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

Ring's Floodlight Cam smartly combines LEDs and an HD security camera into one weatherproof security device.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton

Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton has covered technology for CNET since 2013. Before that, she wrote for NBC's Dvice.com (now SyFy). Megan has a master's degree from the University of Louisville and a bachelor's degree from Connecticut College, both in international relations. She is a board member of the Louisville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. When Megan isn't writing, she's planning far-flung adventures.

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4 min read

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. 

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7.6

Ring Floodlight Cam

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.

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.

Ring's Wi-Fi floodlight adds an HD camera into the mix

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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 CamNetatmo PresenceKunaToucan
Price $249/£195/AU$330$300/£235/AU$400$199/£155/AU265$199/£155/AU265
Color finish Black or whiteBlackBlack or bronzeBlack
Power source HardwiredHardwiredHardwiredPlug-in
Resolution 1080p HD 1080p HD 720p HD720p HD
Live streaming YesYesYesYes
Continuous recording NoNoNoNo
Cloud storage YesNoYesYes
Local storage NoInternal microSD cardNoNo
Mobile app Android, iPhone and WindowsAndroid and iPhoneAndroid and iPhoneAndroid and iPhone
Web app YesYesNoNo
Night vision YesYesNoNo
Alerts MotionMotionMotionMotion
Activity zones YesNoNoNo
Third-party integrations NoneIFTTTAmazon AlexaAmazon Alexa
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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.)

The Floodlight Cam comes equipped with two 1,500-lumen LEDs, which are each roughly equivalent to a 100W incandescent bulb. That isn't incredibly bright, particularly if you install it high on your roofline like a typical floodlight. Of course, you can also install it lower so it doubles as a porch light.

A closer look

Ring's Floodlight Cam is a fairly simple DIY installation, but it's a hardwired device. If you have any reservations about setting up a product that requires electrical wiring, hire someone to handle it for you. I enlisted one of CNET's technical gurus, Steve Conaway, to install the Floodlight Cam.

It took Steve about 30 minutes from start to finish, but we ran into an unexpected setback along the way. The width of the Floodlight Cam's baseplate didn't match up with the width of the standard-sized electrical box at the CNET Smart Home. So, we currently have just one screw holding up the whole thing. That workaround has worked surprisingly well for us during testing, but it wouldn't be ideal for a more long-term installation.

Once the Floodlight Cam's installed, download the app and add your local Wi-Fi info to get it online; this should take roughly 5 minutes.

Now you're ready to opt-in to motion alerts, create activity zones and more. One important thing to note is that you have to create activity zones before you receive any motion alerts, even if you've already enabled motion alerts. Once I figured that out, everything worked well. I received prompt alerts tied to motion outside. You can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor, too, if you're getting too many notifications of your neighbor's cat.

The live feed was clear in day and night mode and it was easy to set motion and lighting schedules in the app. The main limitation of this device will likely be your Wi-Fi connection. Out here in the Kentucky countryside, the Wi-Fi is hit-and-miss.

During testing, the area around the Floodlight Cam typically averaged 10 mbps for download speed and 1 mbps (or slightly less) for upload speed. The Ring app says anything above 1 mbps for download and upload is good, but this Ring support page says at least 2 mbps is best. Because of this, we experienced some lag times, pixelated video feeds and a two-way talk intercom that occasionally cut in and out.

32 outdoor security cameras that take home security seriously

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The verdict

Ring's $249 Floodlight Cam goes a long way toward helping you keep an eye on the perimeter of your home. At the same time, I really wish it offered free cloud storage as an entry-level option. I also wish Ring had introduced smart home integrations at launch rather than making us wait. Even so, you should consider adding Ring's LED floodlight and HD camera to your outdoor security setup. It's only going to get smarter with time.

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7.6

Ring Floodlight Cam

Score Breakdown

Features 7Usability 9Design 7Performance 7.5