Ring Floodlight Cam Review
Get off my land!
What is the Ring Floodlight Cam?Regardless of where you live home security is always a worry. With the never-ending gadgets, big screen TVs, games consoles and tablets that the modern home now has, they are an increasing target for the dark side. There are many solutions now available to ensure your home is secure and that you can keep a close eye on it at all times, ranging from £50 IP cameras to fully monitored CCTV systems costing many thousands of pounds.
One company that is at the forefront of this is Ring. Back in July of last year we reviewed their excellent Ring Video Doorbell, then in October their even better Ring Video Doorbell 2 which allowed you to see exactly who was at your door, even if they didn’t ring the doorbell and gave you the ability to speak to them if you needed to wherever you were in the world. ‘Sorry mate I can’t take that parcel as I’m stuck on the toilet, can you leave it with next door?’, for example, even though you may have been thousands of miles away on holiday.
Our next review item is again from Ring, now they’ve nailed down the front of the house security, the back of the house gets some much-needed attention in the guise of their £249 Ring Floodlight Cam. Claiming to be the world’s only (probably not for that much longer we would assume) motion-activated HD security camera with built-in floodlights, a siren alarm and two-way talk, can it build on the success of the Video Doorbell? Read on to see how it fares in our tests…..
Design and SpecificationsWith an RRP of £249, but widely available for £199, the Ring Floodlight Cam includes everything that is required to install it. Keeping the same theme as we saw with both Video Doorbell’s, the unit arrives nicely packaged with all the tools and fixings you will need together with the wall mounting bracket. However, unless you already happen to be a qualified electrician, the Floodlight cam does require professional installation unfortunately.
Available in black or white, the unit has a sleek and modern design with the camera unit in the centre and a floodlight either side. It’s a fairly large unit as the camera module also contains a 110-decibel siren. The baseplate measures 12cm in diameter. Whether you choose black or white is of course up to you, personally we would rather have the stealthier black as it won’t stand out as much, but if you are looking for an obvious and noticeable deterrent then white would be the one to go for. The build quality is impressive with the whole unit having that high-end feel to it.
Is it easy to install and setup?The physical installation will unfortunately require the services of a professional. Unless of course you happen to be a qualified Electrician, in which case it’s happy days, but as most people aren’t and shouldn’t be let near electrics, you will require a professional. As mentioned above everything the electrician needs to install the Floodlight Cam is provided in the box. That is only everything from the Floodlight end of the installation, cabling and a switch box from your mains to the Floodlight you will have to supply. The mounts of the camera and both lights are fully adjustable to get the exact angle and coverage you require.
Once the unit has been installed and connected to the power supply, the final steps can be easily carried out by a non-professional. The Ring app, available on iOS, Google Play, Mac and Windows, is required to continue the installation and setup the unit. The app is very easy to use with a clean and well laid out user interface. You simply follow the instructions to connect the Floodlight Cam to either your Wi-Fi or to the optional Chime Pro, which takes just a few minutes and then the Floodlight is ready for use.
The light settings option contains a separate motion zone which is independent of the camera’s motion detection. This can alter the degree and distance of when the lights come on. You can also disable them completely but this appeared to not work as whenever motion was detected the lights would still activate regardless of this setting. You can also set up a schedule if you want the lights to be permanently on for a certain time of day or night. The lights can also be manually turned on and off from the main app window.
Testing and Additional AccessoriesWhilst we found the Ring Video Doorbell and Doorbell 2 to both be overall excellent units, a strong Wi-Fi or Chime Pro signal was very important. If there was a weak signal where the doorbell was located, we often found trouble connecting and when it did it would take a long time and often videos were not recorded properly. Here with the Floodlight Cam as it is outside of the property and likely to be on the fringe of a Wi-Fi signal we did have concerns that it just wouldn’t work at all. Thankfully it appears Ring have fitted a slightly stronger Wi-Fi unit in the Floodlight Cam, but not by much!
As for the quality of the videos themselves, at 1080P Full HD we expected a high-quality image with plenty of detail and on the most part that’s what we got, providing the network connection was strong enough of course. Faces were easy to identify and the image was clear and bright. The audio part of the recording was acceptable, although prone to minor wind noise due to where we had it installed.
When motion is detected you immediately get a notification on your Smartphone and even Smart Watch, clicking the notification on your Smartphone will open the App and then start playing the video. If you don’t see the notification immediately, the video will be in the event history to playback and see what triggered the motion. If you do connect immediately, you can either dismiss it if it’s your cats having their daily mad hour, or should it actually be something unpleasant you can activate the siren and even shout at the intruder to get them to clear off. Activating the siren does require confirmation so don't be concerned that you might accidentally set it off when using the app.
The Floodlight Cam comes with a 30-day free trial of Ring’s cloud storage and video recording service. Once this free trial has expired, to continue to have the videos recorded and accessible, you will need to purchase a subscription. There are two options for this Cloud Service, the first is the Basic service which is £24.99 per year or £2.50 a month and this is per camera, which gives you all the Cloud features.
The second is the Protect service at £80 per year which covers unlimited cameras and includes a lifetime warranty (including damage) and 10% discount on purchases at Ring.com. You are also able to log in directly to your account on the Ring website and review the videos and events stored there. If you choose not to pay for the Cloud service, you will still receive notifications and can access the live view, the videos will just not be recorded.
- Easy to set up
- Polished and feature rich app
- Very bright floodlights
- 110 decibel siren
- Requires a strong Wi-Fi connection
- Issues reconnecting to network following a power cut
Ring Floodlight Cam ReviewWith an RRP of £249 and widely available for £199, we found the Floodlight Cam to be another high-quality product from Ring, building on the excellent results we had with both the Video Doorbell and Video Doorbell 2. It has an impressive array of features such as the twin floodlights, Full HD 1080P video, night vision, two-way talk and a 110 decibel siren. Coupled with the very easy to use app which provided instant notifications should any motion be detected.
A couple of negatives have started to creep in and one of these is the issues you have when the Wi-Fi signal is too weak. We achieved reasonable results with our installation which only has a weak Wi-Fi signal, but video breakup and non-recording issues were present occasionally, so a strong Wi-Fi signal is highly recommended. The other negative is failure to reconnect to the network following a power cut. This was a minor annoyance with the Video Doorbell but if you have the Floodlight Cam fitted high up it could become a major pain to get the ladder out just to press a button on the unit to set it up again.
Those two negatives do not thankfully detract too much from what is an overall excellent product and at £199 Ring offer an impressive package with the Floodlight Cam. An excellent array of features and a well-developed app also help to ensure that this is worthy of an AVForums Recommended award. We would have rated it higher if they could sort out the Wi-Fi signal and reconnection issues.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £249.00
Value for Money8
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