If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.
Traditional motion-sensing floodlights provide a bright beacon whenever anyone steps up to your house. They’re also helpful for illuminating a clear path in the dark, along with security for scaring off would-be burglars. These smart floodlights take it a step further, operating in a similar fashion to doorbell cameras, while retaining all the benefits of the original ones that came before it. Here’s what you need to know when looking for the right light to brighten up your driveway and keep a constant eye on your front door, even when you’re away.
Smart Floodlight Security Camera Buying Guide
Storage: Video files from every day can quickly add up in size, and there are a few options when it comes to storage. Some services offer a cloud subscription, either included or extra, to keep your surveillance footage safe. Others have SD cards with limited memory, or use your DVR and continuously loop-record over itself unless you specifically want to save it.
Lights: These should be plenty bright, illuminating the entire area if they sense motion at night. An LED bulb with 2000 lumens will get the job done, with a motion sensing area of around 200 degrees or more. You can even set a specific area for motion detection, so you’re not constantly getting alerted each time a squirrel or a leaf enters the camera’s view.
Sound: Not all units have built-in audio, and even those that do may contain different ways of utilizing it. Some have a simple siren sound to scare off would-be intruders, while others feature an entire two-way communication system.
App: Unlike a regular floodlight, these will alert you through the accompanying app as to when it senses activity. The apps vary across the board, in things like the features they offer and how much detail and quality are devoted to them. While all of these provide a video feed to your smartphone or tablet, some are better than others at picking up sound, seeing at night (or in color), setting the exact area to monitor and keeping lag and latency to a minimum. These can also usually integrate with your smart home system, like Alexa and Google AI.
Durability: Because these will be outdoors, your camera needs to hold up to all types of weather. A rating of at least IP65-IPX7 means it should be protected from water, moisture and dust.
Installation: For the most part, you’ll need to hardwire these to your fuse box through the electrical wires of your existing floodlights, or get extension wires put in if you don’t already have them. If that’s not possible, there are still a few models that don’t require it. This will also need to be within range of your router to link up to your home’s WiFi, and a router extension can really boost its performance if you’re getting a weak signal.
Resolution: At this point, 1080p in HD is a pretty accepted norm. Having a blurry or pixelated picture kind of defeats the purpose of what these are meant to do, so seeing a clear visual feed is a dealbreaker when choosing the right one for your home.
What Are the Best Smart Floodlight Cameras?
From Ring to Arlo and Eufy, here are our top security cam recommendations to buy for your house.
1. Eufy Security Floodlight Cam
Eufy offers all of the security you’d expect with none of the monthly fees. These lights shine bright at 2500 lumens, and can handle 1080p HD video live-streamed right to your device with an encrypted 256-bit connection. A 140-degree field of view provides nicely wide coverage, and the app allows for adjustment of brightness.
This also has a built-in siren that screams at 100db to scare off any intruders, and is IP65 weatherproof to stand up to storms, sun and snow. It works well with Alexa, Google AI, and features two-way audio to communicate with anyone that approaches your house.
2. Ring Floodlight Camera
Ring’s motion-activated floodlight security camera operates in the same way as their doorbell. Features like HD video alerts and instant recording make the user interface easy to operate. It’s simple to set the exact area and boundaries of where you want the camera to monitor.
The camera itself has a 140-degree range of advanced motion detection, while the powerful LED lights can sense motion even in the dark with night vision. A two-way intercom system lets you talk to visitors through the app with the touch of a button, and if you have other Ring cameras around, they all integrate nicely. There’s the optional Ring Protection Plan too, which offers cloud storage for a monthly price, letting you review and download videos from the past 60 days.
3. Toucan Security Light Camera
The light itself on Toucan’s security cam is less bulky than most, but still provides some serious brightness at 1200lm.
The unit’s camera gives the user a wide angled view in 1080pHD, as well as night vision and an instant live feed, two-way talk, and weather resistance to rain and moisture. There’s also the option to play a pre-recorded audio message, blare an 110db siren, and even contact emergency services directly.
Setup was among the quickest and easiest of all the ones we tried, and a subscription isn’t necessarily required (you’ll still get free access to the past 24 hours of videos).
4. Ezviz Floodlight Security Camera
The LC1C lets you keep an eye on the area around your home, whether day or night. The included PIR sensor lets you set the boundaries of where to monitor, and a 4mm lens with 1920 x 1080 resolution picks up motion detection, alerting you to anything that needs your attention.
This does a nice job of infrared night vision too, allowing you to see up to 100 feet away in an otherwise dark spot. The app lets you switch the lights on and off and adjust the brightness, and for storage, there’s the option for a microSD card up to 256GB, or a cloud subscription service too.
5. Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera
There’s no hub required here, as everything is connected straight to WiFi, with 2K video that lets you zoom in and see small details such as license plates with speedy notifications. A lens that covers 160 degrees auto-corrects to reduce the fisheye effect, and two-way audio lets you speak to guests and hear them clearly. The AI object detection also cuts down on false alerts from objects that normally set off the sensors.
The lights are still plenty bright, at 2000-3000 lumens (a magnetic charging cable helps boost the brightness), and night vision is presented in full color to your phone.