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Ring Spotlight Cam review

Posted on 18-Jun-2018 09:24 by M Freitas | Filed under: Reviews

Ring Spotlight Cam review

Ring started as a cloud-connected video doorbell company and soon evolved to something more like a cloud-based security company. From connected doorbells, to smart floodlight-enabled cameras and extenders to (coming soon) full house alarm systems complete with motion detectors, contact sensor and more.


After looking at their Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Floodlight Cam it is now time to check the Ring Spotlight Cam.


The Ring Spotlight Cam is another cloud-connected security high resolution camera, designed to be used wherever you need some surveillance - including outside.


Ring sent me the Ring Spotlight Cam (battery) for this review. This is one of the three possible configurations for this device, the other ones being wired and solar-powered. You will notice when upacking that there is one battery included but the device has actually space for two batteries. This is a good idea because you probably won't get the same extended battery life you get from a Ring Doorbell for example.


The reason for this is because the device is actively looking for movement in the covered area. You also have an option to turn on lights if movement is detected - the camera will record in the dark but lights can be used as a deterrent or just for safety.


Installion itself is very easy and you get practically all the tools needed for this in the box - I used my own electric drill to start the four holes in the wall before using the provided screws. Make sure you position the device somewhere with good to best WiFi coverage as HD recording and live streaming can be demanding.


Once installed and aligned (making sure the movement detector is level with the ground or floor) it is time to configure the device.


Managing the Ring Spolight Cam is done through the same Ring mobile app used for the other devices and it's pretty simple. The app will use your location to identify where the camera is located and you will provide your WiFi SSID and password. The app will then connect to the Ring Spotlight to transfer this information and wait until the device communicates with their servers.


You can now configure it - and there are quite a few settings to play with. First are the Motion Settings - here you can define the Motion Zones - the sectors covered by the sensor and the distance covering these sectors. You can also check a box to turn on lights if movement is detected. You can create schedules to disable the motion sensors, which is useful when you know there's some movement outside at specific times e.g. garbage collection on this day and time.


A Device Health page gives you information about the current firmware version (which is updated automatically), WiFi signal strength and battery level - in this case I only see one battery but the status page actually have separate indicators for Left/Right batteries.


If you have the Ring Chime you can also link to this camera, so any alerts will not only notify your smartphone but also ping the ring Chime - good for alerting people inside the house in case you are away and they don't have the app. In my case I have the Ring Floodlight Cam and Ring Doorbell connected to the Ring Chime, but not the Ring Spotlight Cam.


Like the Ring Doorbeel (which usually only reports activity once the button is pushed) the Ring Spotlight Cam only reports activity once motio is detected. You can change the device to actually allow Live View, so you can check its video stream at any time, not only when movement is detected. This is pretty cool but in reality will make the device use even more power than the lights.


Ring provides connectivity through lots of different smart services. The one I like most is the Alexa integration. This means that if Live Stream is enabled I can at any time say "Alexa, show me my driveway" (for my Ring Floodlight Cam) or "Alexa, show me the deck" (in this case for the Ring Spotlight Cam used in this review) and see the live stream on my TV in the lounge.


Like the other connected devices, the Ring Spotlight Cam also provides two-way communication, so you can talk and listen through the mobile app to whomever is on the other side of the camera.


To use Ring products effectively the best option is to have an Ring Protect Plan. Without a plan you will receive notifications for movements and actions but no recording will take place. If you have a Ring Protect Plan all these will be recorded for later review either on the mobile app or browser - even if you selected not to receive notifications.


The Ring Spotlight Cam has an IPX5 rating, which means it can be used outside - I suggest when mounting it trying to position it in a way where you can minimise the impact from any rain. I also used an anti-rust spray on all screws before mounting the unit, just in case. The device itslef has a sensor that will alert you through the app in case the battery door is not correctly shut, locked and sealed - yep, it happened to me so it's handy to have this warning.


The video recording is great. even at low light, although daytime recordings or the ones with the automatic spotlight will always be better as expected.


At the end, I think one thing remains to be said: you definitely need the second battery if you want to go a couple of months in between recharges.