Kuna Toucan review:

The Toucan fits the bill as a subtle outdoor camera

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The $199 Toucan outdoor camera connects to the included Smart Socket light bulb adapter via USB so you don't have to bother with batteries or a power cord. It has a very discreet design and a built-in 100-decibel siren for an extra dose of deterrence.

The Bad Its Smart Socket adapter made the light bulb extend past the bottom of my wall light. The Toucan relies on the light fixture for illumination rather than infrared LEDs, it doesn't work with smart home products from other manufacturers and its motion sensor was too sensitive.

The Bottom Line If you're looking to add a low-maintenance outdoor camera to your home security setup, Toucan could easily fit the bill.

8.3 Overall
  • Features 7.0
  • Usability 9.0
  • Design 10.0
  • Performance 7.0

The $199 Toucan has a bunch of the basic outdoor camera stuff: HD video resolution, a motion sensor, alerts, a related app, two-way talk and cloud storage. But the best bit is that it also retrofits to existing outdoor wall lights via a USB cable, which means no batteries, no wires and no fuss. And since your purchase includes a Smart Socket adapter to make a dumb bulb smart, you can create rules in the Kuna app that link your camera to your light fixture.

I do wish its motion sensor were less sensitive and that the Toucan integrated with products from other smart-home companies. The Toucan doesn't have infrared LEDs for night vision, either. You have to rely on the illumination from the light fixture above instead. Even so, the Toucan is easy to recommend for its fast installation, unobtrusive USB cable, clear HD feed and the added bonus of a built-in 100-decibel siren to startle trespassers.

Getting to know Toucan

Housed in a circular, matte-black panel, the Toucan looks more utilitarian and discreet than the design-forward models out today like Nest Cam Outdoor. When you're talking about outdoor security devices, though, I'd likely opt for a Toucan's subtlety over a Nest's shiny white finish.

Beyond its unobtrusive aesthetic, the Toucan was also built to integrate with standard outdoor wall lights. And the team came up with a clever way to harness power from your light fixture so you don't have to install batteries in the camera or deal with wiring: a Smart Socket light bulb adapter and a small USB cable. That makes it much more low-maintenance than the battery-dependent Netgear Arlo outdoor cameras or the power-adapter-dependent Nest Cam Outdoor.

The complete installation took roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Here are the steps:

  • Turn off power to your wall light
  • Detach the wall light's housing with a screwdriver
  • Unscrew your existing bulb
  • Screw in the Smart Socket adapter
  • Reattach the same light bulb*
  • Plug the USB cable into the USB port on the Smart Socket Adapter
  • Reinstall the wall light housing **
  • Install the Toucan camera below your wall light ***
  • Plug the other end of the USB cable into the Micro-USB port on the camera's base plate
  • Turn on power to your wall light

*The Smart Socket is 3 inches long and might be too big too work with your current light bulb and light fixture. In my case, the light bulb hung below the fixture.

**When you reinstall the wall light housing, make sure you feed the USB cable through the housing so it dangles down behind the wall light. A section of the USB cable is wrapped with a protective plastic cover to act as a cushion at the spot when the cable and the housing meet.

***When installing the Toucan camera, you can either use the included hardware or the strong adhesive backing; I used the sticker since my installation was temporary. Toucan also provides a conduit cover to hide any excess USB cable that might be dangling between the wall light and the camera's install spot. I stuck the camera directly under the light fixture, so I simply tucked the extra cable between the camera's base and face plate during installation.

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