If you have a neighborhood package thief or frequently hear car alarms sounding off, it might be time to invest in a floodlight camera. These useful security devices include a powerful high-resolution camera with horizontal viewing angles of up to 140 degrees. With the support of bright floodlights that can produce 2,500 lumens or more of light, these cameras are capable of recording high-quality video—even at night.
Floodlight cameras attach to an outdoor lightbox or they operate wirelessly via a rechargeable battery and communicate through the home’s Wi-Fi, allowing the user to access live and recorded video from a smart device.
This guide zooms in on the features of these helpful security devices to identify the most important factors one should consider when shopping for the best floodlight camera.
- BEST OVERALL: Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera – Wireless Security
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Geeni Sentry Wi-Fi Wireless Smart Security Camera
- BEST WITH DISPLAY: Ring Floodlight Camera with Echo Show 5
- BEST WITH SIREN: Amcrest Floodlight Camera, Built-in Siren Alarm
- BEST NIGHT VISION: Victure Floodlight Camera Pro, Infrared Night Vision
- BEST FEATURES: Ring Floodlight Camera Motion-Activated HD Security
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Floodlight Camera
While the resolution of the camera and the brightness of the floodlight may be the most crucial attributes to consider when selecting a floodlight camera, there are other features to look into, including the power source, motion detection, and smart-home compatibility. Ahead, learn more about how to choose the best floodlight camera for a home.
Floodlight cameras either use a rechargeable battery or are hardwired to the home. Floodlight cameras with rechargeable batteries offer the convenience of easy wireless installation, but they have a limited power source. Most rechargeable batteries can last 6 months before needing a recharge, depending on use. Recharging requires the user to remove the camera from its perch and then plug it into a standard outlet using a USB cable. Some floodlights are also compatible with small solar panels for an eco-friendly charge.
Floodlight cameras that require hardwiring connect to a standard light fixture electrical box with one hot wire, one neutral wire, and one ground wire. Installing a floodlight camera to an existing electrical box is a task most DIYers can complete in less than an hour with basic tools.
Brightness and Coverage
A floodlight camera’s ability to monitor property is determined by the brightness of its floodlights and the field of view of the camera.
The best way to determine how much coverage a floodlight has is by looking at its power output, which is measured in lumens. The greater the number of lumens, the brighter the floodlight, and the better it can illuminate the area. A floodlight’s range is referred to as “throw.” The brighter the floodlight, the greater its throw. Most floodlight cameras have an output of around 2,000 lumens, which gives the light a throw of approximately 30 feet.
In addition to the visibility afforded by the floodlights, the camera’s coverage is determined by its field of view. Usually, this ranges from 115 degrees to 140 degrees with a vertical field of view that’s around 80 degrees. The wider the field of view, the more the camera is capable of monitoring.
Resolution and Night Vision
Floodlight cameras come with resolution options of 720p, 1080p, and 2K. The numbers refer to the horizontal line of pixels that create the image. The greater the number, the higher the resolution of the video. For floodlight cameras, resolution matters because it determines how clearly one can identify facial features through the camera. This is especially important given that these images are taken at night.
While the floodlight helps to illuminate whoever, or whatever, is caught on camera, it’s not shadow-proof, which can make it more difficult for the camera to show a clear image. High-resolution cameras create clearer images at greater distances, making it easier to identify faces and read license plates.
Some cameras feature a night vision lens, which uses infrared light to create images. An infrared light serves as a stealthier camera, as it works without alerting visitors to its presence by turning on the floodlight.
Most cameras go beyond allowing the user to simply monitor who is at the door via a camera. They often have built-in two-way microphones to allow for communication between the visitor and the user. This is handy for instructing a delivery person on where to leave a package, interacting with guests, or warning a would-be intruder that they’re on camera.
Floodlight cameras operate by using a motion detector to monitor activity around the home. When it detects motion, it signals the camera to begin recording. Since these cameras can cover a wide area, up to 140 degrees horizontally, many come with customizable settings that allow the user to specify what parts of the camera’s view trigger the motion detector. This eliminates false alarms that may result in unnecessary footage of passersby on the sidewalk or a visit from the neighbor’s cat.
Most floodlight cameras function by connecting to a home’s Wi-Fi network, granting access to both live and archived video footage on demand from any smart device, including smartphones and voice-activated digital assistants. Some models are even sold with a digital assistant viewer as a complete home security system. When someone triggers the doorbell, the viewer instantly displays a live feed from the camera.
- Backup battery: Some floodlight cameras include rechargeable backup batteries that keep them up and running in the event of a power outage. These backup batteries can last several days before needing a recharge.
- Siren: If a 2,500-lumen light isn’t enough to deter unwanted visitors, then maybe a loud noise is. Many floodlight cameras come with speakers that sound a siren up to 110 decibels to scare off trespassers. The user can manually activate the siren or set it to go off after motion detection.
- Storage: There are two options when it comes to accessing stored video footage. Many manufacturers offer subscription-based services that hold archived security footage from the camera, allowing the user to access the footage on demand from the cloud via a smartphone or a computer. Other cameras use SD cards that allow the user to store up to 60 gigabytes of video footage.
- Encryption: These cameras use a Wi-Fi signal to connect to a home’s network, which means they have the potential to be hacked—granting unauthorized access to your home’s cameras. Most manufacturers use end-to-end encryption with their floodlight cameras, which only allows the user’s personal devices to access the camera and its recorded footage.
Installing a floodlight camera is a job most DIYers can complete in less than an hour with a few basic tools. Installing a battery-powered unit involves mounting the camera and lights to the house with a mounting kit.
Hardwiring involves connecting the camera floodlight to an existing lightbox on the exterior of the home, which is similar to changing out a light fixture on the home’s interior. Once installed, the floodlight camera’s app provides instructions for connecting the device to the home’s Wi-Fi network.
Our Top Picks
The products below feature smart-compatible products with at least 1080p resolution cameras and 1,800-lumen floodlights. Some come with additional features such as infrared night vision, sirens, and two-way communication. Any of the cameras below will help upgrade a home’s security.
By combining a high-resolution camera with a sleek, futuristic light design, Arlo’s Pro 3 is a floodlight that successfully combines form with function. The Pro 3 has exceptional clarity thanks to a 2K camera with HDR that creates an ultra-clear color picture, even in dark conditions. Its flat futuristic-looking lamp adds a sophisticated look that standard flood light bulbs don’t offer. It’s bright, too, with a 2,000-lumen output. If that’s not enough, it’s upgradeable to 3,000 lumens with the addition of an outdoor magnetic charging cable.
Couple the floodlight with its 160-degree viewing angle and it provides ample coverage day or night. The Pro 3 connects to a home’s Wi-Fi for access from a smart device. Other useful features include two-way audio, smart alerts, and a zoom feature for stored video footage. The Pro 3 runs on rechargeable batteries, which last about 6 months.
Purchasing a floodlight camera for home security doesn’t have to make one feel as though they’ve been robbed blind. This affordable camera from Geeni offers many of the features and coverage of higher-priced models at a fraction of the price. Its 1080p HD camera produces clear images ideal for facial recognition while the floodlight puts out a powerful 2,100 lumens of light, while also being one of the more sophisticated-looking floodlights one can mount to the front of their home.
Its 140 degrees of coverage is enough to monitor a broad area, and it includes useful additional features such as two-way audio and a 100-decibel security siren. Geeni uses Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing the user to access live and stored camera footage via a smartphone.
Paired with the Echo Show 5, this floodlight camera is ideal for those looking for a floodlight camera and a visual virtual assistant combo. The camera features two adjustable lamps, which allow the user some latitude for aiming the beams. Combined, the floodlights produce 1,800 lumens. The Ring camera offers high-definition 1080p images, which is plenty of clarity for identifying who’s at the door. Its camera has a coverage zone of 140 degrees and allows the user to set specific motion detection zones, helping to eliminate false alarms from the neighbor’s cat.
The camera connects via Wi-Fi to the included Echo Show virtual assistant, which allows the user to view live or recorded video on its 5.5-inch display, set up alerts, and communicate with visitors via a two-way microphone all with voice control. Ring also offers the option of archiving via its subscription-based cloud storage service.
Sometimes the sudden illumination of a bright floodlight isn’t enough to deter trespassers. This floodlight camera from Amcrest also blasts them with a 110-decibel motion-activated siren, driving them away with the power of sound (or at least alerting the entire neighborhood that something is afoot on the property). A high-definition 1080p camera with a 114-degree wide viewing angle accompanies this siren along with two floodlights that produce a combined 2,000 lumens.
Live and recorded video footage as well as manual control of the siren and a two-way talk feature are all accessible via the Amcrest app, which communicates with the camera via Wi-Fi. The camera can store footage on an SD card or Amcrest’s cloud-based subscription service.
With its ability to record nighttime video with or without the use of floodlights, this security camera is one of the more versatile models on the market. It features a powerful 2,500-lumen floodlight that provides ample visibility for color nighttime viewing. For those who are looking for a stealthier way to monitor activity on their property, this camera also comes equipped with an infrared setting that films the area in black and white without turning on the floodlights.
This camera also comes with additional security features, including a 110-decibel siren that’s triggered via a motion detector. Live video is available on-demand via the Victure app, and an SD port allows the user to record up to 15 days of video footage with a 64-gigabyte SD card.
This camera’s broad range of features coupled with its options for storing data make it one of the more versatile floodlight cameras on the market. This floodlight camera connects to the home via Wi-Fi, allowing the user to access live or archived video footage from a smartphone, and it also works with virtual assistants, including Alexa and Google.
The user can use the app to communicate with visitors via a two-way microphone or activate a siren to send them packing. Cloud storage is available through Ring’s subscription-based plans. A high-definition 1080p camera produces color nighttime video with a 1,800-lumen floodlight or black and white nighttime images with its infrared capability. Customizable zones allow the user to fine-tune what area activates the motion-sensitive camera.
FAQs About Floodlight Cameras
Network speeds, video storage, and protection from hackers are other important factors to consider when shopping for a floodlight camera. Below are answers to questions that address these concerns.
Q. What is the ideal bandwidth for a floodlight camera?
While faster is always better, the best bandwidth for a floodlight camera is 2 megabytes of upload speed or more.
Q. Is data encrypted on a floodlight camera?
With hacking becoming a growing problem with home security cameras, more and more manufacturers are adding end-to-end encryption to their products. End-to-end encryption means a hacker cannot spy in unless they have access to your personal device. It’s important to note that end-to-end encryption is only available on cameras that are hardwired to the home. Battery-powered models do not have the power required for this encryption.
Q. What’s the storage capacity for a floodlight camera?
Some cameras use an SD card for video storage, which can hold 64 gigabytes or more of data. Others may offer unlimited storage in the cloud for a small monthly fee. Floodlight cameras create video files that are about 3.2 megabytes each, which equates to about 32 megabytes for 10 short videos per day.