Are you looking for the best floodlight camera for your home or business? This guide will walk you through the top systems, discussing the key features. You might think it's just the power of the lights or the quality of the camera that matters, but there are other considerations, including AI.
The floodlight camera category has become a significant niche within the smart outdoor security camera market. Including illumination can be helpful when you or your guests need it, but also has the advantage of a deterrent effect – any unwanted visitors will certainly see the light. Traditional cameras often only use infra-red lights, which are invisible and result in black-and-white imagery, while a floodlight provides light to capture color video at any time of day.
A crucial factor is the ecosystem that surrounds your floodlight camera. To get the best out of most smart cameras some kind of subscription fee is required, especially to record clips when the camera is activated. We'll take a look at the differences as we go, but a key factor for some will be any devices they already have – sticking with one brand can make devices easier to operate (only one app is needed) and cheaper (subscription discount for multiple devices). Some facilities, like distinguishing from people and animals, might effectively be behind a 'paywall', and these can dramatically affect false positives – which cause stressful alerts.
Something to think about is how much light you're looking for. There is a good amount of choice and, in this list, we'll concentrate on the brighter ones. We have another list of the best outdoor security cameras with dimmer (or no) lights. Generally the term 'spotlight' is used where less powerful LEDs are used to provide enough light for color video, but not to 'flood' a space with light.
Another significant factor is power. Many smart cameras offer the convenience of battery power, making for simple installation. Brighter lights draw more power, so that isn't an option for all floodlights. On the other hand, run a power cable once and you'll never need to recharge and replace a battery!
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The Floodlight Cam Plus isn't Ring's top spec offering – that honor goes to the Floodlight Cam Pro – but it represents better value for most. Both are wired, both have powerful dual floodlights, and both offer two-way chat through the Ring app. Sure there are some refinements on the Pro model (which we'll cover), but the core functionality isn't that different, making this our pick.
The Ring app will alert you when someone is detected by the PIR motion sensor in the base of the camera housing; this tech gives it a 270˚ view that's hard to sneak up on. You can use the app to talk to them (or to set off the siren if you'd prefer). Phone notifications don't require paying extra. Signing up for the cloud service lets you automatically record clips when the camera is activated (so you can review them in the morning). This also engages 'Advanced Pre-Roll' which records six potentially crucial seconds before the activation.
Ring's ecosystem is extensive, so you can make this part of a complete home alarm system with cameras and a doorbell.
The gorgeous Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight is designed like a winged version of the brand's other cameras. With a 2K HDR camera it offers better resolution than many, and doesn't need wired power. It ships with a chunky battery, but underneath is the MagSafe-like connector familiar to Arlo users. Here an optional permanent power supply (or a solar panel) can be connected easily – either way, you still get battery backup.
On the subject of options, the camera will connect to Arlo's base station which offers local video storage without a subscription. You'll also need this to connect the camera to Apple's HomeKit; a nice option to have given how frequently HomeKit is overlooked, but at a price. The Arlo app is available for iOS and Android.
The 2000 lumens (or 3000 once you're plugged in) provide enough light to cover about 10m (30ft). Because the LEDs are fitted to the camera body, they are directed in line with the lens when you mount it; some will find it convenient, while others might wish for a choice.
See our full Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight review
Blink is Amazon-owned, like Ring. What sets it apart, though, is that Blink's devices skew toward using disposable batteries. That typically makes them cheaper to buy, and the disposable Lithium cells tend to last about 2 years in situ – longer than rechargeable equivalents. Both can be fitted without wiring permanent power, making for easy DIY (indeed there is no option to add wiring). We doubt Amazon minds selling the batteries as needed either!
This Floodlight simply takes the compact Blink Outdoor camera and adds a housing with floodlights and four D-cell batteries to power them. The camera catches decent footage, though as you can imagine it is keen to power down fast. What makes Blink a good system is the surprisingly cheap Blink Sync Module 2, which can record clips locally without a subscription.
• Read our Blink Outdoor Camera review for more on the system
There are still benefits to Blink's plan, including animated thumbnails in the viewer app and cloud storage, but those looking to side-step a recurring cost (batteries aside) might do well to consider this camera and the module, which should work out cheaper in a low-traffic location.
Wyze is known for its good value cameras, and the floodlight – based on the Wyze Cam v3 – is no different. It offers optional sensitivity up to 30ft (10m) with 3 PIR sensors boasting 270˚ coverage and can pour 2600 lumens of light out. Unsurprisingly it does require a wired power supply, but despite its IP56 weather resistance it manages to sneak in a USB port to power an additional camera unit if desired. That makes it great for mounting on corners, though you'll need to pay for the extra device (under $40).
The Wyze Cam v3 camera offers local storage onto a MicroSD card, though you'll need to subscribe to the Cam Plus cloud service to unlock AI features. This includes Person/Package/Vehicle/Pet Detection. It also unlocks the recording of clips over 12 seconds and takes out a 5-minute wait between clips, so there is much to be said for it.
We're not sure why Wyze seems to be slow to the international market; the devices work outside the US, and are not geo-locked, but you'll need an American address to sign up for the cloud monitoring.
Like many of the products on this list, Nest has added individually directable floodlights to its Nest Cam. The rounded design is almost Disney robot cute, but the 2400 lumens of light will probably still be an effective deterrent, and all the usual treats like two-way talk are on offer. App control via iOS or Android is available, though just as Ring & Blink prefer Alexa, Nest's devices prefer Google Home for smart home integrations.
The Nest Cam boasts one of the better feature sets on offer with or without the Nest Aware cloud subscription plan. Activity zones and person/animal distinctions are made in the standard plan, reducing false alerts, and recorded events linger for 3 hours rather than being live-view only. The standard Nest Aware plan offers a 30-day event history and familiar face recognition but (for a higher sub) Nest also offers 10 days of 24/7 video, giving you the opportunity to scroll back through every moment if you want (and want to pay the extra for it).
Finally, with a built-in battery and (non-removable) storage, the camera can keep working during a Wi-Fi or power blackout.
With one more light panel than most, and a pan and tilt camera, the Eufy S330 Floodlight (sold as the Floodlight Cam 2 Pro in some countries) is an excellent choice that practically eliminates blindspots. The light panels can be tweaked to your preferred direction, and the light reaches up to 40ft (12m). You can even adjust the light temperature between 3,000K and 5,700K. Top tip though – if you live in a dusty area you'll need to clean the dome every few months.
The on-device AI can distinguish people from other movements, automatically lock onto them and follow with the camera. Some cameras might have wider fields of view, but with a moveable camera like this we don't mind a narrower framing. The PIR sensor will also detect movement outside the camera's current direction and lock on. The 2K resolution is also a cut above the standard 1080P, giving better detail.
The floodlight isn't the cheapest on the list, but Eufy place significance on delivering a product without hidden costs. The camera's AI takes place on-device, not requiring a monthly fee. The camera also has on-board recording storage, making it a great choice.
The Eve Outdoor Cam's design prioritizes a simple look that can fit in well with some home & garden lighting plans, but it performs in a similar manner to most floodlights here. The housing can be directed when the light is installed, but unlike many on this list, it cannot be pointed separately to the camera. The light does cover a good area, though, and is less directly aggressive than some, making it fit better with some homes as a garden light that happens to be a security light.
Beyond the design, the light's advantages and disadvantages are tied to your perception of Apple's HomeKit ecosystem. Eve don't charge a cloud subscription, but HomeKit requires at least a basic subscription to iCloud for cameras. That unlocks the ability to scroll back through alerts and recordings (which isn't taken out of your iCloud gigabytes). It also enables AI for animal, people, and package recognition and even facial recognition for people registered in your Apple contacts.
It's a good system, but it is a little frustrating that you also end up with Eve's own app so managing the device isn't as Apple-easy as it should be.
By rights, the Ring Spotlight Cam (Plus or Pro) shouldn't be on this list. There is, after all, a perfectly good Ring Floodlight Cam. However this housing, with small arrays of bright LEDs on both sides, might actually fulfill your needs as a deterrent. It's certainly more than enough light for a small front garden or deck, and to provide color images at night.
More useful for many, it can be installed without wiring. Adding a cable will push it from 300 to 350 lumens, though. The shell, while relatively discrete, is also large enough to accommodate two of Ring's rechargeable batteries (it's supplied with one) which can extend the life so, if you find you've installed in a higher traffic location than you thought, adding more power isn't impossible. Though we'd prefer two batteries came with it, of course!
Just like its floodlight sibling, this is available in Plus and Pro versions, with the former featuring standard motion sensors and the Pro offers '3D motion detection' which can help reduce false triggering from people further away (perhaps the path).
See our full Ring Spotlight Cam Plus Battery review
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