam packages the common floodlight features with smart detection and recording capabilities, making it your first line of defence in a home security setup.

 

The Ring Floodlight Cam incorporates a 270-degree passive infrared motion sensing unit that can bring to life two LED (3000° Kelvin warm white) units that you can position at will to cover as much as possible in the area around the floodlights. It also has an 140-degree field-of-view built-in camera that can detect and record movement with a crisp 1080p HD resolution, day or night.

 

Installation is pretty simple and you actually get tools and screws for the job - which if is a simple floodlight replacement should be easy enough to do. As always, if in doubt consult your electrician. For this review, Ring arranged an electrician to attend and he was (as I was as well) impressed with the build quality of the whole assemble, which he compared very favourably to other outdoor floodlights.

 

 

Unlike the Ring Doorbell, which offer a battery operated option, the Ring Floodlight Cam operates only when connected to the mains. This means you can have it permanently powered and never worry about running out of battery power. It also gives you the option to control it via a light switch, since like most floodlights in the market, the Ring Floodlight Cam lights will turn on and stay on if you flick the light switch quickly off-on again.

 

Network configuration is pretty easy. You must have some good WiFi coverage where you are planning to have the unit installed as it's essential for the camera operations. Like other WiFi devices you will push a button to put it in "pairing mode" and using the app on your smartphone you will configure WiFi SSID and password. In my case, due to my network setup the Ring Floodlight Cam would show a blinking green LED as a result of my configuration. This means connected but no Internet access. What happened (and what I figured out after testing with another WiFi access point) is that the Floodlight Cam uses Google DNS (8.8.8.8) to determine if Internet access is possible. Once I unblocked access to Google DNS in my network the Floodlight Cam connected without a problem.

 

Once connected you can control the lights directly from the app - turn it on/off - and set a schedule if you want the lights to be always on. Otherwise the lights will come on when it's dark outside and movement is detected via its passive infrared sensor.

 

It's important to make a distinction here between the infrared-based light sensor and the camera picture-based sensor. One (the first) drives the lights but don't start recording or warn of movements. The second will start recording (and issue a notification) when movement is detected within a movement area you define in the app.

 

Up to three "surveillance" areas can be defined within the camera's field of view where movement should be monitored. You can also determine the sensitivity - and I'd recommend keeping it in the low setting "People only". What I've found  on the first two nights is how many different cats roam our property after dark!

 

You can set a Motion Schedule (which is a strange name, I'd call it a Disable Schedule), when the camera-based movement detection will be disabled. The example given by ring is for example if rubbish collection happens every Monday between 7am and 9am - turning the detection between those times would reduce the number of notifications.

 

 

A Live View option is available and you can watch the live feed even if without an alarm notification. And in case you actually see someone in the property you can talk to person via a two-way voice system that uses the camera's built-in mic and speaker.

 

The Ring Floodlight Cam also has a built-in siren that can scream at 110db, potentially attracting your neighbours' attention, which can be useful in case your warnings are of no effect.

 

A Ring Chime can be linked to the Ring Floodlight Cam and people in the house will be notified of any movements even if you (and your smartphone) aren't at home.

 

Video quality - and notification speed - will largely depend on the Internet speeds available. If you have a fast enough service then you should see the live feed start with a second or so delay.

 

To keep video recordings you need a subscription to the Ring service. Lucky for those with more than one device (e.g. a Floolight Cam in each corner of a large property and perhaps a Ring Doorbell) Ring offers an option for one subscription covering an unlimited number of devices.

 



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