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Spotlight Cameras: Nest Cam with Floodlight vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Pro

Spotlight Cameras: Nest Cam with Floodlight vs. Ring Spotlight Cam Pro

Spotlight cameras are smaller, nimbler versions of motion sensor floodlights used to protect outside areas. While today’s security cams feature plenty of night vision features, activating a spotlight adds some extra illumination — and can frighten away unwanted guests, both human and animal.

Two of the most consumer-friendly, Wi-Fi-ready options are the Nest Cam Floodlight version and the recently-announced Ring Spotlight Cam Pro. Let’s pit these two against each other and see which comes out ahead!

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Overall design and installation

The Nest Cam with floodlights features a large, bold design that features two floodlights for maximum illumination over a large space — no matter how cold your winters get. The cam itself is positioned between the two lights, and all are mounted on a weighty base with a magnetic back panel made to attach to a wall. It’s sturdy and bulky. You’ll need the right space (the cam is around a foot wide), with room for a solid installation for the back panel. It’s no surprise that this cam is hardwired, too, so installation may take a little extra work.

The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro has a much more compact, mobile design. It’s battery-powered, so there’s no need for hardwiring. Instead of two separate floodlights, this cam has two LED panels on either side, which keeps the device slim but (as we’ll discuss later) reduces the area it can cover. It also has a built-in siren, which the Nest version doesn’t offer.

The Nest version is more suited for positioning above a garage or back porch for a broad view, while the Ring model’s illumination is for close quarters like a front porch or patio. But overall, the Ring Spotlight is going to be a lot easier for most users to set up quickly.

Winner: Ring Spotlight Cam Pro

Camera features

Both models sport some of the latest security camera technology. On the Nest version, that means a 2-megapixel HDR camera with a 130-degree field of view and 6x digital zoom to capture up to 1080p footage at 30 frames per second (fps). Night vision up to 20 feet is built in, and there’s a motion detector to trigger the cam and lights. Two-way audio is also supported, with a noise-cancellation feature.

The Ring Cam uses a 1080p HDR cam with a 140-degree field of view. It uses Color Night Vision technology for accurate night footage and offers a Bird’s Eye View broad scan of the area if you think something may be wrong and want to track motion on your property. It’s all controlled by motion sensing, this time with 3D motion detection technology. Two-way audio is also present and once again includes noise cancellation.

These cameras are quite similar, but the Ring’s version is a slightly newer model with nods to additional technology that give it a small edge.

Winner: Ring Spotlight Cam Pro

Spotlight features

If you’re paying extra for a spotlight cam, you’ll want a spotlight that’s worth it. The large design of the Nest Cam Floodlight model has a serious advantage here, with two large, bright floodlights that offer adjustable brightness and can go all the way to 2,400 lumens at 4,000L color temperature. That’s enough to light up large lots and similar areas without trouble, but there’s more: The floodlights can also switch to different colors if you want and even act as indicators for other Google Home alerts you may have.

Ring’s LED panels are useful and have some adjustment options, but they can’t really compare to Nest’s powerful floodlights when it comes to coverage or customization options.

Winner: Nest Cam with Floodlight

Smart features and app controls

The Nest cam requires management via the Google Home app, where you’ll be able to control and view it remotely, get a variety of notifications, and connect it to routines like turning it off when you get home after work. However, it’s one of the few Nest devices to support both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants and compatible devices. That gives it a huge range of integration options with other smart devices, including the ability to view feeds over devices like Echo Shows and the Nest Hub Max. Otherwise, it includes detection AI and onboard learning to help minimize false alerts from things like passing cars, telling the difference between animals and people, and so on. You can also set activity zones for the sensors to focus on.

The Ring Spotlight Cam Pro, on the other hand, works via the Ring app and integrates only with the Alexa voice assistant. Combined, Ring and Alexa offer many of the same smart features you get with the Google Home app, including real-time notifications, customization, and integration with other smart devices. But missing out on Google Assistant is a major loss for compatibility here (at least until Matter starts to level the playing field), and we always recommend a device that supports both rather than just one.

Winner: Nest Cam with Floodlight

Plans and video storage

When looking at smart security cameras, you always need to look at video storage and what plans offer because a subscription can drastically affect costs and may be necessary to use a variety of important features.

For Nest, that means the Nest Aware program at $6 per month up to $12. Aware adds the ability to recognize familiar faces and sounds and gives you up to 60 days of recorded video history (or options to enable 24/7 video history). It also adds the ability to call emergency services from the app. Without Nest Aware, you still get three hours of cloud video storage to hold recorded video for free, which is more than most security cams offer.

Ring relies on the Ring Protect plan starting at $4 per month, up to $10 per month. Protect plans add recorded video storage for up to 180 days, an option to enroll in professional monitoring, and extended warranty options. However, there is no free video storage option at all, so without the plan, you’re stuck with livestreaming only. The professional monitoring addition is great for those who want it, but the absence of any free options is a tough sell.

Winner: Nest Cam with Floodlight

The Nest Cam with Floodlight lists at $280, while the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro is available, as of October 26, 2022, for $229. That’s pretty straightforward, although both may be subject to discounts and bundles for things like Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday weekend.

Winner: Ring Spotlight Cam Pro

Which spotlight cam is worth your time?

With its simple do-it-yourself (DIY) installation, battery power, and compact design, we’re giving a slight edge to the Ring Spotlight Cam Pro in most situations. However, Nest brings plenty to the table with its excellent floodlight coverage and customization, along with superior voice assistant integration (and better no-subscription options). It’s definitely worth considering if you’ve got the space and are willing to pay a higher initial cost.

This content was originally published here.

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