Review: Ring Spotlight Cam security camera and Solar Panel

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I’ve had a Ring camera installed in my backyard for years. The camera and solar panel have been out there for years and are probably one of the original generation of outdoor cameras. Ring has upgraded its outdoor security cameras and solar panels, and I had a chance to test out a new one to see what’s different and what’s improved. I’ll tell you all about my experience.

Ring Spotlight Cam battery

What’s new with Ring?

This Ring camera has a couple of improvements over my original; for starters it’s got a spotlight in the bottom of the camera unit for added lighting and security.

This camera also has a removable rechargeable battery which you can use as your main power source (my old camera needed to be removed and brought inside to be plugged in and recharged).

You can also add the optional Ring Solar Panel, which is a great way to keep your camera operational all the time.

It might be worth noting that the older solar panel and cameras have different connections so you can’t use an older Solar Panel with a newer cameras, for example.

Enhanced bracket

The new camera comes with a much improved mounting bracket that’s easier to use and adjust. If you don’t opt for the Solar Panel, The quick-release rechargeable battery pack lets you easily charge your Cam without moving the entire device.

Wider field of view

The first thing I noticed about this camera feed is the wider field of view over my old one. This camera is HD so expect more clarity too.

HD Video & Night Vision plus Siren
The camera has 1080HD video with a built-in microphone and speaker so you can hear and even speak with anyone who’s in front of the camera.

It also has infrared night vision so you can see and record even in full dark Plus, there’s that light which will turn on when motion is detected too.

For added security, there’s a 110-decibel siren to help you scare off intruders. You have to manually turn it on inside the app.

Motion Alerts
Your Ring cameras are designed to alert you to movement on your property. You’ll get an alert to your phone whenever the camera senses motion. You can configure exactly where the alerts are detected, and you can disable the area in front of a a busy public sidewalk for example, or your dog run. You can also adjust motion sensitivity to alert you to any movement, or just major ones.

If you want, add the optional Ring Chime Pro, and it will send an audible alert through the house when it detects motion, if you want that.

What is Ring Protect?
In order to get the most from your Ring Video Doorbell and cameras, you should know you’ll probably want to enable Ring Protect.

Ring Protect is a monthly service plan that allows you to access, download and view recordings from your Ring devices on your phone. Prices for this Cloud video storage and access range from about $5 to $15/month and there’s no contract required so you can cancel it any time.

There is a free version that lets you view your camera’s live feed, but you won’t have access to recordings of previous events.

The details of the different plans can be found here:

Adding Alexa to Ring

One of the great options with Ring is the ability to connect the cameras and doorbells with Amazon Alexa so you can get voice control or remote viewing using an Amazon smart device with a screen.

If you have a newer Echo Show device, great news, the device will be automatically added to your account, so you can just say, “Show me the Front Door” when someone rings and the feed will pop up on screen.

If you do need to do a manual set up, you can enable Ring as a skill inside the Alexa app.

Overall review Ring Spotlight Cam Battery & Solar Panel

Overall I’m a fan of Ring devices. I will note that I had some recent troubles with the Ring app with my devices not connecting properly or falling offline, but since I’ve added the newer devices the app seems to have stabilized or been upgraded and set up and connectivity has been perfect.

Downsides? I’m having a hard time finding any. The video quality is great, the cameras are easy to set up and access and you can configure your whole home system in so many ways to give you the peace of mind you’re looking for. I know some folks are choked that without paying for Ring Protect you can’t access your videos, not even from a few days prior, but that’s the reality of most remove security systems nowadays; they all want you to pay a fee for cloud recording.

Overall I can definitely recommend Ring Spotlight Cam as a way to increase your home’s security and keep watch over your house.

Spotlight Cam sells for about $240CAD, and the Solar panel sells for about $65CAD from Best Buy.

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