The Toucan artfully blends home security and lighting control in one clever smart-home device that hides in plain sight despite its colorful name.
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.
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:
*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.
Once you've installed the camera and flipped on power to the light, you should download the Kuna app for your Android or iOS device. Follow these steps to configure your Toucan using the app:
The app will then follow similar steps to connect the Smart Socket adapter.
Once you're inside the app, you can view your live feed in 720p HD as long as your Wi-Fi connection is solid. You can also control your wall light on demand or set rules that turn it on at dusk and off at dawn -- or at any time of day you choose. And, you can program the light to turn on temporarily whenever the camera detects motion. It even has a 100-decibel siren and prerecorded messages you can play to scare away potential intruders. All of this worked very well.
Motion-related video clips are accessible in the Recordings section of the app. If you don't pay for one of the subscription services, you still get a 2-hour grace period for viewing past history and downloading up to three clips per month.
You can also opt into motion-related push alerts and adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensor as needed. This part didn't work all that well for me, though. Even after making adjustments in the app, I still had loads of video clips of tree branches swaying and my dog walking around. But it will capture everything, so at least you can be sure that the clip you need is there -- you might just have to search for it.
The Toucan doesn't work with any products from other smart-home manufacturers. It doesn't have an IFTTT channel, Amazon Alexa voice commands or integration with Apple's HomeKit and Siri, Samsung's SmartThings, Wink or Nest's Works with Nest platform. That makes it less appealing for anyone hoping to connect the smart products in their homes through a single platform.
It doesn't have infrared-LED-enabled night vision, either. Instead, it uses light from the fixture above to capture events in low-light conditions. Since you can use up to a 75W bulb (or a roughly 1,100-lumen LED equivalent), that will probably be enough light to view the live feed and saved clips (it was for me). Still, it isn't ideal.
Even with the Toucan's limitations, this $199 camera is the DIY outdoor security product I've been waiting for in many ways. You don't have to mess with batteries or wires, it doesn't stand out, it isn't easy to steal if you mount it with the included hardware and it has simple app controls that pair smartly with lighting. Buy a Toucan if you want a simple way to watch over the exterior of your home. Just keep in mind that the motion alerts aren't always reliable.