Ring, who recently made the news after it was reported that Amazon is acquiring them, has another security camera worth fawning over. The Ring Spotlight Cam Solar is a WiFi security camera that can be mounted almost anywhere and is powered by the sun. Priced at $229, it illuminates the night with built-in LEDs when it senses motion.
I’m a huge fan of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, as evidenced in my glowing review from last year. The reason for my love of Ring is their products’ ease of installation, ease-of-use, smart motion alerts, cloud storage, and user-friendly app interface. In my experience, the Ring Spotlight Cam Solar follows in its predecessor’s footsteps in terms of the above.
Check out this quick intro video from Ring:
The Spotlight Cam Solar is an HD camera with a wide-angle lens that has two-way talk capabilities with its built-in microphone and speakers, and it has LED spotlights built in to light up your yard at night. It features live on-demand viewing with video and audio and is compatible with iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows 10.
In addition, the Spotlight Cam Solar features a motion sensor with adjustable sensitivity, customizable motion schedules, and instant motion-activated alerts. For further security, it has the ability to produce a 110-decibel siren alarm to scare away trespassers. The camera is also weatherproofed so that you don’t have to worry about leaving it out unprotected from rain, snow, etc.
The coup de grâce is the provided solar panel that provides 2 watts of power at 6 volts that keeps the Spotlight Cam powered all day and night, even when it’s cloudy out. The Spotlight Camera itself comes with a single battery pack, which the solar panel easily keeps at or near 100% charged. As Ron Popeil once said, you can “set it and forget it.”
In addition to not having to worry about charging the batteries manually, the key to this product is that you need zero experience in electrical work to install this camera. There also doesn’t have to be any existing wiring where you install it. The installation locations are almost unlimited as long as the area gets some sunlight each day.
Setting up the Spotlight Cam in the Ring app was simple as can be. Since I already had a Ring product installed, I opened up the app and clicked “Set Up Device.” The app walked me through the setup steps quickly and within less than three minutes, my Spotlight Cam Solar was on my WiFi network, linked to my Ring account, and ready to protect my home.
Check out this gallery of app screenshots:
Installation was a breeze as well, utilizing the mounts provided by Ring as well as the provided screws and screwdriver. All you need is four screws to mount the Spotlight Cam and two screws to mount the solar panel. Per Ring, if you mount the camera at 9 feet above the ground, it can sense motion up to 30 feet away, so that’s what I did.
In use, the Spotlight Cam works just like other Ring products. It alerts you when there’s motion on your property and records video so long as the motion continues. It uploads the video to the Ring video recording cloud so that you can view it at any time, download it, share it, etc. The Spotlight Cam has a few features that are different from the Ring Video Doorbell Pro within the live view screen, like the ability to turn on/off the LED lights and the ability to turn on the 110-decibel siren to scare off trespassers.
My only complaint about the Spotlight Cam itself is that the motion sensor does not seem to be as strong as the motion sensing that the Video Doorbell Pro has. The Spotlight Cam only senses motion about 30 feet in front of it but the Video Doorbell Pro seems to be able to capture motion throughout my entire front lawn. Also, I noticed more “false” motion alerts with the Spotlight Cam, however that can be fixed with some tweaking of the motion alert sensitivity settings.
If you want to download, keep, or share your videos, you’ll need to subscribe to one of Ring’s Protect Plans. For $3/month per camera or $30/year per camera, the Protect Basic plan will provide you with video recording and cloud backup of all of your videos for up to 60 days. For $10/month or $100/year, the Protect Plus will do everything that the Protect Basic plan does, but for unlimited cameras. Another advantage to the Protect Plus plan is that you get exclusive discounts on Ring products (10% off purchases at Ring.com) and an extended warranty that covers your Ring product throughout the life of your Protect Plus subscription.
I’m a huge fan of Ring’s products and the Spotlight Cam Solar is no exception. It’s a versatile camera that can be mounted anywhere and requires zero handyman skills. Plus it provides very clear video with two-way communication, will light up your yard, and has an alarm that can scare away bad guys. All of the above plus the ease of installation and ease of use make the Spotlight Cam Solar a slam dunk.
You can purchase your Ring Spotlight Cam Solar for $229 directly from the manufacturer as well as from other retailers.
Source: The Ring Spotlight Cam Solar was a manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Simple to install; Simple to use; Crystal clear video; Two-way communication; LEDs light up your yard when motion is sensed; Ability to install anywhere; Great cloud/app support
What Needs Improvement: Motion sensor does not appear to be as good as the Ring Video Doorbell Pro