LED outdoor security lights are gradually taking over, replacing the traditional bulb-type fixture. Because of the versatility of LEDs, a world of possibilities has opened up for homeowners.
When it comes to changing the minds of would-be intruders, nothing works as well as getting your hands on the best outdoor smart lights that are out there. Security systems protect your home from break-ins, but a smart outdoor light behaves as a layer of preemptive security. These will change the mind of most prowlers and spare you the jarring experience of waking to the alarms of broken windows or jimmied doors.
If there’s a question of whether or not there’s someone at the light switch, a smart perpetrator would turn tail rather than take the gamble. This is the whole point behind the smart light.
Smart Light Vs Traditional Outdoor Lights
A normal outdoor light works well to illuminate your yard, driveway, backyard, or doorstep. But if a criminal who is thinking of breaking in can see that the light is on statically, he might avoid it and seek a different way in. No shock value, no scurrying, no surprises, and little deterrence.
A traditional outdoor light might keep people away from entry points immediately surrounding that area. Still, it won’t deter them from trying in other areas. Let’s face it; people have become immune to sensor lights- they’re everywhere.
With a smart light, you have a whole list of things you can do, depending on the capabilities of the light. It can turn on sensors that detect movement, set off alarms, take pictures, or begin recording video. Depending on the type you get, you can interact with a trespasser from anywhere in the world through a smart floodlight.
You can make them think you’re inside waiting for them & have already called the police. Or you can just let the sirens cut through the quiet night air and scare them off.
These lights are also a good way to find out what kind of intruders you might be having that are not human. With a unit equipped with a camera, you can find out what’s getting into your trash, or taking veggies out of your garden. Many people wind up shocked at the kind of wildlife traversing through their yard in the cover of night.
Make your Home Safer
As mentioned above, a smart exterior light adds a layer of defense over your in-home defenses. This is important to stop trouble from coming too close to your home, decreasing dangers that might come to you or your family, and your property.
Also, a smart outdoor light covers areas that remain vulnerable outdoors. Your vehicles, shed, barns, or other outbuildings, will all benefit by the eyes of a floodlight, when your home security system won’t reach.
Three of the Best Outdoor Smart Lights
Like anything else that’s labeled as “smart,” the outdoor lighting industry has meshed together with technology, increasing function and usability. Though many different types of smart lights boast a variety of fun features, not many include furthering the security of the home outside of brightening up the yard.
The following are three different smart lights that are geared toward securing the outdoors. These three all have cameras equipped and are app accessible on any device. After we have a look at all three, we’ll then decide which rises above the others by looking at what you get for the money.
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- Captures 1080 HD Video
- On-Demand Video and Audio
- Infrared Night Vision Viewable up to 30 Feet
- 2 LED Spotlights
- Motion Sensor
- Integrated Spotlight and 110 Decibel Siren Alarm
- You can Choose Wired or Battery Operated- Includes one rechargeable battery pack
- Compatible with all Major Platforms (Windows 10, IOS, Android, Mac, etc.)
- Adjustable Mount
- 270 Degree Advanced Motion Detection with Adjustable Zones
- 2-Way Audio Featuring Noise Cancellation
- Compatible with Alexa and other Ring Devices
- Option of Either Black or White Casing
- Casings are Weather Resistant
- App Light Controls
- Service Plan is Optional
- Flashing Strobe when the Siren Sounds
- Instant Notifications
- Security Sticker, USB Battery Charging Cable, and Installation Hardware Included
This unit has two strengths that the other two smart lights don’t. It’s size and mobility. The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery doesn’t require any wiring at all, and you’re only limited by your Wi-Fi signal strength as it relates to locating and mounting the light. Not having to be concerned with any wiring makes this device a snap for the Do-It-Yourselfer.
Because it’s relatively small, it can be located in positions that potential intruders wouldn’t expect. Also, it can be situated to avoid normal traffic, reducing false alarms and alerts to your mobile device.
These two characteristics, along with all of the other features involved with the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, make this a useful and versatile inclusion to your home security system.
One of the same characteristics that make this unit unique, and were just praised as a positive, also falls on the cons side of things- its size. Because it’s a compact design as an outdoor light, the lights aren’t as powerful as the other two.
Where the others would flood an open area with light, this unit might serve better where closer quarters are involved. The camera is more of the focal point in this unit, but will have problems trying to record or live stream in full-color HD at night compared to the others.
Yes, there is night vision that can remedy this as far as the camera is concerned. Still, infra-red recordings or pictures can be more difficult to identify someone than a full-color HD image. (This isn’t to say that the night vision couldn’t serve better doing several different tasks.)
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- 1080p HD H.264
- 24/7 HD Livestream
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- 155 Degree Field of View
- Motion Activation- Detects Within 70 Feet When Installed at 8 Feet
- 2 Bulbs Shine at 2400 Lumens
- Adjustable Motion Sensitivity
- 2-Way Audio
- Option to Play a Recorded Message when Triggered
- 115 Decibel Siren Alarm
- Weatherproof Housing
- Optional Service Plan
- Manual Record
- White Casing
- Instant “Call 911” Feature
- App Light Controls
- Animated Event Thumbnails
- React Through Lockscreen- Sends alerts to your device and is visible when the device is in “locked” mode.
The most prominent feature at first glance of the Maximus is the curved dual lighting setup. The design helps to spread light more evenly across the field of view, making the most out of the unit’s 2400 lumen bulbs.
The Maximus has a few features that the others don’t that should be noted. The instant 911 call feature is a great idea if you choose to use it for times that you’re away and are not near your device.
Another great feature is the option for a pre-recorded message to sound off when the light sensors have been triggered. The sensors are powerful, reaching across the yard over 70 feet. One could make the argument that nobody would be identifiable at that distance on the camera. That said, nothing is saying that you have to have it set so far out, though it isn’t difficult to come up with reasons to do so anyhow.
Like all of the traditional lighting systems, this unit is hardwired. You can replace an existing outdoor light- making use of the junction box, or run a wire to where you desire to place it.
Another con is that it doesn’t have any night vision capabilities. Now, from one point of view, the argument can be made that if you have two good sized lights illuminating your zone, why would you need night vision? The picture on the camera would be hi-def and decently lit to see anything you’d like to see.
But sometimes, when you have features that you don’t think you’ll use, you wind up finding reasons to use them. Night vision can be useful, fun, and opens up more strategic ways of catching someone in the act of doing something they shouldn’t.
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- 1080 HD Video
- 2-Way Talk with Echo Cancellation
- Night Vision
- On-Demand Video and Audio
- Customizable Motion Zones
- 110 Decibel Siren Alarm
- Two 3000° Kelvin Floodlights
- Ultra-Wide Angle 270 Degree Field of View Motion Detection
- Motion-Activated Instant Notification Alerts
- Real-Time Smart Zoom and Panning
- Weather Resistant Casing
- Optional Premium Service Plan
- Lifetime Purchase Protection- Ring will replace a unit if it is stolen.
- Compatible with Alexa and other Ring Devices
- Comes in White or Black
- Adjustable Mount
- App Light Controls
- Red Flashing Light when Siren is Triggered
With Ring’s Outdoor Wi-Fi Cam With Motion Activated Floodlight, you get all of the goodies that you get with the first unit, the Spotlight Cam Battery, and then some. But where the smaller counterpart is lacking this unit excels. Rather than two small lights lining the housing like the Battery unit, this has two more traditional looking floodlights.
Because this smart light has a brighter light capacity (two 1500 lumens LEDs), the camera can take better shots at greater distances. Also, the adjustable lights can be placed in a manner that best suits the contour of the space.
Another bonus that should be recognized is the customizable motion zones. The ability to create different activity zones reduce the chances of false alarms remove need to worry about bushes moving around in the wind, or traffic going by.
Just like the Kuna Maximus, this unit is hardwired. Again, without an existing floodlight to replace, you’ll have to run a wire to power the smart light. Not being battery powered, you’re stuck with wherever you can place it- and keep it there.
Another con would be that the base plate doesn’t mount properly with some existing electrical boxes. This isn’t a common complaint, but it has come up a time or two.
What is the Conclusion?
This is the most frustrating comparative review to date. Why? Because all three contestants take the lead in their strengths, and not one smart light from the three outshines the others (pun intended).
The three smart lights in question all have their strengths and weaknesses. No matter what the verdict is as it relates to being the best of the three, your needs should trump anything said here. If your requirements dictate that one is better than the other, go with it!
In the past, we’ve taken a look at different groups of products, and pricing was one factor that contributed to a final decision of which is best of the group. Often in a group of items similarly priced, you find some that are less of a product at the same cost as other (better) items. Surprisingly, this isn’t the case between these three.
As far as pricing goes, all three appear to be adequately priced in relation to their capabilities. They vary some from one another in price, but it seems to be a justifiable give and take.
As far as the features go, the Ring Outdoor Wi-Fi Cam With Motion Activated Floodlight takes the lead. Let’s be honest. This could have been more of a race between two different smart lights (Ring Outdoor Floodlight vs Kuna Maximus) when it boils down to the feature’s category.
The reason being is that the two are very similar in many ways, and the Ring Battery Operated unit is clearly meant for closer quarters operation. For example, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery would be great to light up and defend a porch or deck, and the other two would be better for the yard and driveway.
Between the Maximus and the Ring Outdoor, The Ring gets the trophy in the feature’s category. The largest reason also happens to be among the few differences between the two units- Infra-Red Night Vision. That is what pulls Ring ahead in this category.
The Maximus had a few features that the others didn’t have, but not enough to compensate for what it didn’t have.
This is where things get sticky. The smaller battery-operated smart light takes the lead in smaller or more focused areas. The Maximus takes the lead over the other two due to its bright and curved bulbs, providing even light dispersion. But out of the three, the Ring has the best motion zone customization.
The Ring Outdoor Wi-Fi Cam With Motion Activated Floodlight is the pick over the other two. The features, the price, and the functionality seem to check more boxes than the others.
As stated above, this was a tough comparison. Any of these would serve you well depending on what you’re looking your smart light to do, and where you intend to mount it.
Not very long ago having a home security system required expensive equipment, extensive wiring, and an outside company to install the system and monitor your home for you. Usually this was a system that didn’t even include indoor or outdoor cameras since they were too expensive for most people to afford. And even if they could, they couldn’t monitor their cameras, alarms or sensors from a mobile device. But today, DIY wireless home security systems are the norm with a growing number of companies offering a variety of affordable easy-to-install security packages depending on your specific needs.
Installing a wireless DIY (do-it-yourself) security system allows you to add individual components easily at any time, to monitor your own system on multiple devices or choose the level of outside monitoring you want, and to simply remove the system and take it with you in the event that you move.
Selecting the Right Security System For You!
Unless you are already able to purchase a comprehensive system for your home, it’s much better to start small and add to your system over time as opposed to waiting to buy it all at once. With only outside cameras or only sensors on the doors, you will know if someone were to enter your home. Plus, as I allude to below, having the security company’s logo on window stickers (and other ways of notifying passersby that you have a security system), will deter potential intruders as they have no idea how extensive your system is.
So, start with the most important items you can afford and add to it from there. A typical start-up package will include a few sensors for main entrances and/or windows and a motion detector placed in the largest traffic area in your home. From there you may want to add a camera or two, such as a doorbell camera, one for the back patio, or even one or two inside. Of course, some people choose to start with a doorbell camera or some other kind of camera and build from there. It’s a matter of what works best for your home and your family’s needs. Remember, this stuff goes with you if you move and it’s easy to install or uninstall.
Installation For Dummies
Not to oversimplify the do-it-yourself installation aspect of these systems, but most of them are amazingly easy to install and uninstall. Some products will not even require tools to set up. Within minutes, you can have your DIY wireless home security system installed, armed and ready to protect your home. More on this at a later time as we look more closely at a few of the most awesome home security systems on the market.
Monitor and Control Your System From Anywhere!!!
In your home, you can have an “at home” setting that doesn’t send you alerts or set off alarms every time you pass through the living room or check on your kids during the night, but will alert you if someone comes to any outside door that is equipped with a camera or passes any other outside camera. And an alarm could be triggered with the opening of any external door or window on which a security sensor is installed.
In addition to your “at home” setting, you would have an “away” setting that would activate all parts of your security system while no one is home. There is an almost unlimited number of settings that could be arranged depending on the manufacturer and package you choose.
Although you can control your wireless home security system from inside your home, you can also control your system from anywhere on the planet. See, it’s very likely that you now carry your “home” phone in your pocket or purse (since most people use cell phones these days). And in the same way that you’re able to conduct complex personal or professional business from your smart phone or laptop, you can monitor your wireless home security system on the same mobile device or laptop?
You and/or any other family member or roommate (of your choosing) can monitor the system by receiving alerts on your mobile device or laptop. Depending on which system you choose, those alerts could include the following:
- Someone at your front door….delivery? intruder? ????????
- Motion in the vicinity of any indoor or outdoor camera (which you could then view on your device)
- Motion inside your home sensed by a motion detector
- The opening of any door or window
- The breaking of glass
- Dangerous levels or carbon monoxide
Be Smart About Home Security – Tips and Ideas
There is a clear difference between being alerted and being alarmed. With today’s high-tech home security gear, if you were to be alerted by a security monitoring company every time the mail carrier was near your house, or when a package was being delivered, or when any number of events would trigger movement in or around your house, you’d have little time for anything other than responding to the monitoring service’s calls. That volume of alerts would drive anyone crazy. Fortunately, with the DIY home security system, not only is the installation DIY, but so is most, if not all, of the monitoring.
Primarily, you want to know when to contact the authorities and when there’s nothing to be alarmed about. But never take chances or put your family at risk. Certainly, if you are notified of an intrusion into your home, you will be alarmed, and you should be. And that is the time to alert the authorities of a possible intruder at your home. You can also set up certain criteria with many home security companies stating the circumstances where you want them to automatically respond. This would take you out of the equation if something were to happen and you were out-of-pocket. The monitoring company would respond according to what you have set up with them. An example would be if your system were on an “away” setting and an exterior door were to be entered without the person entering having the code to disarm the security system. The monitoring service would be immediately on top of the situation and dispatch the authorities to investigate the situation. And if you have cameras, there would be a back-up potentially revealing the identity of the intruder.
Here are two nearly fool-proof deterrents to nefarious activity at your home as proclaimed by law enforcement and notorious burglars:
- Leave some lights on outside. It’s cheap insurance. Every intruder has choices of homes to invade. If 10 homes in their neighborhood of choice are dark and 3 have some lights on around the exterior (even low lights), they target one of the 10 that are dark. It’s almost 100%. Unless you house the Mona Lisa or some huge ticket item that is known, your home is not a usual target for thieves and burglars if you have a light or two on outside.
- Purchase the cheap flower bed signs and window stickers offered by your security company. They will state something like “This Home Protected By XYZ Security”. Some people have cameras. Some have only an entry sensor or two. Some only have inside motion detectors. Seems more and more people have a comprehensive security system with today’s affordable DIY wireless home security systems, but the scum bags wanting to get into your house don’t know the difference and aren’t willing to take that risk when the house down the street has no lights on and no apparent security system. It’s an inexpensive way of letting intruders know you have something in place to bust them on the spot, or worst case, identify them later.
Hopefully you never have to deal with the trauma of a break-in, theft, or any other unfortunate situations, but if so, you are light years ahead of the game with a DIY wireless home security system.
Never has it been so affordable to protect your home with your own DIY home security and alarm system. The components available to protect your home have never been better, and it’s never been easier to install a comprehensive system without paying for expensive professional installation. And the best part, it will look like professional installation. Save Money and do it yourself!
You’re able to monitor your system from your mobile device. You can keep an eye on things even when you aren’t there. You can decide when an alert is nothing to worry about and when a call to the authorities is in order. And you can have it set up automatically alert police when certain alerts are made, such as a back door being entered by someone who doesn’t have the code to disarm the system.
If you need to start small, then start small. Buy the most important components that make sense for your needs and add to it as you go. If you move, within a few minutes, you will have your entire system in a box ready to go with you to your new home. Don’t’ put off securing your home and family. The key is to start now.