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Lorex delivers laser-sharp 2K video and color night vision in their latest wired doorbell.
If you have a specific security need, we’re confident in saying Lorex has a camera for you. They have a mile-long list of products that run the gamut from simple indoor security cameras to high-tech outdoor floodlight cams. This massive selection of high quality products is one of the many reasons why Lorex consistently shows up high on our rankings lists.
But today we’re here to talk about video doorbells in particular. We know that smart doorbells1 have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity over the last decade, becoming one of the most popular tools homeowners use to protect their homes. While Ring is the industry leader, we can’t deny that Lorex presents an attractive and powerful alternative with top-notch features like person detection and wide-view angles.
Lorex offers both a 1080p Wired Video Doorbell and a 2K Wired Video Doorbell. In addition, Lorex has recently introduced a Wi-Fi Chimebox that works in conjunction with either video doorbell. Aside from chiming when someone rings your doorbell, it sends customizable notifications to your Lorex Home app.
This time, we’re turning our attention to the Canada-based brand’s Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell.
We did find some minor pain points here and there with Lorex, particularly in the installation stage. No deal-breakers, but we like to give the full picture, good and bad.
To give you the best idea if a Lorex Doorbell is right for you, we spent several days testing it, assessing the installation experience, comparing it to the rest of our lineup, and unpacking everything we could. Stay tuned for all of that, but first, here are a few quick pros and cons:
Check out more recommendations from the SafeHome team:
Right off the bat, one of the better things about the 2K version of the Lorex video doorbell over its 1080p cousin — other than the resolution, of course — is that it’s available in black or white. Since we have a white-framed door, we appreciated that option.
Pro Tip: If you’re into “trendy” security equipment, there may be better options out there. Lorex is a pretty no-frills brand when it comes to features and tech. If you’d prefer something with a bit more character, check out our review of Nest Hello, the smart doorbell with the backing of Google.
As we held the device in our hands, we noticed how much smaller and thinner it was than the Ring Doorbell. When we reviewed Ring’s Video Doorbell 3, we were dealing with a much bigger device, which may or may not suit your taste. That large size does send a strong message, though, especially to would-be intruders. As a crime deterrent,2 these devices have had great success, and their presence alone has been known to scare off a bad guy or two. Just something to think about.
Unlike with some other brands, Lorex did not require us to sign a contract or pay a monthly fee. It is nice not to feel locked into a commitment with a security company. Because it does not use a Cloud subscription, the camera uses a pre-inserted micro SD card3 to save our footage.
Thanks to Lorex’s very intuitive app, getting the doorbell up and running wasn’t much different from installing the standalone security camera. We found the QR code to sync the camera with our home Wi-Fi in two convenient locations: on the camera itself, and inside the box, which was a nice touch.
From there, it was pretty self-explanatory. We just entered our Wi-Fi credentials, followed the prompts until the end, and in a few minutes we were synced up.
First things first, we were pleased to see everything we needed for the job right there in the box, including a detailed instruction manual. (That manual, we learned, is also available on Lorex’s website.)
FYI: Lorex Doorbell is wired, which means you will have to handle electrical wiring. It wasn’t a huge deal for us, but if you’d rather skip a wired installation, consider a wireless doorbell camera with batteries instead.
Now obviously hardwiring a doorbell is a bit more challenging than mounting a battery-operated one. Our install process didn’t exactly go as smoothly as we would have liked, but that’s not really the fault of the unit. Our house is pretty old and the existing doorbell cables aren’t really in the best shape. If you’re in the same boat, or don’t know what boat you’re even in, carve out some time in your day for this installation. It’s not the hardest DIY project out there, but it can be a little difficult.
Since the unit is so narrow and needed to be flush with our door frame, we had to do some strange hand contortions to secure our cables to the camera, and then bend and twist all those cables between the camera and the mounting plate. From there, we endured a couple more hits and misses before we had power going from the chime to the doorbell.
Having small hands proved very helpful here; so did the extra cable connectors that Lorex includes in the box.
Since this unit comes with a chime kit, we knew it would require getting into our chime box. Of course, we could have skipped this step and continued using our existing doorbell chime, if we were pressed for time. But we decided our old, mechanical chime could use an upgrade.
This portion of the installation, thankfully, was more straightforward. We simply opened the chime box on our wall, disconnected our old chime, and wired in the included Lorex Chime Kit. In fact, armed with Lorex’s thorough instructions, this part was easier than what we’ve experienced connecting other doorbell chimes.
After that, we returned to the doorbell. For a couple of electrical amateurs, the whole thing amounted to a tricky installation. It took patience, adhering as closely as possible to the manual, and a few peeks into the troubleshooting section of Lorex’s website to get it just right. If we were to do it all over again, we’d consider spending a few bucks to get it professionally installed by a handyman.
Pro Tip: Most video doorbells run on Wi-Fi, but do you really know how wireless internet works? Or how safe it is? Check out our guide to the potential hazards of Wi-Fi – particularly for children.
All in all, we spent just under two hours getting the whole system online. That’s definitely longer than the time we spent installing Ring’s Doorbell Elite, namely because Ring’s hardware was sturdier and popped into place more easily.
And we can’t say we’re 100% cool with no battery backup, either. Without this, the camera won’t work in a power outage. We were forced to dock Lorex a few points for this, since the device is pretty much useless without power – but don’t worry, as you’ll see, Lorex mostly makes up for it in the end.
Happy that the installation process was completed, we turned our attention to Lorex’s equipment and technology and found that they are both solid. Next, we ran through our customary tests of the Lorex Doorbell. We got mostly what we expected: A camera that gave us instant insight into who’s at our door, each and every time.
Because we live in an area that has seen a lot of package theft, we knew we needed a camera that would respond quickly. We didn’t want to compromise on this – and if you’ve been through the frustrating process of trying to replace a stolen package, you’ll understand why. We, of course, also wanted to avoid the much-worse scenario of a break-in, too!
Fortunately, the video quality was exceptional with our Lorex 2K video doorbell. In fact, its resolution is more than two times that of Lorex’s 1080p doorbell. It is also right up there with the top video doorbells, but do note that these devices are still tied to a Wi-Fi signal, so their video footage is set to fluctuate between standard and high definition to avoid overloading the network. We also saw this when we reviewed SkyBell’s Video Doorbell – a pretty good picture most of the time, but not always.
The audio quality passed our test, too. The video doorbell uses full duplex two-way audio.
As an aside, our tests of the Lorex device happened to coincide with a pretty legit snowstorm in our neck of the woods, leaving us with 6-8 inches of pretty white stuff when all was said and done. We thought the scene would make for some calming, tranquil footage, even without a human involved. We think we were right.
Of course, it helped that the doorbell is rated to temperatures as low as four degrees below zero Fahrenheit. For those in warmer climates, it’s also rated up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. As a bonus, it also has an IP65 rating. That means it’s dust tight and can resist low-pressure water jets. In other words, it could have handled much worse than our weather.
Check out this short video of the Lorex doorbell:
Like the wireless Lorex security cameras we reviewed previously, we were pleased that Lorex Doorbell, too, includes a mode for person detection.
With person detection turned on, we were alerted only when someone was at the door. Not when a car passed by, not when a tree branch blew in the wind, not when a stray cat crept across the walkway looking for food. This is crucial if you’re like us and want to use the doorbell strictly as it’s intended. We used person detection most frequently, though, because we already have a pair of cameras set up elsewhere in the yard to keep tabs on those outliers.
Of course, we did spend some time testing out the other three modes, too. In each test, Lorex didn’t miss a beat. So Lorex definitely impresses when it comes to advanced features like person, motion, and vehicle detection.
How much coverage we get from our doorbell cameras depends largely on the camera’s viewing angle. This varies brand-by-brand, but we’d say Lorex Doorbell is just slightly above average with their 164-degree angle. It’s not quite as wide as the view we got when we reviewed Blue by ADT’s doorbell, which really opened things up for us at 180 degrees.
For tracking package deliveries and visitors, having a nice, wide view is a plus, but not essential. Our Lorex Doorbell does fine in this category. In fact, after watching our own simulation test of the camera, we realized we needed to make a few adjustments, including pointing the device downward so we could actually see the packages that arrived:
But to put things in perspective, we’re used to seeing 120- to 140-degree fields of view from Lorex’s competitors, so 164-degrees felt like a luxury to have.
As a brand with a huge selection, Lorex has been in our testing repertoire many times over. Their outdoor Wi-Fi camera was an early favorite of ours, namely due to the impressive color night vision.
We’ve found that in most cameras, the higher the video resolution, the better the night vision. Keep in mind, then, that Lorex’s outdoor cam maxes out at 1080p resolution, which is still excellent HD quality but not quite as spectacular as the Lorex Doorbell.
With the doorbell cam, we get a picture that’s not only in full color, but that’s also sharper than some daytime camera footage we’ve seen. It’s a far better picture than the one we got from SimpliSafe’s 720p SimpliCam, for instance, which doesn’t have color night vision and maxes out at standard definition. But honestly, SimpliSafe is better known for their affordable DIY security system — so if you’re interested in total home security, see our SimpliSafe review.
Of course, some folks aren’t all that concerned with video quality or night vision in a doorbell cam; they just want a quality device to monitor visitors and help them feel safer in their homes. Lorex delivered that for us easily, but check out our full doorbell camera buying guide for even more ideas.
Testing out Lorex Doorbell’s compatibility with the smart home gave us one more minor gripe with this device: It doesn’t integrate with Apple HomeKit or IFTTT platforms. We had no trouble, though, pulling up the live feed on our Amazon Echo Show, one of the Alexa-enabled devices in our home, to get a quick peek at who was at our door.
Of course, you can also integrate the doorbell into Lorex’s own proprietary Smart Home Security System. With a centralized hub, that system lets you view and record footage, talk to visitors, and turn cameras on and off with just the tap of a finger. The system also now includes facial detection technology for added security. Plus, you can use bluetooth to connect your home speakers for streaming music throughout your home.
Still, Lorex’s relatively limited capabilities when it comes to integration was a definite disappointment in relation to competitors like Arlo. As we noted in our Arlo Video Doorbell review, Arlo supports pairing with all of the major smart home platforms. So if you’re a smart home aficionado, you might want to look at Arlo instead.
The brand’s aversion to monthly fees and contracts4 makes Lorex a great pick for the budget-conscious, and this rings true with their video doorbell, too. Even with an upgrade in video resolution, Lorex still prices their latest doorbell fairly at $180. And, it was on sale for $150 at the time of this writing. (They also have a 1080p option for $80, if you’re interested.) For all of that without monthly fees, we’d say this is a pretty decent deal.
It’s certainly not the cheapest way to keep tabs on your front door while you’re at work, though. Then again, most doorbells don’t have 2K HDR video. We don’t necessarily need 2K in a doorbell cam, but we do admit it’s a nice picture.
For what it’s worth, Lorex Doorbell is only $10 more than SimpliSafe’s Video Doorbell Pro. We’d consider both devices around the middle range in pricing. You could always go bigger, like the more advanced Vivint Doorbell Pro, for $249; you’ll get a pretty mind-blowing set of features, not to mention an even slimmer design that’s ideal for apartments and small spaces.
Here’s a quick breakdown of some of Lorex’s security and doorbell camera offerings:
|Lorex Camera||Price Range||Capabilities|
|Smart Indoor Wi-Fi 1080p Standalone Camera||$39.99+||
|Smart Outdoor Wi-Fi 1080p Standalone Camera||$129.99+||
|Wireless/MPX Security Cameras||Starting at $89.99||
|Lorex PTZ Security Cameras||Starting at $199.99||
|Lorex Wired IP Cameras||Starting at $169.99||
|Lorex 2K HDR Wired Doorbell Camera||$149.99||
|Lorex 1080p HD Wired Doorbell Camera||$69.99||
When all was said and done, we found a few trouble spots in the installation and hardwiring stage to keep us from fully falling in love with the Lorex 2K QHD Wired Video Doorbell. For older homes like ours, hardwiring is already a challenge. But on top of that, Lorex’s equipment didn’t snap into place very easily, so by the time it was all done, we knew we had spent much more time installing this device than other doorbell cams we’ve used.
That said, Lorex still managed to pack plenty of power into its wired doorbell cam, giving us an overall smooth and hassle-free experience monitoring everyone entering and leaving our home.5 More than that, though, we were intrigued by the 2K resolution. This, after all, is not something we see every day, even in the industry’s best doorbell cameras. Combined with color night vision, we enjoyed the view each time we peeked over at our live feed.
We have little doubt this device would give you the peace of mind you’re looking for in a doorbell cam – but prepare for a tricky installation (or hire a handyman!).
With Lorex, you’re not required to sign up for any monthly cloud storage fees or subscriptions to use the cameras. The Lorex Doorbell comes with a pre-inserted 32GB micro SD card to store footage.
The vast majority of Lorex cameras come with either an IP66 or IP67 weatherproof rating, Lorex Doorbell included. Lorex cameras with these ratings are completely protected from dust and can withstand low pressure jets of water.
Yes. Lorex cameras are compatible with both Amazon Alexa devices and the Google Assistant to display our doorbell cam’s footage or use voice commands to “answer” the door. To do this, we went into your Alexa app, searched for the Lorex skill, and linked the accounts.
Lorex Doorbell comes in either infrared (black and white) or colorized night vision. Both handled well in our tests, but naturally we saw a clearer, more detailed picture in full color.
Lorex is a pretty massive company, and it’s had its share of critics in the customer service department. Some users report getting ignored after multiple attempts to reach an agent; others say the agent they spoke to was uninformed or unhelpful. When we inquired about a new camera release through Lorex’s phone support, we waited a couple of minutes on hold, and got the answer we needed pretty easily.
Weinschenk, C. (2020, Feb. 14). Video Doorbell Research: Amazon Ring Tops in Market Share with 16% of Households Opting In. Telecompetitor.
Daily, L. (2018, Nov. 28). Why Video Doorbells are Winning Over Residents – and Police. Chicago Tribune.
Pinto, Y. (2020) The Impact of the SD Card Then & Now. Western Digital Blog.
Morrison, S. (2020, Aug. 24). Contracts, Hacks, and Google: What to Consider Before You Get a Home Security System. Vox.
Woollaston, V. (2020, Aug. 27). Back at work? So are burglars. Here's how to keep your home safe. Wired.