The Ring Spotlight Cam Wired ($199) is one of three outdoor devices that build on the Ring Floodlight Cam. This fixed camera requires a wired power connection, while a Spotlight Cam Battery is also available at the same price point. Accompanying these devices is a $229 Spotlight Cam Solar bundle, which combines the battery-powered camera with a solar panel for charging. Those familiar with the Ring Floodlight Cam will find the Spotlight Cam’s offering familiar. It enhances home security by combining a motion detector and a high-definition, 1080p video camera with powerful LED spotlights (rather than 3K floodlights on its predecessor) plus a 110-decibel siren for scaring-off would-be intruders.Design and Kit
Available in black or white, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired has a sturdy construction, perfect for outdoors. An IPX5 rating ensures that the camera has suitable protection from rain. Its upright, rectangular shape and curved corners differentiate it from traditional cameras, giving the Spotlight Cam a clean look. It’s dimensions are similar to the Ring Floodlight Cam, but without the overhanging lamps.
The camera arrives already connected to its 20-foot power cable, which plugs into a regular power socket. It can be unhooked for installation, courtesy of a robust, twist-to-lock rear connector. Also included in the box is a well-written product manual and an installation kit, including a mounting bracket, screwdriver, drill bit, screws, anchors and cable clips.Setting Up
As with most smart home devices, you set up the Spotlight Cam using the Ring app, which is available for iOS, Android and Windows mobile devices. It guides you through the basics of creating an account and then gets on with the business of configuring the camera. You power on and set up the camera indoors before heading out to install it.
Configuration is a breeze. Not only do you get a step-by-step tutorial with video clips through the app, the camera itself offers supporting commentary through its speaker. It’s a simple addition that certainly makes life easier. The camera politely lets you know when it’s connected to your Wi-Fi network, when it needs to update its firmware and more.
Connect the camera to your Wi-Fi network and you’re ready to install. The app includes videos covering exterior installation of the device, and you can even have instructions emailed to you. Mounting the camera isn’t difficult either. You’ll want to mount the camera in a location where you can monitor access to your property, but the camera also needs to be within reach of a power outlet and within range of your wireless router. The included long cable helps, but you could also take advantage of the Ring Chime Pro Wi-Fi Extender if your wireless signal needs a boost.
Ring’s installation kit includes a mounting bracket (with integrated spirit level) that screws into the supplied wall anchors. The camera hangs securely on this bracket with a locking screw to prevent removal. Position the camera as required, tighten everything up, and then cinch up your cables. Included clips will give your home a neat finish.
With the camera hooked up, you can get hands on with the Ring app, which allows you to view a live feed or recorded clips, review motion alerts, and use the camera’s integrated microphone and speaker to communicate.
Video provides a crisp, high-definition (1080p) view of the premises. A 140-degree field of view ensures you can survey all but the largest driveways. Simple, smartphone-style icons allow you to easily activate the camera’s speaker to talk to anyone in-sight of the camera. The speaker itself isn’t too loud, but is sufficiently audible and clear for short conversations.
The app also includes manual controls of camera lights and activation of the 110-decibel alarm, which is certainly loud enough to scare intruders and wake up your neighbors in case of an emergency. The camera’s integrated LED spotlights are bright enough to illuminate a medium-sized garden or driveway when activated at full brightness, but you can dim the output if required.
Another useful feature is the ability to adjust the camera motion zones for the lights. You can disable areas to the left and right, or directly in front if required, with a slider reducing detection distance and a drop-down menu dictating how long the lights remain illuminated after activation.
The camera’s motion settings are also configurable. Multiple motion zones can be created within the camera view, while sensitivity can be adjusted to alert you only to people crossing into a zone rather than all movement. You can activate motion alerts on a user-defined schedule, disabling them at certain hours, on certain days, or both.
The Ring Spotlight Cam supports live video streaming but has no local storage for on-board recording. If you want the ability to record, you’ll need to subscribe to one of Ring’s monthly service plans, which include cloud storage and playback.
The $3 per month ($30 per year) Protect Basic plan includes 60 days of cloud storage, video reviews of missed events, and the ability to share video with family, friends and law enforcement agencies. At $10 per month ($100 per year), Protect Plus extends coverage across all of your Ring devices and bundles “exclusive discounts” and a lifetime warranty, covering your devices in case of damage or theft. A 30-day trial Protect Plus plan is activated when you set up the Spotlight Cam.
In use, we found the Ring Spotlight Cam to be super reliable and the wireless signal never wanes. Output from the camera was crisp and clear, including night vision.
The camera’s motion detection was very good as well, firing the spotlight up immediately as soon as we entered the detection zone.Bottom Line
The Ring Spotlight Cam Wired is a great device for home protection. Installation is very easy, and its integrated spotlight provides a significant deterrent to opportunistic burglars. It’s super simple to get along with, thanks to clear, high-definition video output, night vision, and responsive motion detection. It also works with Alexa.
The Ring Spotlight Cam is a compact, well-built device with a comprehensive array of features to secure your home. Ring has worked hard to ensure the camera is simple to install and simple to use. If the idea of a wired camera isn’t for you, the battery-powered version will make a great alternative.