Ring Floodlight Cam review: Ring's trusty floodlight camera keeps watch when you can't

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The Good The $249 Ring Floodlight Cam's advanced motion detection offers activity zones, scheduling and prompt related alerts.

The Bad You have to pay at least $3 per month for cloud storage services and the Floodlight Cam doesn't currently work with any smart home platforms.

The Bottom Line Ring's Floodlight Cam is a solid buy that's likely to improve over time as it adds smart home partners.

7.6 Overall
  • Features 7
  • Usability 9
  • Design 7
  • Performance 7.5

Editors' note, Dec 14: You can find all of our coverage about Ring on this aggregation page, including our reporting about Ring's privacy and security policies. This commentary covers how we factor those issues into our product recommendations. 

Ring's $249 (£195, AU$330 converted) Floodlight Cam is a definite improvement over your typical outdoor security light. In addition to being equipped with two LEDs, this Wi-Fi device also comes with an integrated 1080p HD security camera. Sign up for motion alerts in the related Ring app, where you can also set activity zones, create schedules and control the built-in 110-decibel siren. Starting at $3 per month, you can view saved video history on a contract-free basis.

There's clearly a lot of functionality packed into this thing, but I can't give it full marks for the following reasons:

  1. Ring should offer free cloud storage, even if it's just 2 hours of saved motion clips.
  2. Ring has a ton of smart-home partners in the works, but none of them work with the Floodlight Cam today.

While these limitations make Ring's clever floodlight-security camera hybrid slightly less recommendable, it's still well worth your consideration.

Lights, camera, Ring Floodlight Cam!

Netgear's Arlo was one of the first products to popularize modern, DIY outdoor home security. Since then, plenty of other manufacturers have followed suit with related devices like the Nest Cam Outdoor and the Canary Flex. Weatherproof security cameras integrated into outdoor lighting is one subcategory that has developed slowly, but is now becoming an industry trend.

Take a look at the Ring Floodlight Cam's specs versus its main competition:

Comparing outdoor cameras

Ring Floodlight Cam Netatmo Presence Kuna Toucan
Price $249/£195/AU$330 $300/£235/AU$400 $199/£155/AU265 $199/£155/AU265
Color finish Black or white Black Black or bronze Black
Power source Hardwired Hardwired Hardwired Plug-in
Resolution 1080p HD 1080p HD 720p HD 720p HD
Live streaming Yes Yes Yes Yes
Continuous recording No No No No
Cloud storage Yes No Yes Yes
Local storage No Internal microSD card No No
Mobile app Android, iPhone and Windows Android and iPhone Android and iPhone Android and iPhone
Web app Yes Yes No No
Night vision Yes Yes No No
Alerts Motion Motion Motion Motion
Activity zones Yes No No No
Third-party integrations None IFTTT Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa

Create activity zones and then you'll start to receive related motion alerts.

Screenshot by CNET

Ring's Floodlight Cam costs more than Kuna and Toucan, but less than Netatmo's Welcome. At the same time, the Floodlight Cam has 1080p HD video resolution compared to Kuna and Toucan's 720p HD. The Floodlight Cam's $3 per month cloud storage fee is also less than Kuna and Toucan's. The Welcome camera, on the other hand, has internal local storage so you don't have to worry about a monthly expense at all.

The Ring Floodlight Cam tacks on some additional features like activity zones and night vision (which Kuna and Toucan don't offer). Ring also promises to add Floodlight Cam support for IFTTT, Samsung SmartThings, Wink and even Apple HomeKit soon. (A Ring representative told me Floodlight Cam's are already outfitted with the Apple MFi chips needed for HomeKit, it's just a matter of activating them.)

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