Ring has been a staple on the the smart tech market since the introduction of their first Ring Video Doorbell, but their camera line has expanded into so much more. The Ring Spotlight and Floodlight Cam are two excellent options for monitoring the outside of your home, but we do feel that the Ring Floodlight is the superior option.
Comparing Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam is difficult because they have so much in common. It may seem at first glance that Ring Spotlight is the superior option since it offers more flexibility with battery, wired (AC), and hardwired installation options. However, the Floodlight outperforms the Spotlight in key areas like motion detection, night vision, and brightness, which makes that small advantage moot.
Below we go into detail on what each camera has to offer to help make your shopping decision a little bit easier. Alternatively, feel free to use our navigation bar to jump right on down to the sections you care about most.
Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam — Things in Common
Video Quality – Just as we’ve come to expect from the Ring camera line, the Ring Spotlight and Floodlight Cam offer the same excellent video quality. Your cameras will transmit a 1080p HD picture at 30 FPS and with an impressive 140-degree field of view. Both cameras also record in an H.264 video format which is a compression protocol that reduces the strain on your network — allowing most home networks to support 3-4 cameras with a minimal extra load.
Live View – All Ring cameras feature an on-demand live view for no extra cost. You can also record this live view, but this option is part of a subscription that starts at $3 per month.
Two-Way Audio – Two-Way audio is great for more than just shooing your pets off the furniture — offering the ability to yell at that package thief or scare off potential intruders through the Ring app. It’s likely not something you’re going to use every day, but having the ability to speak through the cameras when you need to can be incredibly convenient.
WiFi – Both The Ring Spotlight and Floodlight Cam support 2.4 GHz WiFi connections. If you’re looking for a dual-band option to prevent overloading your WiFi connection, we recommend checking out the Ring Stick Up Cam Elite.
Siren – A siren is a key part of any security system — playing double duty as a way to alert your family to potential danger and to scare off any intruders. Both Ring cameras have a 110 dB siren built-in that will call attention to a break-in or other emergency without the need for any other equipment. It also integrates nicely with the Ring Alarm system, which is a newer home security solution from the brand that is an excellent complement to your Spotlight or Floodlight Cam.
Cloud Storage – Cloud storage is available with subscription plans for either device. Ring offers two different Ring Protect Plans: Basic and Plus.
Basic is available for just $3 per camera and enables video recording and cloud storage for up to 60 days, allowing you to review and share your videos at any time.
Plus gives you that same amount of storage for as many cameras as you please for just $10 a month, and also enables 24/7 professional monitoring with cellular backup for homeowners that have Ring Alarm. This plan starts at just $10 per month, so it makes sense to buy if you have more than 3 cameras in your home, even if you don’t take advantage of the additional Ring security features.
One thing to keep in mind is that there’s no local storage option, so you’ll potentially run into some issues if your internet connection drops. If you’d like the peace of mind that a camera with local storage has to offer, check out Arlo Pro or Arlo Pro 2 for access to that feature.
App Support – Accessing your Ring video feed is incredibly simple — whether you’re at home, at work, or vacationing in the Caribbean (if you are, we’re jealous!) Check in on your home or view recordings with the Android, iOS, or Web app whenever you please.
Amazon Alexa – Ring has been owned by Amazon for quite some time now, so it’s no surprise that the Spotlight and Floodlight Cam both work well with Amazon Alexa. The Echo Show and Echo Spot are great options since they can display the video feed for easy viewing of your Ring Video Doorbell or Security Camera. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the Echo Show and Fire TV currently don’t support two-way audio, so you won’t be able to speak to people through the devices.
Alexa also works with Shared Users, so if someone else in your household is connected to your Ring they can use Alexa to view the activity as well.
IFTTT & Stringify – Last but not least, both Ring cameras work very well with IFTTT and Stringify. These trigger systems are a key part of allowing smart devices to communicate with one another, and it allows you to do all sorts of fancy things like have your cameras light up automatically when motion is detected among a whole host of other features. Check out the full integration list here.
Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam — Differences
Difference #1: Power Options – Perhaps the most obvious difference when comparing Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam is their power options — namely that the Spotlight actually has options, while Ring Floodlight is limited to hardwired power.
With Spotlight, you can install your cameras pretty much any way you please depending on the model you decide on. You could hardwire it directly into your house power, use a standard AC Plug, or even just use the rechargeable battery to enjoy 3-6 months of power on a single charge. Add in a Solar Panel, and your Ring Spotlight can run wire-free indefinitely. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that plugging your camera into an outlet or directly wiring it into the house power provides more reliability and enables some enhanced security features.
The Ring Floodlight is hardwired into house power, which is a little bit more inconvenient from an installation standpoint, but allows it to offer some more advanced utility that just isn’t possible with a less reliable power source.
So, Spotlight is definitely more flexible and this is one of the main advantages it has over Floodlight Cam. The extra features that Floodlight has to offer more than make up for its power option limitations, in our opinion, which we’ll discuss in more detail below.
Difference #2: Night Vision – There are some differences in the quality of night vision based on the type of camera you choose. With the wired and hardwired Ring Spotlights, and the Ring Floodlight, you’ll have access to Enhanced night vision with full color. If you opt for the Battery Spotlight, however, you’ll only have night vision in black and white. It’s an unfortunate compromise you’ll have to make if you’re looking for an option that can run with less reliable power.
Difference #3: Motion Detection – Motion detection is an important part of the Ring camera line, and there are two different types of technology that the brand uses depending on the model.
Standard motion detection uses infrared sensors and is used in all battery-based products. The technology detects movement using heat signatures, and is optimized for low-power operations so that it doesn’t put too much stress on camera batteries. Standard motion detection uses a three-sensor system that allows for significant customization despite the inherent limitations of an infrared system.
Advanced Motion detection requires a wired or hardwired camera and actually uses the video itself to monitor for motion rather than heat signatures. Just like standard motion detection, Ring offers a great deal of customization over sensitivity and other settings.
The Ring Spotlight Battery model uses standard motion detection, which uses three Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors — each detecting a bit more than a third of the total coverage area. It can detect visitors by tracking moving heat signatures and will send a notification to your device when it finds one. It’s smart enough to realize that smaller signatures like your cat or chihuahua aren’t human, but it does make mistakes at times with larger animals and could end up triggering a false alert.
Advanced Motion Detection is used in the wired and hardwired Ring Spotlights as well as the Ring Floodlight, and takes advantage of a human detection system through the camera itself. Using a combination of face and body-shape analysis, it usually does a much better job at recognizing actual humans, and is also equipped with the ability to set custom “motion zones” that allow your camera to provide comprehensive coverage while bypassing areas with high traffic such as a pathway or street.
These wired models actually use the PIR detection as well, taking the best of both worlds and using the two motion detection systems in tandem to better protect your home. When motion is detected, your yard will be lit up immediately through heat detection from the infrared sensors, at which point the cameras will determine whether the activity is actually human in nature.
Long story short, the Ring Spotlight Battery model is at a significant disadvantage since it can only use Standard Motion Detection, while the wired models and Ring Floodlight can use both Standard and Advanced Detection.
Difference #4: LED Lights – Part of the appeal of both of these cameras is their ability to illuminate your yard and literally put a spotlight on any suspicious activity.. The Ring Floodlight has built-in floodlights that are separate from the camera and have 1,800 lumens of brightness. The Ring Spotlight, on the other hand, has spotlights on the camera itself at 375 Lumens for the Wired and Hardwired models and just 300 Lumens for the battery models.
This is perhaps the biggest disparity between the two products. When it comes to illuminating your yard, the Ring Floodlight is going to do a much better job than the Ring Spotlight. The two cameras have a lot in common, but this is one area where the Ring Floodlight is clearly the better buy.
Difference #5: Digital Zoom – These cameras are designed to provide you with video coverage of the exterior of your home, but what if there’s some commotion a good distance away from your home? While both cameras have night vision and have a decent range with their picture, the Ring Floodlight’s inclusion of digital zoom makes it much easier to zero in on the action — providing better detail when you need it most.
Difference #6: Operating Temperature – Last is a minor difference in operating temperature. All of these cameras are weather-proofed and designed to stand up to a wide range of climates, but the Battery powered Ring Spotlight may struggle in particularly cold areas with a working range of -5°FF to 120°F. If you’re anticipating dealing with particularly chilly winters, the -22°F to 120°F range of the Wired and Hardwired Spotlight and the Ring Floodlight may be more up your alley.
Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam — Comparison Chart
|Ring Spotlight||Ring Floodlight|
|Video resolution||1080p HD||1080p HD|
|Frames per Second||30 FPS||30 FPS|
|On-Demand Live View||Yes||Yes|
|Record Live View||Subscription Required||Subscription Required|
|Field of View||140°||140°|
|Power||Battery: Rechargeable Battery|
Wired: 110-240 VAC AC Plug
Hardwired: 110-240 VAC Hardwired
|Hardwired 110-240 VAC|
|Optional Power Source||Battery: Solar Panel|
|Battery Life||Battery: 3-6 months|
|Motion Detection||Battery: Basic|
|Motion Zones||Battery: Areas|
Wired: Custom, up to 6
Hardwired: Custom, up to 6
|Custom, up to 6|
|Person Detection||Battery: No|
|Night Vision||Battery: Black & White|
Wired: Enhanced Color (coming)
Hardwired: Enhanced Color (coming)
|Enhanced Color (coming)|
|WiFi||2.4 GHz||2.4 GHz|
|Requires a Base Station||No||No|
|Siren||110 dB built-into camera||110 dB built-into camera|
|Local Backup Storage||No||No|
|Cloud Storage||Subscription Required||Subscription Required|
|Review, Share, & Save||Subscription Required||Subscription Required|
|e911 Emergency Call||No||No|
|Instant App Alerts||Yes||Yes|
|App Support||Android, iOS, Web||Android, iOS, Web|
|LED Lights||Battery: 370Lm.|
|Floodlights 1,800 Lm.|
|Amazon Alexa||Echo Show, Echo Spot||Echo Show, Echo Spot|
|Operating Temperature||Battery: -5°F to 120°F|
Wired: -22°F to 120°F
Hardwired: -22°F to 120°F
|-22°F to 120°F|
|Dimension||4.96 x 2.72 x 2.99 in.||Base: 4.75 inch diameter|
Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam — Accessories
Both Ring cameras come with pretty much everything you need to get started, but there are a couple of accessories or add-ons that might make getting everything set up a little bit easier.
First, we’d like to mention the Ring Solar Panel for Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, which should allow you to run your camera indefinitely without having to charge it every few months.
Amazon also offers Ring Spotlight Cam Installation for your Battery or Wired models. If you opt for the Hardwired Ring Spotlight or the Ring Floodlight, you may want to take advantage of the more general Ring Camera Installation that can hardwire the equipment into your home — just keep in mind that existing wiring is required.
Ring Spotlight vs. Floodlight Cam — Our Thoughts
All in all, we think the Ring Floodlight is the better option. It has the same or better features when compared to the best that Ring Spotlight has to offer, plus it has a much brighter light that can make all the difference when trying to keep your home protected in the wee hours of the night. The digital zoom feature is just too good to pass up as well, and we’re definitely missing it in the Ring Spotlight models.
The only real advantage that Ring Spotlight has over the Floodlight is the models that offer more flexible installation, but opting for something like battery power severely limits the utility your camera can offer.
If you’re looking for an alternative camera that offers a PoE option, dual-band support, and advanced motion detection, take a look at the All-New Ring Stick Up Cam Battery vs. Plug-in vs. Elite. Seriously, check it out — It’s one of our favorite cameras that the brand has to offer.
For more information about floodlight cameras, check out our detailed comparison:
Last update on 2020-10-20 at 10:39 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API