The Ring Video Doorbell 2 and Ring Stick Up Cam present straightforward and efficient methods to arrange a fairly robust safety perimeter across the outdoors of your private home, but it surely might be made significantly stronger with the addition of the now-Amazon-owned firm’s Highlight Cam. This outside digital camera/porch-light hybrid, illuminates the realm and information video when its movement sensor is tripped.
Ideally suited to the darker nooks in your property which are vulnerable to breach after sunset, it is available in three fashions: Highlight Cam Wired ($199), Highlight Cam Battery ($199), and Highlight Cam Photo voltaic ($229). The Battery and Photo voltaic variations are the identical digital camera; the latter simply comes with an included photo voltaic panel that may also be bought independently for $49.
Replace: This overview was up to date on March 26, 2018 to incorporate our tackle the Ring Highlight Cam Photo voltaic and the Ring Chime Professional Wi-Fi vary extender.
I examined the Highlight Cam Wired and the Highlight Cam Photo voltaic individually. The Wired is a superb choice when you have simply accessible outside energy shops. The Four.96-inch-by-2.72-inch-by-2.99-inch digital camera has a 20-foot energy cable connected on the again in addition to a built-in wall mount, and in contrast to with the battery powered fashions, you received’t have to fret about lifeless batteries or too many overcast days interrupting your surveillance. I’m guessing, nevertheless, most folk will want one of many battery-powered cameras.
The highlight is offered by LED gentle strips on both facet of a 140-degree wide-angle lens, which activate when movement is detected. The movement sensor, encased in a dome on the underside of the digital camera, has a 270-degree detection vary. The digital camera streams and information video in as much as 1080p decision and helps two-way discuss with noise cancellation and evening imaginative and prescient as much as 30 ft.
The Highlight Cam comes with 30-day free trial of Ring’s cloud storage for recorded video. On the finish of the interval, you’ve the choice of upgrading to one in all a pair of Ring Shield plans: Shield Fundamental lets you retailer, overview, and share video for as much as 60 days for $Three per thirty days or $30 a yr per digital camera. Shield Plus gives the identical for limitless Ring cameras—together with the Ring Video Doorbell—and provides a lifetime guarantee and reductions on Ring merchandise for $10 per thirty days or $100 a yr.
If you buy a Ring Protect Base Station sensible residence hub when it turns into accessible, the Plus package deal may also present Ring Response 24/7 skilled monitoring. The hub comes with a backup battery of its personal, together with mobile connectivity so you possibly can see your digital camera feed even when your web connection goes down.
Connecting the cameras
No matter which mannequin you select, it’s really useful you join your Highlight Cam to your Wi-Fi community earlier than mounting it outdoors. (Within the case of the non-wired Highlight Cams, you’ll first must cost the battery utilizing the equipped micro-USB cable.) When you add the digital camera to the Ring companion app, the digital camera’s voice prompts information you thru the connection course of.
I put in the Highlight Cam Wired on the entrance of my residence, the place there’s an out of doors outlet throughout the energy wire’s 20-foot vary. I put the Highlight Cam Photo voltaic within the yard, the place there’s extra unobstructed daylight. Every digital camera comes with its personal mounting instruments, together with a screwdriver, drill bit, mounting bracket and screw set with wall anchors.
For the yard digital camera I additionally put in the photo voltaic panel which is packaged individually with its personal mounting equipment. As soon as it’s mounted, you plug the connector wire into the again of the Highlight Cam and safe it with two screws. It suits flush to maintain water out of the port. Ring recommends one to 2 hours of direct daylight per day to maintain your battery charged, and you may angle the photo voltaic panel’s mounting arm to make sure it soaks up as a lot solar as attainable. The times I examined the Highlight Cam Photo voltaic have been principally overcast, however I nonetheless noticed a Three-Four % cost enhance every day, and I’d count on far more on sunny days.
I had a sufficiently robust sign from my router to every digital camera, however outcomes will differ relying on the structure of your private home. In the event you do see streaming points, equivalent to decision deterioration or lack of sign, you may want to put in the digital camera nearer to your router or use a Wi-Fi vary extender, such because the Ring Chime Professional Wi-Fi vary extender ($49 at Amazon). Like its cameras, Ring’s vary extender is an 802.11n system that operates on the two.4GHz frequency band solely.
You arrange the Chime Professional, which additionally provides a chime sound to your movement detection alerts, in a course of that’s just like the digital camera set up: You plug it in to an AC outlet someplace between your router and the digital camera to repeat the wi-fi sign. I used a spare outlet in my kitchen as that was roughly the midway level between my lounge router and the digital camera on the entrance of my home. As soon as the Chime Professional is plugged in, a voice immediate will let you know it’s able to arrange. You then add the system within the Ring app then observe the voice and app prompts to attach it to your wi-fi community.
The following step is to attach the Chime Professional to the Highlight Cam. The Ring app shows all of the Ring gadgets linked to your community, with a button beneath every that claims “connect with Chime Professional.” Simply press it and the Chime Professional’s voice immediate lets you recognize it’s searching for the digital camera and when the connection has been accomplished.
You may entry the Chime Professional, and some other energetic Ring cameras, from the Ring app’s My Gadgets display screen. Right here you’ll additionally see a working feed of all detected exercise, which you’ll be able to filter to view solely these triggered by movement, by button presses (within the case of the video doorbell), and people you’ve starred as noteworthy.
An intuitive app
Tapping the Highlight Cam icon within the Ring app opens a devoted display screen with all of the digital camera’s controls laid out. The Ring app is among the finest on this regard, because it doesn’t require you to go looking by means of nested settings menus to seek out what you want. On the prime are on/off toggles for the digital camera’s lights and movement alerts. Utilizing a collection of buttons under these, you possibly can open the digital camera’s streaming feed, occasion historical past gentle settings, and extra.
The picture high quality was sharp, with even lighting and not one of the coloration tinting I encountered with the Ring Stick Up Cam. Once you’re viewing the reside stream, you possibly can talk with a customer—or interloper—utilizing a pair of cellphone icons overlaid on the picture. You can even manually activate the highlight from this display screen.
Movement detection was responsive and correct with the default settings, which positioned the sensitivity halfway on a scale between “individuals solely” and “all movement.” You may regulate this to your liking with the slider, or use it together with customizable movement zones. With every alert, Chime Professional concurrently emitted a digital Ring. This ensured I used to be stored conscious of detected exercise even once I was residence, as I don’t normally carry my cellphone round the home. You may change the chime’s sound and quantity and “snooze” it for intervals of time within the Ring app.
The Highlight Cam employs the widespread methodology of utilizing bounding containers over the digital camera picture to outline detection zones, however you should use the field handles to twist it into any form of geometric form, not simply squares. That lets you work round outside areas the place you don’t have as a lot management over the atmosphere as you do inside your private home. There’s additionally a scheduling choice to disable movement alerts throughout sure instances of day.
You may set movement zones for the lights, too. On this case, the app reveals a graphic illustration off the movement sensor’s 270-degree vary, and you may outline the place you need motion to activate the lights by tapping as much as three preset zones after which increasing or decreasing protection in these zones utilizing a slider. Relying in your settings, the sunshine will keep on for one to 15 minutes.
At max energy, the digital camera’s lights have been greater than sufficient to gentle up my modest-sized facet yard. Relying on the scale of yours, you may need to dial down the depth within the app.
Whether or not you go for one of many wired or battery-powered Ring Highlight Cams, you’ll get a powerful digital camera that successfully fills a obligatory area of interest: offering safety for yards, carports, and different spots across the perimeter of properties that turn into significantly susceptible after darkish. Whereas it can work nice as a standalone digital camera, it can shine as a part of extra complete safety arrange with different Ring gadgets—I used it along side the Ring Doorbell and a Stick Up Cam—for seamless 360-degree surveillance of your property.