If you’re in any respect all in favour of exploring a Ring Smart Light setup at your private home, the gadget to start out with is the Spotlight Battery. While it has the identical points as the opposite members of Ring’s household of lights—disposable batteries, flimsy building, and imprecise movement sensitivity—its measurement, brightness, and worth make it a greater all-around worth than the Floodlight Battery.
The Spotlight battery is sufficiently small to suit just about anyplace—not like the Floodlight Battery’s protruding lamps, which require a bit extra space—and shines vivid sufficient to light up loads of your yard or steps, and hopefully scare off intruders.
Small, vivid, and versatile
For its measurement, the Spotlight Battery’s lamp produces a great deal of gentle. It’s not almost as vivid because the Floodlight Wired, however sadly Ring doesn’t make a wired model of the Spotlight. Newcomers to the Ring Smart Light household is perhaps tempted by the Floodlight Battery’s double-light design, however the per-lumen output is definitely superior on the Spotlight battery:
- Spotlight Battery: 400 lumens
- Floodlight Battery: 300 lumens (600 complete)
- Floodlight Wired: 1,000 lumens (2,000 complete)
As you’d anticipate, Ring’s battery-powered lights don’t maintain a candle to its wired ones, however the place the Floodlight Battery is one thing of a disappointment, the Spotlight Battery shines. Literally. While the Floodlight Battery may need a better complete output (at 600 lumens vs 400 lumens), the Spotlight Battery’s bulb is 25 % brighter than both of the only floodlight bulbs. That may not matter to a burglar, however it’s very noticeable when utilizing it to light up steps or entranceways, significantly if there’s no different supply of sunshine round.
I additionally most well-liked its measurement to that of the Floodlight Battery. It measures simply 3.82 inches throughout, far lower than the floodlight’s 10.43-inch body, so that you’ll have the ability to place it mainly anyplace. It has the identical plastic design because the Floodlight Battery, which feels less expensive than Ring’s camera-based merchandise. As an proprietor of the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and Floodlight Cam, it’s a stunning downgrade and makes the Smart Lighting units really feel extra like low-cost imitations than prolonged members of the identical household.
I mounted my assessment unit within the nook body of a door resulting in my yard the place the floodlight would have blocked the door from opening. Add in the truth that it’s $10 cheaper than the Floodlight Battery, and the Spotlight Battery is a no brainer buy.
Extra bills (aka these rattling batteries)
No matter which of Ring’s good lights you begin with, nonetheless, you’re going to incur further bills. For one, you’re going to want 4 D-cell batteries to energy it, which is the largest disadvantage to all the Smart Lighting system. They add useless weight, recurring prices, and environmental unfriendliness, all of which shouldn’t be a problem in 2019.
Amazon sells a 12-pack for about $13, which Ring estimates will get you thru three years. I clearly haven’t been capable of take a look at that, however my Ring app reads that each the Spotlight Battery and Floodlight Battery have drained 50 % of their life within the three months they’ve been in use.
You’re additionally going to wish to purchase a $50 Bridge or one of many discounted bundles that features one. (Ring sells a pair of Spotlights and a Bridge for $100.) Think of it type of just like the Ring Protect month-to-month service plan for its cameras. While you don’t technically want a Bridge for the lights to work—the Spotlight Battery nonetheless detect movement and lightweight up—there’s actually no level in having any of Ring’s good lights with out it. The Bridge allows the lights to speak with the app, thus opening up all the “smart” capabilities. Once you’ve purchased one, nonetheless, you received’t want one other, because the Bridge helps as much as 50 lights.
Setup is very simple, much more so than Ring’s camera-based merchandise. One the Bridge is plugged in, you’ll use the app to attach it to your Wi-Fi community and uncover new lights. The complete setup takes lower than 5 minutes, and including new lights is even sooner. Unlike the button on the Philips Hue Bridge that must be pressed everytime you’re establishing a brand new gadget, you received’t have to fuss with the Ring Bridge after the preliminary setup.
Since the Smart Lighting philosophy is about tethering, there’s an emphasis on creating and increasing teams. Figuring out all the settings is a bit complicated, as each the sunshine and the group have separate choices, however you’ll have the ability to alter movement sensitivity, gentle threshold, and length, in addition to hyperlink any cameras to allow them to begin recording when movement is detected.
It’s simply one of the best purpose to purchase a Ring Smart Light over every other movement gentle, however it’s not as helpful because it may very well be. For one, it requires a little bit of location scouting, since recording by the doorbell received’t actually matter if there’s movement within the yard.
But even when your units are inside eyesight of one another, the combination nonetheless isn’t nice. With simply three settings for movement sensitivity, you’ll possible find yourself with a bunch of ineffective recordings every day, as I did. Even on the “Medium” setting, I obtained quite a few alerts every single day for issues like shadows and wind, whereas switching it to “Low” barely registered something.
Should you purchase a Ring Spotlight Battery?
I’m nonetheless not completely offered on the the Ring Smart Lighting household, however if you wish to get began, the Spotlight Battery is certainly the way in which to go. I’d advocate the two-light bundle with the Bridge for $100 that saves $30 over shopping for all three individually and is simply $10 greater than shopping for the Bridge and a single Spotlight Battery individually.
But whereas the lower cost is intriguing and the Ring Bridge mainly future-proofs your setup, the higher long-term guess is the Spotlight Cam Battery. Yes, it’s considerably dearer ($199) and requires a month-to-month subscription to allow video recording, however the design, building, options, and settings make it an all-around higher worth.