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Trendnet TWC-L10 review: Get a top-down view with this camera-equipped LED light bulb

Trendnet's TWC-L10 Indoor HD Wi-Fi Light Bulb Surveillance Camera gives you an overview of what's happening in a room.

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Megan Wollerton
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Megan Wollerton Senior Writer/Editor

Megan Wollerton covers renewable energy, climate change and other environmental topics for CNET. Before starting at CNET in 2013, she wrote for NBC Universal's DVICE (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.

Expertise Science, Home Credentials Society of Professional Journalists 2022 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Feature Writing, Society of Professional Journalists 2022 Ohio Journalism Award for Science Writing
3 min read

Trendnet's TWC-L10 Indoor HD Wi-Fi Light Bulb Surveillance Camera is worth your money if you want a two-in-one smart device to illuminate and monitor what's happening in a room from above.

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6.5

Trendnet TWC-L10

The Good

Trendnet's $100 TWC-L10 Indoor HD Wi-Fi Light Bulb Surveillance Camera sends prompt motion alerts and you can adjust the base of the bulb to suit different sizes and styles of recessed light fixtures.

The Bad

The wide fisheye lens distorts images and the too-simple app design looks outdated. It doesn't work with any major smart home platforms or third-party devices.

The Bottom Line

Trendnet's TWC-L10 will do the trick if you want a general, overhead look at what's happening in a room.

The TWC-L10 combines a recessed 40W replacement LED with a 720p HD live streaming camera. It can detect motion, save recorded video clips locally to a microSD card (cards can be up to 64GB, but are not included) and has an integrated microphone along with a speaker for two-way audio. Trendnet's TWC-L10 costs $100 and is currently only available in the US. 

This hidden LED bulb/security camera watches you from above

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Staring up at the Trendnet cam.

Screenshot by Megan Wollerton/CNET

The camera's wide-angle 185-degree lens has digital pan and zoom capabilities so you can see a whole room with relative ease, but details like a credit card number or a phone's access code would be too blurry to make out. 

While the TWC-L10 delivers prompt motion alerts, the camera really struggles to capture detail. Instead, you'll get a distorted, aerial fisheye view. And you're pretty much stuck with only seeing the top of a person's head -- unless they happen to look up at the light. 

The TWC-L10 has a standard-size socket and is designed for use in recessed ceiling lights -- or arc lamps. An adjustable base gives you leeway with different fixture sizes and styles.

It's rated at a 360-lumen light output, just under what you'd expect from a 40-watt incandescent bulb, and a 3,000K "warm white" color temperature. Read more about lumens and LED color temperature here.

Trendnet's LED-security camera hybrid installs easily, simply screw it in the socket. It looks OK overall, but I wish the clunky-looking central panel was more streamlined.

It's simple to get the TWC-L10 online via the related ReadyView app for Android and iOS. Follow the steps in the app and you'll have the live video stream up and running in a few minutes: Just enter the TWC-L10 Wi-Fi module credentials provided in the Trendnet installation guide, then enter your local Wi-Fi information.

While we're seeing more security cameras integrated into light fixtures, we haven't tested anything quite like Trendnet's TWC-L10. The Kuna Light Fixture, Toucan, Ring Floodlight Cam and Ring Spotlight Cam are all security cameras that pair with smart light fixtures. But all of those devices are designed for outdoor use. Zmodo's Torch Pro is another security camera built into a light bulb, but it's supposed to be used in standard lamps rather than recessed fixtures.

While all of the above cameras emphasize discreet design, the TWC-L10 is more of a "hidden" camera than its counterparts. You can see the lens, but how often do you look up into a recessed light fixture? As a result, you'd want to disclose the TWC-L10 to friends and family, because it definitely blurs the line between a security cam and a spy cam. 

Trendnet's TWC-L10 works fine as an indoor recessed light with an integrated HD cam, but it doesn't currently support Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or any other major smart home platforms.

You also can't set schedules for the light to turn on or off. You're instead limited to doing that from the app -- or when the motion sensor detects activity. 

I don't widely recommend this quirky hybrid device, but it could fill a niche for folks interested in a general aerial view of what's happening in a room. 

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6.5

Trendnet TWC-L10

Score Breakdown

Features 7Usability 7Design 6Performance 6
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