Let there be light! The Ring Floodlight Camera brings us ultra-strong LED lighting combined with state-of-the-industry security technology, in a way that only Ring can. For us, that means we knew we’d get an outdoor camera with high marks in almost every category: reliability, value, hardware, performance, and customer service.
If you want the ultimate combination of high-quality video and LED lighting and can look past a couple of (super minor) issues, we think you’ll really like what the Floodlight Cam brings to the table. After all, it’s not our top-rated camera by accident!
Flanked by two super-powerful floodlights, this Ring camera provides superior coverage for any outdoor setting. We wanted to see for ourselves just how powerful this camera would be, as well as how Ring stacks up against other cams on the market today, like Arlo and Nest Cam.
So we took it home, put it through our rigorous round of tests, and learned as much as we could about the Ring Floodlight Camera for this comprehensive hands-on review. It wasn’t a flawless journey, but it was pretty darn close. Read on for our full experience.
First, we know Ring is not the only security company to make a camera-floodlight combo. Arlo makes a well-reviewed floodlight cam, too, and from what we’ve seen, it works just as well as the rest of Arlo’s wire-free cameras, and doesn’t require hardwiring1 since it includes batteries.
Whether Arlo’s version is a better option than the Ring Floodlight, we can’t really say; we urge you to visit our complete security camera buying guide to get a fuller picture of what each brand offers.
For homeowners like us, having a floodlight and camera all in one device is a truly ideal setup. But aside from our own preferences, there’s documented evidence that floodlights deter a vast majority of criminals who usually turn and run when the lights go on.2 According to a UNC-Charlotte study,3 outdoor lighting at night is one of the most effective ways to deter a burglar. So it makes sense that combining the two into a floodlight security camera provides the ultimate deterrent for any porch pirate or perpetrator.
This big, beefy camera is meant to make a statement. We knew this, so as we set out to begin our hardwired installation, we admit we were a bit intimidated. We’ve installed several cameras before, but never with this much bulk and wiring; we worried that without any real electrical expertise to speak of, we might find the installation to be too daunting and give up, or worse, injure ourselves.
So we called an expert. We initially tried hiring a pro through Ring’s support page, which helps you to find someone in your area who’s knowledgeable about Ring cameras. It looked super easy, thanks to a neat partnership with OnTech,4 a hub for smart home repair services, so we thought it was our best option.
Except for one tiny problem.
They don’t do floodlights.
Yes, even though OnTech is an authorized service provider for Ring (they also install Google Nest Cams), they’re not authorized to install floodlights, because that’s crossing into electrical work.
FYI: Many homes are equipped with floodlights already, so you might not run into the same trouble we did. If you’re comfortable replacing old household light fixtures with new ones, you should be able to handle the wired installation just fine with Ring Floodlight.
Bottom Line: If a wired camera is your preference, and you’re not confident to do the work yourself, it’s OK to ask for help! Really, who are we to judge?
So we called our regular electrician, who knew exactly what the job required. We paid a little over $100 for the pro job. He was in and out in under 30 minutes, and voila – we had our snazzy new floodlight camera installed and ready to go.
Now, we could have figured out how to install this thing ourselves. So if you’re up for the task, feel free to check out Ring’s support page for helpful resources for a smooth DIY installation for your Ring Floodlight Camera. There, we were able to find setup guides and how-to videos breaking down each step of the installation process, from mounting the bracket, to wiring the device to your existing lighting, to ultimately hanging the camera. The page also includes tips for how high to install the camera, how to control the light settings, and how to set up the camera in the Ring app. It’s all pretty helpful!
Now with installation wrapped up, it was time to put the Ring Floodlight Cam to the test.
Our big, bad floodlight camera made a great addition to our backyard decor. But we weren’t finished with our new toy just yet; this cam also comes with some pretty neat features that we were excited to test out.
FYI: Ring sells most of its cameras in a black or white design. We chose white, as it blends in better with the style of our home. But if we wanted to place our camera in a more discreet location, like our garage, we might have chosen black.
As we powered up the camera for the first time, it asked us to update its firmware (which seems to be the norm these days), and within five minutes we were in business. Then, we turned to the app.
Since we already had a Ring Doorbell camera, we were familiar with Ring’s app. It’s the best way to keep tabs on your home from pretty much anywhere, and it gets high marks from critics and consumers alike.
We took note of a few extras Ring has added on recently; one of them is Linked Devices, which let us see the views from all of our Ring cameras from a single dashboard. This feature also lets you create links to alert one camera to another camera when it picks up a particular activity. Don’t worry, we’ll explain.
To get a firsthand view of how Linked Devices works, we decided to focus on the neighborhood friendly feline.
For background, this cat is not ours. We don’t know if she belongs to anyone; she seems to enjoy skipping down our street from yard to yard, likely looking for food or cover (if only we weren’t allergic to cats!). So before nightfall, we devised a plan.
We went into Linked Devices on the app and programmed it to begin recording video on our Floodlight Camera any time motion was detected on our two other Ring outdoor cameras – a doorbell camera and spotlight camera. That way, if our mysterious neighborhood cat happened to run through our yard at any point overnight, there’d be a good chance our cameras would catch it!
At that point, we thought, two things would happen: we could get a good look at how the camera’s infrared night vision works in tandem with those super-bright floodlights; and we could see the elusive kitty’s path for a few seconds after motion was detected.
Pro Tip: We recommend cameras with infrared night vision because they don’t rely on ambient light. Seeing in the dark is never easy, but with infrared, you’ll see lots more detail at night.
It’s worth mentioning that the ability to link devices together is pretty typical in home security cameras these days. It’s another perk of building your own smart home ecosystem with a brand like Ring; all of their devices tend to communicate with each other pretty effortlessly. All you have to do is sit back and let the magic happen.
But first, back to our feline saga…
We have good news and bad news.
We got some great shots of our little yard-hopper during our test.
The bad news? The camera didn’t record it. Clearly, our Spotlight Camera in the front of our house failed to pick up the cat before she entered our backyard; we surmise she must have walked in from another neighbor’s yard that backs up to ours. And – bummer – we don’t have cameras set up over there.
But wow, check out that night vision and illumination!
As a standard feature in most security cameras these days, we’ve seen the extraordinary images captured with 1080p HD resolution. This is most evident from Ring’s floodlight model, where we viewed refreshingly clear and crisp video 24 hours a day, rain or shine. We think you’ll appreciate the sharp image quality that Ring offers. One look at the image below and you’ll see what we mean.
We next decided to test out the camera’s Two-Way Talk feature, another standard in cameras in this category. When it comes to audio on the Floodlight Cam, it tends to work pretty well with one exception: we noticed a lot of interference when there was background noise on either side of the conversation.
The truth is, ambient noise5 is a challenge for any outdoor camera, as it’s largely unpredictable (we can’t exactly tell the garbage truck to quiet down!). Even the brands that promise Cadillac-level features in every camera (think Nest Cams) still pick up wind gusts and tree branches, so we consider this a minor issue.
Later on we tested it again, during a quieter time of the day, and the problem seemed to disappear. Sound quality was clear as day, though we did observe a roughly two-second hiccup on the audio. This, too, is a common issue in some other cameras we’ve tested, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
Ring is known for giving its users sweeping control over how their cameras detect motion, which alerts you receive, and how much data you get. While living with the Ring Floodlight, we watched closely to see how it reacted to different scenarios unfolding around our property. Like clockwork, when the camera detected motion, it immediately sent us an activity alert. This allowed us to open the Ring app and view a livestream of our newly illuminated backyard.
As we learned more about the Floodlight Cam’s features and tech, we realized that cat burglars (or any cat for that matter!) didn’t stand a chance. Keep in mind that the cat you see below is mostly black, and we were able to see her a good 20 to 30 feet from the camera. Not bad at all.
We had a few more cat cameos in our tests, and we were amazed at how well we could see her from basically any angle, near or far.
One night, as we settled in with our floodlight camera for a few more assessments, something began bugging us.
We started getting motion alerts every 10 seconds or so, but when we popped over to the camera view in our Ring app, we saw nothing. Not a creature was stirring.
This continued for another 20 minutes or so, until someone finally put her foot down and went outside to investigate.
Still nothing. What, we wondered, was triggering the motion? Sure, we could have turned off alerts easily through the app so the annoyance would cease. But we wanted to get to the bottom of this.
At last! We found a very large and expansive spiderweb gently moving in a night-time breeze.
We removed the “threat,” and sure enough we stopped getting the alerts. That’ll show ‘em.
Let our sticky situation serve as a lighthearted example of how easy it is to customize these cameras. Should we ever need to investigate a threat more serious than an eight-legged creepy crawly, we feel pretty confident in our Ring Floodlight Cam’s ability to keep us protected from threats big, small, or anywhere in between.
Pro Tip: You can get hands-free control of your Ring cameras by pairing it with any Amazon Alexa device.
So, you might be wondering, what’s all this goodness going to cost me? We’ve seen HD camera + floodlight combos run anywhere from $300 to $500. Our Ring Floodlight Camera, however, only set us back $249. For the features and control you get, we think that’s quite a good deal.
If you’re looking for more coverage, note that you can save money by bundling more cameras. For instance, if you need more than one device, you can buy a Floodlight Cam 2-pack and save some cash. We humble Midwesterners only needed one, but for larger properties, the bundle deals are worth looking into.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of Ring’s pricing:
|Ring Camera||Power source||Cost|
|Spotlight Cam Battery||Battery||$199.00|
|Spotlight Cam Wired||Wired||$199.00|
|Spotlight Cam Solar||Solar||$229.00|
|Spotlight Cam Mount||Wired||$249.00|
|Stick Up Cam Battery||Battery||$99.99|
|Stick Up Cam Wired||Wired||$99.99|
|Stick Up Cam Solar||Solar||$148.99|
|Stick Up Cam Elite||Wired||$199.99|
Ring’s storage subscriptions are optional, and, by and large, affordable. You won’t have to sign any annual contracts, either. This low-cost subscription model is why many users choose Ring over others, like Night Owl cameras, which work great but cost almost double per month what Ring charges to store footage. It’s nickels and dimes here, but costs can add up fast.
However, for an added layer of security, Ring does offer two subscription plans, both of which include cloud storage and video review with sharing. That means you can view your recorded clips, download them, and share them on social media directly from the app.
|Ring Protect Plan||Number of Cameras||Monthly Plan Cost||Annual Plan Cost|
We already had the $3 per month Ring Protect Basic plan for our Ring Doorbell, so we had no trouble adding another $3 for our Floodlight Cam.
For our team, Ring Floodlight represents two essential components: the same protection and reliability we’ve come to expect in a Ring camera, plus a pair of strong LEDs to protect against intruders.
We’re not claiming to have found the perfect camera, though.
Our team observed these bottlenecks from time to time in all Ring cameras we tested. It seemed to be a constant in each device, but not a significant annoyance, and certainly not enough to hold it against the brand itself.
But beyond all that, we understand some folks still might find the sporadic delays aggravating. If this really concerns you, it might be time to consider a fully monitored system like those offered by Vivint or SimpliSafe, which usually don’t run into delays or lags.
All told, the icing on this camera’s proverbial cake is those ultra-bright LEDs. You can’t beat the images this camera produces! And even better, we could see this crystal-clear footage from wherever we were, whether at home or away, in real-time.
Despite the occasional hiccups, we still think our Ring Floodlight Camera would outshine top competitors in any test – provided you’re comfortable with a more involved wired installation process and have a suitable electrical source available for the camera.
We found this camera’s ultimate combination of power and light to be the perfect addition to our home security setup, and it provided the peace of mind we needed to feel safe and secure in our home. What else could you ask for?
You do not have to purchase a monthly service package for the Ring Floodlight Cam to work. However, you can do so through the Ring Video Recording feature. The Basic Protect subscription is $3 per month or $30 for the year per device. Or, choose the Protect Plus option for $10 per month or $100 for a year for all of your Ring cameras. This allows you to store streaming video for up to 60 days as well as download it to local storage.
This camera is designed to be weatherproof and highly durable. In our tests, during a heavy thunderstorm, the camera performed seamlessly and did not incur any damage.
Yes, but it’s fairly limited. The Ring Floodlight Cam works with Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice control. You can cast video onto an Echo Show, Fire TV, or other Alexa-compatible smart TVs and smart displays.
The Floodlight Cam has two LEDs that put out 1,500 lumens each, while the Spotlight Cam has two 350-lumen output LEDs. In our experience, we found the Floodlight Cam to be about 4 to 5x brighter than the Spotlight Cam.
The positioning or angle of the floodlights is adjustable, but the intensity of the light is not.
Family Handyman. (2020). Top 10 Electrical Mistakes.
Cove. (2020). Can a Floodlight Security Camera Stop Burglaries Before They Happen?
Blevins, Kristie R. (2012). Burglary Survey Study. UNC Charlotte.
OnTech. (2020). Smart Camera Installation.
McNutt, Stephen R. (2015). Ambient Noise. Science Direct.
Jaime Fraze is an experienced digital editor in the tech, business and food spaces, having produced content for clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to fledgling nonprofits for more than 15 years. As a wife, mother and homeowner, she understands that buying home security products can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why Jaime has constantly strived to ensure that every piece of content she produces has met SafeHome.org’s rigorous standards, and that her readers come away with the power to make better, smarter decisions. Learn more about Jaime here