2019 Ring Spotlight Cam Review: Battery vs. Wired vs. Mount

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
Starting from 
$199.00
Pro Bullet Totally wireless
Pro Bullet Adjustable motion zones
Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
Starting from 
$199.00
Pro Bullet Wired power source
Pro Bullet Custom motion zones
Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
Starting from 
$249.00
Pro Bullet Multiple mounting options
Pro Bullet Custom motion zones

Overview

If you’re looking to keep an eye on your home’s perimeter—or if it’s high time you upgraded your porch light—look no further. The Ring Spotlight Cam is an easy-to-install, motion-activated security camera that provides crisp HD video and lights up when the camera detects motion. And if you have a Ring video doorbell, you’ll be able to seamlessly integrate the two.

The Ring Spotlight Cam is also versatile: you can choose between the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, a wireless outdoor camera; the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, which plugs into an outlet outside of your home; or the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount, which is hardwired into a weatherproof electrical box (the kind that your current outdoor lights live in).

Mostly, these cameras are similar. But when it comes to motion detection and video playback, there are a few key differences.

Compare Ring Spotlight Cams

Data effective 11/12/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery review

The Ring Spotlight Cam battery is a versatile and wire-free outdoor camera with excellent image quality and adjustable motion zones.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
    Dimensions
    4.96 in. x 2.72 in. x 2.99 in.
    Resolution
    1080p HD
    Field of view
    140° horizontal, 78° vertical
    Operating temperature
    -5°F to 120°F
    Power source
    Battery

    Ring Spotlight Cam Battery pros and cons

    Pros
    • Pro BulletEasy installation
    • Pro BulletNo wires
    • Pro BulletAdjustable motion zones
    • Pro BulletInstant motion activated alerts
    • Pro BulletTwo-way audio
    • Pro BulletRemote-activated siren
    Cons
    • Con BulletLive video lags
    • Con BulletRequires subscription to view and share recorded video

    Why we recommend the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

    The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is an easily installed, hardworking outdoor camera that does a little bit of everything. It has a wide-angle camera lens for a better view, infrared night vision, a motion-activated spotlight, and a remote-activated siren that’s about as loud as a horror movie villain’s chainsaw. It also has two-way audio, so when your kids are playing in the backyard, you can call them in for dinner without going outside.

    Features and flaws

    While you won’t be able to completely customize its motion zones like you can with the wired version, you can still adjust them. And you’ll get instant push notifications on your mobile device when the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery detects movement. The motion sensors are pretty sensitive, but you can adjust the camera’s motion frequency so that it doesn’t notify you repeatedly when a herd of deer amble past your back fence.

    In the app, the Ring Spotlight Cam’s Motion Frequency has three settings. You can opt for frequent, standard, or light notifications, which all affect your cam’s battery life differently. The less often you get notifications, the longer your battery will last.

    Take note
    Take Note

    If you want to do anything more with your video than watch it live, you’ll have to subscribe to Ring Protect’s Basic plan. At $3 a month or $30 a year, it’s pretty affordable, and you’ll be able to access your video history for 60 days and save and share any clips.

    The camera’s main drawback is its lack of prebuffering. Like most other battery powered cameras, there’s a slight delay between what the camera records and what you can see from live view. And in order to reserve its battery, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery records in only 30-second increments.

    Installation

    Fortunately, installing the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is pretty easy, and you’ll be able to set it up even if you’ve never seen the inside of a hardware store.

    Once you’ve charged the camera’s batteries, you’ll set the camera up in the Ring app. From there, find a good spot for the camera—it should be about 9 feet off of the ground to have a clear view of the area. Then, install the mounting bracket, and attach the camera. The whole installation process should take between 20 and 30 minutes.

    Price

    At $199, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is a good value. It’s less expensive than the Arlo Pro 2, which offers seven days of free cloud storage but requires a hub. But it’s more expensive than the Blink XT2, which is a breeze to install and gives you up to two hours of free storage (not much, but better than nothing).

    ASecureLife’s recommendation: The Ring Spotlight Cam Battery is a great value. Consider it if you want a reliable, no-fuss outdoor security camera that will light the way for guests—or scare off potential intruders.

    How long does the Ring battery last?

    With standard use, the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery will last for six to 12 months, or about 1,000 notification events. But there are a couple of ways to extend its battery life.

    Ring Solar Panel

    The Ring Solar Panel connects to the Spotlight Cam Battery for a continuous charge. All you’ll need is a spot with direct sunlight—a few hours a day should be sufficient—and it will keep your camera charged day in and day out.

    Ring Battery Pack

    You can purchase an additional rechargeable battery pack so you don’t have to wait for the batteries to charge before putting your camera back to work.

    >>Keep it wire-free. Buy the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery.


    Ring Spotlight Cam Wired review

    With the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, you can plug-in and stay on top of your security with advanced motion detection with custom motion zones.

    Ring Spotlight Cam Wired
      Dimensions
      4.96 in. x 2.72 in. x 2.99 in.
      Resolution
      1080p HD
      Field of view
      140°
      Operating temperature
      -22°F to 120°F
      Power source
      AC adapter

      Ring Spotlight Cam Wired pros and cons

      Pros
      • Pro BulletStraightforward installation
      • Pro BulletCustomizable motion zones and sensitivity
      • Pro BulletInstant motion-activated alerts
      • Pro BulletTwo-way audio
      • Pro BulletRemote-activated siren
      Cons
      • Con BulletRequires subscription to view and share recorded video

      Why we recommend the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

      The Ring Spotlight Cam Wired looks and feels exactly like its wire-free counterpart. But in addition to an easy installation and instant motion alerts, you’ll also get more advanced motion detection.

      Features and flaws

      With the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, you can create custom motion zones. That way, you’ll get notifications if any motion is detected on your lawn but not when a car passes on the street beyond it.

      Pro tip
      Protip

      If your Wired cam detects continuous motion, it’ll keep recording until it senses that the motion has stopped. The Battery cam will record only in 30-second increments.

      Installation

      After setting up the camera in the Ring app, find a good spot near an outlet and about 9 feet off the ground. Once you’ve mounted the bracket and camera, use the provided clips to secure the power cable to the wall. After that, plug the camera in and padlock the outlet’s cover so nobody can unplug the camera. The whole process should take around 30 minutes.

      Price

      At $199, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired is the same price as its battery-powered counterpart. It’s also pretty in line with other wired cameras.

      The Nest Cam Outdoor, also priced at $199, doesn’t have a spotlight but has super clear HD playback and a sleek design. And while you need a subscription to Ring Protect to access recorded video on your Ring cameras, Nest offers three hours of cloud storage without a subscription.

      ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you can’t keep up with recharging batteries, consider the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired. You’ll get all of the features of the Battery cam, plus advanced, customizable motion detection and continuous recording.

      >>Power on. Buy the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired.


      Ring Spotlight Cam Mount review

      The Ring Spotlight Cam Mount is identical to the Wired cam in all ways but one: it replaces a light that’s already installed on your home.

      Ring Spotlight Cam Mount
        Dimensions
        4.96 in. x 2.72 in. x 2.99 in.
        Resolution
        1080p HD
        Field of view
        140°
        Operating temperature
        -20°F to 120°F
        Power source
        Hardwired

        Ring Spotlight Cam Mount pros and cons

        Pros
        • Pro BulletSimple setup
        • Pro BulletCustomizable motion zones and sensitivity
        • Pro BulletInstant motion-activated alerts
        • Pro BulletTwo-way audio
        • Pro BulletRemote-activated siren
        Cons
        • Con BulletRequires subscription to view and share recorded video

        Why we recommend the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount

        The Ring Spotlight Cam Mount installs in a weatherproof electrical box, so it’s great if you’re looking to replace an exterior light fixture. Plus, that means you’re getting nonstop power so you don’t have to worry about batteries dying or someone tampering with the outlet.

        Other than that, you can expect the same features offered with the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired, from two-way audio to customizable motion zones.

        Installation

        Installing the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount is fairly simple. It’s designed to be installed in either a 4-inch round or 2-inch-by-4-inch rectangular weatherproof electrical box, so make sure your setup is compatible before your purchase.

        After you’ve set up your camera in the app, choose the included base that fits your electrical box. Then, feed the wires from the wiring harness through the center hole, and secure the wiring harness to the box cover.

        After that, shut off power to the electrical box on your breaker. You’ll pair and secure the wires and then use screws to connect the mounting base to the electrical box. To finish, you’ll mount the camera onto the base. The process shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes.

        Price

        Priced at $249, the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount is a bit pricier than the Battery and Wired cams. It’s the same price as the Ring Floodlight Cam, a security camera / security light hybrid. They have similar features, but the Floodlight Cam offers an 8x digital zoom, plus two super-bright flood lights.

        ASecureLife’s recommendation: If you want to replace any exterior lighting—looking at you, porch light straight out of 1992—the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount is an easy swap. It can be installed with your existing wiring, plus it offers continuous power so you’ll never have to worry about it dying.

        >>Mount it. Buy the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount.


        Ring Spotlight Cam Compatibility

        Like all Ring products, the Ring Spotlight Cam is compatible with Ring’s security system. You can also integrate different Ring products to work with each other so when someone rings your Ring Video Doorbell Pro, your Ring Spotlight Cam will automatically turn on.

        The Ring Spotlight Cam also works with Amazon Alexa, so you’ll be able to pull up footage from your security camera onto your TV with your Firestick. Ring is also compatible with IFTTT and has limited compatibility with the Google Assistant.

        To learn more about what works with Ring, check out our list of Ring compatible products.

        Ring Spotlight Cam vs. Ring Floodlight Cam

        Data effective 11/12/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.

        The Ring Floodlight Cam is a heavy duty camera meets security light that’s five times as bright as the Spotlight Cam. With a hardwired installation, it doesn’t have as many power options as the Spotlight Cam, but it’s equipped with a motion activated light and smart zoom with panning. You can read more about the Floodlight Cam’s capabilities in our review.

        Ring Spotlight Cam vs. the competition

        Data effective 11/12/2019. Offers and availability subject to change.
        *Amazon.com price as of 11/12/2019 at 5:08 p.m. PST.

        Compared to other outdoor cameras, the Ring Spotlight Cam stands out for its versatility and compatibility. The Arlo Pro 2 is priced competitively, but it requires a hub and the least expensive bundle you can get includes two cameras.

        The Google Nest Outdoor Cam, on the other hand, can be integrated with Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled devices, as well as the Wink Hub. But you can access motion zones only with a Nest Aware subscription, priced at $5 a month or $50 a year.

        The Blink XT2 is $100 less expensive, and though it lacks bells and whistles—its field of view is narrower and its motion zones nonexistent—you’ll get a camera that’s easy to set up and suitable for use indoors and outdoors.


        Our recommendation

        The Ring Spotlight Cam is a great outdoor camera at a great value: it offers versatile power options and unique features like adjustable or customizable motion zones. Deciding which one is a right fit for you comes down to your needs and what’s best for your humble abode.

        If convenience is your main concern, try the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery. You’ll get a wire-free camera with some impressive features, like two-way audio and adjustable motion zones.

        >>Get the Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

        If you want to enable continuous recording, consider the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired. It has all of the perks of the Battery cam, plus continuous recording and customizable motion zones.

        >>Get the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired

        If you’re looking to replace an existing outdoor light, the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount will fit right in. You’ll get the best parts of the Wired cam with a continuous stream of power.

        >>Get the Ring Spotlight Cam Mount


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