Whether you’re living somewhere very rural with low lighting or just need to be extra sure to scare away (or record) any potential intruders, a floodlight camera is an excellent security tool for your home. And while there is a very large variety of floodlight cameras you can pick from, there are a couple of well-known brands that have risen to the top, and you’re likely quite familiar with a few of them. As such, we’ve collected our favorites in various categories and gone into their specs and why you should consider grabbing them, so be sure to check each one thoroughly before taking the plunge.
- Buy the if you want the best overall floodlight camera
- Buy the if you want the best premium floodlight camera
- Buy the if you want the Best budget floodlight camera
- Buy the if you want the best floodlight camera for Google users
Best overall floodlight camera
|Top-tier GPU performance
|A bit heavy
|USB-C charging available
While the Arlo Pro 4 might not have a honking big spotlight like some other options here, it still has a reasonably bright camera, and the recording function is excellent for the price tag. Also, one of the big benefits of going with the latest version compared to the last is that it no longer relies on the Arlo hub to function. That means that you can connect it directly to your Wi-Fi router without having to worry about a third device in the middle to access it, making it overall cheaper than the last generation, even if it isn’t that big of an improvement in the specs front.
Speaking of specs, it runs a 4-megapixel ⅓-inch camera sensor with a wide 160-degree field of view and records at a 2k resolution, even though it would have been nice to have 4k with the new generation. It also has the full gamut of features you’d expect, such as digital zoom, auto-track, infrared lighting, and even HDR, which will also help a lot with video clarity. Nightvision is also pretty good, although part of that is because the spotlight kicks in to add a bit more color to the image, and you, unfortunately, can’t turn it off, so it can eat up battery life a little bit.
While the Arlo Pro 4 is supposed to have a battery life of up to six months, if you put it in a high-traffic area, you’re not really going to see it go that far, maybe even just a month or two. That said, changing the battery is pretty easy, and you can always buy a recharging base and extra battery so that you don’t ever have any downtime; plus, there’s ayou can use for stable power. Also, it’s worth noting that some of the more advanced features, such as smoke/CO2 alarm and package detection, are hidden behind an Arlo subscription that will run you around $3 a month. You do get three months for free when you first buy it to try it out, but you will have to eventually pay if you want to enjoy the full features.
|42 Lux at 1M
|Field of View
Best premium floodlight camera
|Has 3D motion detection
|Needs subscription for full features
|Loud two-way talk with noise cancellation
|No local storage
|Customizable motion zones
|Lights are not replaceable
If you’re looking for something a little bit more fancy, then the Ring Floodlight Cam Wired Pro is an excellent alternative for those who need a few more premium features. For example, even the mounting is a lot more premium than some other floodlights you’ll find since it comes with a foam insert that helps protect it from the elements, meaning you don’t have to surround it with caulk for protection. It’s also a relatively easy install, so if you feel confident enough to install a light switch, you should be able to install the Ring Floodlight.
In terms of video quality, it sadly only comes with 1080p compared to the 2k of something like the Arlo, but it does have HDR, a 140-degree horizontal view, and an 80-degree vertical view. The image quality is actually pretty great, though, even though it runs at a lower resolution, and the night mode is pretty great, including the color night vision option, although that can somewhat make the image less clear. Of course, if you have the floodlights on, the image is pretty good, and with two 2,000-lumens floodlights, you get a lot of illumination, which is great.
As for features, there are a few good ones, but the most interesting is probably the bird’s eye view, which gives you a top-down satellite view of your house and all the people around it that it detects with its radar, giving you a sort of 3D view of your property. You also get two-way talk through the included speaker and microphone, and even more impressive, it does have some form of noise canceling to block out audio from outside to make any conversations a bit more clear. The only real downside is that quite a few features are locked behind the Ring Protect subscription service, such as video saving and sharing, people-only mode, and 60-day recording.
|Field of View
|140 horizontal, 80 vertical
Best budget floodlight camera
|Small field of view
|Has local storage
|Smart alerts hidden behind a subscription
|Large motion detection range
Buying a good floodlight camera doesn’t have to be incredibly expensive, and, in fact, there are some excellent budget options if you need a setup on the cheap. For that, we suggest the Wyze Cam Floodlight, which is surprisingly feature-rich for the price tag, making this the best budget option you can grab. Of course, there are some downsides, such as the fact that you can only record in 1080p and that there’s no HDR, although image quality is still pretty good.
Setup is relatively simple, and much like the Ring floodlight, if you know how to hook up a switch, you’ll likely have no issue hooking this up as well. Interestingly, you can store data locally since it comes with a MicroSD slot, which saves you the hassle of having to connect to Wi-Fi or pay a subscription fee, which admittedly isn’t that expensive at around $2 per month per camera for the cheapest option. You might have to opt for that for the 14-day of cloud storage and the smart alerts, which you won’t get without the subscription.
When it comes to lighting, you’ll be happy to know that the Wyze Cam Floodlights can manage a combined 2,600 lumens, which is better than the other two options so far. You get 270 degrees of motion detection, although only a 130-degree field of view; at least you can set the detection out to 30 feet, so you have a lot of space to work with when it comes to motion detection. Also, it comes with an automatic sundown feature that switches the floodlights on and off so that you don’t have to do it manually, which might seem like a basic thing, but for a budget floodlight cam, it’s pretty good.
|Field of View
Best floodlight camera for Google users
|Has integrations for Google and Alexa
|No local storage
|Requires subscription for more advanced features
While the Ring floodlight camera is great for Amazon users, if you’re a Google user and want to stay in that ecosystem, then the way to go is to use the Google Nest Cam with Floodlight, which is a pretty excellent floodlight all things considered. For example, it has a very solid combined lumen of 2,400 and about 20 feet of pretty good night vision, as well as motion detection that will kick in both the camera and the floodlights if you want it to. It has 130 degrees of view as well as a 2-megapixel HDR camera, so you’re going to get good contrast and image quality.
In terms of recording, you get a 1080p resolution, and while there is a sort of emergency onboard storage of about an hour, if you want to record anything more than that, you will have to be connected to the internet. If you opt not to go with a subscription service, then you get three hours of cloud storage, which is pretty good, all things considered, although it would have been nice to have more substantial local storage. As for the subscription offers themselves, you can get, which gives you 30 days of video storage, or Nest Aware Plus for $15/month, which gives you 60 days of storage plus up to 10 days of 24/7 recording. Both subscriptions also give you access to calling 911 from the app, detection of familiar faces, smoke alarms, glass breaking, and a couple of other things.
Of course, the big positive of going for a Google Nest device is that you have a lot more control through the app than you would with some other ones, especially given the integrations into the Google ecosystem. You will need it to access the camera, but it does let you view the camera remotely, get various alerts, as well as integrate it into your various routines so it can automatically switch on and off if you want it. More importantly, you get access to both Google Assistant and Alexa, so you get access to all the various devices in those ecosystems, so you don’t necessarily have to rely on your phone to view the camera or have a conversation.
|Field of View
If you’re going for a camera with a floodlight, then you’re very likely interested in something that works well at night. To that end, there are really two technologies that these types of cameras rely on to give you a good image quality: lighting and internal sensor quality. When it comes to lighting, we’ve done our best to choose cameras that can hit somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 lumens, which is roughly equivalent to around 150 to 200-watt incandescent bulbs, so it’s pretty bright.
As for the internal sensor, well, that varies a lot from camera to camera, but the majority of the bigger brands tend to get high-end sensors that do well with night-time performance. Sometimes, these cameras will have HDR, provide a false-color view, or rely entirely on the spotlights for the picture quality. There are pros and cons to each, which we covered in the cameras where these things come up, but for the most part, all of these cameras should work just fine during the night.
That said, one thing to note is that most floodlight cameras do not have replaceable LEDs, so you will have to buy new ones when they run out a few years down the line. It’s not a massive problem, given that you’ll very rarely need to change them, but it’s just something to keep in mind.
One of the big problems of modern home security cameras is that any sort of real storage is locked behind a subscription service, meaning that if you don’t opt for one, you’ll be stuck with a small internal storage that will barely last a couple of hours. As such, we’ve done our best to pick cameras that either have some form of local storage, even if it’s with a MicroSD card or that have a relatively affordable subscription service with ample cloud storage, which, admittedly, is great if you want to view things when you’re away from home.
This article is managed and created separately from the Digital Trends Editorial team.
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