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Ring Spotlight Cam Plus vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Pro: Which is the better security camera?

When it comes to home security, few products are as compelling as spotlights. These compact devices work just like regular security cameras, providing motion alerts and recording all activity on your property. However, they also come with a built-in light — allowing them to illuminate your yard and scare away intruders.

Within this category of security devices, the Ring Spotlight Cam Plus and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro are two of the most popular choices. Along with their names, the two spotlights share much in common, including support for the versatile Ring mobile app and Ring Protect plans. But what is the difference between the Spotlight Cam Plus and Spotlight Cam Pro? And is the more expensive Spotlight Cam Pro worth the upgrade?

Here’s a closer look at the Ring Spotlight Cam Plus and Ring Spotlight Cam Pro to help you decide.

Pricing and monthly fees

Ring Spotlight Cam Pro on a wall.

The Spotlight Cam Plus costs $170, though you can save money by purchasing a two-pack for $280. The Spotlight Cam Pro costs $230, and it also lets you save some cash by purchasing a two-pack for $380. Both spotlights can be used without a monthly Ring Protect plan, but you’ll be missing out on all of their best features.

Without a Ring Protect plan, you’ll just be able to view the live video feeds and check event notifications (along with a few other minor features). That means picking up a Ring Protect plan is practically a necessity. The cheapest plan is Ring Protect Basic, which costs $4 per month ($5 per month after March 11). This adds tons of functionality to your spotlight. Here are the highlights:

  • 180-day video history
  • Snapshot capture
  • Person and package alerts
  • Rich notifications

Since both products use the same monthly subscription, but the Spotlight Cam Plus is sold at a much lower price, it’s the better choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

Winner: Ring Spotlight Cam Plus

Design and installation

The Ring Spotlight Cam Plus security camera, installed outdoors.

Unless you place them side by side, it would be difficult to tell the Plus and Pro models apart from each other. They both feature a black faceplate that houses the camera and is flanked by lighting panels on its sides. The rest of the unit is covered in a white chassis. The main difference is that the Spotlight Cam Pro is slightly larger and the bottom speaker unit of the spotlight is a bit more circular (compared to an angular speaker on the Plus). Aside from that, they are remarkably similar.

Installation is the same for both spotlights, as they’re available as battery-powered units that can be placed almost anywhere around your property. Wired units are also available if you’re not a fan of swapping out dead batteries. It should take around 10 to 15 minutes to get the battery-powered spotlights up and running — after mounting them to your home, you’ll simply need to sync them with your smartphone and Wi-Fi network. Once that’s done, they’re ready for action.

Winner: Tie

Resolution and night vision

Ring Spotlight Cam Pro outside.

The Ring Spotlight Cam Plus films in 1080p, while the more expensive Ring Spotlight Cam Pro films in 1080p with support for HDR. That allows it to produce slightly more vibrant images, with improved clarity in both bright and lowlight environments. Both products are capable of color night vision, though the Pro should offer better all-around performance in lowlight due to its support for HDR. The Pro and Plus spotlights have a 140-degree viewing angle, which gives you plenty of coverage for backyards and driveways.

Winner: Ring Spotlight Cam Pro

Features and spec list

The Ring Birds Eye app showing how a person approached a door.

There are a few key differences to be aware of with these two spotlights. Much of their spec sheets are shared, but here are the things you should consider:

  • The Spotlight Cam Pro supports Bird’s Eye View. This gives you a detailed, overhead view of how people approached your home.
  • The Spotlight Cam Pro supports Pre-Roll, which captures six extra seconds of video.
  • The Spotlight Cam Pro supports dual-band 5GHz. The Spotlight Cam Plus supports single-band 2.4GHz. Be sure to check your network to see if you need to toggle any settings before making a purchase.
  • The Spotlight Cam Pro uses Audio+ technology for better noise canceling when recording video or using its two-way speaker.

Which is the better security camera?

The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro is a better security camera than the Ring Spotlight Cam Plus. With support for HDR and Bird’s Eye View, it does an excellent job of capturing all the motion around your property. Beyond those standout features, its secondary perks like support for 5GHz networks and Pre-Roll make it even more enticing.

However, homes that already have the Spotlight Cam Plus installed may not want to spring for the Spotlight Cam Pro. The exclusive features of the Pro are nice — but they’re not enough to warrant dropping $230 for a spotlight if you already have the Plus. Homes with lesser spotlight cameras should give the Pro careful consideration, as it’s an incredible upgrade when compared to entry-level models.

In short — the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro is the better spotlight, though frugal shoppers will be well served by the Ring Spotlight Cam Plus.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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