Ring’s Floodlight Cam is a great option for keeping your home secure

CNN —  

Ring has taken 2021 by storm with several new video doorbells, an outdoor smart plug and a revamped Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, the latter of which is what we’re focusing on now, and it has all of the bells and whistles that impressed us with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. That includes features like fancy 3D Motion Detection and a Bird’s Eye View option that maps where someone has walked on your property while within view of the camera.

The $249 Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is available now in black or white. Both colors are on backorder, with the white version shipping in four to six weeks and the black model shipping in the middle of June.

We’ve put this combination light and camera through its paces over the past few weeks. It’s lived up to our expectations for a device in Ring’s lineup that desperately needed an update. Let’s take a closer look at the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, starting with the design and installation.

The who, what and how

Who this is for: The Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is a top-of-the-line solution for those who want to keep an eye on their driveway or yard, or can’t install a video doorbell but still want added security. The 2,000-lumen floodlights are bright enough to stop a deer in its tracks, and the camera is able to stream 1080p video directly to your phone so you can keep an eye on your home.

What you need to know: At $249, the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro isn’t cheap, but the features inside arguably justify the cost. You’re able to view a wide swath of your yard or driveway, and if something doesn’t look right, you can set off the siren or engage the lights to alert others. The addition of 3D Motion and Bird’s Eye View are welcome, and something we hope continues to spread to other devices in Ring’s lineup.

How it compares: It’s been far too long since Ring updated its floodlight camera line, and the Pro is a worthy successor to the original floodlight cam. You get every high-end feature Ring has to offer in an all-in-one solution that looks and plays the part. If you’re not keen on the $249 price tag, Ring offers a slightly less feature-filled version called Floodlight Cam Wired Plus for $179 that looks great on paper. The Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera is also $249 and offers 2K video but lacks a wired option, so you’re forced into either buying a solar panel or constantly recharging batteries.

Design and installation

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Ring first released the Floodlight Cam in 2017, and since then the company has been silent on it. It started to feel like the floodlight had been all but forgotten. Then, amid announcements of a new video doorbell, Ring delivered the redesigned Floodlight Cam Wired Pro.

The biggest change is a smooth and round finish to the design of the Floodlight Cam. It’s similar to what Ring has done with the Ring Spotlight Cam — more modern all around.

The two floodlights are oval-shaped and adjustable to ensure you’re lighting up just the right spot. Each light pumps out 2,000 lumen, which is more than bright enough to light up your driveway or the side of your house. The HD camera, in the middle of the lights, is also adjustable in any direction and locks into place to prevent it from moving.

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Since this is a wired device, it’s important to note that you should only install it yourself if you’re comfortable working with electrical wiring. Even if you are, always take safety precautions like turning off the breaker switch that goes to the floodlight’s wiring. If you’re not comfortable, contact a professional electrician to install the light for you.

Since we’ve installed many lights, inside and out, we were right at home installing the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro. The entire process took maybe 20 minutes from unboxing to turning the breaker switch back on. Easy peasy.

Installation consists of removing your old and not-so-smart floodlight, then installing the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro in its place. You’ll need to attach a bracket and a mounting plate (complete with a handy hook that holds the light in place while you wire it), then finally put the light in place.

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Don’t worry — you don’t have to remember all of these steps. The Ring app walks you through each step of the installation process and makes it really easy to follow, even for electrical novices.

With the light mounted and everything securely attached, we turned the breaker switch back on, followed by the light switch, and immediately heard a chime, then the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro started talking to let us know it was ready for setup.

The rest of the process can be done in the app and off the ladder. You’ll scan a small QR code to link the camera to your Ring account, connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi, wait a few minutes while it installs any updates, then adjust motion sensors and position the camera to your liking.

Lights… Camera… Siren!

With the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro in your Ring account, you can view a livestream feed from the camera at any time on your phone or even on an Amazon Echo Show or Fire TV. Just ask Alexa to “show me [insert camera name]” and a few seconds later you’ll be able to see and hear what’s going on near your camera. It’s well connected in the Ring and Alexa ecosystems.

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Speaking of the camera, the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro has a 1080p camera that has a 140-degree horizontal field of view and an 80-degree vertical field of view. We were very pleased with the overall quality of the video and photos captured during our testing. So what exactly does that mean for you? At one point, we used the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro during a road trip to check on our home after a bad thunderstorm and, to our surprise, were able to zoom in on the back door of our house and clearly see both of our dogs watching the rain and hail land in the yard. Our dogsitter didn’t know it, but running through the rain and catching raindrops is one of their favorite activities.

There’s a built-in microphone and speaker so you can hold two-way conversations with someone within its view. We were able to hold a conversation with family members without feeling like we had to yell for them to hear us, and we were able to hear their voice — along with passing cars — with minimal effort on their part. There’s also a 110-decibel siren that you can trigger from within the app, and let us tell you, our testing can confirm it’s plenty loud. It will definitely startle a would-be bad guy or get your neighbors’ attention.

3D Motion Detection and Bird’s Eye View are where it’s at

Up until now, the only Ring device that had the company’s latest and greatest features was the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. It launched back in March, and we thoroughly enjoyed using the new features. Or, in the case of the 3D Motion Detection feature, we enjoyed receiving fewer false alerts, thanks to more precise motion tracking.

Those same features are now included in the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, and we’re thrilled. Setting up 3D Motion Detection is easy. You tap on a satellite picture of your home to indicate where you installed the camera, and the app shows you the specified motion range on top of the map. You can adjust how far you want the camera to monitor for motion, with the changes reflected on the map.

Due to the placement of our installation, we set the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro to monitor up to 30 feet away. Sure enough, 30 feet is around the area that we would start getting motion alerts when someone — or something — walked into the camera’s view. As you can see in the example video, our dog, Emoji, likes to walk the path that leads to our office. As he gets within range of the motion detection area, you see the Bird’s Eye View thumbnail show up and dots start to track his movement.

Jason Cipriani/CNN

Speaking of Bird’s Eye View, this feature uses the same top-down satellite map view of your home, but instead of showing you where motion detection stops and starts, you’ll see a thumbnail map displayed over a video. On that map, you’ll see a series of dots move across your yard or driveway, indicating where the person walked after the camera detected motion.

The alignment of where the dots are and where the person actually walked won’t always match up. During setup, you’re asked to indicate exactly where the camera is located on your property and add its field of view. It’s not a precise process, which is exactly what we saw with the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2. Bird’s Eye View is helpful in the moment when you want to see where someone has been as you’re watching them live but don’t want to or can’t go back in the video timeline to look. A quick glance at that thumbnail tells you everything you need to know.

Bottom line

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The Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is a big and welcome upgrade to Ring’s previous Floodlight Cam. The addition of better motion detection along with the subtle peace of mind that Bird’s Eye View adds make it a valuable piece of tech for your home.

At $249, it’s not cheap, but with all of the new tech inside the Floodlight Cam Wired Pro, that’s to be expected. If it’s too much for you, Ring has a Floodlight Cam Wired Plus that costs $179. This version will give you a way to watch over your home, but it lacks 3D Motion Detection, Bird’s Eye View and a few other features of the Pro model.

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