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

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.

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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